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Quotations about
Four-Leaf Clovers

If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky? ~Stanisław Jerzy Lec (1909–1966)  [In the 1962 English translation by Jacek Gałązka of Unkempt Thoughts from the Polish, here's the actual wording: "is he entitled to happiness?" –tg]

Ilse and I hunted all over the old orchard to-day for a four-leaved clover and couldn't find one. Then I found one in a clump of clover by the dairy steps to-night when I was straining the milk and never thinking of clovers. Cousin Jimmy says that is the way luck always comes, and it is no use to look for it. ~L. M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon, 1923

One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,
And one is for love, you know,
And God put another one in for luck —
If you search you will find where they grow.
~Ella Higginson (1861–1940), "Four-Leaf Clover"

O little four-leaf clover
With leaves of emerald hue,
I'd roam the wide fields over
To get a glimpse of you.
More sought than any flower
That grows in field or dell,
Luck upon thy leaves has power,
Fate has bound thee with a spell.
~Mary D. McIntosh (b. 1867), "The Four-Leaf Clover"

I'll seek a four-leaved shamrock in all the fairy dells,
And if I find the charmed leaves, oh, how I'll weave my spells!
I would not waste my magic might on diamond, pearl, or gold,
For treasure tires the weary sense,—such triumph is but cold;
But I would play th' enchanter's part, in casting bliss around,—
Oh! not a tear, nor aching heart, should in the world be found...
~Samuel Lover, "The Four-Leaved Shamrock," Songs and Ballads, 1839

A good friend is like a four-leaf clover — hard to find and lucky to have. ~Author unknown

Oh, four-leaf clover, ha! ha! ha!
I've hunted near, I've hunted far,
And now I've found you, tell me true
What luck will come to me thro' you?
~Mary D. Brine, "The Four Leaf Clover Song," 1884

Oh! little four-leaf clover,
I will believe in you;
Let those who will be scornful—
I know you've told me true.
~Bertha J. Sherwood, "Four-Leaf Clover," Detroit Free Press, 1888

The queen of the fairies walked in the meadows in the early morning. She threw herself down upon the soft, green dew-sparkled grasses and took a nap. She dreamed of four-leaved clover, its shadow marking the fairies' resting place. When she awoke, she saw that it was just a bed of everyday three-leaved clover that the cattle loved to bite. Plucking a leaf, she pulled off one of its leaflets and placed it on another stem, making a four-leaf clover, and she healed the new leaf fast with a kiss. "Grow, my clover, and bear more four leaves; for your shadow marks the spot where a fairy has slept." ~May H. Horton, "The Four-Leaved Clover," 1894  [a little altered –tg]

In four out of every five watches brought us to be regulated, repaired, or cleaned, we find some token. Sometimes it is a bit of ribbon or lock of hair, or a rose petal. But oftener it's a four-leaf clover. The four-leaf clover is a love-token always. It is by the maiden fair given to her lover, who tenderly stows it away in the back of his watch-case. ~Jewelers' Weekly, 1887

A little four-leaf clover
That by the wayside grew,
She stooping plucked and fastened
Within her dainty shoe...
~Mary D. McIntosh (b. 1867), "The Four-Leaf Clover"

Down among the orchard-grass,
A happy, careless rover,
The pretty little girl
Goes hunting four-leaf clover...
~Jennie E. T. Dowe, "Four-Leaf Clover," 1879  [a little altered –tg]

They say there's a charm in the four-leaf clover
And so I will search the whole field over;
Over the fragrant grass bent low,
To see if the prize hid there, or no.
~Mary D. Brine, "The Four-Leaf Clover," 1874  [a little altered –tg]

Oh, four leaf clover, ha! ha! ha!
I think a little fraud you are,
But whether false or whether true,
It's only fun to hunt for you.
~Mary D. Brine, "The Four Leaf Clover Song," 1884

Lounging upon the emerald green
      Whose slope the trees of the forest screen,
      A family group are searching over
      The triune leaves for the four-leaf clover...
A bird droppeth down from its perch on high,
      A butterfly aimlessly floateth by:
      They too in the green and drifting over
      Seem counting the leaves for four-leaf clover.
Like rarest beauties of heart and of mind,
      So rare things in nature we seek to find—
      Ah, loveliest spot the gaze may cover,
      That vine-sheltered knoll of sweet white clover.
~Emily Thornton Charles (Emily Hawthorne), "Hunting the Four-Leaf Clover," 1886

Polly fell to looking for four-leaf clovers so industriously that Mary soon slipped from her seat to vie with her. "Here's a five-leaf," cried Mary. "But I found a seven-leaf yesterday," said Polly, triumphantly. It was a famous white clover patch, this one under Polly's swing. Nowhere else could you find so many "many-leafed" clovers in ten minutes as here. ~Avis Gordon, "The Forbidden Apple," 1905  [a little altered –tg]

The reason so many people never get anywhere in life is because, when opportunity knocks, they are out looking for four-leaf clovers. ~Walter P. Chrysler

Spencer:  I'm looking for a four-leaf clover so I can be lucky.
God:  Why don't you just staple a leaf onto a three-leaf clover?
Spencer:  You're saying I should cheat?
God:  No. I'm saying in this world, you have to make your own luck.
~Tommy Blaze, "Over the Four-Leaf Clover," Knocking on Heaven's Door, 2014,

Never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don't want to press your luck. ~Author unknown

Warped wise man says: "If you iron a four-leaf clover, you press your luck." ~Joke submitted to Boys' Life, 1987, by Wayne Rich

What do you get if you cross poison ivy with a four-leaf clover? You get a rash of good luck. ~Laughs, Hoots & Giggles by Joseph Rosenbloom, 1984

Besides, the shamrock is a religious symbol. Saint Patrick said the leaves represented the trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That's why four-leaf clovers are so lucky — you get a bonus Jesus. ~Stephen Colbert, "Ireland's Shamrock Shortage," The Colbert Report, 2010

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published 2006 Feb 10
revised 2018 Feb 21
last saved 2023 Aug 15