Confession in Holy Week

TAKING a charity
To Mrs. McBride,
What do you think, then,
I plainly espied?
A small, darksome leprechaun,
Wishful, gray-eyed!

Leprechaun, leprechaun ,
Where are you faring?
Out in an Easter wind
Just for an airing?

Did I say gray -eyed?
I'm still a bit muddled;
Sure in the clear of them
Gold lights were puddled,
And, very likely, a glint of the green
(Like leafshine in hedges, when sun slips between).
Halted? I gapped there! The dapperest baggage!
(A she of them, too: as you know, it is rare).
And in spite of its queer little toss of defiance
There was something distressful, I thought, in its air.

Leprechaun, leprechaun ,
What are you doing?
Would you expose yourself
To a man's wooing?

Lord, but the comical, tempting small creature,
Dainty and eager, and soft as a cat:
Womanlike, too, in each curving and feature,
The brooch on her kerchief unfastened, at that!

Leprechaun, leprechaun ,
Golden or gray ,
Big winds can blow
Little people away .

What might she do (was my thought, in a tingle)
Paddling cold hedges, on rainywet nights?
Sure, let her have just the jog of my ingle,
Which could be irksome to nobody's rights.

Fool, then, and fool, then! I must have been tipsy.
I should have crossed myself. Clumsily mannish,
Putting my hand out to snare the wee gypsy. . . .
I'd ought have known. If you touch them — they vanish.
And that, Father Daly, explains why I lied
To tell how the milk soured on Mrs. McBride.English
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