Tolv two elf kater ten |4(it can't be)4| sax.
Pedwar pemp foify |4tray. trayº (it must be)4| Twelve!º
And low stole o'er the stillness the heartbeats of sleep.
Methought as I was dropping asleep |4somewhen somepart4| in nonland of where's
please I heard as 'twere the peal of midnight's chimes from out the belfry of the cute old speckled church tolling so faint atwelve as |4nighthood nighthood's unseen violet4| rendered all
animated British objects nonviewable to human watchers save 'twere perchance anon some glistery
gleam darkling adown surface of affluvial flowandflow as again might seem garments of laundry reposing a |4greensward leasward4| close at hand in full expectation. And as I was jogging along in a dream as dozing I was dawdling,º arrah,º methought broadtone was heard and allº vociferated,º echoating: Shaun! Shaun! Post the post! withº a high voice and,º O, the higher on high the deeper and low.º I
heard him so. And lo,º meseemedº somewhat came of the noise and somewho might amove amongº allmurk. Now 'twasº as clump, now mayhap. When look was light and now 'twasº as flasher, now more as the glow. Ah, in unlitness 'twas in verity, bless me, 'twas his belted lamp! Ay, he who so swayed a will of a wisp before me, dressed like an earl in just the correct wear, in a classy o'coat of far superior ruggedness|4, indigo frieze, tracked and tramped,4| freeswingingº from his shoulthern,º and thick welted brogues on him hammered to suit the Irish public and climate, iron heels and sparable soles, and his jacket of woolliesº with a softrolling lisp of a lapel to it and |4red great4| sealingwax buttons and his invulnerable burlap waistcoat and the overshirt he sported inside, a |4snowy4| starspangled zephyr with a decidedly surplice front with his motto throughº dear life embroidered over it in |4green, white and jaundice |agrass |bsprouts peasb|a|, riceº and yeggyolk4|, R for royal, M for Mail, R.M.D. hard cash on the nail,º and the most successfully carried trousers now you everº breaking over the ankle and hugging the shoeheel, everythingº the best, wasº none other from (Ah, then,º may the blessings of God and Mary and Patrick and Brigid be tumbling all over him!) other than (and may his hundred thousand welcome
letters multiply, ay,º faith, and plultiply!) Shaun himself.
Had I the concordant wiseheads of Messrs Gregory and Lyons alongside of Dr Tarpey's and the reverend Mr MacDougall's,º but I, poor ass, am but as their fourpart ass. Yet methought Shaun
(holy messengerº angels be uninterruptedly nudging him among and along the winding ways of random ever!) Shaun in proper person (now may all the
|4backsliding bluebackslidingº4| constellations continue to shape hisº
changeable timetable!) stood before me. And I pledge you my word that young fellow looked the stuff, a prime card if ever was! Now without deceit it is
hardly too much to say he was looking grand, so fired smart, in much more than his usual health. He was immense, topping swell,º for he was after having a great time of it in a
porterhouse where he had recruited his strength by means of mounds of food constituting his |43 principal
meals three principal meals4| plusº a collation, his breakfast of half a
pound of baconº |4and eggs with newlaid
googs |aandº |baºb| rice pudding
came his dinner of a half a pound of round steak and bacon with a pair of chops thrown in by the proprietoress and gravy and a |4splendid bulby4| onion and then finally to his regret his supper cum nightcap, vitellusit,º bacon withº broad beans and steakº while 'twasº after that he scoffed a duckeling snuggily stuffed following cold loin of veal with cabbage and peas. |4And bread Bread4| free of charge. And the best of wine. Mind you, I don't mean to say for the moment that he was gluttonous asº regards edibles but he liked his tuck all right every time he felt like grubbing. And he was so jaunty with a romp of a schoolgirl's complexion sitting pretty over his face and he was plainly out on the mash for he sproke.
