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Yeats tells a story in verse. An old priest was weary and sad because most of his flock had died. He was sent for by a sick man, but fell asleep in his chair before answering the call. The stars multiplied and God talked to mankind. In the morning, Father Gilligan awoke with a start, realizing that he had not done his duty. He rides to the sick man's house where his wife answers the door and says that the man has died. Father Gilligan is horrified and cries "mavrone!" until the woman thanks him for coming the previous night. He falls to his knees and thanks God for sending an angel down to do his work when he was too tired to do so. Analysis This poem takes a ballad form - a traditional form, usually sung, with regular, short stanzas that tell a story. It has a more overtly religious content than most of Yeats's poems. As a protestant who turned to theosophy and
Yeats usually stays away from Catholic themes. . and therefore cannot go to heaven. kind God. He was a collector of similar Irish stories and songs and appreciated their immediate. Yeats also usually stays away from the Irish language. naive beauty. The priest is horrified by the fact that he did not make it to the bedside of the sick man before he died because no one performed the rites of extreme unction. which he uses in this poem when he writes. "mavrone!" which is the Irish. Yeats intends this ballad as an homage to the traditional poetry and legend of his country. The divine intervention which caused this not to be the case is an affirmation of a loving. The poem not only speaks to the poverty of rural Ireland. Certainly this tale draws upon the character as well as the form of the traditional Irish ballad.mysticism. "mo bhron. meaning in the Catholic tradition that the man did not die in a state of grace." a cry of grief. but also to their extreme religiosity.
Yeats' poem "The Ballad of Father Gilligan" is a literary ballad based on an incident either true or fictional belonging to the poor illiterate Irish folk. Since Yeats' ballad is a literary ballad he has deliberately worked into his poem some of the characteristics of the traditional ballad which belonged to the oral tradition and was never written down.comprising eight syllables in the first and the third lines which do not rhyme and . He has employed the ballad quatrain throughout his poem. A ballad is usually a short narrative poem telling an interesting story. Since Yeats' poem "The Ballad of Father Gilligan" tells the story of how God himself took pity on the weary Gilligan and sent an angel instead of him to minister the last communion to a dying parishioner and thus ensuring that his soul went to heaven.Justify the title W. the title of the poem is indeed very apt.B.
six syllables in the second and fourth lines which rhyme. For instance he has repeated "moth-hour" twice to poetically describe dusk and dawn. . Another important feature of the traditional ballad which Yeats has incorporated in his poem is repetition.