Jorge Luis Borges: “The Endless Rose”

The Endless Rose

In the fifth century of the Prophet’s age,
Persia gazed down from her minarets
on the invasion of the desert lances,
and Attar of Nishapur glimpsed a rose,
addressing it in voiceless words
such as one thinks but does not pray:
Your shadowy sphere is in my hands.
Time is bending and forgetting us both,
this afternoon, this abandoned garden.
Your gentle weight lies moist on the air.
The relentless tide of your fragrance
rises to my old, declining face,
but I know you longer than that child
who saw you through the sheets of a dream,
or here in this garden, some certain morning.
The whiteness of the sun may belong to you
or the gold of the moon, or the crimson
certainty of a sword in victory.
I am blind and know nothing, yet I still see
there are more roads to travel. And every thing
is really an infinity of things. You are music
and rivers, palaces, angels, and skies,
an endless rose, infinite and intimate,
which the Lord will reveal to my lifeless eyes.

Jorge Luis Borges

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2016
Photo by Kaveh Golestan
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