Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
I. Patriotism
The Irishman
James Orr (1770–1816)
THE SAVAGE loves his native shore,
  Though rude the soil and chill the air;
Then well may Erin’s sons adore
  Their isle which nature formed so fair,
What flood reflects a shore so sweet        5
  As Shannon great or pastoral Bann?
Or who a friend or foe can meet
  So generous as an Irishman?
His hand is rash, his heart is warm,
  But honesty is still his guide;        10
None more repents a deed of harm,
  And none forgives with nobler pride;
He may be duped, but won’t be dared—
  More fit to practise than to plan;
He dearly earns his poor reward,        15
  And spends it like an Irishman.
If strange or poor, for you he ’ll pay,
  And guide to where you safe may be;
If you ’re his guest, while e’er you stay,
  His cottage holds a jubilee.        20
His inmost soul he will unlock,
  And if he may your secrets scan,
Your confidence he scorns to mock,
  For faithful is an Irishman.
By honor bound in woe or weal,        25
  Whate’er she bids he dares to do;
Try him with bribes—they won’t prevail;
  Prove him in fire—you ’ll find him true.
He seeks not safety, let his post
  Be where it ought in danger’s van;        30
And if the field of fame be lost,
  It won’t be by an Irishman.
Erin! loved land! from age to age,
  Be thou more great, more famed, and free,
May peace be thine, or shouldst thou wage        35
  Defensive war, cheap victory.
May plenty bloom in every field
  Which gentle breezes softly fan,
And cheerful smiles serenely gild
  The home of every Irishman.        40

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