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A BOY'S WILL

by Robert Frost

Into My Own

ONE of my wishes is that those dark trees

So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze

Were notas 'twerethe merest mask of gloom

But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day

Into their vastness I should steal away

Fearless of ever finding open land

Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e'er turn back

Or those should not set forth upon my track

To overtake mewho should miss me here

And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew-

Only more sure of all I thought was true.

Ghost House

I DWELL in a lonely house I know

That vanished many a summer ago

And left no trace but the cellar walls

And a cellar in which the daylight falls

And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O'er ruined fences the grape-vines shield

The woods come back to the mowing field;

The orchard tree has grown one copse

Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;

The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart

In that vanished abode there far apart

On that disused and forgotten road

That has no dust-bath now for the toad.

Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout

And hush and cluck and flutter about:

I hear him begin far enough away

Full many a time to say his say

Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the smalldimsummer star

I know not who these mute folk are

Who share the unlit place with me-

Those stones out under the low-limbed tree

Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folkbut slow and sad

Though twoclose-keepingare lass and lad-

With none among them that ever sings

And yetin view of how many things

As sweet companions as might be had.

My November Guest

MY Sorrowwhen she's here with me

Thinks these dark days of autumn rain

Are beautiful as days can be;

She loves the barethe 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 grey

Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolatedeserted trees

The faded earththe heavy sky

The beauties she so truly 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 her so

And they are better for her praise.

Love and a Question

A STRANGER came to the door at eve

And he spoke the bridegroom fair.

He bore a green-white stick in his hand

Andfor all burdencare.

He asked with the eyes more than the lips

For a shelter for the night

And he turned and looked at the road afar

Without a window light.

The bridegroom came forth into the porch

With 'Let us look at the sky

And question what of the night to be

Strangeryou and I.'

The woodbine leaves littered the yard

The woodbine berries were blue

Autumnyeswinter was in the wind;

'StrangerI wish I knew.'

Withinthe bride in the dusk alone

Bent over the open fire

Her face rose-red with the glowing coal

And the thought of the heart's desire.

The bridegroom looked at the weary road

Yet saw but her within

And wished her heart in a case of gold

And pinned with a silver pin.

The bridegroom thought it little to give

A dole of breada purse

A heartfelt prayer for the poor of God

Or for the rich a curse;

But whether or not a man was asked

To mar the love of two

By harboring woe in the bridal house

The bridegroom wished he knew.

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

DisturbedI doubt notby 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.

Stars

HOW countlessly they congregate

O'er our tumultuous snow

Which flows in shapes as tall as trees

When wintry winds do blow!-

As if with keenness for our fate

Our faltering few steps on

To white restand a place of rest

Invisible at dawn-

And yet with neither love nor hate

Those stars like some snow-white

Minerva's snow-white marble eyes

Without the gift of sight.

Storm Fear

WHEN the wind works against us in the dark

And pelts with snow

The lower chamber window on the east

And whispers with a sort of stifled bark

The beast

'Come out! Come out!'-

It costs no inward struggle not to go

Ahno!

I count our strength

Two and a child

Those of us not asleep subdued to mark

How the cold creeps as the fire dies at length-

How drifts are piled

Dooryard and road ungraded

Till even the comforting barn grows far away

And my heart owns a doubt

Whether 'tis in us to arise with day

And save ourselves unaided.

Wind and Window Flower

LOVERSforget your love

And list to the love of these

She a window flower

And he a winter breeze.

When the frosty window veil

Was melted down at noon

And the caged yellow bird

Hung over her in tune

He marked her through the pane

He could not help but mark

And only passed her by

To come again at dark.

He was a winter wind

Concerned with ice and snow

Dead weeds and unmated birds

And little of love could know.

But he sighed upon the sill

He gave the sash a shake

As witness all within

Who lay that night awake.

Perchance he half prevailed

To win her for the flight

From the firelit looking-glass

And warm stove-window light.

But the flower leaned aside

And thought of naught to say

And morning found the breeze

A hundred miles away.

To the Thawing Wind

COME with rainO loud Southwester!

Bring the singerbring the nester;

Give the buried flower a dream;

Make the settled snow-bank steam;

Find the brown beneath the white;

But whate'er you do to-night

Bathe my windowmake it flow

Melt it as the ices go;

Melt the glass and leave the sticks

Like a hermit's crucifix;

Burst into my narrow stall;

Swing the picture on the wall;

Run the rattling pages o'er;

Scatter poems on the floor;

Turn the poet out of door.

