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Clover Poems

Table of Contents

  1. In the Clover by Harvey Carson Grumbine
  2. The Clover by Edith Franklin Wyatt
  3. Driving Home the Cows by Kate Putnam Osgood
  4. Purple Clover by Emily Dickinson
  5. White Clover by Helen Hunt Jackson
  6. Clover by John B. Tabb
  7. World of Clover, White and Red by Annette Wynne
  8. Up Clover Lane by Annette Wynne
  9. The Bee, Clover, and Thistle by Hannah Flagg Gould
  10. Four-Leaf Clover by Ella Higginson
  11. Sweet Clover by Wallace Rice
  12. Lucky Four-Leaved Clover by Amos Russel Wells
  13. The Clover's simple Fame by Emily Dickinson
  14. What tenements of clover by Emily Dickinson
  15. A Bit of Shamrock by Mary Davis Reed
  16. Saint Patrick and the Shamrock by Phoebe A. Naylor
  17. The Little Shamrock by David McCarthy
  18. Shamrock by William Yancey Erwin
  19. A Bit o' Shamrock by Jean Blewett
  20. The Shamrock by Maurice Frances Egan

  1. In the Clover

    by Harvey Carson Grumbine


    Sweet clover,
    In the breeze
    Thy lover,
    The bee,
    Doth hover thee over,
    Merrily buzzing whither he please;
    With a zum-zum drone
    Comes he
    For a kiss
    Hums he—
    But one—
    And wilt thou refuse him this?

    He is gone,
    Sweet clover!
    When will such another
    Bold rover
    For kissing thee
    And missing thee,
    Away the far field over!—
    Thy lover
    No more, but gone!

    See, again he comes
    Through the heat;
    For thy sweet
    He hums
    With freight of gold—
    O yield the fate of old
    Thou must;—
    Thy dower
    To his power


    Sweet maids
    In the clover,
    Lift your heads,
    Give over!
    Hear Ariel:
    "Where the bee sucks merrily,
    There suck I;"
    And dare he all
    But to miss?
    Beware ye all!—
    Some chance hour
    In his power
    He'll snare ye all
    For the bliss
    That surely, surely, is his!

  2. The Clover

    by Edith Franklin Wyatt

    The clover's grassy breath
    To him who listeneth
    Upon the pastured lea,
    Is like the monotone
    Of some far sheep-bell, blown
    From tranquil Arcady.

    The airs of that last rose
    That late and crimson blows
    And frosted dies,
    Smell, as in green and dew,
    The first, first rose that blew
    In waking Paradise.

    What fragrance, ages hence
    Shall tell the listening sense
    Of men who guess—
    Men whose far lives shall range
    On paths remote and strange—
    Our happiness?

  3. Driving Home the Cows

    The great tears sprang to their meeting eyes;
    For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb,

    – Kate Putnam Osgood
    Driving Home the Cows
    by Kate Putnam Osgood

    Out of the clover and blue-eyed grass
    He turned them into the river lane;
    One after another he let them pass,
    Then fastened the meadow bars again.

    Under the willows and over the hill,
    He patiently followed their sober pace;
    The merry whistle for once was still,
    And something shadowed the sunny face.

    Only a boy! and his father had said
    He never could let his youngest go:
    Two already were lying dead,
    Under the feet of the trampling foe.

    But after the evening work was done,
    And the frogs were loud in the meadow-swamp,
    Over his shoulder he slung his gun,
    And stealthily followed the footpath damp.

    Across the clover, and through the wheat,
    With resolute heart and purpose grim:
    Though the dew was on his hurrying feet,
    And the blind bat's flitting startled him.

    Thrice since then had the lanes been white,
    And the orchards sweet with apple-bloom;
    And now, when the cows came back at night,
    The feeble father drove them home.

    For news had come to the lonely farm
    That three were lying where two had lain;
    And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm
    Could never lean on a son's again.

    The summer day grew cool and late:
    He went for the cows when the work was done;
    But down the lane, as he opened the gate,
    He saw them coming one by one:

    Brindle, Ebony, Speckle, and Bess,
    Shaking their horns in the evening wind;
    Cropping the buttercups out of the grass,
    But who was it following close behind?

    Loosely swung in the idle air
    The empty sleeve of army blue;
    And worn and pale, from the crisping hair,
    Looked out a face that the father knew.

