Ireland #179 Saint Patrick
3 pence (issued 9-25-1961)

The Legend of Saint Patrick

St. Patrick (389-461) came to Ireland in 432
There were many monsters for him to subdue.
On the Isle of Gael, evil spirits frightened all,
They even had a devil in the caves of Donegal.

For 40 days and nights, St. Patrick fasted there
Till the devil was driven far away by his prayer.
The very next problem was even more profound—
Serpents by the thousands were crawling all around.

Climbing the Holy Mountain going up to Croah's Peak
Demanding to see the Lord whom he wished to speak.
Then came an angel who told him that he was wrong,
For God will never answer a list that is so long.

"You'll not vanquish me by orders from on high
I'll have my wishes granted or stay here till I die."
Patrick stayed on the mountain for 40 days and nights
Tormented by blackbirds covering him with plights.

He sang psalms of cursing but the birds wouldn't leave,
They obstructed his vision, and caused him much grief.
Then in a burst of anger, St. Patrick rang his bell,
Threw it at the blackbirds which he did at last expel.

He drove demon Corra from the summit down to hell,
Sweeping into the ocean all the deadly snakes as well.
Then returned the angel with shamrock in her hand
Gave it to Saint Patrick, the patron of the land.

He guided the Irish people with courage and advised
"Just be simple hearted and live the love of Christ."
For all of his patience the sun beamed a golden smile,
Blessed all the people of this beautiful Emerald Isle.

                      — Peter Y. Chou
                          Worcester, 3-17-1980
                          on Saint Patrick's Day