St. Patrick’s Day A Poem


by James B. Sheys, 1823
Extracted from Passaic County Historical Society Publication, 
September 1, 1930

In the 1820’s James B. Sheys of Paterson often contributed poetry to the Paterson Chronicle and Bergen & Essex Advertiser.   More than 100 years later Henry W. Gledhill selected six of Sheys’ verses and included them in the Society’s publication of September 1, 1930.

Gledhill  wrote,  Conspicuous among the contributors to the poetry column was one whose identity often was hidden in the signature “S——- of New Jersey”, – pen name of James B. Sheys, a prominent resident in this neighborhood in days of long-ago, whose activities later found a more fruitful field in the practice of law in New York.

A Song for the 17th of March, 1823

St. Patrick’s Day

Tune – Shannon Side

To all true sons of Erin
Let this warm greeting come;
May all, the Shamrocks wearing,
Find friend where e’re they roam,
And shame that recreant cover
Who bows the servile knee–
He ne’er can be a lover
Of Erin o’er the sea.

And while the light is beaming
Out from the ruby wine,
While Erin’s flag is streaming
And smiles of welcome shine!
Fill, fill the glass and pour it
To Emmet’s memory,
Who deck’d that flag, and bore it
In Erin o’er the sea.

While we the page are turning,
The record of her boast
Oh! May the tear be burning
For all that she has lost!
The martyrs are in Heaven,
And curs’d the tyrants be
Who stole what God had given
To Erin o’er the sea!

Oh then her lucid fountains,
Her meads and summer skies,
Her high majestic mountains,
In one fair picture rise!
Then all the scenes and pleasures
Of youth and infancy,
Again unfold their treasures
In Erin o’er the sea.

The aged trees dispreading
Down by some cottage dear —
The sire, the friend, the maiden,
Who claim’d the latest tear —
Shall wake the exile’s bosom
To home’s sweet joyancy:
He’ll sigh and kiss the blossom
Of Erin o’er the sea.