Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Massachusetts Poets
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.
The Lilac
Walter Prichard Eaton
THE SCENT of lilac in the air
  Hath made him drag his steps and pause
Whence comes this scent within the Square,
  Where endless dusty traffic roars?
    A push-cart stands beside the curb,        5
      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 scuffling throng;        10
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        15
      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:        20
    How far off is this sordid place,
      As turning from our sight away
    He crushes to his hungry face
      A purple lilac spray.


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