The Birth of Saint Patrick by Samuel Lover

On the eighth day of March it was, some people say,
That Saint Patrick at midnight he first saw the day;
While others declare ’twas the ninth he was born,
And ’twas all a mistake between midnight and morn;
For mistakes will occur in a hurry and shock,
And some blam’d the baby—and some blam’d the clock—
Till with all their cross-questions sure no one could know,
If the child was too fast—or the clock was too slow.

Now the first faction fight in old Ireland, they say,
Was all on account of Saint Patrick’s birthday,
Some fought for the eighth—for the ninth more would die.
And who wouldn’t see right, sure they blacken’d his eye!
At last, both the factions so positive grew,
That each kept a birthday, so Pat then had two,
Till Father Mulcahy, who showed them their sins,
Said, “No one could have two birthdays but a twins.”

Says he, “Boys, don’t be fightin’ for eight or for nine,
Don’t be always dividin’—but sometimes combine;
Combine eight with nine, and seventeen is the mark,
So let that be his birthday.”—”Amen,” says the clerk.
“If he wasn’t a twins, sure our hist’ry will show—
That, at least, he’s worth any two saints that we know!”
Then they all got blind drunk—which complated their bliss,
And we keep up the practice from that day to this.

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