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.


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!