I sought a very exceptional rose;
A flower supreme in every way –
Bloom that not age, nor blight, nor aphid knows,
Whose complexion is as clear as the day,
From whose countenance magnificence flows,
As the Sun presides over lowly Earth,
From which celestial radiance glows,
Surpassing any common flower’s birth.
I sought among roses a perfect rose,
Among peerless leaves, among tender buds,
Among thornless stems arrayed in flawless rows,
From which the essence of pristine dawn floods
And ambrosial fragrance constantly blows,
Whose dew-kissed petals delicately sway
To the hymns hummingbird’s gay wings compose,
To flutter of butterflies come to play.
I wanted to believe that desire sows
Blossoms as pure as a pure heart conceives.
But blooms wilt, and waking dreams at last doze,
And defect alone excellence achieves.
And I see that only from afar grows
The flower by blemish unpolluted.
Perfection in a distant rose best shows –
Whose wine’s bouquet is best drunk diluted.
~ Daniel F Mitchell