So many fruits come from roses
From the rose of all roses
From the unfolded rose
Rose of all the world.
Admit that apples and strawberries and peaches and pears
Are all Rosaceae,
Issue of the explicit rose,
The open-countenanced, skyward-smiling rose.
What then of the vine?
Oh, what of the tendrilled vine?
Ours is the universe of the unfolded rose,
The candid revelation.
But long ago, oh, long ago
Before the rose began to simper supreme.
Before the rose of all roses, rose of all the world, was even
Before the glaciers were gathered up in a bunch out of the
unsettled seas and winds.
Or else before they had been let down again, in Noah’s flood,
There was another world, a dusky, flowerless, tendrilled
f which world, the vine was the invisible rose,
Before petals spread, before colour made its disturbance,
before eyes saw too much.
In a green, muddy, web-foot, unutterably songless world
The vine was rose of all roses.
There were no poppies or carnations,
Hardly a greenish lily, watery faint.
Green, dim, invisible flourishing of vines
Look now even now, how it keeps its power of invisibility!
Look how black, how blue-black, how globed in Egyptian
Dropping among his leaves, hangs the dark grape!