A Prayer in Spring

OHgive us pleasure in the flowers to-day;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.

Ohgive us pleasure in the orchard white

Like nothing else by daylike ghosts by night;

And make us happy in the happy bees

The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird

That suddenly above the bees is heard

The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill

And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love

The which it is reserved for God above

To sanctify to what far ends He will

But which it only needs that we fulfil.

Flower-Gathering

I LEFT you in the morning

And in the morning glow

You walked a way beside me

To make me sad to go.

Do you know me in the gloaming

Gaunt and dusty grey with roaming?

Are you dumb because you know me not

Or dumb because you know?

All for me? And not a question

For the faded flowers gay

That could take me from beside you

For the ages of a day?

They are yoursand be the measure

Of their worth for you to treasure

The measure of the little while

That I've been long away.

Rose Pogonias

A SATURATED meadow

Sun-shaped and jewel-small

A circle scarcely wider

Than the trees around were tall;

Where winds were quite excluded

And the air was stifling sweet

With the breath of many flowers-

A temple of the heat.

There we bowed us in the burning

As the sun's right worship is

To pick where none could miss them

A thousand orchises;

For though the grass was scattered

Yet every second spear

Seemed tipped with wings of color

That tinged the atmosphere.

We raised a simple prayer

Before we left the spot

That in the general mowing

That place might be forgot;

Or if not all so favoured

Obtain such grace of hours

That none should mow the grass there

While so confused with flowers.

Asking for Roses

A HOUSE that lacksseeminglymistress and master

With doors that none but the wind ever closes

Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster;

It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses.

I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary;

'I wonder' I say'who the owner of those is.'

'Ohno one you know' she answers me airy

'But one we must ask if we want any roses.'

So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly

There in the hush of the wood that reposes

And turn and go up to the open door boldly

And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses.

'Prayare you within thereMistress Who-were-you?'

'Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses.

'Prayare you within there? Bestir youbestir you!

'Tis summer again; there's two come for roses.

'A word with youthat of the singer recalling-

Old Herrick: a saying that every maid knows is

A flower unplucked is but left to the falling

And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.'

We do not loosen our hands' intertwining

(Not caring so very much what she supposes)

There when she comes on us mistily shining

And grants us by silence the boon of her roses.

Waiting

AFIELD AT DUSK

WHAT things for dream there are when spectre-like

Moving among tall haycocks lightly piled

I enter alone upon the stubble field

From which the laborers' voices late have died

And in the antiphony of afterglow

And rising full moonsit me down

Upon the full moon's side of the first haycock

And lose myself amid so many alike.

I dream upon the opposing lights of the hour

Preventing shadow until the moon prevail;

I dream upon the night-hawks peopling heaven

Each circling each with vague unearthly cry

Or plunging headlong with fierce twang afar;

And on the bat's mute anticswho would seem

Dimly to have made out my secret place

Only to lose it when he pirouettes

And seek it endlessly with purblind haste;

On the last swallow's sweep; and on the rasp

In the abyss of odor and rustle at my back

Thatsilenced by my adventfinds once more

After an intervalhis instrument

And tries once- twice- and thrice if I be there;

And on the worn book of old-golden song

I brought not here to readit seemsbut hold

And freshen in this air of withering sweetness;

But on the memory of one absent most

For whom these lines when they shall greet her eye.

In a Vale

WHEN I was youngwe dwelt in a vale

By a misty fen that rang all night

And thus it was the maidens pale

I knew so wellwhose garments trail

Across the reeds to a window light.

The fen had every kind of bloom

And for every kind there was a face

And a voice that has sounded in my room

Across the sill from the outer gloom.

Each came singly unto her place

But all came every night with the mist;

And often they brought so much to say

Of things of moment to whichthey wist

One so lonely was fain to list

That the stars were almost faded away

Before the last wentheavy with dew

Back to the place from which she came-

Where the bird was before it flew

Where the flower was before it grew

Where bird and flower were one and the same.

And thus it is I know so well

Why the flower has odorthe bird has song.

You have only to ask meand I can tell.

Nonot vainly there did I dwell

Nor vainly listen all the night long.