When lo meheard I saw the voice of Shaun how so it sighed to scented nightlife as softly as the loftly marconimasts from Clifden sigh open tireless secrets to Nova Scotia's listing sisterpoles.
— Alas, alack, alanna, aroon! Shaunº yawned,º addressing himself and complaining it was so close as
of the fact of him
earningº his board in the sweat of his feet as, having moistened his mouth upon the quiet and scooping
molars and grinders clean with his two forefingersº, he sank down at once, disgusted with himself, upon the native heath he loved,º covered with virgin bush. Well,º I'm literallyº shot seeing myself in this trim! How all too unworthy am I, a mere mailman of peace, a poor hastehater,º for such eminence, or promenade rather, to be more exact,º as to be the bearer extraordinary of these missive on his majesty's service. I cannot on my |4solemn4| merits recollect ever having done |4of4| anything of the kind to deserve of such.
— But have we until now ever besought you, dear Shaun, we remembered,º who it was, to begin with, whoº
gave you the permit?
— Everybody, Shaun replied. My heaviest cross it is. I have it from Saint Columbkiller's prophecies.
— Then, we explained, you possibly might be so by order?º
— Forgive me, Shaun repeated from his liquid |4lips lipes4|, it was
condemned on meº by the prophecies and there is a power
over me that is put upon me from on high and so as it is hereditary I have nothing in view to look forward at and I am now about fed up going about and that is why Iº was thinking of the river as a wayº out as I am hopeless to do anything concerning.
— Honest Shaunº, we agreed, a whisper reaches usº that in the end it may well turn
outº to be you who will bear these open letter.
— As, Shaun replied patly, to that I have the power. And that has a lot to do with everything.
— Would you mind telling us, Shaun honey, we proposed to such a dear youth, where mostly are you able to work?º
— I, Shaun replied, mostly am able to walk. I am always telling them how
itº was foretoldº for me byº brevet,º to be disbarred from unnecessary servile work of all sorts for otherwise I would get into a blame there. Hisº holy will be done! But,º believe me,º in my simplicity I am awful good so I am,º at the root of me. And I can now truthfully declare with my palms on the epistles that I do my reasonable best to recite my prayers regularly. In fact, always have.
— Yet one minute's observation, dear domestic Shaun, as we point out how you have painted our town green.
— O murder! Shaun replied, smiling the oily way up his sleeve, so shy of light was he then. Well, so be
it!º And I will confess to have, yes. And I am afraid it wouldn't
be my first time like the regular fellow I am. Somebody may perhaps say I was wrong. No such a thing!º You never made a more frightful mistake!º But it is grandiose from the prophecies, and they were particularly arranged by a |4scripchewer4| gentleman for gentlemen only. And it was with my postlamp.
— Do you mean, weº gathered,º whether varnish would or verdure?
— It is a confounded lie to say it, Shaun,º the fiery
boy,º shouted, naturally incensed. And another time please confine your glaring insinuations to some other body. What
on the face of this planet would I be doing besides your varnish? That is
more than I can say anyway. So let you and I now kindly drop that. Understand me when I tell you that under the
pastº parcel office,º so deeply deplored by my erstwhile friend, Miss
Sanders, postmistress in general to the Irish Goat Society,º albethey blessed with 22,000 sorters
out of a biggest possible 22,000, too much administrative
stationery was ate up by those goats. It is also one of my avowed
intentionsº at some time,º whenº I am not prepared
to say,º to comprose quite a patent savingsbook surrounding this matter so long as,
thank destiny, I am prepaid.
— Otherwise, frank Shaun, we pursued, what |4might would4| be the biography of your softbodied uniform?
— None whatsoever, Shaun replied,º though it would be more or less romantic. All of it, I might say, was handled over by me myself among my neighbours and nephews of every description,º entitled our evicted tenants. What I say is and I am no greenhorn,º permit me to tell you. Therefore I am as plain as possible enveloped, inhowmuchº you will shortly receive, care of one of Mooseyearsº Guinness's registered barrels.