THE BIRTH OF SAINT PATRICK
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 blamed the baby - and some blamed 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 show'd 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 completed their bliss,
And we keep up the practice from that day to this.
by Samuel Lover 1797-1868