A Dream Pang

I HAD withdrawn in forestand my song

Was swallowed up in leaves that blew alway;

And to the forest edge you came one day

(This was my dream) and looked and pondered long

But did not enterthough the wish was strong:

You shook your pensive head as who should say

'I dare not- too far in his footsteps stray-

He must seek me would he undo the wrong.'

Not farbut nearI stood and saw it all

Behind low boughs the trees let down outside;

And the sweet pang it cost me not to call

And tell you that I saw does still abide.

But 'tis not true that thus I dwelt aloof

For the wood wakesand you are here for proof.

In Neglect

THEY leave us so to the way we took

As two in whom they were proved mistaken

That we sit sometimes in the wayside nook

With mischievousvagrantseraphic look

And2try 4 if we cannot feel forsaken.

The Vantage Point

IF tired of trees I seek again mankind

Well I know where to hie me- in the dawn

To a slope where the cattle keep the lawn.

There amid lolling juniper reclined

Myself unseenI see in white defined

Far off the homes of menand farther still

The graves of men on an opposing hill

Living or deadwhichever are to mind.

And if by noon I have too much of these

I have but to turn on my armand lo

The sun-burned hillside sets my face aglow

My breathing shakes the bluet like a breeze

I smell the earthI smell the bruised plant

I look into the crater of the ant.

Mowing

THERE was never a sound beside the wood but one

And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.

What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;

Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun

Somethingperhapsabout the lack of sound-

And that was why it whispered and did not speak.

It was no dream of the gift of idle hours

Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:

Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak

To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows

Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers

(Pale orchises)and scared a bright green snake.

The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.

My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.

Going for Water

THE well was dry beside the door

And so we went with pail and can

Across the fields behind the house

To seek the brook if still it ran;

Not loth to have excuse to go

Because the autumn eve was fair

(Though chill)because the fields were ours

And by the brook our woods were there.

We ran as if to meet the moon

That slowly dawned behind the trees

The barren boughs without the leaves

Without the birdswithout the breeze.

But once within the woodwe paused

Like gnomes that hid us from the moon

Ready to run to hiding new

With laughter when she found us soon.

Each laid on other a staying hand

To listen ere we dared to look

And in the hush we joined to make

We heardwe knew we heard the brook.

A note as from a single place

A slender tinkling fall that made

Now drops that floated on the pool

Like pearlsand now a silver blade.

Revelation

WE make ourselves a place apart

Behind light words that tease and flout

But ohthe agitated heart

Till someone find us really out.

'Tis pity if the case require

(Or so we say) that in the end

We speak the literal to inspire

The understanding of a friend.

But so with allfrom babes that play

At hide-and-seek to God afar

So all who hide too well away

Must speak and tell us where they are.

The Trial by Existence

EVEN the bravest that are slain

Shall not dissemble their surprise

On waking to find valor reign

Even as on earthin paradise;

And where they sought without the sword

Wide fields of asphodel fore'er

To find that the utmost reward

Of daring should be still to dare.

The light of heaven falls whole and white

And is not shattered into dyes

The light for ever is morning light;

The hills are verdured pasture-wise;

The angel hosts with freshness go

And seek with laughter what to brave;-

And binding all is the hushed snow

Of the far-distant breaking wave.

And from cliff-top is proclaimed

The gathering of the souls for birth

The trial by existence named

The obscuration upon earth.

And the slant spirits trooping by

In streams and cross- and counter-streams

Can but give ear to that sweet cry

For its suggestion of what dreams!

And the more loitering are turned

To view once more the sacrifice

Of those who for some good discerned

Will gladly give up paradise.

And a white shimmering concourse rolls

Toward the throne to witness there

The speeding of devoted souls

Which God makes his especial care.

And none are taken but who will

Having first heard the life read out

That opens earthwardgood and ill

Beyond the shadow of a doubt;

And very beautifully God limns

And tenderlylife's little dream

But naught extenuates or dims

Setting the thing that is supreme.

Nor is there wanting in the press

Some spirit to stand simply forth

Heroic in its nakedness

Against the uttermost of earth.

The tale of earth's unhonored things

Sounds nobler there than 'neath the sun;

And the mind whirls and the heart sings

And a shout greets the daring one.

But always God speaks at the end:

'One thought in agony of strife

The bravest would have by for friend

The memory that he chose the life;

But the pure fate to which you go

Admits no memory of choice

Or the woe were not earthly woe

To which you give the assenting voice.'

