The Lilac-Walter Prichard Eaton

The Lilac-Walter Prichard Eaton

The scent of lilac in the air
Has made him drag his steps and pause;
Whence comes this scent within the Square
... Where endless dusty traffic roars?
A pushcart stands beside the curb,
With fragrant blossoms laden high;
Speak low, nor stare, lest we disturb
His sudden reverie.

He sees us not nor heeds the din
Of clanging car and shuffling throng;
His eyes see fairer sights within,
And memory hears the robin's song
As once it trilled against the day,
And shook his slumber in a room
Where drifted with the breath of May
The lilac's sweet perfume.

The heart of boyhood in him stirs;
The wonder of the morning skies,
Of sunset gold behind the firs,
Is kindled in his dreaming eyes:
How far off is this sordid place,
As turning from our sight away
He crushes to his hungry face
A purple lilac spray!