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Best Famous Robert Frost Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Robert Frost poems. This is a select list of the best famous Robert Frost poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Robert Frost poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Robert Frost poems.

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Written by Robert Frost |

Maple

 Her teacher's certainty it must be Mabel
Made Maple first take notice of her name.
She asked her father and he told her, "Maple— Maple is right.
" "But teacher told the school There's no such name.
" "Teachers don't know as much As fathers about children, you tell teacher.
You tell her that it's M-A-P-L-E.
You ask her if she knows a maple tree.
Well, you were named after a maple tree.
Your mother named you.
You and she just saw Each other in passing in the room upstairs, One coming this way into life, and one Going the other out of life—you know? So you can't have much recollection of her.
She had been having a long look at you.
She put her finger in your cheek so hard It must have made your dimple there, and said, 'Maple.
' I said it too: 'Yes, for her name.
' She nodded.
So we're sure there's no mistake.
I don't know what she wanted it to mean, But it seems like some word she left to bid you Be a good girl—be like a maple tree.
How like a maple tree's for us to guess.
Or for a little girl to guess sometime.
Not now—at least I shouldn't try too hard now.
By and by I will tell you all I know About the different trees, and something, too, About your mother that perhaps may help.
" Dangerous self-arousing words to sow.
Luckily all she wanted of her name then Was to rebuke her teacher with it next day, And give the teacher a scare as from her father.
Anything further had been wasted on her, Or so he tried to think to avoid blame.
She would forget it.
She all but forgot it.
What he sowed with her slept so long a sleep, And came so near death in the dark of years, That when it woke and came to life again The flower was different from the parent seed.
It carne back vaguely at the glass one day, As she stood saying her name over aloud, Striking it gently across her lowered eyes To make it go well with the way she looked.
What was it about her name? Its strangeness lay In having too much meaning.
Other names, As Lesley, Carol, Irma, Marjorie, Signified nothing.
Rose could have a meaning, But hadn't as it went.
(She knew a Rose.
) This difference from other names it was Made people notice it—and notice her.
(They either noticed it, or got it wrong.
) Her problem was to find out what it asked In dress or manner of the girl who bore it.
If she could form some notion of her mother— What she bad thought was lovely, and what good.
This was her mother's childhood home; The house one story high in front, three stories On the end it presented to the road.
(The arrangement made a pleasant sunny cellar.
) Her mother's bedroom was her father's still, Where she could watch her mother's picture fading.
Once she found for a bookmark in the Bible A maple leaf she thought must have been laid In wait for her there.
She read every word Of the two pages it was pressed between, As if it was her mother speaking to her.
But forgot to put the leaf back in closing And lost the place never to read again.
She was sure, though, there had been nothing in it.
So she looked for herself, as everyone Looks for himself, more or less outwardly.
And her self-seeking, fitful though it was, May still have been what led her on to read, And think a little, and get some city schooling.
She learned shorthand, whatever shorthand may Have had to do with it--she sometimes wondered.
So, till she found herself in a strange place For the name Maple to have brought her to, Taking dictation on a paper pad And, in the pauses when she raised her eyes, Watching out of a nineteenth story window An airship laboring with unshiplike motion And a vague all-disturbing roar above the river Beyond the highest city built with hands.
Someone was saying in such natural tones She almost wrote the words down on her knee, "Do you know you remind me of a tree-- A maple tree?" "Because my name is Maple?" "Isn't it Mabel? I thought it was Mabel.
" "No doubt you've heard the office call me Mabel.
I have to let them call me what they like.
" They were both stirred that he should have divined Without the name her personal mystery.
It made it seem as if there must be something She must have missed herself.
So they were married, And took the fancy home with them to live by.
They went on pilgrimage once to her father's (The house one story high in front, three stories On the side it presented to the road) To see if there was not some special tree She might have overlooked.
They could find none, Not so much as a single tree for shade, Let alone grove of trees for sugar orchard.
She told him of the bookmark maple leaf In the big Bible, and all she remembered of the place marked with it—"Wave offering, Something about wave offering, it said.
" "You've never asked your father outright, have you?" "I have, and been Put off sometime, I think.
" (This was her faded memory of the way Once long ago her father had put himself off.
) "Because no telling but it may have been Something between your father and your mother Not meant for us at all.
" "Not meant for me? Where would the fairness be in giving me A name to carry for life and never know The secret of?" "And then it may have been Something a father couldn't tell a daughter As well as could a mother.
And again It may have been their one lapse into fancy 'Twould be too bad to make him sorry for By bringing it up to him when be was too old.
Your father feels us round him with our questing, And holds us off unnecessarily, As if he didn't know what little thing Might lead us on to a discovery.
It was as personal as be could be About the way he saw it was with you To say your mother, bad she lived, would be As far again as from being born to bearing.
" "Just one look more with what you say in mind, And I give up"; which last look came to nothing.
But though they now gave up the search forever, They clung to what one had seen in the other By inspiration.
It proved there was something.
They kept their thoughts away from when the maples Stood uniform in buckets, and the steam Of sap and snow rolled off the sugarhouse.
When they made her related to the maples, It was the tree the autumn fire ran through And swept of leathern leaves, but left the bark Unscorched, unblackened, even, by any smoke.
They always took their holidays in autumn.
Once they came on a maple in a glade, Standing alone with smooth arms lifted up, And every leaf of foliage she'd worn Laid scarlet and pale pink about her feet.
But its age kept them from considering this one.
Twenty-five years ago at Maple's naming It hardly could have been a two-leaved seedling The next cow might have licked up out at pasture.
Could it have been another maple like it? They hovered for a moment near discovery, Figurative enough to see the symbol, But lacking faith in anything to mean The same at different times to different people.
Perhaps a filial diffidence partly kept them From thinking it could be a thing so bridal.
And anyway it came too late for Maple.
She used her hands to cover up her eyes.
"We would not see the secret if we could now: We are not looking for it any more.
" Thus had a name with meaning, given in death, Made a girl's marriage, and ruled in her life.
No matter that the meaning was not clear.
A name with meaning could bring up a child, Taking the child out of the parents' hands.
Better a meaningless name, I should say, As leaving more to nature and happy chance.
Name children some names and see what you do.

