F. S. Flint

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Alba

from

In the Net of the Stars

Awake! Awake!

I have gathered you a bunch of early lilac,
Still wet with dew, its little mouths half open.
Come down and take it, O my Lilac among Women.
The morning foams like wine; come down and drink it.

O my rosebud, my Lily, my fair garden,
Where in my eye may walk, and wandering, wonder.
Come down and take the lilac I have gathered,
Still wet with dew, though what are both to you?

This morning I wakened when the dawn flower opened
Its wide pale petals and the lark was rising.
I hied me to the forest that I might make fragrant
The song that was to call you from your dreams.

And lo! O came upon the tree of lilac,
That had blossomed like a dream on night's dark bosom.
I have gathered you a corbel of its blossom,
Still wet with dew, its little mouths half open.

Come down and take it, O my Lilac among Women!

First published 1909.

Contributed by Robert Clark.


This poem is chiefly of interest today for the way in which it contrasts with Ezra Pound’s poem of the same name, published in his collection Lustra in 1916, which seems a riposte to Flint's use of so many poetic devices denounced in the “Imagist Manifesto”:

Alba

As cool as the pale wet leaves of lily-of-the-valley
She lay beside me in the dawn.