In lonely gardens deserted - unseen -
Oh! lovely lilacs of purple and white,
You are dipping down through a mist of green;
For the morning sun's delight.
And the velvet bee, all belted with black,
Drinks deep of the wine which your flagons hold,
Clings close to your plumes while he fills his pack
With a load of burnished gold.
You hide the fences with blossoms of snow,
And sweeten the shade of castle towers;
Over low, grey gables you brightly blow,
Like amethysts turned to flowers.
The tramp on the highway - ragged and bold -
Wears you close to his heart with jaunty air;
You rest in my lady's girdle of gold,
And are held against her hair.
In God's own acre your tender flowers,
Bend down to the grasses and seem to sigh
For those who count time no more by hours -
Whose summers have all passed by -
But at eventide the south wind will sing,
Like a gentle priest who chanteth a prayer;
And thy purple censers he'll set a-swing,
To perfume the twilight air.