Written by Robert Frost |

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood, 
And sorry I could not travel both 
And be one traveler, long I stood 
And looked down one as far as I could 
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair, 
And having perhaps the better claim 
Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 
Though as for that, the passing there 
Had worn them really about the same, 

And both that morning equally lay 
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Written by Robert Frost |

My November Guest

 My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list: She's glad the birds are gone away, She's glad her simple worsted grady Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees, The faded earth, the heavy sky, The beauties she so ryly sees, She thinks I have no eye for these, And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know The love of bare November days Before the coming of the snow, But it were vain to tell he so, And they are better for her praise.

Written by Robert Frost |

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs.
The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls We have to use a spell to make them balance: "Stay where you are until our backs are turned!" We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game, One on a side.
It comes to little more: There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors.
" Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder If I could put a notion in his head: "Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down.
" I could say "Elves" to him, But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather He said it for himself.
I see him there Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me, Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying, And he likes having thought of it so well He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors.
"

Written by Robert Frost |

The Door in the Dark

 In going from room to room in the dark,
I reached out blindly to save my face,
But neglected, however lightly, to lace
My fingers and close my arms in an arc.
A slim door got in past my guard, And hit me a blow in the head so hard I had my native simile jarred.
So people and things don't pair any more With what they used to pair with before.

Written by Robert Frost |

Fire and Ice

 Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.

Written by Robert Frost |

Gathering Leaves

 Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.
I make a great noise Of rustling all day Like rabbit and deer Running away.
But the mountains I raise Elude my embrace, Flowing over my arms And into my face.
I may load and unload Again and again Till I fill the whole shed, And what have I then? Next to nothing for weight, And since they grew duller From contact with earth, Next to nothing for color.
Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop, And who's to say where The harvest shall stop?

