There is a handwritten version by Kipling in Notebook 1 with the title “The Tryst in Summer”, dated 27 May 1882, with a later note Torrington Woods. There is another handwritten version in Notebook 3 with the title “A Tryst”, with the same date. See Rutherford pp. 24-28 for details of the Notebooks.
This is one of a number of sonnets that Kipling wrote around this time on the subject of love. A tryst is an arranged meeting between lovers. The poet has arrived at the rendezvous: he can only listen in the woods for his Love and wait – in the rain, it is an English summer! The tryst is imagined: Torrington is a village about 12 km from Westward Ho!, and female visitors would not be allowed at United Services College, nor could a boy go so far from the school.
A slightly earlier poem, “How the Day Broke” of December 1881 describes a happy and successful tryst.
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