Fragrant Quote for May 24th, 2012 from IN SCHOOL—A PERFUME by Emily Peake

Kórnik - Arboretum - lilacs

IN SCHOOL—A PERFUME by Emily Peake

I close my eyes, and the lilac's perfume
Has borne me away from this crowded room

... Under northern skies where the flowers are late
And this plumy branch for the June must wait.

A farm-house stands from the road aloof,
With the mountain-ash against its roof.

There's a bridge in front that crosses a brook
Where the spotted trout hides away from the hook;

And a winding road, with a double ridge
Of grass, comes down the hill to the bridge.

Close by the door twin lilac-trees
Breathe a sweet good-morning to every breeze;

A group of children with happy look
Are lingering here with basket and book.

Why do they wait? There's one little creature
Wants a lilac-flower to give to the teacher;

She must have the very highest one
That no one can reach—and what's to be done?

For the longest arm comes short of the prize
That bends and beckons before her eyes;

But she saw papa coming up through the clover,
A strong, tall man; see! he lifts her over

The heads of the group that around him stand,
And she breaks the branch with her chubby hand.

What was 1 saying?—I open my eyes;
Why, I am the teacher supposed to be wise;

One instant ago 't was a six year-old
Who smelled of the lilac, and my father's hold

Was strong around me; the years and death
Were swept away by the lilac's breath.