Nine drops of water bead the jessamine,
And nine-and-ninety smear the stones and tiles:
– ‘Twas not so in that August–full-rayed, fine–
When we lived out-of-doors, sang songs, strode miles.
Or was there then no noted radiancy
Of summer? Were dun clouds, a dribbling bough,
Gilt over by the light I bore in me,
And was the waste world just the same as now?
It can have been so: yea, that threatenings
Of coming down-drip on the sunless gray,
By the then possibilities in things
Were wrought more bright than brightest skies to-day.