Written by Robert Frost |

Christmas Trees

 (A Christmas Circular Letter)


THE CITY had withdrawn into itself
And left at last the country to the country;
When between whirls of snow not come to lie
And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove
A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,
Yet did in country fashion in that there
He sat and waited till he drew us out
A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.
He proved to be the city come again To look for something it had left behind And could not do without and keep its Christmas.
He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees; My woods—the young fir balsams like a place Where houses all are churches and have spires.
I hadn’t thought of them as Christmas Trees.
I doubt if I was tempted for a moment To sell them off their feet to go in cars And leave the slope behind the house all bare, Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.
I’d hate to have them know it if I was.
Yet more I’d hate to hold my trees except As others hold theirs or refuse for them, Beyond the time of profitable growth, The trial by market everything must come to.
I dallied so much with the thought of selling.
Then whether from mistaken courtesy And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether From hope of hearing good of what was mine, I said, “There aren’t enough to be worth while.
” “I could soon tell how many they would cut, You let me look them over.
” “You could look.
But don’t expect I’m going to let you have them.
” Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close That lop each other of boughs, but not a few Quite solitary and having equal boughs All round and round.
The latter he nodded “Yes” to, Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one, With a buyer’s moderation, “That would do.
” I thought so too, but wasn’t there to say so.
We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over, And came down on the north.
He said, “A thousand.
” “A thousand Christmas trees!—at what apiece?” He felt some need of softening that to me: “A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars.
” Then I was certain I had never meant To let him have them.
Never show surprise! But thirty dollars seemed so small beside The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents (For that was all they figured out apiece), Three cents so small beside the dollar friends I should be writing to within the hour Would pay in cities for good trees like those, Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools Could hang enough on to pick off enough.
A thousand Christmas trees I didn’t know I had! Worth three cents more to give away than sell, As may be shown by a simple calculation.
Too bad I couldn’t lay one in a letter.
I can’t help wishing I could send you one, In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas.

