A land damp in that awakening,
where leaf-lined streets had names,
and schoolyard bells were ever making
havoc of our games.
The hopscotch sandals kiss and splay,
soft flips the skipping rope:
and youth’s hot scent is scrubbed away
in fierce carbolic soap.
Yet here were miracles out walking
through each suburban street,
long intervals of parents talking
where fence and evening meet.
So were the high day’s dawnings, were
the sunlit worlds of sleep,
and loud abroad the rough wind’s stir
as in the stones that keep
inscrutable their solitude
through hard days and the wet:
if lives to be are many hued,
come, kiss and place your bet.
And in those long-enchanting streets,
with girls we’d hardly know,
what phantoms and what sharp deceits
our tantrum hearts would sow.
Dust, dust in the evening, and smell
of morning in the grass,
that we in looking back could tell
how swiftly raptures pass.