September 19, 2014 — Whenever someone doesn’t look quite right, my mother will say they look like the last rose of summer. It is not quite a compliment since the last rose of summer, the one that hung around through all the heat and humidity, looks withered and parched. On the positive side, however, it shows longevity, strength and determination.
The expression comes from a poem by Irish poet Thomas Moore, who wrote “The Last Rose of Summer” in 1805. It begins, “Tis the last rose of summer, left blooming alone; All her lovely companions are faded and gone…”
This weekend is the last of summer, and the one that begins my anticipated my summer vacation. I’ll be heading to the New Jersey beaches, which often seem lovelier in September when the crowds have gone, and those remaining, those true last roses of summer, try to squeeze every ounce out of the season before autumn sets in.