Poetry Sunday: St. Patrick's Day: With an Irish Shamrock by Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all who celebrate it...and even those who don't! And here's a poem for you from almost a hundred years ago in honor of this day.

St. Patrick's Day: With an Irish Shamrock

by Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna

From the region of zephyrs, the Emerald isle,
The land of thy birth, in my freshness I come,
To waken this long-cherished morn with a smile,
     And breathe o’er thy spirit the whispers of home.
O welcome the stranger from Erin’s green sod;
  I sprang where the bones of thy fathers repose,
I grew where thy free step in infancy trod,
  Ere the world threw around thee its wiles and its woes.
         But sprightlier themes
         Enliven the dreams,
My dew-dropping leaflets unfold to impart:
         To loftiest emotion
         Of patriot devotion,
I wake the full chord of an Irishman’s heart.

The rose is expanding her petals of pride,
     And points to the laurels o’erarching her tree;
And the hardy Bur-thistle stands rooted beside,
     And sternly demands;—Who dare meddle wi’ me?
And bright are the garlands they jointly display,
     In death-fields of victory gallantly got;
But let the fair sisters their trophies array,
     And show us the wreath where the shamrock is not!
             By sea and by land,
             With bullet and brand,
My sons have directed the stormbolt of war;
             The banners ye boast,
             Ne’er waved o’er our host,
Unfanned by the accents of Erin-go-bragh!

Erin mavourneen! dark is thy night;
     Deep thy forebodings and gloomy thy fears;
And O, there are bosoms with savage delight
     Who laugh at thy plainings and scoff at thy tears!
But, Erin mavourneen, bright are the names
     Who twine with the heart-vein thy fate in their breast;
And scorned be the lot of the dastard, who shames
     To plant, as a trophy, this leaf on his crest!
             Thrice trebled disgrace
             His honours deface,
Who shrinks from proclaiming the isle of his birth!
             Though lowly its stem,
             This emerald gem
Mates with the proudest that shadow the earth!

      Sandhurst, March 17, 1827


  1. It is quite odd that this festival has spread to so many other corners of the world, and green beer today will be a universal commodity. How many people know the source of St. P’s renown? Very few I bet!

    1. Just proves that people will take any excuse to dye their beer green, I guess.

  2. My son and daughter-in-law celebrated big in Chicago. The powers-that-be turn the Chicago River green on this day.


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