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MENDING WALL

 

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.

Ohjust another kind of out-door 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 pinesI tell him.

He only says"Good fences make good neighbors."

Spring is the mischief in meand 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 offence.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall

That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him

But it's not elves exactlyand I'd rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each handlike 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." - -

THE END