The Shamrock is the most iconic symbol of Ireland. Saint Patrick – Ireland’s patron saint, is said to have used it to explain the blessed Trinity when he converted the Irish to Christianity in 432 AD.
The name shamrock comes from the Irish word seamróg , which simply means “young clover” or “ young sprig”. Do you know that there are over 570 different species of this three leafed plant , known as Oxalis .
The first mention of shamrock in the English language occurs in 1571 in the work of the English Elizabethan scholar Edmund Campion, who stated that the “wild Irish” ate shamrock, watercress, and other herbs.
The first official evidence of a link between St. Patrick and the shamrock appears in 1675 on the St Patrick’s Coppers or Halfpennies. These appear to show a figure of St Patrick preaching to a crowd while holding a shamrock. Today the shamrock can be seen on the tail fin of our national airline, on the jerseys of our national football and rugby teams, and in many other places including buildings and street furniture.
” Oh the shamrock ” written by Thomas Moore
Through Erin’s Isle,
To sport awhile,
As Love and Valor wander’d
With Wit, the sprite,
Whose quiver bright
A thousand arrows squander’d.
Where’er they pass,
A triple grass
Shoots up, with dew-drops streaming,
As softly green
As emeralds seen
Through purest crystal gleaming.
Oh the Shamrock, the green immortal Shamrock!
Of Bard and Chief,
Old Erin’s native Shamrock!
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