Katharine Tynan

(23 January 1861 - 2 Apirl 1931 / 23 January 1861 – 2 April 1931)

Shamrock Song


O, the red rose may be fair,
And the lily statelier;
But my shamrock, one in three,
Takes the very heart of me!

Many a lover hath the rose
When june's musk-wind breathes and blows:
And in many a bower is heard
Her sweet praise from bee and bird.

Through the gold hours dreameth she,
In her warm heart passionately,
Her fair face hung languid-wise:
O, her breath of honey and spice!

Like a fair saint virginal
Stands your lily, silver and tall;
Over all the flowers that be
Is my shamrock dear to me.

Shines the lily like the sun,
Crystal-pure, a cold, sweet nun;
With her austere lip she sings
To her heart of heavenly things.

Gazeth through a night of June
To her sister-saint, the moon;
With the stars communeth long
Of the angels and their song.

But when summer died last year
Rose and lily died with her;
Shamrock stayeth every day,
Be the winds or gold or grey.

Irish hills, as grey as the dove,
Know the little plant I love;
Warm and fair it mantles them
Stretching down from throat to hem.

And it laughs o'er many a vale,
Sheltered safe from storm and gale;
Sky and sun and stars thereof
Love the gentle plant I love.

Soft it clothes the ruined floor
Of many an abbey, grey and hoar,
And the still home of the dead
With its green is carpeted.

Roses for an hour of love,
With the joy and pain thereof:
Stand my lilies white to see
All for prayer and purity.

These are white as the harvest moon,
Roses flush like the heart of June;
But my shamrock, brave and gay,
Glads the tired eyes every day.

O, the red rose shineth rare,
And the lily saintly fair;
But my shamrock, one in three,
Takes the inmost heart of me!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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