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Lilac Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Lilacs by George B. Griffith
  2. Lilac Bush by Hilda Conkling
  3. The Lilacs Mother Planted by Ed Blair
  4. Now the Lilac Tree's in Bud by Bliss Carman
  5. Lilacs by Helen E. Maring
  6. Lilacs by Amy Lowell
  7. Lilacs by Hilda Conkling

  1. Lilacs

    by George B. Griffith

    Begemmed with April rain
    They nodded in the lane,
    The fragrant, purple clusters, the lilacs loved of yore;
    With gentle touch again
    They tap the window pane,
    Those sprays that waved so gracefully beside our cottage door!

  2. Lilac Bush

    by Hilda Conkling

    Lilac princess
    Swaying in a lavender gown,
    She looks at no one
    But straight into the eyes
    Of sky and wind.
    She may be sad when the rain comes,
    She may be glad when it goes,
    Always she has a smile
    To give the world.
    The sun beams on her,
    Gives his glittering rays,
    Helps her to remember
    When she was in bud.
    In clusters . . .a lavender torch . . .
    She trembles . . . is alive . . .
    Swaying in the lovely light
    Of evening.

  3. The Lilacs Mother Planted

    by Ed Blair

    I listened by the doorstep as the evening shadows fell,
    While from the distance floated the faint tinklings of a bell,
    The night hawk circled overhead then dropped straight down below,
    The same as when I first lived there, in childhood, long ago.
    The trees have grown much taller in the yard where once I played,
    And now looked so majestic in their summer robes arrayed;
    And near the walk the lilacs flung their fragrance to the air
    The lilacs that my darling mother planted for us there.

    Ah, yes, what tender memories are forced on us again,
    Who leave our home in boyhood days and then return grown men;
    To seek again the playgrounds which in youth we loved so well,
    The shade beneath the apple tree, the old pump at the well,
    The woodpile, and the cellar door, the dear old blacksmith shop,
    The granary that held the corn with martin box on top.
    But dearer than the playgrounds was the perfume in the air,
    From those dear lilac bushes that my mother planted there.

    Oh, sweet and fragrant lilac, the one she loved so well,
    Thy fragrance brings to memory sad thoughts I cannot tell;
    Sweet lullabies of childhood sung at the evening rest,
    By mother clasping closely the one she loved the best.
    A voice that gently whispered sweet words of love to me,
    A face so kind and gentle, a heart with love so free;
    Still yet my heart throbs feel them, still yet I see them there,
    When lilacs that she planted with fragrance fill the air.

  4. Now the Lilac Tree's in Bud

    by Bliss Carman

    Now the lilac tree's in bud,
    And the morning birds are loud.
    Now a stirring in the blood
    Moves the heart of every crowd.

    Word has gone abroad somewhere
    Of a great impending change.
    There's a message in the air
    Of an import glad and strange.

    Not an idler in the street,
    But is better off to-day.
    Not a traveller you meet,
    But has something wise to say.

    Now there's not a road too long,
    Not a day that is not good,
    Not a mile but hears a song
    Lifted from the misty wood.

    Down along the Silvermine
    That's the blackbird's cheerful note!
    You can see him flash and shine
    With the scarlet on his coat.

    Now the winds are soft with rain,
    And the twilight has a spell,
    Who from gladness could refrain
    Or with olden sorrows dwell?

  5. Lilacs

    by Helen E. Maring

    A wealth of lilacs have I here,
    Their mystic whispers stir my ear.
    Their lovely fragrance fills my heart,
    As memories their blooms impart.

    When I was but a little child,
    A lilac bush, untrimmed and wild,
    Delighted me with joy untold,
    Where shone the sun of purest gold,
    I pulled the clustered lilac spray

    And breathed their fragrance of the day.
    One morning time a lilac hue
    Slipped softly o'er the sea of blue.
    It seemed that souls of lilacs gone
    Had stolen back to rule the dawn.

    Fair lilacs of my thousand dreams,
    My heart amid you thrills and teems
    With thoughts and hopes of life to be
    That seeks to win the soul of me.