And so the choice must be again

But the last choice is still the same;

And the awe passes wonder then

And a hush falls for all acclaim.

And God has taken a flower of gold

And broken itand used therefrom

The mystic link to bind and hold

Spirit to matter till death come.

'Tis of the essence of life here

Though we choose greatlystill to lack

The lasting memory at all clear

That life has for us on the wrack

Nothing but what we somehow chose;

Thus are we wholly stripped of pride

In the pain that has but one close

Bearing it crushed and mystified.

In Equal Sacrifice

THUS of old the Douglas did:

He left his land as he was bid

With the royal heart of Robert the Bruce

In a golden case with a golden lid

To carry the same to the Holy Land;

By which we see and understand

That that was the place to carry a heart

At loyalty and love's command

And that was the case to carry it in.

The Douglas had not far to win

Before he came to the land of Spain

Where long a holy war had been

Against the too-victorious Moor;

And there his courage could not endure

Not to strike a blow for God

Before he made his errand sure.

And ever it was intended so

That a man for God should strike a blow

No matter the heart he has in charge

For the Holy Land where hearts should go.

But when in battle the foe were met

The Douglas found him sore beset

With only strength of the fighting arm

For one more battle passage yet-

And that as vain to save the day

As bring his body safe away-

Only a signal deed to do

And a last sounding word to say.

The heart he wore in a golden chain

He swung and flung forth into the plain

And followed it crying 'Heart or death!'

And fighting over it perished fain.

So may another do of right

Give a heart to the hopeless fight

The more of right the more he loves;

So may another redouble might

For a few swift gleams of the angry brand

Scorning greatly not to demand

In equal sacrifice with his

The heart he bore to the Holy Land.

The Tuft of Flowers

I WENT to turn the grass once after one

Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen

Before I came to view the levelled scene.

I looked for him behind an isle of trees;

I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his waythe grass all mown

And I must beas he had been- alone

'As all must be' I said within my heart

'Whether they work together or apart.'

But as I said itswift there passed me by

On noiseless wing a 'wildered butterfly

Seeking with memories grown dim o'er night

Some resting flower of yesterday's delight.

And once I marked his flight go round and round

As where some flower lay withering on the ground.

And then he flew as far as eye could see

And then on tremulous wing came back to me.

I thought of questions that have no reply

And would have turned to toss the grass to dry;

But he turned firstand led my eye to look

At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook

A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared

Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared.

I left my place to know them by their name

Finding them butterfly weed when I came.

The mower in the dew had loved them thus

By leaving them to flourishnot for us

Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him

But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.

The butterfly and I had lit upon

Neverthelessa message from the dawn

That made me hear the wakening birds around

And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground

And feel a spirit kindred to my own;

So that henceforth I worked no more alone;

But glad with himI worked as with his aid

And wearysought at noon with him the shade;

And dreamingas it wereheld brotherly speech

With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.

'Men work together' I told him from the heart

'Whether they work together or apart.'

Spoils of the Dead

TWO fairies it was

On a still summer day

Came forth in the woods

With the flowers to play.

The flowers they plucked

They cast on the ground

For othersand those

For still others they found.

Flower-guided it was

That they came as they ran

On something that lay

In the shape of a man.

The snow must have made

The feathery bed

When this one fell

On the sleep of the dead.

But the snow was gone

A long time ago

And the body he wore

Nigh gone with the snow.

The fairies drew near

And keenly espied

A ring on his hand

And a chain at his side.

They knelt in the leaves

And eerily played

With the glittering things

And were not afraid.

And when they went home

To hide in their burrow

They took them along

To play with to-morrow.

When2you 4 came on death

Did you not come flower-guided

Like the elves in the wood?

I remember that I did.

But I recognised death

With sorrow and dread

And I hated and hate

The spoils of the dead.

Pan with Us

PAN came out of the woods one day-

His skin and his hair and his eyes were gray

The gray of the moss of walls were they-

And stood in the sun and looked his fill

At wooded valley and wooded hill.

He stood in the zephyrpipes in hand

On a height of naked pasture land;

In all the country he did command

He saw no smoke and he saw no roof.

That was well! and he stamped a hoof.

His heart knew peacefor none came here

To this lean feeding save once a year

Someone to salt the half-wild steer

Or homespun children with clicking pails

Who see so little they tell no tales.

