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The Ballad of Father Gilligan by W.B Yeats

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26 Questions

What is the structure of the poem 'The Ballad of Father Gilligan'?

Twelve stanzas of four lines

What is Father Gilligan's occupation?


Why is Father Gilligan tired?

Because he helps his people day and night

What indicates it is evening in the poem?

The presence of insects

What does Father Gilligan do after feeling upset?

He begs God to forgive him

What happens to the insects in the poem?

They disappear

What is the significance of the stars in the poem?

They mark the beginning of the night

What did God do to the world at the beginning of the story?

Covers it with darkness

What is indicated by the chirping of sparrows?

The early hours of morning

Why is Father Gilligan shocked when he wakes up?

He slept for a long time

How does Father Gilligan ride his horse?

Rashly over narrow roads and wet lands

What did the sick man's wife tell Father Gilligan when he arrived?

That her husband had died an hour ago

What does Father Gilligan say about God?

God is a king who takes care of all the planets

Why is Father Gilligan grateful to God?

Because God was kind and merciful to him

What is the theme of the poem?

The love and care of God for all lives

What does Father Gilligan say God might have sent to help him?

An angel

What is the emotional state of Father Gilligan when he says, 'I have no rest, nor joy nor peace'?


Why does Father Gilligan ask for forgiveness from God?

Because he spoke out of turn

What occurs in the natural world as night falls?

The stars appear in the sky

What is the significance of the moths and sparrows in the poem?

They indicate the passage of time from night to morning

What does Father Gilligan do after saying he has no rest, joy, nor peace?

He starts praying

What did the woman tell Father about the sick man?

He died an hour ago.

How did the sick man die according to the woman?

Happily like a bird.

What did Father do when he heard the woman's words?

He knelt down.

What did Father realize when he heard about the sick man's death?

That God had sent another priest in his place.

What was Father's emotional state after hearing about the sick man's death?

Sad and restless.

Test your understanding of W.B Yeats' poem, 'The Ballad of Father Gilligan', a narrative poem about the presence of God and a miracle in the life of an old priest.

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