Monday, September 14, 2015

The first Frost of the season

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.
(from “The Road Not Taken”)

Good fences make good neighbors. (from “Mending Wall”)

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. (from “Birches”)

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
(from “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”)

Don’t like excerpts? Here are three in their entirety:

The Gift Outright

The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep

The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be--
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.


  1. A good selection there, my favourite being - 'The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep'. I know there's more, but I find something about those two lines alone very compelling.

    This sprang instantly to mind. How well it fits in, I'm not sure, but here it is.

    Hummingbird by D.H. Lawrence (from Birds, Beasts and Flowers, 1923)

    I can imagine, in some other world
    Primeval-dumb, far back
    In that most awful stillness, that only gasped and hummed,
    Humming-birds raced down the avenues.

    Before anything had a soul,
    While life was a heave of Matter, half inanimate,
    This little bit chipped off in brilliance
    And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.

    I believe there were no flowers, then
    In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation.
    I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.

    Probably he was big
    As mosses, and little lizards, they say were once big.
    Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.

    We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time,
    Luckily for us.

  2. At first I thought these full poems were by a different Robert - Robert Brague. Surprising as it might seem, Robert Frost does not figure on many English Literature university courses in Great Britain. After all, we have lots of our own poets to study and appreciate. My favourite of the three was "Nothing Gold Can Stay". Thank you for sharing.