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,

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;

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,

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.

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,

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;

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,

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.