My life is governed by the clock,
All duly mapped and plotted;
And only with a nervous shock
I miss the time allotted.

My course without has always been
Set straight to hedge and border;
But I confess that all within
Is vast and vague disorder.

Oh, my youth was hot and eager,
And my heart was burning, burning,
And the present joy seemed meagre,
Dwarfed by that perpetual yearning.

I was always madly asking
Ampler beauty, keener pleasure,
Had not wit enough for basking
In the sunshine, rich with leisure.

Now with ripeness of October
I have reasoned and reflected.
And I feed my soul, grown sober,
With the crumbs that I rejected.