    For close-barred prisons will sometimes yawn,
    And yield their dead unto life again;
    And the day that comes with a cloudy dawn,
    In golden glory at last may wane.

    The great tears sprang to their meeting eyes;
    For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb,
    And under the silent evening skies
    Together they followed the cattle home.

  4. Purple Clover

    by Emily Dickinson

    There is a flower that bees prefer,
    And butterflies desire;
    To gain the purple democrat
    The humming-birds aspire.

    And whatsoever insect pass,
    A honey bears away
    Proportioned to his several dearth
    And her capacity.

    Her face is rounder than the moon,
    And ruddier than the gown
    Of orchis in the pasture,
    Or rhododendron worn.

    She doth not wait for June;
    Before the world is green
    Her sturdy little countenance
    Against the wind is seen,

    Contending with the grass,
    Near kinsman to herself,
    For privilege of sod and sun,
    Sweet litigants for life.

    And when the hills are full,
    And newer fashions blow,
    Doth not retract a single spice
    For pang of jealousy.

    Her public is the noon,
    Her providence the sun,
    Her progress by the bee proclaimed
    In sovereign, swerveless tune.

    The bravest of the host,
    Surrendering the last,
    Nor even of defeat aware
    When cancelled by the frost.

  5. White Clover

    by Helen Hunt Jackson

    In myriad snowy chalices of sweet
    Thou spread'st by dusty ways a banquet fine,
    So fine that vulgar crowds of it no sign
    Observe; nay, trample it beneath their feet.
    O, dainty and unsullied one! no meet
    Interpretation I of thee divine,
    Although all summer long I quaff thy wine,
    And never pass thee but to reverent greet,
    And pause in wonder at the miracle
    Of thee, so fair, and yet so meekly low.
    Mayhap thou art a saintly Princess, vowed,
    In token of some grief which thee befell,
    This pilgrimage of ministry to go,
    And never speak thy lineage aloud!

  6. Clover

    by John B. Tabb

    Little masters, hat in hand,
    Let me in your presence stand,
    Till your silence solve for me
    This your threefold mystery.

    Tell me — for I long to know —
    How, in darkness there below,
    Was your fairy fabric spun,
    Spread and fashioned, three in one.

    Did your gossips gold and blue,
    Sky and Sunshine, choose for you,
    Ere your triple forms were seen,
    Suited liveries of green?

    Can ye — if ye dwelt indeed
    Captives of a prison seed —
    Like the Genie, once again
    Get you back into the grain?

    Little masters, may I stand
    In your presence, hat in hand,
    Waiting till you solve for me
    This your threefold mystery?

  7. World of Clover, White and Red

    by Annette Wynne

    World of clover, white and red,
    Arch of blue sky overhead,
    What is your song, O world of clover,
    What is your song, sky bending over;
    Streamlets hiding under the green,
    Music of spirits that never are seen,
    What is your song, what is your tune?
    "June, June, June—
    It's really June!"

  8. Up Clover Lane

    by Annette Wynne

    Up Clover Lane and Daisy Street
    Small folks crowd with hurrying feet,
    Up and down and back again,
    Just like hurrying human men;
    Up and down and in between,
    Walls of waving living green.
    What to me's a dainty stem
    Is a towering thing to them,
    And to them I know that I
    Am a giant standing high,
    Touching with my head the sky.

  9. The Bee, Clover, and Thistle

    Said she in a pet, 'one thing I know,'
    As she rose in haste and departed,
    'It is not those of the greatest show,
    To whom for a favor 't is best to go,
    Or that prove most generous-hearted!'

    The Bee, Clover, and Thistle
    Hannah Flagg Gould
    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    A Bee from her hive one morning flew,
    A tune to the day-light humming;
    And away she went, o'er the clear, bright dew,
    Where the grass was green, the violet blue,
    And the gold of the sun was coming.

    And what first tempted the roving Bee
    Was a head of the crimson clover.
    'I've found a treasure betimes!' said she,
    'And perhaps a greater I might not see,
    If I travelled the field all over.

    'My beautiful clover, so round and red,
    There is not a thing in twenty
    That lifts this morning so sweet a head
    Above its leaves and its earthy bed,
    With so many horns of plenty!'

    The flow'rets were thick, which the clover crowned,
    As the plumes in the helm of Hector,
    And each had a cell that was deep and round;
    Yet it would not impart, as the bee soon found,
    One drop of its precious nectar.

