From all the generations of past roses,
Disintegrated in the depths of time,
I want one to be spared oblivion—
One unexceptional rose from all the things
that once existed. Destiny allows me
The privilege of choosing, this first time,
That silent flower, the very final rose
That Milton held before his face, but could
Not see. O rose, vermillion or yellow
Or white, from some obliterated garden,
Your past existence magically lasts
And glows forever in this poetry,
Gold or blood-covered, ivory or shardowed,
As once in Milton’s hands, invisible rose.
—Jose Luis Borges, translated by Alastair Reid.