“She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer, yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me;
Oh no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning,that made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee”
– Edward Mordaunt Spencer / William Pembroke Mulchinock
s I imagine the scraping sound of a quill and the bleeding of heart and ink onto parchment, I wonder what truth it was that could have inspired William Pemproke Mulchinock to write his famous Irish ballad.
What truth or secret was it that lay behind Mary’s eyes and immortalised her as the Rose of Tralee?
With the first round of the Rose of Tralee festival coming up, I have thought a lot about this question and enjoyed some time researching the properties and the symbolic meanings of roses. [as you do]
I also realised that I nearly fell into the trap of a thought process that contemporary society is hard-wiring us to have.