Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
May 28
Thomas Moore
By Richard Henry Stoddard (1825–1903)
May 28, 1879

A LORD of lyric song was born
  A hundred years ago to-day;
Loved of that race that long has worn
  The shamrock for the bay.
He sung of wine, and sung of flowers,        5
  Of woman’s smile, and woman’s tear,
Light songs that suit our lighter hours,
  But O, how bright and dear!
Who will may build the epic verse,
  And, Atlas-like, its weight sustain;        10
Or solemn tragedies rehearse
  In high, heroic strain.
So be it. But when all is done,
  The heart demands for happy days
The lyrics of Anacreon,        15
  And Sappho’s tender lays.
Soft souls with these are satisfied.
  He loved them, but exacted more,
For his the lash that Horace plied,
  The sword Harmodius wore.        20
Where art thou, Brian, and thy knights,
  So dreaded by the flying Dane?
And thou, Con of the Hundred Fights?
  Your spirits are not slain!
Strike for us, as ye did of yore,        25
  Be with us, we shall conquer still,
Though Irish kings are crowned no more
  On Tara’s holy hill.
Perhaps he was not hero born,
  Like those he sung—Heaven only knows;        30
He had the rose without the thorn,
  But he deserved the rose.
For underneath its odorous light
  His heart was warm, his soul was strong;
He kept his love of Country bright,        35
  And sung her sweetest song.
Therefore her sons have gathered here
  To honor him, as few before,
And blazon on his hundredth year
  The fame of Thomas Moore.        40

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