Written by Robert Frost |

In the Home Stretch

 SHE stood against the kitchen sink, and looked
Over the sink out through a dusty window
At weeds the water from the sink made tall.
She wore her cape; her hat was in her hand.
Behind her was confusion in the room, Of chairs turned upside down to sit like people In other chairs, and something, come to look, For every room a house has—parlor, bed-room, And dining-room—thrown pell-mell in the kitchen.
And now and then a smudged, infernal face Looked in a door behind her and addressed Her back.
She always answered without turning.
“Where will I put this walnut bureau, lady?” “Put it on top of something that’s on top Of something else,” she laughed.
“Oh, put it where You can to-night, and go.
It’s almost dark; You must be getting started back to town.
” Another blackened face thrust in and looked And smiled, and when she did not turn, spoke gently, “What are you seeing out the window, lady?” “Never was I beladied so before.
Would evidence of having been called lady More than so many times make me a lady In common law, I wonder.
” “But I ask, What are you seeing out the window, lady?” “What I’ll be seeing more of in the years To come as here I stand and go the round Of many plates with towels many times.
” “And what is that? You only put me off.
” “Rank weeds that love the water from the dish-pan More than some women like the dish-pan, Joe; A little stretch of mowing-field for you; Not much of that until I come to woods That end all.
And it’s scarce enough to call A view.
” “And yet you think you like it, dear?” “That’s what you’re so concerned to know! You hope I like it.
Bang goes something big away Off there upstairs.
The very tread of men As great as those is shattering to the frame Of such a little house.
Once left alone, You and I, dear, will go with softer steps Up and down stairs and through the rooms, and none But sudden winds that snatch them from our hands Will ever slam the doors.
” “I think you see More than you like to own to out that window.
” “No; for besides the things I tell you of, I only see the years.
They come and go In alternation with the weeds, the field, The wood.
” “What kind of years?” “Why, latter years— Different from early years.
” “I see them, too.
You didn’t count them?” “No, the further off So ran together that I didn’t try to.
It can scarce be that they would be in number We’d care to know, for we are not young now.
And bang goes something else away off there.
It sounds as if it were the men went down, And every crash meant one less to return To lighted city streets we, too, have known, But now are giving up for country darkness.
” “Come from that window where you see too much for me, And take a livelier view of things from here.
They’re going.
Watch this husky swarming up Over the wheel into the sky-high seat, Lighting his pipe now, squinting down his nose At the flame burning downward as he sucks it.
” “See how it makes his nose-side bright, a proof How dark it’s getting.
Can you tell what time It is by that? Or by the moon? The new moon! What shoulder did I see her over? Neither.
A wire she is of silver, as new as we To everything.
Her light won’t last us long.
It’s something, though, to know we’re going to have her Night after night and stronger every night To see us through our first two weeks.
But, Joe, The stove! Before they go! Knock on the window; Ask them to help you get it on its feet.
We stand here dreaming.
Hurry! Call them back!” “They’re not gone yet.
” “We’ve got to have the stove, Whatever else we want for.
And a light.
Have we a piece of candle if the lamp And oil are buried out of reach?” Again The house was full of tramping, and the dark, Door-filling men burst in and seized the stove.
A cannon-mouth-like hole was in the wall, To which they set it true by eye; and then Came up the jointed stovepipe in their hands, So much too light and airy for their strength It almost seemed to come ballooning up, Slipping from clumsy clutches toward the ceiling.
“A fit!” said one, and banged a stovepipe shoulder.
“It’s good luck when you move in to begin With good luck with your stovepipe.
Never mind, It’s not so bad in the country, settled down, When people ’re getting on in life, You’ll like it.
” Joe said: “You big boys ought to find a farm, And make good farmers, and leave other fellows The city work to do.
There’s not enough For everybody as it is in there.
” “God!” one said wildly, and, when no one spoke: “Say that to Jimmy here.
He needs a farm.
” But Jimmy only made his jaw recede Fool-like, and rolled his eyes as if to say He saw himself a farmer.
