The Carnmoney Vicar and the Devil

Carnmoney Church near Belfast
Carnmoney Church near Belfast

The vicar of Carnmoney was a greedy sort for money
So the histories of the time of him tell
The Devil spotted the weakness, the greed and lack of meekness
Offered wealth for life if the Reverend his soul he would sell

The Reverend was a clever sort as well the Devil knew
But was willing to risk his soul though a man of God to spite that
At the prospect he gave thought of what to do he aught,
Demanded the devil fill with gold coins his old hat.

Though wary the devil did feel, he felt the sentiment real
As down beside the Reverend on a chair he did sit
No matter now much he willed, or the hat he filled,
It still took more, most falling through a slit.

The coins rattled off each other, they both looked at each other
The Devil knew that this time he was beat
“I have paid more than your worth for your life since your birth
This is the price for your soul with me that you have set!”

The Devil went away, and until the appointed day
Carnmoney spent with glee byuing all that he could own,
The Irish of the Gael, and the Scots too did regale
Said the works of the Devil himself the Vicar had known.

While reading his bible one day, the Devil in happened to stray
Said to the Vicar, “This it is now your time to come with me”
“Sure, said the vicar, you have a walk about, till this candle here burns out
Then on our way foreever we will be!”

When the Devil’s back was turned, he snuffed out the wick as the candle burned,
Hid it there among the bibles sacred pages
Locked in a chest with his Gold of which we earlier told
Sent the Devil on his way in demonic rages!

It is said when he was dead and in his coffin placed
The candle and the bible were placed in his hands
It takes a clever chap indeed to beat the Devil without a slap
For his nature being of the same nature he understands!

Background – the story of Rev Colville, who struck a deal with the Devil and got the better of him. As Fr Ted would say, “Them Protestants, up to no good as usual!”

Reference: The story (among others) retold online

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