The Black Rose
“The Erne will be strong in flood, the hills be torn
The ocean will be all red waves, the sky all blood,
Every mountain and bog in Ireland will shake
One day, before she shall perish, my Little Black Rose.”
On some day, between the 17th and 19th century, an Irishman longed for the love of a girl, or for freedom, no one is quite sure. He penned these words of hope and faith and created an enduring character, the Black Rose, to represent the new life to be born once occupation, servitude and imperialism were finally vanquished.
Black Roses are widely assumed to represent death or passing away, but it better represents change, upheaval and death of the old order. If death is, in fact, passing from here to there, Black Roses are the welcome gift to those who have put the past behind. Carrying the energy of anarchy and mutiny against oppression, Black Roses represent courage, resistance and defiance in the face of the status quo.