Sunday, October 29, 2017

The last rose of summer ...

Irish poet Thomas Moore reportedly was inspired by a late-blooming specimen in an Irish garden of Rosa "Old Bush" back in 1805 when he composed the words to "The Last Rose of Summer."

A few years later, during 1813, the words were set to a traditional tune, "Aislean an Oigfear" or "The Young Man's Dream" and a sentimental favorite, beloved by Irish tenors, was born.

Rosa "Old Bush" bears a striking resemblance to a modern specimen (top), among the last roses in full bloom I found in the museum gardens Saturday afternoon as the south of Iowa plays tag with a killing frost.

There was one perfect bud of a different variety, too.

And bright spots of color here and there among the turning leaves elsewhere.

It won't be long, however, before all of this is gone --- until spring.

In case you've forgotten what "Last Rose" sounds like, here's a version by John McDermott.

It was recorded in Belfast during 2014.

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