Transitional truths


by Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

‘TIS the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rose-bud 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 wither’d,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?


Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone:…” ~Genesis 2:18

This time of year I spend as much time outside after the work day is finished as the weather allows. While the past two days have been overcast, rainy and dreary we have been blessed to have a beautiful autumn. I’m thankful that it wasn’t of the straight-from-100-degree-days-of-summer-to-freaking-freezing-and-snow variety. Fall is such a lovely time of year.

It is, of course, a time marked by transition. A transition from life to death. Leaves fall, flowers die, crops are harvested and lawns turn brown. As we watch this natural occurance and consider the long winter ahead, thoughts naturally drift towards reflecting on the season of life we’ve lived this recent “spring to autumn”. I have been thinking about this while watching the once deep red and vibrant roses near our front door begin to fade to pink and brown and wither. It has made me think about my own season of life. My own “spring to autumn”.

And while it can be a time of natural melancholy it needn’t be. I do not think for a minute that we’ll need to “inhabit this bleak world alone” or vacate “Love’s shining circle.” For just as the annual season of life ends and turns to winter there are certain truths we know lay ahead.

Spring always follows winter.

New life always follows death.

God is in love with us, you and me. We shall never be alone.


The above poem can be found in:

  • Moore, Thomas. The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore. A. D. Godley, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1910.
  • Felleman, Hazel, ed. The Best Loved Poems of the American People. Garden City, NY: Garden City Books, 1936.

Photo credit: Southern Lagniappe


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