"Bastard Freedom waves Her fustian flag in mockery over slaves." -- Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore (28 May 1779 – 25 February 1852) was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death.
"A friendship that like love is warm; A love like friendship, steady.""A pretty wife is something for the fastidious vanity of a rougue to retire upon.""And soon, too soon, we part with pain, To sail o'er silent seas again.""And the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers is always the first to be touch'd by the thorns.""Came but for friendship, and took away love.""Finding the right work is like discovering your own soul in the world.""Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.""Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.""It is only to the happy that tears are a luxury.""Like ships that have gone down at sea, when heaven was all tranquillity.""No, there's nothing half so sweet in life as love's young dream.""Plants that wake when others sleep. Timid jasmine buds that keep their fragrance to themselves all day, but when the sunlight dies away let the delicious secret out to every breeze that roams about.""Romantic love is an illusion. Most of us discover this truth at the end of a love affair or else when the sweet emotions of love lead us into marriage and then turn down their flames.""Study until twenty-five, investigation until forty, profession until sixty, at which age I would have him retired on a double allowance.""The heart that has truly loved never forgets But as truly loves on to the close.""This is the right time, and this is the right thing.""Those who plot the destruction of others often perish in the attempt.""Though an angel should write, still 'tis devils must print.""True change takes place in the imagination.""While mantling on the maiden's cheek Young roses kindled into thought.""Wisdom and deep intelligence require an honest appreciation of mystery."
Born on the corner of Aungier Street in Dublin, Ireland over his father's grocery shop, his father being from an Irish speaking Gaeltacht in Kerry and his mother, Anastasia Codd, from Wexford. He was educated at Trinity College, which had recently allowed entry to Catholic students, and he studied law at the Middle Temple in London. It was as a poet, translator, balladeer and singer that he found fame. His work soon became immensely popular and included The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls, Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms, The Meeting of the Waters and many others. His ballads were published as Moore's Irish Melodies (commonly called Moore's Melodies) in 1846 and 1852.  While Thomas Moore was completing his many works he met a girl with the name of Lena Angese who encouraged him with his works. She also helped him with his future compositions and they became very close. Although she was said to have fallen in love with him she suddenly appeared missing. In search of where she had disappeared to Moore found that she had died just days before he went to look for her.
Moore was far more than a balladeer. He had major success as a society figure in London, and in 1803 was appointed registrar to the Admiralty in Bermuda. From there, he traveled in Canada and the United States. It was after this trip that he published his book, Epistles, Odes, and Other Poems, which featured a paean to the historic Cohoes Falls called Lines Written at the Cohos [sic], or Falls of the Mohawk River, among other famous verses. He returned to England and married an actress, Elizabeth "Bessy" Dyke, in 1811. Moore had expensive tastes, and, despite the large sums he was earning from his writing, soon got into debt, a situation which was exacerbated by the embezzlement of money by the man he had employed to deputize for him in Bermuda. Moore became liable for the £6000 which had been illegally appropriated. In 1819, he was forced to leave Britain...in company with Lord John Russell -- and live in Paris until 1822 (notably with the family of Martin de Villamil), when the debt was finally paid off. Some of this time was spent with Lord Byron, whose literary executor Moore became. He was much criticised later for allowing himself to be persuaded to destroy Byron's memoirs at the behest of Byron's family because their damningly honest content. Moore did, however, edit and publish Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, with Notices of his Life (1830).
He finally settled in Sloperton Cottage at Bromham, Wiltshire, England, and became a novelist and biographer as well as a successful poet. He received a state pension, but his personal life was dogged by tragedy including the deaths of all of his five children within his lifetime and the suffering of a stroke in later life, which disabled him from performances - the activity at which he was most renowned. His remains are in the vault at St. Nicholas, Bromham.
Moore frequently visited Boyle Farm in Thames Ditton, Surrey, as the guest of Lord Henry Fitzgerald and his wife. One noteworthy occasion was the subject of Moore's long poem, 'The Summer Fete'. The poem was about his daughter, Alex Hassett. She took on her mothers last name because when her mother married Thomas, her parents were against her changing her last name.
Moore is considered Ireland's National Bard and is to Ireland what Robert Burns is to Scotland. Moore is commemorated in several places; by a plaque on the house where he was born, a bust at The Meetings and one in Central Park, New York, and by a large bronze statue near Trinity College Dublin.
Many composers have set the poems of Thomas Moore to music. They include Gaspare Spontini, Robert Schumann, Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, William Bolcom, Lori Laitman, Benjamin Britten and Henri Duparc.
The song Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms is often used in a famous gag in a number of Warner Brothers cartoons, usually involving a piano or Xylophone rigged to explode when a certain note is played. The hero, typically Bugs Bunny, tries to play the melody line of the song, but always misses the rigged note (C above middle C). The villain or rival, finally exasperated, pushes the hero aside and plays the song himself, striking the correct note and blowing himself up. In one instance, however, the protagonist plays the melody on a xylophone and, upon striking the rigged note, the antagonist explodes in an "old gag, new twist."
Many songs of Thomas Moore are cited in works of James Joyce, for example Silent, O Moyle! in Two Gallants (Dubliners) or The Last Rose of Summer.