He tossed his pipestoo hard to teach

A new-world songfar out of reach

For a sylvan sign that the blue jay's screech

And the whimper of hawks beside the sun

Were music enough for himfor one.

Times were changed from what they were:

Such pipes kept less of power to stir

The fruited bough of the juniper

And the fragile bluets clustered there

Than the merest aimless breath of air.

They were pipes of pagan mirth

And the world had found new terms of worth.

He laid him down on the sun-burned earth

And ravelled a flower and looked away-

Play? Play?- What should he play?

The Demiurge's Laugh

IT was far in the sameness of the wood;

I was running with joy on the Demon's trail

Though I knew what I hunted was no true god.

It was just as the light was beginning to fail

That I suddenly heard- all I needed to hear:

It has lasted me many and many a year.

The sound was behind me instead of before

A sleepy soundbut mocking half

As of one who utterly couldn't care.

The Demon arose from his wallow to laugh

Brushing the dirt from his eye as he went;

And well I knew what the Demon meant.

I shall not forget how his laugh rang out.

I felt as a fool to have been so caught

And checked my steps to make pretence

It was something among the leaves I sought

Though doubtful whether he stayed to see).

Thereafter I sat me against a tree.

Now Close the Windows

NOW close the windows and hush all the fields;

If the trees mustlet them silently toss;

No bird is singing nowand if there is

Be it my loss.

It will be long ere the marshes resume

It will be long ere the earliest bird:

So close the windows and not hear the wind

But see all wind-stirred.

A Line-Storm Song

THE line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift

The road is forlorn all day

Where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift

And the hoof-prints vanish away.

The roadside flowerstoo wet for the bee

Expend their bloom in vain.

Come over the hills and far with me

And be my love in the rain. -

The birds have less to say for themselves

In the wood-world's torn despair

Than now these numberless years the elves

Although they are no less there:

All song of the woods is crushed like some

Wildeasily shattered rose.

Comebe my love in the wet woods; come

Where the boughs rain when it blows.

There is the gale to urge behind

And bruit our singing down

And the shallow waters aflutter with wind

From which to gather your gown.

What matter if we go clear to the west

And come not through dry-shod?

For wilding brooch shall wet your breast

The rain-fresh goldenrod.

Ohnever this whelming east wind swells

But it seems like the sea's return

To the ancient lands where it left the shells

Before the age of the fern;

And it seems like the time when after doubt

Our love came back amain.

Ohcome forth into the storm and rout

And be my love in the rain.

October

O HUSHED October morning mild

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

To-morrow's windif it be wild

Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;

To-morrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild

Begin the hours of this day slow

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled

Beguile us in the way you know;

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our treesone far away;

Retard the sun with gentle mist;

Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slowslow!

For the grapes' sakeif they were all

Whose leaves already are burnt with frost

Whose clustered fruit must else be lost-

For the grapes' sake along the wall.

My Butterfly

THINE emulous fond flowers are deadtoo

And the daft sun-assaulterhe

That frighted thee so oftis fled or dead:

Save only me

(Nor is it sad to thee!)

Save only me

There is none left to mourn thee in the fields.

The gray grass is not dappled with the snow;

Its two banks have not shut upon the river;

But it is long ago-

It seems forever-

Since first I saw thee glance

With all the dazzling other ones

In airy dalliance

Precipitate in love

Tossedtangledwhirled and whirled above

Like a limp rose-wreath in a fairy dance.

When that wasthe soft mist

Of my regret hung not on all the land

And I was glad for thee

And glad for meI wist.

Thou didst not knowwho totteredwandering on high

That fate had made thee for the pleasure of the wind

With those great careless wings

Nor yet did I.

And there were other things:

It seemed God let thee flutter from his gentle clasp:

Then fearful he had let thee win

Too far beyond him to be gathered in

Snatched theeo'er eagerwith ungentle grasp.

Ah! I remember me

How once conspiracy was rife

Against my life-

The languor of it and the dreaming fond;

Surgingthe grasses dizzied me of thought

The breeze three odors brought

And a gem-flower waved in a wand!

Then when I was distraught

And could not speak

Sidelongfull on my cheek

What should that reckless zephyr fling

But the wild touch of thy dye-dusty wing!

I found that wing broken to-day!

For thou art deadI said

And the strange birds say.

I found it with the withered leaves

Under the eaves.

