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"May the road rise to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

May the rain fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again

may God hold you in the palm of his hand"




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Jenkinstown Wood was once part of a large estate. The old house is long gone but remnants of 1870s parkland have survived, including rare Necklace Poplars. There’s also a small garden commemorating Thomas Moore, who wrote the Last Rose of Summer while staying at Jenkinstown House. The actual Rose that inspired him lives on. A cutting taken from it flourishes in the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin, Dublin. The wood has a picnic site and marked trails.

this area is just 10 minutes drive from Kilkenny city. Ireland.


The Last Rose of Summer is a poem by Irish poet Thomas Moore, who was a friend of Byron and Shelley. Moore wrote it in 1805 while at Jenkinstown Park in County Kilkenny, Ireland. Sir John Stevenson set the poem to its widely-known melody, and this was published in a collection of Moore's work called Irish Melodies (1807-34).


Friedrich von Flotow uses the song in his opera "Martha," premiered in 1847 in Vienna. It is a favorite air ("Letzte Rose") of the character Lady Harriet. The interpolation works, and indeed the song helped popularize the opera. (According to the 1954 Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the opera grew from an 1844 ballet-pantomime, "Lady Henriette," for which Flotow wrote the music to Act One. Burgmuller and Deldevez wrote the rest of the music; "Lady Henriette" was produced in Paris.)


Sarah Brightman recorded the song for her album The Trees They Grow So High. It is sung in the musical group Celtic Woman by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha and Hayley Westenra, and was made popular in the twenty-first century in a recording by Charlotte Church and the Irish Tenors.


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,

To 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,

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?


Do not use this image on websites, blogs or other media without my permission.

© All rights reserved.


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Taken on November 8, 2006