    She cast in her eye where the honey lay,
    And her pipe she began to measure;
    But she saw at once it was clear as day,
    That it would not go down one half the way
    To the place of the envied treasure.

    Said she in a pet, 'one thing I know,'
    As she rose in haste and departed,
    'It is not those of the greatest show,
    To whom for a favor 't is best to go,
    Or that prove most generous-hearted!'

    A fleecy flock came into the field,
    And one of its members followed
    The scent of the clover, till between
    Her nibbling teeth its head was seen,
    And then in a moment swallowed.

    'Ha, ha!' said the Bee, as the clover died,
    'Her fortune's smile was fickle!
    And now I can get my wants supplied
    By a humble flower with a rough outside,
    And even a scale and prickle.'

    Then she flew to one that by man and beast
    Was shunned for its pointed bristle;
    But it injured not the bee in the least;
    And she filled her pocket, and had a feast
    From the bloom of the purple Thistle.

    The generous Thistle's life was spared
    In the home where the Bee first found her;
    Till she grew so old she was hoary-haired,
    And her snow-white locks with the silk compared,
    As they shone where the sun beamed round her.

  10. Four-Leaf Clover

    by Ella Higginson

    I know a place where the sun is like gold,
    And the cherry blooms burst with snow,
    And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
    Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

    One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,
    And one is for love, you know,
    And God put another in for luck—
    If you search, you will find where they grow.

    But you must have hope, and you must have faith,
    You must love and be strong – and so—
    If you work, if you wait, you will find the place
    Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

  11. Sweet Clover

    by Wallace Rice

    Within what weeks the melilot
    Gave forth its fragrance, I, a lad,
    Or never knew or quite forgot,
    Save that 'twas while the year is glad.

    Now know I that in bright July
    It blossoms; and the perfume fine
    Brings back my boyhood, until I
    Am steeped in memory as with wine.

    Now know I that the whole year long,
    Though Winter chills or Summer cheers,
    It writes along the weeks its song,
    Even as my youth sings through my years.

  12. The Lucky Four-Leaved Clover

    by Amos Russell Wells

    "Why is the four-leaved clover more lucky than the three?"
    I questioned Master Greedy, and thus he answered me:
    "It's because the four-leaved clover so crafty is and bold,
    It has an extra hand, sir, to grasp the sunshine gold."

    "Why is the four-leaved clover more lucky than the three?"
    I questioned Master Generous, and thus he answered me:
    "It's because the four-leaved clover so kindly is and gay,
    It has an extra hand, sir, to give its gold away I"

  13. The Clover's simple Fame

    by Emily Dickinson

    The Clover's simple Fame
    Remembered of the Cow —
    Is better than enameled Realms
    Of notability.
    Renown perceives itself
    And that degrades the Flower —
    The Daisy that has looked behind
    Has compromised its power —

  14. What tenements of clover

    by Emily Dickinson

    What tenements of clover
    Are fitting for the bee,
    What edifices azure
    For butterflies and me —
    What residences nimble
    Arise and evanesce
    Without a rhythmic rumor
    Or an assaulting guess.

  15. Poems About Shamrocks

  16. A Bit of Shamrock

    by Mary Davis Reed

    Only a bit of shamrock from far off Emerald Isles;
    But it carries my lonely heart o'er the many miles;
    And in fancy takes me back again across the years
    Until with tender longing my eyes fill up with tears.

    Once more I see my mother, as in the days of yore,
    Busy with her knitting by the little cottage door;
    And dad with his pipe of clay, and cheery Irish smile,
    Resting from his labors on the weather-beaten stile.

    I can see my sweetheart, with her eyes of Irish blue;
    Her glances quite coquettish; her heart quite warm and true.
    There's not another like her—she is so sweet and fair;
    And I love my colleen with a love beyond compare.

    I've been in many countries, and roamed through many climes,
    But naught can bring such yearnings as thoughts of olden times.
    And days of care-free youth in that land across the foam,
    Spent with the ones I love, in that County Kerry home.

    So it's back again I'll sail, within the next few days;
    I'll revel in the home-town with its quaint Irish ways.
    May angels guard my parents and little colleen sweet,
    And keep them safe from harm 'till on Erin's shores we meet.

