A Quote by Phyllis McGinley on borrowing, brides, children, christianity, fame, family, fatherhood, faults, generosity, gold, hunger, love, luck, motherhood, patience, poetry, problems, relatives, saints, sharing, sister, soul, thinking, and wine

The subject of the poem was Bridget of Kildare (450-523), a Christian lass among the Druids in Ireland. Saint Bridget was A problem child. Although a lass Demure and mild, And one who strove To please her dad, Saint Bridget drove The family mad. For here's the fault in Bridget lay: She WOULD give everything away. To any soul Whose luck was out She'd give her bowl Of stirabout; She'd give her shawl, Divide her purse With one or all. And what was worse, When she ran out of things to give She'd borrow from a relative. Her father's gold, Her grandsire's dinner, She'd hand to cold and hungry sinner; Give wine, give meat, No matter whose; Take from her feet The very shoes, And when her shoes had gone to others, Fetch forth her sister's and her mother's. She could not quit. She had to share; Gave bit by bit The silverware, The barnyard geese, The parlor rug, Her little niece-'s christening mug, Even her bed to those in want, And then the mattress of her aunt. An easy touch For poor and lowly, She gave so much And grew so holy That when she died Of years and fame, The countryside Put on her name, And still the Isles of Erin fidget With generous girls named Bride or Bridget. Well, one must love her. Nonetheless, In thinking of her Givingness, There's no denial She must have been A sort of trial Unto her kin. The moral, too, seems rather quaint. WHO had the patience of a saint, From evidence presented here? Saint Bridget? Or her near and dear?

Phyllis McGinley (1905 - 1978)

Source: "The Giveaway," from The Love Letters ofd Phyllis McGinley, New York, Viking Press, 1957

Contributed by: Zaady