Happy Saint Patrick's Day - celebrate with a poem

Parades... green rivers... flashing shamrocks... Saint Patrick's day is unrecognisable today!
New Orleans becomes Irish!

I am in New Orleans which is packed with people wearing green. It is wonderful to see people celebrating Ireland and the diaspora.

Rather than buying the Made in China Leprechaun's hat, how about reviving the Irish custom of entertaining family and friends with a dance, a song or a poem?

The following is the first stanza of The Exile's Return, by John Locke which tells the story of an exile returning from Texas after longing for his homeland for so long. The entire poem is eight stanzas long and does teeter on the Plastic Paddy territory but St Pat's is a day to be as sentimental as you like! Read proudly and remember the generations who gave up so much for us.

The Exile's Return

Glory to God, 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 adorning!
With all the pent-up love of my heart
I bid you top of the morning!


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