To a Bunch of Lilac
(The Yellow Book 3 (Oct. 1894), p. 87)
Is it the April singing,
Or the bird in the breeze above?
My throat is full of singing,
My heart is full of love.
O heart, are you not yet broken?
O dream, so done with and dead,
Is life’s one word not spoken,
And the rede of it all not read?
No hope in the whole world over!
No hope in the infinite blue!
Yet I sing and laugh like a lover —
Oh, who is it, April — who?
And the glad young year is springing;
And the birds, and the breeze above,
And the shrill tree-tops, are singing —
And I am singing — of love.
* * * *
O beautiful lilac flowers
Oh, say, is it you, is it you
The sun-struck, love-sick hours
Go fainting for murmuring through?
O full of ineffable yearning,
So balmy, mystical, deep,
And faint beyond any discerning,
Like far-off voices in sleep —
I love you, O lilac, I love you!
Till life goes swooning by,
I breathe and enwreath and enfold you,
And long but to love, and die.
(The Yellow Book 7 (Oct. 1895), p. 319)
And then it seem’d I was a bird
That dipt along the silent street.
In that strange moonlight nothing stir’d,
And all was moonlight, still and sweet.
By lofty vane and roof and loft,
Aloof, aloft, where shadows hung,
Down ghostly ways that wafted soft,
Warm echoes where I sank and sung;
And lower yet by flower-set sill,
And close against her window-bars,
And still the moonlight flowed, and still,
The still dew lit the jessamine stars;
And oh! I beat against the pane,
And oh! I sang so sweet, so clear, —
I heard her wake, and pause again,
The nearer, nearer — killing near;
And back she flung the window-rod,
The moonlight swept in, like a stream;
She drew me to her neck — Oh! God,
’Twas then I knew it was a dream!