Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
873. The Dawning o’ the Year
By Mary Elizabeth Blake
ALL ye who love the springtime—and who but loves it well
When the little birds do sing, and the buds begin to swell!—
Think not ye ken its beauty, or know its face so dear,
Till ye look upon old Ireland, in the dawning o’ the year!
For where in all the earth is there any joy like this,        5
When the skylark sings and soars like a spirit into bliss,
While the thrushes in the bush strain their small brown mottled throats,
Making all the air rejoice with their clear and mellow notes;
And the blackbird on the hedge in the golden sunset glow
Trills with saucy, side-tipped head to the bonny nest below;        10
And the dancing wind slips down through the leaves of the boreen,
And all the world rejoices in the wearing o’ the green!
For ’t is green, green, green, where the ruined towers are gray,
And it ’s green, green, green, all the happy night and day;
Green of leaf and green of sod, green of ivy on the wall,        15
And the blessed Irish shamrock with the fairest green of all.
There the primrose breath is sweet, and the yellow gorse is set
A crown of shining gold on the headlands brown and wet;
Not a nook of all the land but the daisies make to glow,
And the happy violets pray in their hidden cells below.        20
And it ’s there the earth is merry, like a young thing newly made
Running wild amid the blossoms in the field and in the glade,
Babbling ever into music under skies with soft clouds piled,
Like the laughter and the tears in the blue eyes of a child.
But the green, green, green, O ’t is that is blithe and fair!        25
In the fells and on the hills, gay and gladsome as the air,
Lying warm above the bog, floating brave on crag and glen,
Thrusting forty banners high where another land has ten.
Sure Mother Nature knows of her sore and heavy grief,
And thus with soft caress would give solace and relief;        30
Would fold her close in loveliness to keep her from the cold,
And clasp the mantle o’er her heart with emeralds and gold.
So ye who love the springtime,—and who but loves it well
When the little birds do sing, and the buds begin to swell!—
Think not ye ken its beauty or know its face so dear        35
Till ye meet it in old Ireland in the dawning o’ the year!


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