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IRELAND
[ Also see Countries Europe ]

When law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow;
  And when the leaves in Summer-time their colour dare not show;
    Then will I change the colour too, I wear in my caubeen;
      But till that day, plaze God, I'll stick to wearin' o' the Green.
      - Unattributed Author,
        Wearin' o' the Green (Shan-Van-Voght)

There came to the beach a poor Exile of Erin,
  The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill;
    For his country he sigh'd, when at twilight repairing.
      To wander along by the wind-beaten hill.
        But the day star attracted his eyes' sad devotion,
          For it rose o'er his own native isle of the ocean,
            Where once in the fire of his youthful emotion
              He sang the bold anthem of Erin-go-bragh.
      - Thomas Campbell, The Exile of Erin

There's a dear little plant that grows in our isle,
  'Twas St. Patrick himself sure that set it;
    And the sun on his labor with pleasure did smile,
      And with dew from his eye often wet it.
        It thrives through the bog, through the brake, and the mireland;
          And he called it the dear little shamrock of Ireland--
            The sweet little shamrock, the dear little shamrock,
              The sweet little, green little, shamrock of Ireland!
      - Andrew Cherry,
        Green little Shamrock of Ireland

Dear Erin, how sweetly thy green bosom rises!
  An emerald set in the ring of the sea.
    Each blade of thy meadows my faithful heart prizes,
      Thou queen of the west, the world's cushla ma chree.
      - John Philpot Curran, Cushla ma Chree

Arm of Erin, prove strong, but be gentle as brave,
  And, uplifted to strike, still be ready to save;
    Not one feeling of vengeance presume to defile
      The cause or the men of the Emerald Isle.
      - Dr. William Drennan, Erin

When Erin first rose from the dark-swelling flood,
  God blessed the green island, he saw it was good.
    The Emerald of Europe, it sparkled and shone
      In the ring of this world, the most precious stone.
      - Dr. William Drennan, Erin,
        supposed to be the origin of the term "Emerald Isle"

Every Irishman has a potatoe in his head.
      - A.W. Hare and J.C. Hare, Guesses at Truth

The dust of some is Irish earth,
  Among their own they rest.
      - John Kells Ingram,
        Who Dares to Speak of Ninety-Eight

Ireland is the sow that eats her own farrow.
      - James Joyce

Old Dublin City there is no doubtin'
  Bates every city upon the say.
    'Tis there you'd hear O'Connell spoutin'
      And Lady Morgan making tay.
        For 'tis the capital of the finest nation,
          With charmin' pisintry upon a fruitful sod,
            Fightin' like devils for conciliation,
              And hatin' each other for the Love of God.
      - attributed to Charles James Lever,
        in an article in "Notes and Queries", Jan. 2, 1897, p. 14

Th' an'am an Dhia, but there it is--
  The dawn on the hills of Ireland.
    God's angels lifting the night's black veil
      From the fair sweet face of my sireland!
        O Ireland, isn't it grand, you look
          Like a bride in her rich adornin',
            And with all the pent up love of my heart
              I bid you the top of the morning.
      - John Locke (2), The Exile's Return

O, love is the soul of a true Irishman;
  He loves all that's lovely, loves all that he can,
    With his sprig of shillelagh and shamrock so green.
      - claimed for Edward Lysaght,
        Sprig of Shillelagh

The groves of Blarney
  They look so charming
    Down by the purling
      Of sweet, silent brooks.
      - Richard Alfred Milliken (Millikin),
        Groves of Blarney

When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious.
      - Edna O'Brien

Why should Ireland be treated as a geographical fragment of England . . . Ireland is not a geographical fragment, but a nation.
      - Charles Stewart Parnell,
        in the House of Commons

There is a stone there,
  That whoever kisses,
    Oh! he never misses
      To grow eloquent.
        'Tis he may clamber
          To a lady's chamber
            Or become a member
              Of Parliament.
      - Father Prout (pseudonym of Francis Sylvester Mahony),
        his addition to "Groves of Blarney", in "Reliques of Father Prout"

Eternal is the fact that the human creature born in Ireland and brought up in its air is Irish. I have lived for twenty years in Ireland and for seventy-two in England; but the twenty came first and in Britain I am still a foreigner and shall die one.
      - George Bernard Shaw,
        quoted in "Ireland in Mind", Alice Leccese Powers, ed. (2000)

An Irishman's heart is nothing but his imagination.
      - George Bernard Shaw,
        John Bull's Other Island

For dear is the Emerald Isle of the ocean,
  Whose daughters are fair as the foam of the wave,
    Whose sons unaccustom'd to rebel commotion,
      Tho' joyous, are sober--tho' peaceful, are brave.
      - Horace Smith and James Smith,
        Rejected Addresses--Imitation of Moore

Whether on the scaffold high
  Or on the battle-field we die,
    Oh, what matter, when for Erin dear we fall.
      - Timothy Daniel Sullivan, God Save Ireland

There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting.
      - John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society would be quite civilized.
      - Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde)

We . . . are no petty people. We are one of the great stocks of Burke; we are the people of Swift, the people of Emmet, the people of Parnell. We have created most of the modern literature of this country. We have created the best of its political intelligence.
      - William Butler Yeats,
        in a speech in the Irish Senate, June 11, 1925


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