Maurya has lost her last living son to the sea. Bartley’s body has
MAURYA has gone over and knelt down at the head of the table. The women are keening softly and swaying themselves with a slow movement. CATHLEEN and NORA kneel at the other end of the table. The men kneel near the door.
MAURYA: (raising her head and speaking as if she did not see the people around her) They're all gone now, and there isn't anything more the sea can do to me.... I'll have no call now to be up crying and praying when the wind breaks from the south, and you can hear the surf is in the east, and the surf is in the west, making a great stir with the two noises, and they hitting one on the other. I'll have no call now to be going down and getting Holy Water in the dark nights after Samhain, and I won't care what way the sea is when the other women will be keening. (To NORA) Give me the Holy Water, Nora; there's a small sup still on the dresser.
NORA gives it to her.
MAURYA: (drops MICHAEL'S clothes across BARTLEY'S feet, and sprinkles the Holy Water over him) It isn't that I haven't prayed for you, BARTLEY, to the Almighty God. It isn't that I haven't said prayers in the dark night till you wouldn't know what I'd be saying; but it's a great rest I'll have now, and it's time surely. It's a great rest I'll have now, and great sleeping in the long nights after Samhain, if it's only a bit of wet flour we do have to eat, and maybe a fish that would be stinking.
She kneels down again, crossing herself, and saying prayers under her breath.
MAURYA: (puts the empty cup mouth downwards on the table, and lays her hands together on BARTLEY'S feet) They're all together this time, and the end is come. May the Almighty God have mercy on Bartley's soul, and on Michael's soul, and on the souls of Sheamus and Patch, and Stephen and Shawn (bending her head); and may He have mercy on my soul, Nora, and on the soul of everyone is left living in the world.
She pauses, and the keen rises a little more loudly from the women, then sinks away.
MAURYA: Michael has a clean burial in the far north, by the grace of the Almighty God. Bartley will have a fine coffin out of the white boards, and a deep grave surely. What more can we want than that? No man at all can be living for ever, and we must be satisfied.
She kneels down again, and the curtain falls slowly.
More about this monologue