I Will Sing You One-O | Poem by Robert Frost

I Will Sing You One O Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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It was long I lay
Awake that night
Wishing that night
Would name the hour
And tell me whether
To call it day
(Though not yet light)
And give up sleep.

The snow fell deep
With the hiss of spray;
Two winds would meet,
One down one street,
One down another,
And fight in a smother
Of dust and feather.

I could not say,
But feared the cold
Had checked the pace
Of the tower clock
By tying together
Its hands of gold
Before its face.

Then cane one knock!
A note unruffled
Of earthly weather,
Though strange and muffled.

The tower said, “One!’
And then a steeple.

They spoke to themselves
And such few people
As winds might rouse
From sleeping warm
(But not unhouse).

They left the storm
That struck en masse
My window glass
Like a beaded fur.

In that grave One
They spoke of the sun
And moon and stars,
Saturn and Mars
And Jupiter.

Still more unfettered,
They left the named
And spoke of the lettered,
The sigmas and taus
Of constellations.

They filled their throats
With the furthest bodies
To which man sends his
Speculation,
Beyond which God is;
The cosmic motes
Of yawning lenses.

Their solemn peals
Were not their own:
They spoke for the clock
With whose vast wheels
Theirs interlock.

In that grave word
Uttered alone
The utmost star
Trembled and stirred,
Though set so far
Its whirling frenzies
Appear like standing
in one self station.

It has not ranged,
And save for the wonder
Of once expanding
To be a nova,
It has not changed
To the eye of man
On planets over
Around and under
It in creation
Since man began
To drag down man
And nation nation.

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Robert Frost – Wikipedia

Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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Leaves Compared With Flowers | Poem by Robert Frost

Leaves Compared With Flowers Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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A tree’s leaves may be ever so good,
So may its bar, so may its wood;
But unless you put the right thing to its root
It never will show much flower or fruit.

But I may be one who does not care
Ever to have tree bloom or bear.

Leaves for smooth and bark for rough,
Leaves and bark may be tree enough.

Some giant trees have bloom so small
They might as well have none at all.

Late in life I have come on fern.

Now lichens are due to have their turn.

I bade men tell me which in brief,
Which is fairer, flower or leaf.

They did not have the wit to say,
Leaves by night and flowers by day.

Leaves and bar, leaves and bark,
To lean against and hear in the dark.

Petals I may have once pursued.

Leaves are all my darker mood.

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Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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Locked Out | Poem by Robert Frost

Locked Out Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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As told to a child

When we locked up the house at night,
We always locked the flowers outside
And cut them off from window light.

The time I dreamed the door was tried
And brushed with buttons upon sleeves,
The flowers were out there with the thieves.

Yet nobody molested them!
We did find one nasturtium
Upon the steps with bitten stem.

I may have been to blame for that:
I always thought it must have been
Some Hower I played with as I sat
At dusk to watch the moon down early.

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Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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Lodged | Poem by Robert Frost

Lodged Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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The rain to the wind said,
‘You push and I’ll pelt.

They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.

I know how the flowers felt.

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Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter | Poem by Robert Frost

Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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The west was getting out of gold,
The breath of air had died of cold,
When shoeing home across the white,
I thought I saw a bird alight.

In summer when I passed the place
I had to stop and lift my face;
A bird with an angelic gift
Was singing in it sweet and swift.

No bird was singing in it now.

A single leaf was on a bough,
And that was all there was to see
In going twice around the tree.

From my advantage on a hill
I judged that such a crystal chill
Was only adding frost to snow
As gilt to gold that wouldn’t show.

A brush had left a crooked stroke
Of what was either cloud or smoke
From north to south across the blue;
A piercing little star was through.

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Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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Love and a Question | Poem by Robert Frost

Love and a Question Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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A stranger came to the door at eve,
And he spoke the bridegroom fair.

He bore a green-white stick in his hand,
And, for all burden, care.

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,
Stranger, you and I.

The woodbine leaves littered the yard,
The woodbine berries were blue,
Autumn, yes, winter was in the wind;
‘Stranger, I wish I knew.

Within, the 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 bread, a 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.

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Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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Maple | Poem by Robert Frost

Maple Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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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.

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Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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Meeting and Passing | Poem by Robert Frost

Meeting and Passing Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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As I went down the hill along the wall
There was a gate I had leaned at for the view
And had just turned from when I first saw you
As you came up the hill.
We met.
But all
We did that day was mingle great and small
Footprints in summer dust as if we drew
The figure of our being less that two
But more than one as yet.
Your parasol
Pointed the decimal off with one deep thrust.

And all the time we talked you seemed to see
Something down there to smile at in the dust.

(Oh, it was without prejudice to me!)
Afterward I went past what you had passed
Before we met and you what I had passed.

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Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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Misgiving | Poem by Robert Frost

Misgiving Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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All crying, ‘We will go with you, O Wind!’
The foliage follow him, leaf and stem;
But a sleep oppresses them as they go,
And they end by bidding them as they go,
And they end by bidding him stay with them.

Since ever they flung abroad in spring
The leaves had promised themselves this flight,
Who now would fain seek sheltering wall,
Or thicket, or hollow place for the night.

And now they answer his summoning blast
With an ever vaguer and vaguer stir,
Or at utmost a little reluctant whirl
That drops them no further than where they were.

I only hope that when I am free
As they are free to go in quest
Of the knowledge beyond the bounds of life
It may not seem better to me to rest.

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Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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Mowing | Poem by Robert Frost

Mowing Poem 

………………. by Robert Frost

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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,
Something, perhaps, about 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 labour knows.

My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.

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Robert Frost – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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