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Irish Poem ‘Tis The Last Rose Of Summer, By Thomas Moore

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It is another week and another famous Irish poem! I hope you have been enjoying my weekly Irish poems. This week it is a poem, a song and a ballad all in one. It is at number 93 on the top 100 Irish poems list. I personally think it should be a lot higher! 

I found an incredible cover of this poem/song by Charlotte Church, sung in Jerusalem with a man from Israel playing the traditional uilleann pipe. I honestly got chills listening to it. You can watch the video below the poem, of course. I would suggest reading the poem before listening to the song. She does an incredible job! 

So what is the poem ‘Tis The Last Rose of Summer’ all about? 

A picture of the particular type of rose that Moore writes about in the poem.

A wonderful poem by the Irish poet Thomas Moore. He wrote it in 1805 while staying at Jenkinstown Castle in County KilkennyIreland, where he was said to have been inspired by a specimen of Rosa ‘Old Blush.’

The poem itself has been around for years and years. Moore lived until he was 72, a fine age for the 1800s. And the poem talks about life, how it passes us and watching his friends and loved ones pass on. As he says in the final few lines

“Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?”

The poem ‘Tis, The Last Rose of Summer, has had massive success since its release. Of course, you can see Charlotte Church singing it below, but it also appeared in

  • Japan; the melody is widely known as the song Niwa-no-Chigusa (庭の千草);
  • Kanye West refers to the poem in his song Blood on the Leaves on his album Yeezus wherein the rapper writes, “That summer night holdin’ long and long, ‘din long Now waiting for the summer rose and (breath)”,
  • James Joyce mentions the song in Ulysses, and the list goes on and on.
  • You can see a complete list of where the poem ‘Tis The Last Rose of Summer appears on Wikipedia. 


‘Tis 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?

Here is the incredible performance by Charlotte Church; she does a fantastic song which I am sure you will agree with me. 

Charlotte Church – Tis The Last Rose Of Summer (Live From Jerusalem)

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