Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
March 17
St. Patrick Was a Gentleman
By Henry Bennett
 
OH! St. Patrick was a gentleman,
  Who came of decent people;
He built a church in Dublin town,
  And on it put a steeple.
His father was a Gallagher;        5
  His mother was a Brady;
His aunt was an O’Shaughnessy,
  His uncle an O’Grady.
So, success attend St. Patrick’s fist,
  For he’s a saint so clever;        10
O! he gave the snakes and toads a twist,
  And bothered them forever!
 
The Wicklow hills are very high,
  And so’s the Hill of Howth, sir;
But there’s a hill, much bigger still,        15
  Much higher nor them both, sir.
’Twas on the top of this high hill
  St. Patrick preached his sarmint
That drove the frogs into the bogs,
  And banished all the varmint.        20
So, success attend St. Patrick’s fist,
  For he’s a saint so clever;
O! he gave the snakes and toads a twist,
  And bothered them forever!
 
There ’s not a mile in Ireland’s isle        25
  Where dirty varmin musters,
But there he put his dear fore-foot,
  And murdered them in clusters.
The toads went pop, the frogs went hop,
  Slap-dash into the water;        30
And the snakes committed suicide
  To save themselves from slaughter.
So, success attend St. Patrick’s fist,
  For he’s a saint so clever;
O! he gave the snakes and toads a twist,        35
  And bothered them forever!
 
Nine hundred thousand reptiles blue
  He charmed with sweet discourses,
And dined on them at Killaloe
  In soups and second courses.        40
Where blind worms crawling in the grass
  Disgusted all the nation,
He gave them a rise, which opened their eyes
  To a sense of their situation.
So, success attend St. Patrick’s fist,        45
  For he’s a saint so clever;
O! he gave the snakes and toads a twist,
  And bothered them forever!
 
No wonder that those Irish lads
  Should be so gay and frisky,        50
For sure St. Pat. he taught them that,
  As well as making whiskey;
No wonder that the saint himself
  Should understand distilling,
Since his mother kept a shebeen shop        55
  In the town of Enniskillen.
So, success attend St. Patrick’s fist,
  For he’s a saint so clever;
O! he gave the snakes and toads a twist,
  And bothered them forever!        60
 
O! was I but so fortunate
  As to be back in Munster,
’Tis I’d be bound that from that ground
  I never more would once stir.
For there St. Patrick planted turf,        65
  And plenty of the praties,
With pigs galore, ma gra, ma ’store,
  And cabbages—and ladies!
Then my blessing on St. Patrick’s fist,
  For he’s the darling saint O!        70
O! he gave the snakes and toads a twist;
  He’s a beauty without paint O!
 
 
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