Then there was a French boy Who said with seriousness that made them laugh, “Ma friend, you ain’t know what it is you’re ask.
” He doffed his cap and held it with both hands Across his chest to make as ’twere a bow: “We’re giving you our chances on de farm.
” And then they all turned to with deafening boots And put each other bodily out of the house.
“Goodby to them! We puzzle them.
They think— I don’t know what they think we see in what They leave us to: that pasture slope that seems The back some farm presents us; and your woods To northward from your window at the sink, Waiting to steal a step on us whenever We drop our eyes or turn to other things, As in the game ‘Ten-step’ the children play.
” “Good boys they seemed, and let them love the city.
All they could say was ‘God!’ when you proposed Their coming out and making useful farmers.
” “Did they make something lonesome go through you? It would take more than them to sicken you— Us of our bargain.
But they left us so As to our fate, like fools past reasoning with.
They almost shook me.
” “It’s all so much What we have always wanted, I confess It’s seeming bad for a moment makes it seem Even worse still, and so on down, down, down.
It’s nothing; it’s their leaving us at dusk.
I never bore it well when people went.
The first night after guests have gone, the house Seems haunted or exposed.
I always take A personal interest in the locking up At bedtime; but the strangeness soon wears off.
” He fetched a dingy lantern from behind A door.
“There’s that we didn’t lose! And these!”— Some matches he unpocketed.
“For food— The meals we’ve had no one can take from us.
I wish that everything on earth were just As certain as the meals we’ve had.
I wish The meals we haven’t had were, anyway.
What have you you know where to lay your hands on?” “The bread we bought in passing at the store.
There’s butter somewhere, too.
” “Let’s rend the bread.
I’ll light the fire for company for you; You’ll not have any other company Till Ed begins to get out on a Sunday To look us over and give us his idea Of what wants pruning, shingling, breaking up.
He’ll know what he would do if he were we, And all at once.
He’ll plan for us and plan To help us, but he’ll take it out in planning.
Well, you can set the table with the loaf.
Let’s see you find your loaf.
I’ll light the fire.
I like chairs occupying other chairs Not offering a lady—” “There again, Joe! You’re tired.
” “I’m drunk-nonsensical tired out; Don’t mind a word I say.
It’s a day’s work To empty one house of all household goods And fill another with ’em fifteen miles away, Although you do no more than dump them down.
” “Dumped down in paradise we are and happy.
” “It’s all so much what I have always wanted, I can’t believe it’s what you wanted, too.
” “Shouldn’t you like to know?” “I’d like to know If it is what you wanted, then how much You wanted it for me.
” “A troubled conscience! You don’t want me to tell if I don’t know.
” “I don’t want to find out what can’t be known.
But who first said the word to come?” “My dear, It’s who first thought the thought.
You’re searching, Joe, For things that don’t exist; I mean beginnings.
Ends and beginnings—there are no such things.
There are only middles.
” “What is this?” “This life? Our sitting here by lantern-light together Amid the wreckage of a former home? You won’t deny the lantern isn’t new.
The stove is not, and you are not to me, Nor I to you.
” “Perhaps you never were?” “It would take me forever to recite All that’s not new in where we find ourselves.
New is a word for fools in towns who think Style upon style in dress and thought at last Must get somewhere.
I’ve heard you say as much.
No, this is no beginning.
” “Then an end?” “End is a gloomy word.
” “Is it too late To drag you out for just a good-night call On the old peach trees on the knoll to grope By starlight in the grass for a last peach The neighbors may not have taken as their right When the house wasn’t lived in? I’ve been looking: I doubt if they have left us many grapes.
Before we set ourselves to right the house, The first thing in the morning, out we go To go the round of apple, cherry, peach, Pine, alder, pasture, mowing, well, and brook.
All of a farm it is.
” “I know this much: I’m going to put you in your bed, if first I have to make you build it.
Come, the light.
” When there was no more lantern in the kitchen, The fire got out through crannies in the stove And danced in yellow wrigglers on the ceiling, As much at home as if they’d always danced there.

