To a Bunch of Lilac
By Theophile Marzials
“Dis-moi la fleur, je te dirai la femme “
Is it the April springing,
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 out 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 faint for murmuring through ?
O full of ineffable yearning,
So balmy, mystical, deep,
And faint beyond any discerning,
Like far-off voices in sleep—
1 love you, O lilac, I love you !
Till life goes swooning by,
I breathe and enwreathe and enfold you,
And long but to love, and die.
Marzials, Theophile. “To a Bunch of Lilac.” The Yellow Book, vol. 3, October 1894 pp. 87-88. Yellow Book Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra 2010-2014. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. https://1890s.ca/YBV3_marzials_toabunch/