Musings in Maoriland
St. Patrick and the Shamrock
St. Patrick and the Shamrock.
In Tara met the kings and chiefs of ancient Innisfail,
And Pagan priests were lighting up the sacred fires of Baal,
And in the Royal Council hall were bards and Druids sage,
Whilst youthful clansmen gathered round to hear the words of age.
When lo! a bearded stranger, with a cross and staff in hand,
Approached the chiefs and rulers, and before them took his stand.
Majestic was his figure, yet he bore no axe nor skean,
For Patrick was a soldier of the peaceful Nazarene.
With glowing zeal he preached to them of Christ the crucified;
He told them how for fallen man the Saviour lived and died;
He pictured the unshelfish love which Jesus bore our race,
Until the tears of pity rushed down many a rugged face.
But when he preached of one great God, in which are persons three,
They wondered and they doubted, and they asked how that could be;
So stooping down, St. Patrick plucked a shamrock from the sod,
And, pointing to its triple leaves, thus spake to them of God—
"The stalk and centre leaf 's the Sire, the left one is the Son,
The right one is the Holy Ghost, and yet the three are one."
Converted and convinced by him, his hearers were baptized,
And this is why the Shamrock still by Irishmen is prized.