The Bright Rose of Sharon

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In Thomas Moore's poem, "The Last Rose of Summer," the poet reflects on the loneliness of the rose whose garden companions "faded and gone." His thoughts turn to the loneliness he anticipates as good friends depart in death. "Who," he asks, "would inhabit this bleak world alone?" Autumn's turning leaves, withered gardens and the funerals of friends remind us that we live a world that is decaying - returning to the dust from which it was made.

"The Bright Rose of Sharon" answers this despair by pointing to Christ, who chose to fade and die alone. Risen, he promises his followers that we will never "inhabit this bleak world alone." Rather, he strengthens us to proclaim life to the dead. We find strength to count this world as loss, in the promise of eternal resurrection with him.


'Tis the bright Rose of Sharon
Left dying alone;
All his closest companions
Are fearful and gone.
No crime of his doing,
No fault in his pow'r,
But his love for the sinner
Brought him to this hour.

"I'll not leave or forsake you
But strength shall supply
To speak life to the sleeping
And call them to rise.
Thus kindly I scatter,
Like seed o'er the earth,
Joyous news for all peoples:
The end of the curse."

So in faith now we follow
His path to the cross.
For the joy set before us,
We count all as loss.
When all things have withered
The Rose shall yet bloom;
Those who hope in his radiance
Shall flower anew.

Words by Eric Schumacher & David L. Ward, © 2014
Inspired by "The Last Rose of Summer" by Thomas Moore
Tune: Traditional Irish folk song "Aislean an Oigfear"


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