Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Last Rose of Summer

Tralee, Trá lí, is the big city of Co. Kerry but not much of a tourist destination. Popular in Medieval times, now it's fame comes from the Rose of Tralee International Festival which includes a beauty pageant where the rose of the year is crowned. The bronze statue in Rose Park sets the standard.

This year's rose is Jenifer Byrne, a black-haired beauty that topped the red-hair competition. OMG!

While the judging is long complete, I still offer my pick for the best rose of the year:

It was the last blooming rose I could find in the park. 

Which reminded me of Thomas Moore's poem written in 1805 while he was visiting Kilkenny, Ireland:

The Last Rose of Summer

'Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o'er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love's shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?

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