Reluctance

OUT through the fields and the woods

And over the walls I have wended;

I have climbed the hills of view

And looked at the worldand descended;

I have come by the highway home

And loit is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground

Save those that the oak is keeping

To ravel them one by one

And let them go scraping and creeping

Out over the crusted snow

When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still

No longer blown hither and thither;

The last lone aster is gone;

The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;

The heart is still aching to seek

But the feet question 'Whither?'

Ahwhen to the heart of man

Was it ever less than a treason

To go with the drift of things

To yield with a grace to reason

And bow and accept the end

Of a love or a season?

THE END

Footnotes *001 Elinor Miriam Frost (nee White)the poet's wife.

(Though doubtful whether he stayed to see).

Thereafter I sat me against a tree.

Now Close the Windows

NOW close the windows and hush all the fields;

If the trees mustlet them silently toss;

No bird is singing nowand if there is

Be it my loss.

It will be long ere the marshes resume

It will be long ere the earliest bird:

So close the windows and not hear the wind

But see all wind-stirred.

A Line-Storm Song

THE line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift

The road is forlorn all day

Where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift

And the hoof-prints vanish away.

The roadside flowerstoo wet for the bee

Expend their bloom in vain.

Come over the hills and far with me

And be my love in the rain. -

The birds have less to say for themselves

In the wood-world's torn despair

Than now these numberless years the elves

Although they are no less there:

All song of the woods is crushed like some

Wildeasily shattered rose.

Comebe my love in the wet woods; come

Where the boughs rain when it blows.

There is the gale to urge behind

And bruit our singing down

And the shallow waters aflutter with wind

From which to gather your gown.

What matter if we go clear to the west

And come not through dry-shod?

For wilding brooch shall wet your breast

The rain-fresh goldenrod.

Ohnever this whelming east wind swells

But it seems like the sea's return

To the ancient lands where it left the shells

Before the age of the fern;

And it seems like the time when after doubt

Our love came back amain.

Ohcome forth into the storm and rout

And be my love in the rain.

October

O HUSHED October morning mild

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

To-morrow's windif it be wild

Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;

To-morrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild

Begin the hours of this day slow

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled

Beguile us in the way you know;

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our treesone far away;

Retard the sun with gentle mist;

Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slowslow!

For the grapes' sakeif they were all

Whose leaves already are burnt with frost

Whose clustered fruit must else be lost-

For the grapes' sake along the wall.

My Butterfly

THINE emulous fond flowers are deadtoo

And the daft sun-assaulterhe

That frighted thee so oftis fled or dead:

Save only me

(Nor is it sad to thee!)

Save only me

There is none left to mourn thee in the fields.

The gray grass is not dappled with the snow;

Its two banks have not shut upon the river;

But it is long ago-

It seems forever-

Since first I saw thee glance

With all the dazzling other ones

In airy dalliance

Precipitate in love

Tossedtangledwhirled and whirled above

Like a limp rose-wreath in a fairy dance.

When that wasthe soft mist

Of my regret hung not on all the land

And I was glad for thee

And glad for meI wist.

Thou didst not knowwho totteredwandering on high

That fate had made thee for the pleasure of the wind

With those great careless wings

Nor yet did I.

And there were other things:

It seemed God let thee flutter from his gentle clasp:

Then fearful he had let thee win

Too far beyond him to be gathered in

Snatched theeo'er eagerwith ungentle grasp.

Ah! I remember me

How once conspiracy was rife

Against my life-

The languor of it and the dreaming fond;

Surgingthe grasses dizzied me of thought

The breeze three odors brought

And a gem-flower waved in a wand!

Then when I was distraught

And could not speak

Sidelongfull on my cheek

What should that reckless zephyr fling

But the wild touch of thy dye-dusty wing!

I found that wing broken to-day!

For thou art deadI said

And the strange birds say.

I found it with the withered leaves

Under the eaves.

Reluctance

OUT through the fields and the woods

And over the walls I have wended;

I have climbed the hills of view

And looked at the worldand descended;

I have come by the highway home

And loit is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground

Save those that the oak is keeping

To ravel them one by one

And let them go scraping and creeping

Out over the crusted snow

When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still

No longer blown hither and thither;

The last lone aster is gone;

The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;

The heart is still aching to seek

But the feet question 'Whither?'

Ahwhen to the heart of man

Was it ever less than a treason

To go with the drift of things

To yield with a grace to reason

And bow and accept the end

Of a love or a season?

THE END