Monday, March 09, 2009


( my old fashioned lilac from last year)

Yesterday morning, as we returned home from church, we walked up the steps to our porch where we have a view of our side cottage garden. My sweet, soon to be 11 year old son, happily proclaimed, "Mom, look! The robins are in the garden and everything is bursting out of the ground!" I floated on that comment all day as it filled me with such anticipation for the new growing season.

This year, my lilacs are later than usual. I attribute that to the last ice storm that stunted the spring garden. I am thankful, though, that the garden blooming time seems to have returned to the norm this year, as recently, the garden has awakened entirely too early only to be halted by late freezing weather. I pray that this prolonged dormancy will contribute to longer enjoyment of the jonquils, tulips, lilac and wisteria...Welcome spring!

Warble for Lilac-Time

WARBLE me now, for joy of Lilac-time,
Sort me, O tongue and lips, for Nature’s sake, and sweet life’s sake—and death’s the same as life’s,
Souvenirs of earliest summer—birds’ eggs, and the first berries;
Gather the welcome signs, (as children, with pebbles, or stringing shells;)
Put in April and May—the hylas croaking in the ponds—the elastic air,
Bees, butterflies, the sparrow with its simple notes,
Blue-bird, and darting swallow—nor forget the high-hole flashing his golden wings,
The tranquil sunny haze, the clinging smoke, the vapor,
Spiritual, airy insects, humming on gossamer wings,
Shimmer of waters, with fish in them—the cerulean above;
All that is jocund and sparkling—the brooks running,
The maple woods, the crisp February days, and the sugar-making;
The robin, where he hops, bright-eyed, brown-breasted,
With musical clear call at sunrise, and again at sunset,
Or flitting among the trees of the apple-orchard, building the nest of his mate;

The melted snow of March—the willow sending forth its yellow-green sprouts;
—For spring-time is here! the summer is here! and what is this in it and from it?
Thou, Soul, unloosen’d—the restlessness after I know not what;
Come! let us lag here no longer—let us be up and away!
O for another world! O if one could but fly like a bird! 20
O to escape—to sail forth, as in a ship!
To glide with thee, O Soul, o’er all, in all, as a ship o’er the waters!
—Gathering these hints, these preludes—the blue sky, the grass, the morning drops of dew;
(With additional songs—every spring will I now strike up additional songs,
Nor ever again forget, these tender days, the chants of Death as well as Life;)
The lilac-scent, the bushes, and the dark green, heart-shaped leaves,
Wood violets, the little delicate pale blossoms called innocence,
Samples and sorts not for themselves alone, but for their atmosphere,
To tally, drench’d with them, tested by them,
Cities and artificial life, and all their sights and scenes,
My mind henceforth, and all its meditations—my recitatives,
My land, my age, my race, for once to serve in songs,
(Sprouts, tokens ever of death indeed the same as life,)
To grace the bush I love—to sing with the birds,
A warble for joy of Lilac-time.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)


Betsy said...

We're probably a few weeks behind you up here...but I think I'll take a peak at my lilac and see if there are any signs of life yet!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah yes, is there any better scent on earth?

Janeen said...

That is such a lovely poem. That reminds me to ask you something you would probably know... do you know of any books that would be worth buying that are afternoon tea type related poems or book passages?

Hope the birthday party is a success too!

steviewren said...

It gets too hot here for lilacs. The hydrangeas are what I look forward to blooming. But they don't have any fragrance though.

Marie Antionette said...

How sweet!!!And how lucky you have those gorgeous lilacs.We can't grow them here,believe me I tried.To darn hot.Yours are so beautiful.XXOO Marie Antionette

Lavinia said...

Lucky Rebecca. We won't get them till some time in May. I find their scent absolutely intoxicating!

Kalianne@BygoneBeauty said...

Dear Rebecca, what a beautiful time of year just around the corner for you! I love lilacs (they remind me of Jacaranda trees). We don't see many lilacs in Australia.

It's lovely to connect with you again! Thank you for staying in contact during my absence.

Hugs & blessings,

Mmm said...

Lovely comment from your son--everything bursting out of the ground. LOL. Sweet.

i do so love Lilacs too. We have them all around the steps leading up to our house. So delightful but they only bloom for about two weeks here.