Death and Burial of Abraham

Abraham called one day in December, at the house of Mr. Savage, and sorrow and hunger had greatly changed his looks. His garments which had been kept tidy by Sara, were now going to decay. He stood silently at the door, with a subdued look, and a little brown bag and staff in his hand. I saw him there, and among the throng marked his shades of sorrow, and inquired who he was. "It is Abraham, the old hands that made Sara's bed," was the answer.

Abraham knew and felt the change in himself, and seeking an opportunity, asked for a piece of soap, touching his collar, which Sara had always kept clean, saying, "I do not like the feel of it." Food and a little money were given him: he went away, and on his boggy path to his humble home he fell down and broke his arm; he lingered on a few days in destitution and pain, and the next that we heard of him, two men who were walking toward sunset on Sabbath day, met his daughter who had a shelter in the mountain, where she had kept her father, with Abraham upon her back, with his arms about her neck, a loathsome corpse, which she had kept in her cabin for days, and was going alone with a spade in her hand the distance of an Irish mile, to bury him. They took the corpse and accompanied her, and put him into the ground as he was, neither with a coffin nor by the side of Sara whom he had loved and cherished so well.

Thus died Sara and Abraham, and thus they were buried, and let their epitaph be—"Lovely and pleasant in their lives, though in death they were divided."

Read "Annals of the Famine in Ireland" at your leisure

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Read Annals of the Famine in Ireland at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord's field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be apalled and distressed.

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.


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