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Cum venus alma[1] Rosam in spineto carperet albam:
Laesit acuta Deam vulnere spina levi.
Sanguis & exiliit, quo mox Rosa tincta, colorem
Traxit (quae fuerat candida) purpureum.
Sic venus aetatis florem cùm excerpsit, in alba
Virgine: fit punctim plaga, cruórque fluit.
Quaeque prius medio Rosa candida floruit horto:
Panditur explicitis suave-rubens foliis.

While kind Venus plucked roses amid the thorns, a sharp thorn lightly wounded the goddess. The blood leapt forth, and the rose, now stained, put on a scarlet colour (it had been white before). Just so, when Venus picks the flower of youth in a white virgin, a blow is struck at a certain place and the blood flows, and she who before grew tall, a white rose in the middle of the garden, opens wider, red with unfolded petals.


1.  alma, ‘nurturing Venus’ of Lucretius.

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