Written by Robert Frost |

Devotion

 The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to the ocean--
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.

Written by Robert Frost |

Pauls Wife

 To drive Paul out of any lumber camp
All that was needed was to say to him,
"How is the wife, Paul?"--and he'd disappear.
Some said it was because be bad no wife, And hated to be twitted on the subject; Others because he'd come within a day Or so of having one, and then been Jilted; Others because he'd had one once, a good one, Who'd run away with someone else and left him; And others still because he had one now He only had to be reminded of-- He was all duty to her in a minute: He had to run right off to look her up, As if to say, "That's so, how is my wife? I hope she isn't getting into mischief.
" No one was anxious to get rid of Paul.
He'd been the hero of the mountain camps Ever since, just to show them, he bad slipped The bark of a whole tamarack off whole As clean as boys do off a willow twig To make a willow whistle on a Sunday April by subsiding meadow brooks.
They seemed to ask him just to see him go, "How is the wife, Paul?" and he always went.
He never stopped to murder anyone Who asked the question.
He just disappeared-- Nobody knew in what direction, Although it wasn't usually long Before they beard of him in some new camp, The same Paul at the same old feats of logging.
The question everywhere was why should Paul Object to being asked a civil question-- A man you could say almost anything to Short of a fighting word.
You have the answers.
And there was one more not so fair to Paul: That Paul had married a wife not his equal.
Paul was ashamed of her.
To match a hero She would have had to be a heroine; Instead of which she was some half-breed squaw.
But if the story Murphy told was true, She wasn't anything to be ashamed of.
You know Paul could do wonders.
Everyone's Heard how he thrashed the horses on a load That wouldn't budge, until they simply stretched Their rawhide harness from the load to camp.
Paul told the boss the load would be all right, "The sun will bring your load in"--and it did-- By shrinking the rawhide to natural length.
That's what is called a stretcher.
But I guess The one about his jumping so's to land With both his feet at once against the ceiling, And then land safely right side up again, Back on the floor, is fact or pretty near fact.
Well, this is such a yarn.
Paul sawed his wife Out of a white-pine log.
Murphy was there And, as you might say, saw the lady born.
Paul worked at anything in lumbering.
He'd been bard at it taking boards away For--I forget--the last ambitious sawyer To want to find out if he couldn't pile The lumber on Paul till Paul begged for mercy.
They'd sliced the first slab off a big butt log, And the sawyer had slammed the carriage back To slam end-on again against the saw teeth.
To judge them by the way they caught themselves When they saw what had happened to the log, They must have had a guilty expectation Something was going to go with their slambanging.
Something bad left a broad black streak of grease On the new wood the whole length of the log Except, perhaps, a foot at either end.
But when Paul put his finger in the grease, It wasn't grease at all, but a long slot.
The log was hollow.
They were sawing pine.
"First time I ever saw a hollow pine.
That comes of having Paul around the place.
Take it to bell for me," the sawyer said.
Everyone had to have a look at it And tell Paul what he ought to do about it.
(They treated it as his.
) "You take a jackknife, And spread the opening, and you've got a dugout All dug to go a-fishing in.
" To Paul The hollow looked too sound and clean and empty Ever to have housed birds or beasts or bees.
There was no entrance for them to get in by.
It looked to him like some new kind of hollow He thought he'd better take his jackknife to.
So after work that evening be came back And let enough light into it by cutting To see if it was empty.
He made out in there A slender length of pith, or was it pith? It might have been the skin a snake had cast And left stood up on end inside the tree The hundred years the tree must have been growing.
More cutting and he bad this in both hands, And looking from it to the pond nearby, Paul wondered how it would respond to water.
Not a breeze stirred, but just the breath of air He made in walking slowly to the beach Blew it once off his hands and almost broke it.
He laid it at the edge, where it could drink.
At the first drink it rustled and grew limp.
At the next drink it grew invisible.
Paul dragged the shallows for it with his fingers, And thought it must have melted.
It was gone.
And then beyond the open water, dim with midges, Where the log drive lay pressed against the boom, It slowly rose a person, rose a girl, Her wet hair heavy on her like a helmet, Who, leaning on a log, looked back at Paul.
And that made Paul in turn look back To see if it was anyone behind him That she was looking at instead of him.
(Murphy had been there watching all the time, But from a shed where neither of them could see him.
) There was a moment of suspense in birth When the girl seemed too waterlogged to live, Before she caught her first breath with a gasp And laughed.
Then she climbed slowly to her feet, And walked off, talking to herself or Paul, Across the logs like backs of alligators, Paul taking after her around the pond.
Next evening Murphy and some other fellows Got drunk, and tracked the pair up Catamount, From the bare top of which there is a view TO other hills across a kettle valley.
And there, well after dark, let Murphy tell it, They saw Paul and his creature keeping house.
It was the only glimpse that anyone Has had of Paul and her since Murphy saw them Falling in love across the twilight millpond.
More than a mile across the wilderness They sat together halfway up a cliff In a small niche let into it, the girl Brightly, as if a star played on the place, Paul darkly, like her shadow.
All the light Was from the girl herself, though, not from a star, As was apparent from what happened next.
All those great ruffians put their throats together, And let out a loud yell, and threw a bottle, As a brute tribute of respect to beauty.
Of course the bottle fell short by a mile, But the shout reached the girl and put her light out.
She went out like a firefly, and that was all.
So there were witnesses that Paul was married And not to anyone to be ashamed of Everyone had been wrong in judging Paul.
Murphy told me Paul put on all those airs About his wife to keep her to himself.
Paul was what's called a terrible possessor.
Owning a wife with him meant owning her.
She wasn't anybody else's business, Either to praise her or much as name her, And he'd thank people not to think of her.
Murphy's idea was that a man like Paul Wouldn't be spoken to about a wife In any way the world knew how to speak.

