Mine and Thine (1904)/The Irish Shamrock in South Africa

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For other versions of this work, see The Irish Shamrock in South Africa.
Mine and Thine (1904) by Florence Earle Coates
The Irish Shamrock in South Africa

THE IRISH SHAMROCK IN SOUTH AFRICA

O little plant, so meek and slight, 
 Tinct with the emerald of the sea
Which like a mother, day and night,
  Croons melodies to thee;
Emblem of Erin's hope and pride!
Though crushed and trampled under foot,
  Thou still art found
  The meadows 'round,
Up-springing from thine own sweet root!


Of sorrow thou hast been the sign
 Through weary, unforgiving years;
The dews upon thy tender vine
 Have seemed thy country's tears;
Now, now forevermore, thou art
 Symbol of all that's brave and true—
  Blest as a smile
  Of thy sunlit isle,
In the Old World honored, and the New!


For they lie asleep in a land of strangers,
 Far from the home their fame endears—
The Inniskillings, the Connaught Rangers,
  The Dublin Fusiliers;
And the little plant they loved so well—
 Better than fairest flower that blows—
  Is set apart
  In Britannia's heart
With the Scottish thistle and the rose:


Is set apart, and never again
 Shall human eyes the shamrock see
Without a thought of the heroes slain
  Whose splendid loyalty,
Stronger than ancient hate or wrong,
Sublimed them 'midst the battle's hell,—
  A tidal wave
  From the souls of the brave,
That made them deathless as they fell!