Virginia Lucas Poetry Scrapbook

Formal Description of "The Last Rose of Summer," by Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore’s poem “The Last Rose of Summer,” is a lyric poem which conveys a melancholy sense of loneliness which the speaker projects onto a single rose left blooming in the garden. By the end of the poem, the speaker has moved towards internal reflection and meditates on the importance of friendship. The poem is written in twenty-four lines which are broken into three stanzas of eight lines each.  There is a common rhyme scheme across all three stanzas, wherein the second and fourth line display end rhyme, and the sixth and eighth line display an additional end rhyme. This creates the rhyme pattern: ABCBDEFE which is repeated in all three stanzas.

The poem opens with the speaker personifying the roses in the garden, describing them as performing human actions such as blushing and sighing. In the second stanza, the speaker becomes a character in the poem who addresses the single remaining rose. In the third stanza, the speaker becomes the focus of the poem, transitioning from describing the rose to imagining themselves in the rose’s place. This transition creates an extended metaphor between the last rose of summer and the speaker.

There is no consistent poetic meter carried throughout the poem, although it almost conforms to the standards of syllabic verse in which the syllable count of the first stanza is repeated throughout the other stanzas. The first stanza alternates between lines of seven and five syllables, and this is carried through until the thirteenth line—about halfway through the second stanza—which has six syllables, before reverting back to the seven/five syllable pattern. The final stanza switches to an alternating six/five syllable pattern and thus breaks the pattern of syllabic verse.

 “The Last Rose of Summer,” regularly uses the poetic device of enjambment which breaks sentences across lines, such as in, “All her lovely companions/Are faded and gone,” or “Thus kindly I scatter/Thy leaves on the bed.” This enjambment encourages the reader to scan through the lines more quickly, drawing the reader into the rhythm of the poem.

"The Last Rose of Summer," by Thomas Moore
Explication of Thomas Moore's "The Last Rose of Summer"
Biography of Thomas Moore​​​​​​​