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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Dion Boucicault (1820/22–1890)

The Wearing of the Green

O PADDY dear, and did you hear the news that’s going 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 bloody law again’ the wearing of the green.

I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand,

And he said, “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”

She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen:

They are hanging men and women for the wearing of the green.

Oh, 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.

You may take the shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod,

But ’twill take root and flourish there, though under foot ’tis trod.

When law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow,

And when the leaves in summer-time their verdure dare not show,

Then I will change the color I wear in my caubeen;

But till that day, please God, I’ll stick to wearing 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 country that lies beyond the sea,

Where rich and poor stand equal in the light of freedom’s day.

O Erin, must we leave you, driven by a tyrant’s hand?

Must we ask a mother’s blessing 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 wearing of the green.