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From the generations of roses
That are lost in the depths of time
I want one saved from oblivion,
One spotless rose, of all things

That ever were. Fate permits me
The gift of choosing for once
That silent flower, the last rose
That Milton held before him,

Unseen. O vermilion, or yellow
Or white rose of a ruined garden,
Your past still magically remains

Forever shines in these verses,
Gold, blood, ivory or shadow
As if in his hands, invisible rose.


Jorge Luis Borges, 1964
Translation by A. S. Kline

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