A White Rose



John Boyle O'Reilly, the greatest Irishman in America at the time of his death, was born at Douth Castle, Drogheda, Ireland, in 1844. After an education at the National School, and an early career in journalism, he enlisted in the Hussars and became a Fenian. Discovery of his revolutionary sympathies led to his trial for high treason and finally to exile in the penal colony in Australia. He escaped Australia by boat and made his way to America, first Philadelphia, and then Boston, where he worked for the Pilot, a newspaper of which he eventually became editor. O'Reilly published two volumes of poems, Songs of the Southern Seas (1873) and Songs, Legends, and Ballads (1878), as well as several novels. He worked tirelessly to integrate the Roman Catholic Irish community into Protestant Boston. At his death in 1890, from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills, he left his wife Mary Murphy O'Reilly and four daughters. Daniel Chester French's memorial statue of O'Reilly stands today in Fenway Park, Boston, a testimony to the pride of its Irish natives in a poet buried in Hollyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts.

John Boyle


A White Rose

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
Oh, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud,
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

John Boyle O'Reilly


whispers: susurra, habla en voz baja
breathes: exhala, respira
falcon: halcón
dove: paloma
: pimpollo de rosa
flush: rubor, toque de color rojizo
petal tips: borde de los pétalos


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