Written by Robert Frost |

The Star-Splitter

 `You know Orion always comes up sideways.
Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains, And rising on his hands, he looks in on me Busy outdoors by lantern-light with something I should have done by daylight, and indeed, After the ground is frozen, I should have done Before it froze, and a gust flings a handful Of waste leaves at my smoky lantern chimney To make fun of my way of doing things, Or else fun of Orion's having caught me.
Has a man, I should like to ask, no rights These forces are obliged to pay respect to?' So Brad McLaughlin mingled reckless talk Of heavenly stars with hugger-mugger farming, Till having failed at hugger-mugger farming He burned his house down for the fire insurance And spent the proceeds on a telescope To satisfy a lifelong curiosity About our place among the infinities.
`What do you want with one of those blame things?' I asked him well beforehand.
`Don't you get one!' `Don't call it blamed; there isn't anything More blameless in the sense of being less A weapon in our human fight,' he said.
`I'll have one if I sell my farm to buy it.
' There where he moved the rocks to plow the ground And plowed between the rocks he couldn't move, Few farms changed hands; so rather than spend years Trying to sell his farm and then not selling, He burned his house down for the fire insurance And bought the telescope with what it came to.
He had been heard to say by several: `The best thing that we're put here for's to see; The strongest thing that's given us to see with's A telescope.
Someone in every town Seems to me owes it to the town to keep one.
In Littleton it might as well be me.
' After such loose talk it was no surprise When he did what he did and burned his house down.
Mean laughter went about the town that day To let him know we weren't the least imposed on, And he could wait---we'd see to him tomorrow.
But the first thing next morning we reflected If one by one we counted people out For the least sin, it wouldn't take us long To get so we had no one left to live with.
For to be social is to be forgiving.
Our thief, the one who does our stealing from us, We don't cut off from coming to church suppers, But what we miss we go to him and ask for.
He promptly gives it back, that is if still Uneaten, unworn out, or undisposed of.
It wouldn't do to be too hard on Brad About his telescope.
Beyond the age Of being given one for Christmas gift, He had to take the best way he knew how To find himself in one.
Well, all we said was He took a strange thing to be roguish over.
Some sympathy was wasted on the house, A good old-timer dating back along; But a house isn't sentient; the house Didn't feel anything.
And if it did, Why not regard it as a sacrifice, And an old-fashioned sacrifice by fire, Instead of a new-fashioned one at auction? Out of a house and so out of a farm At one stroke (of a match), Brad had to turn To earn a living on the Concord railroad, As under-ticket-agent at a station Where his job, when he wasn't selling tickets, Was setting out, up track and down, not plants As on a farm, but planets, evening stars That varied in their hue from red to green.
He got a good glass for six hundred dollars.
His new job gave him leisure for stargazing.
Often he bid me come and have a look Up the brass barrel, velvet black inside, At a star quaking in the other end.
I recollect a night of broken clouds And underfoot snow melted down to ice, And melting further in the wind to mud.
Bradford and I had out the telescope.
We spread our two legs as we spread its three, Pointed our thoughts the way we pointed it, And standing at our leisure till the day broke, Said some of the best things we ever said.
That telescope was christened the Star-Splitter, Because it didn't do a thing but split A star in two or three, the way you split A globule of quicksilver in your hand With one stroke of your finger in the middle.
It's a star-splitter if there ever was one, And ought to do some good if splitting stars 'Sa thing to be compared with splitting wood.
We've looked and looked, but after all where are we? Do we know any better where we are, And how it stands between the night tonight And a man with a smoky lantern chimney? How different from the way it ever stood?

Written by Robert Frost |

Acceptance

 When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened.
Birds, at least must know It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast, One bird begins to close a faded eye; Or overtaken too far from his nest, Hurrying low above the grove, some waif Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe! Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night bee too dark for me to see Into the future.
Let what will be, be.
'

Written by Robert Frost |

A Late Walk

 When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.
And when I come to the garden ground, The whir of sober birds Up from the tangle of withered weeds Is sadder than any words A tree beside the wall stands bare, But a leaf that lingered brown, Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought, Comes softly rattling down.
I end not far from my going forth By picking the faded blue Of the last remaining aster flower To carry again to you.

Written by Robert Frost |

After Apple-Picking

 My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night, The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight I got from looking through a pane of glass I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well Upon my way to sleep before it fell, And I could tell What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear, Stem end and blossom end, And every fleck of russet showing dear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache, It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin The rumbling sound Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much Of apple-picking: I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all That struck the earth, No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, Went surely to the cider-apple heap As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone, The woodchuck could say whether it's like his Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, Or just some human sleep.