Rose, you majesty-once, to the ancients
just a calyx with the simplest of rims.
But for us, you are the full, the numberless flower,
the inexhaustible countenance.
In your wealth you seem to be wearing
gown upon gown
upon a body of nothing but light;
yet each separatae petal is at the same time
of all clothing and the refusal of it.
Your fragrance has been calling its
in our direction, for hundreds of years;
suddenly it hangs in the air like fame.
Even so, we have never know what to call
it; we guess...
And memory is filled with it unawares
which we prayed for from hours that
belong to us.
-Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus