Posted by Smokey Stover on February 23, 2006
In Reply to: The bloom is off the rose posted by Bob on February 23, 2006
: : : : What does the phrase "the bloom is off the rose mean. What is its origin?
: : : When the bloom is off the rose, it means, figuratively, that whatever you are talking about has lost its first freshness, it's former beauty and allure. Literally, it means, of course, that the blooms of the rose have withered and dropped. Similar phrases were used in the 18th century, but I don't know about that particular phrase, which is now quite common. It connotes a degree of disenchantment, and when was that not common?
: : To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
: : Robert Herrick
: : Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
: : Old Time is still a-flying:
: : And this same flower that smiles to-day
: : To-morrow will be dying.
: : The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
: : The higher he's a-getting,
: : The sooner will his race be run,
: : And nearer he's to setting.
: : That age is best which is the first,
: : When youth and blood are warmer;
: : But being spent, the worse, and worst
: : Times still succeed the former.
: : Then be not coy, but use your time,
: : And while ye may, go marry:
: : For having lost but once your prime,
: : You may for ever tarry.
: Well ok. But the sentimental Irish side of me says:
: Believe me if all those
: Endearing young charms
: Which I gaze on so fondly today
: Were to change by tomorrow
: And fleet in my arms,
: Like fairy gifts fading away
: Though would'st still be adored
: As this moment thou art
: Let thy loveliness fade as it will
: And around the dear ruin
: Each wish of my heart
: Would entwine itself
: Verdantly still.
: It is not while beauty
: And youth are thine own
: And thy cheeks
: Unprofaned by a tear
: That the ferver and faith
: Of a soul can be known
: To which time will but
: Make thee more dear
: No the heart that has truly loved
: Never forgets
: But as truly loves
: On to the close
: As the sunflower turns
: On her god when he sets
: The same look which
: She'd turned when he rose.
Well, if we're into poetry, I like this couplet: "I sometimes think that never blooms so red / the rose as where some buried Caesar bled...." It's from the Fitzgerald translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, as I'm sure most readers of this page already know. SS