  17. Saint Patrick and the Shamrock

    by Phoebe A. Naylor

    When the Saint returned to Ireland,
    With his helpers, her to aid,
    Druids looked with scornful anger
    At the Saint so unafraid,
    As he told men of the Godhead—
    Three in one and one in Three.
    Three in person, one in Godhead,
    How could such a Being be?

    Stood the high born Maiden Fedelm,
    Daughter of the high king, she
    With companions now before him
    Questioning that mystery
    Vainly Patrick tried to show them
    But they could not understand.
    As the fields were green with Shamrocks
    One he took up in his hand.

    Showed them how the trefoil Shamrock
    Had three leaves upon one stem;
    And their pagan eyes were opened
    Till the truth was plain to them!
    So his followers wore the shamrock
    Reverencing the saint, who there
    Traveled end to end of Ireland
    Building churches everywhere.

  18. The Little Shamrock

    by David McCarthy

    Oh, emblem of that dear old land
    Of chivalry and lore,
    Imported from thy native sod,
    To Columbia's distant shore;
    I now behold your triple leaf.
    Just fresh as I have seen
    In the verdant vales of Kerry,
    In my native isle of green.

    On board the ill-fated Oregon,
    Sunk beneath a tidal wave,
    The Shamrock's little slender roots
    Had touch'd a watery grave;
    But, the plant St. Patrick used
    To teach his holy creed,
    Was destined not to perish there—
    From danger hence was freed.

    In clusters now, the shipwreck'd sprig
    Is growing in mellow clay,
    Transplanted there by willing hands
    Lest the emblem would decay;
    Ah! may the one who cared it well
    Received full meed of praise;
    She work'd with faith and diligence
    Her shamrock dear to raise.

    On next St. Patrick's Day we'll have
    An Irish shamrock green,
    Raised in this land of Washington,
    We'll always love, I ween;
    And with the American Stars and Stripes
    And the flag of Erin's Isle,
    To martial music we'll keep step
    And march in double file.

  19. The Little Shamrock

    by William Yancey Erwin

    The golden harp again we bring,
    On this Saint Patrick's day;
    Though old the theme, the song we sing
    We'll put in this new way.

    God bless our sons for Jesus' sake,
    Where'er they chance to roam;
    May they a sprig of shamrock take,
    And kiss the Blarney Stone.

    God bless our lovely daughters, too,
    Who dwell in foreign lands;
    And may they ever keep in view
    For what the Shamrock stands.

    If hearts are tender, lips as sweet,
    As those who stay at home,
    They'll learn in youth to be discreet
    Without the Blarney Stone.

  20. A Bit O' Shamrock

    by Jean Blewett

    We met her on the hillside green
    Below old Castle Blarney;
    Her name, she whispered, was Eileen,
    Her home it was Killarney.

    I see her yet, her Irish eyes
    Blue gray as seas in summer,
    And hear her welcome, on this wise,
    Vouchsafed to each new-comer:

    "I'll guide ye up the stairway steep,
    And naught will ye be missing
    O' battlement or donjon keep,
    Or blarney stone for kissing.

    "The tower that was McCarthy's pride,
    The scene o' battles thrilling,
    And where the Desmond kept his bride—
    Me fee is but a shilling.

    "Here's for ye, now, a keepsake charm"—
    Her low tones grow caressing—
    "A bit o' shamrock green and warm,
    To bring ye luck and blessing."

    The "keepsake charm"—I have it yet—
    A thing of guile and blarney;
    Each green leaf dares me to forget
    Fair Eileen o' Killarney.

  21. The Shamrock

    by Maurice Francis Egan

    When April rains make flowers bloom
    And Johnny-jump-ups come to light,
    And clouds of color and perfume
    Float from the orchards pink and white,
    I see my shamrock in the rain,
    An emerald spray with raindrops set,
    Like jewels on Spring's coronet,
    So fair, and yet it breathes of pain.

    The shamrock on an older shore
    Sprang from a rich and sacred soil
    Where saint and hero lived of yore,
    And where their sons in sorrow toil;
    And here, transplanted, it to me
    Seems weeping for the soil it left
    The diamonds that all others see
    Are tears drawn from its heart bereft.

    When April rain makes flowers grow,
    And sparkles on their tiny buds
    That in June nights will over-blow
    And fill the world with scented floods,
    The lonely shamrock in our land—
    So fine among the clover leaves—
    For the old springtime often grieves—
    I feel its tears upon my hand.

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