  6. Lilacs

    by Amy Lowell

    False blue,
    Color of lilac,
    Your great puffs of flowers
    Are everywhere in this my New England.
    Among your heart-shaped leaves
    Orange orioles hop like music-box birds and sing
    Their little weak soft songs;
    In the crooks of your branches
    The bright eyes of song sparrows sitting on spotted eggs
    Peer restlessly through the light and shadow
    Of all Springs.
    Lilacs in dooryards
    Holding quiet conversations with an early moon;
    Lilacs watching a deserted house
    Settling sideways into the grass of an old road;
    Lilacs, wind-beaten, staggering under a lopsided shock of bloom
    Above a cellar dug into a hill.
    You are everywhere.
    You were everywhere.
    You tapped the window when the preacher preached his sermon,
    And ran along the road beside the boy going to school.
    You stood by the pasture-bars to give the cows good milking,
    You persuaded the housewife that her dishpan was of silver.
    And her husband an image of pure gold.
    You flaunted the fragrance of your blossoms
    Through the wide doors of Custom Houses—
    You, and sandal-wood, and tea,
    Charging the noses of quill-driving clerks
    When a ship was in from China.
    You called to them: “Goose-quill men, goose-quill men,
    May is a month for flitting.”
    Until they writhed on their high stools
    And wrote poetry on their letter-sheets behind the propped-up ledgers.
    Paradoxical New England clerks,
    Writing inventories in ledgers, reading the “Song of Solomon” at night,
    So many verses before bed-time,
    Because it was the Bible.
    The dead fed you
    Amid the slant stones of graveyards.
    Pale ghosts who planted you
    Came in the nighttime
    And let their thin hair blow through your clustered stems.
    You are of the green sea,
    And of the stone hills which reach a long distance.
    You are of elm-shaded streets with little shops where they sell kites and marbles,
    You are of great parks where every one walks and nobody is at home.
    You cover the blind sides of greenhouses
    And lean over the top to say a hurry-word through the glass
    To your friends, the grapes, inside.

    False blue,
    Color of lilac,
    You have forgotten your Eastern origin,
    The veiled women with eyes like panthers,
    The swollen, aggressive turbans of jeweled pashas.
    Now you are a very decent flower,
    A reticent flower,
    A curiously clear-cut, candid flower,
    Standing beside clean doorways,
    Friendly to a house-cat and a pair of spectacles,
    Making poetry out of a bit of moonlight
    And a hundred or two sharp blossoms.
    Maine knows you,
    Has for years and years;
    New Hampshire knows you,
    And Massachusetts
    And Vermont.
    Cape Cod starts you along the beaches to Rhode Island;
    Connecticut takes you from a river to the sea.
    You are brighter than apples,
    Sweeter than tulips,
    You are the great flood of our souls
    Bursting above the leaf-shapes of our hearts,
    You are the smell of all Summers,
    The love of wives and children,
    The recollection of gardens of little children,
    You are State Houses and Charters
    And the familiar treading of the foot to and fro on a road it knows.
    May is lilac here in New England,
    May is a thrush singing “Sun up!” on a tip-top ash tree,
    May is white clouds behind pine-trees
    Puffed out and marching upon a blue sky.
    May is a green as no other,
    May is much sun through small leaves,
    May is soft earth,
    And apple-blossoms,
    And windows open to a South Wind.
    May is full light wind of lilac
    From Canada to Narragansett Bay.

    False blue,
    Color of lilac.
    Heart-leaves of lilac all over New England,
    Roots of lilac under all the soil of New England,
    Lilac in me because I am New England,
    Because my roots are in it,
    Because my leaves are of it,
    Because my flowers are for it,
    Because it is my country
    And I speak to it of itself
    And sing of it with my own voice
    Since certainly it is mine.

  7. Lilacs

    by Hilda Conkling

    After lilacs come out
    The air loves to flow about them
    The way water in wood-streams
    Flows and loves and wanders.
    I think the wind has a sadness
    Lifting other leaves, other sprays. . . .
    I think the wind is a little selfish
    About lilacs when they flower.

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