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St. Patrick’s Day Without Shamrocks

From The Sun, March 17, 1915.

We sought them ‘neath the snowflakes
    And o’er all the frosty ground,
But no leaflet like the shamrock
    On St. Patrick’s Day we found.
And our hearts went back to Erin,
    To her dewy vales and hills,
Where the shamrock twines and clusters
    O’er the fields and by the rills.

Oh, no more, no more my country
    Shall thy loving daughter lay
Her head upon thy bosom
    While she weeps her tears away;
There the primrose and the daisy
    Bloom as in the days of old,
And the violet comes in purple
    And the buttercup in gold.

Kildare’s broad fields are fragrant
    With the shamrock’s breath today.
Shamrocks bloom from Clare to Antrim,
    From Killarney to Lough Neagh;
And they speak of Patrick’s preaching
    With a quiet, voiceless lore,
And they breathe of faith and heaven
    All the trefoiled island o’er.

Wandering listless by the Liffey,
    Stoop and pluck the shamrock green;
What an emblem plain and simple
    Of the one true faith is seen;
Of the Father and the Spirit
    Speaks the mystic triune leaf,
Of the Son in anguish dying
    On the Cross in love and grief.

Well humility may choose it
    For an emblem fair and meet,
Close beside the poorest cabin
    It is pouring fragrance sweet.
Modest is our darling shamrock,
    Useful, charitable, kind,
Clothing mean, deserted places
    With its green leaves intertwined.

Many a lesson thus it teaches,
    Many a wholesome thought recalls,
Many a teardrop all unbidden
    To its cherished memory falls;
Nor the green of Erin’s banner
    Still must stir the Irish heart,
Which in Erin’s many sorrows
    Ever, ever must have part.

Oh be true, be true to Erin,
    True to faith and true to God,
To St. Patrick, His apostle,
    Who redeemed our native sod.
Never more her mystic emblem
    In green Erin may you see,
Let the faith it symbolizes
    Be the dearer unto thee.

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