Oh, the Shamrock

Melody - "Alley Croker"

Thomas Moore, from Irish Melodies, vol. 5

Through Erin's Isle
To sport awhile
As Love and Valour wander'd,
With Wit, the sprite,
Whose quiver bright
A thousand arrows squander'd;
Where'er they pass,
A triple grass*
Shoots up, with dew-drops streaming,
As softly green
As emeralds seen
Through purest crystal gleaming.
Oh the Shamrock,
The green, immortal Shamrock!
Chosen leaf
Of Bard and Chief,
Old Erin's native Shamrock!
2. Says Valour, "See,
They spring for me,
Those leafy gems of morning!"
Says Love, "No, no,
For me they grow,
My fragrant path adorning."
But Wit perceives
The triple leaves,
And cries, "Oh! do not sever
A type that blends
Three godlike friends,
Love, Valour, Wit, for ever!"
3. So firmly fond
May last the bond
They wove that morn together,
And ne'er may fall
One drop of gall
On Wit's celestial feather.
May Love, as twine
His flowers divine,
Of thorny falsehood weed 'em:
May Valour ne'er
His standard rear
Against the cause of Freedom!

* It is said that St. Patrick, when preaching the Trinity to the Pagan Irish, used to illustrate his subject by reference to that species of trefoil called in Ireland by the name of the Shamrock; and thence, perhaps, the island of Saints adopted this plant as her national emblem. Hope, among the ancients, was sometimes represented as a beautiful child, standing on tip-toes, and a trefoil or three-coloured grass in her hand.

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