Paddy O’Rafther

by SAMUEL LOVER (1797-1868)

Paddy, in want of a dinner one day,
Credit all gone, and no money to pay,
Stole from a priest a fat pullet, they say,
And went to confession just afther;
“Your riv’rince,” says Paddy, “I stole this fat hen.”
“What, what!” says the priest, “at your ould thricks again?
Faith, you’d rather be staalin’ than sayin’ amen,
Paddy O’Rafther!”

“Sure, you wouldn’t be angry,” says Pat, “if you knew
That the best of intintions I had in my view?
For I stole it to make it a present to you,
And you can absolve me afther.”
“Do you think,” says the priest, “I’d partake of your theft?
Of your seven small senses you must be bereft?
You’re the biggest blackguard that I know, right and left,
Paddy O’Rafther.”

“Then what shall I do with the pullet,” says Pat,
“If your riv’rince won’t take it? By this and by that
I don’t know no more than a dog or a cat
What your riv’rince would have me be afther.”
“Why, then,” says his rev’rence, “you sin-blinded owl,
Give back to the man that you stole from his fowl:
For if you do not, ’twill be worse for your sowl,
Paddy O’Rafther.”

Says Paddy, “I ask’d him to take it ? ’tis thrue
As this minit I’m talkin’, your riv’rince, to you;
But he wouldn’t resaive it? so what can I do?”
Says Paddy, nigh choken with laughter.
“By my throth,” says the priest, “but the case is absthruse;
If he won’t take his hen, why the man is a goose:
Tis not the first time my advice was no use,
Paddy O’Rafther.

“But, for sake of your sowl, I would sthrongly advise
To some one in want you would give your supplies?
Some widow, or orphan, with tears in their eyes;
And then you may come to me afther.”
So Paddy went off to the brisk Widow Hoy,
And the pullet between them was eaten with joy,
And, says she, “‘Pon my word you’re the cleverest boy,
Paddy O’Rafther!”

Then Paddy went back to the priest the next day,
And told him the fowl he had given away
To a poor lonely widow, in want and dismay,
The loss of her spouse weeping afther.
“Well, now,” says the priest, “I’ll absolve you, my lad,
For repentantly making the best of the bad,
In feeding the hungry and cheering the sad,
Paddy O’Rafther!”

Samuel Lover

Samuel Lover was born in Dublin on February 24 1797. His literary and musical gifts displayed themselves early, dismantling the plans of his stockbroker father to have his son follow in his footsteps in the business world. This disparity caused a permanent rift between father and son when Samuel took up the brush and began a career as a painter. Bad eyesight compelled the would-be artist to turn to the pen to earn his living. He wrote many clever short stories, humorous poems and ballad, some 300 of which were set to music.

Samuel Lover Contemporaries
John Keats
Leigh Hunt
Thomas Hood
William Maginn

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