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 Wearing of the Green
O PADDY 1 dear, an’ did you hear the news that ’s goin’ round?
The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground;
St. Patrick’s Day no more we ’ll keep; his colors can’t be seen:
For there ’s a cruel law agin’ the wearin’ of the green.
I met with Napper Tandy, and he tuk me by the hand,        5
And he said, “How ’s poor ould Ireland, and how does she stand?”
She ’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen:
They are hangin’ men and women there for wearin’ of the green.
An’ if the color we must wear is England’s cruel red,
Sure Ireland’s sons will ne’er forget the blood that they have shed.        10
Then pull the shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod,
And never fear, ’t will take root there, though under foot ’t is trod.
When law can stop the blades of grass from growin’ as they grow,
And when the leaves in summer-time their color dare not show,
Then I will change the color, too, I wear in my caubeen;        15
But till that day, please God, I ’ll stick to wearin’ of the green.
But if at last our color should be torn from Ireland’s heart,
Her sons with shame and sorrow from the dear old isle will part:
I ’ve heard a whisper of a land that lies beyond the sea,
Where rich and poor stand equal in the light of freedom’s day.        20
O Erin, must we leave you, driven by a tyrant’s hand?
Must we ask a mother’s blessin’ from a strange and distant land?
Where the cruel cross of England shall nevermore be seen,
And where, please God, we ’ll live and die still wearin’ of the green.
Note 1. Variation of an old street song of about 1798. Sung in Dion Boucicault’s play “The Shan Van Voght.” [back]

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