A Boy’s Will – Robert Frost

Into My Own The youth is persuaded that he will be rather more than less himself for having forsworn the world. Ghost House He is happy in society of his choosing. My November Guest He is in love with being misunderstood. Love and a Question He is in doubt whether to admit real trouble to a place beside the hearth with love. A Late Walk He courts the autumnal mood. Stars There is no oversight of human af airs. Storm Fear He is afraid of his own isolation. Wind and Window Flower Out of the winter things he fashions a story of modern love. To the Thawing Wind (audio) He calls on change through the violence of the elements. A Prayer in Spring He discovers that the greatness of love lies not in forward-looking thoughts; Flower-gathering nor yet in any spur it may be to ambition. Rose Pogonias He is no dissenter from the ritualism of nature; Asking for Roses nor from the ritualism of youth which is make-believe. Waiting—Afield at Dusk He arrives at the turn of the year. In a Vale Out of old longings he fashions a story. A Dream Pang He is shown by a dream how really well it is with him. In Neglect He is scornful of folk his scorn cannot reach.

The Vantage Point And again scornful, but there is no one hurt. Mowing He takes up life simply with the small tasks. Going for Water Part II Revelation He resolves to become intelligible, at least to himself, since there is no help else; The Trial by Existence and to know definitely what he thinks about the soul; In Equal Sacrifice about love; The Tuft of Flowers about fellowship; Spoils of the Dead about death; Pan with Us about art (his own); The Demiurge’s Laugh about science. Part III Now Close the Windows It is time to make an end of speaking. A Line-storm Song It is the autumnal mood with a dif erence. October He sees days slipping from him that were the best for what they were. My Butterfly There are things that can never be the same. Reluctance Into My Own ONE of my wishes is that those dark trees, So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze, Were not, as ’twere, the 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 me, who 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 small, dim, summer 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 folk, but slow and sad, Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,— With none among them that ever sings, And yet, in view of how many things, As sweet companions as might be had. 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 gray Is silver now with clinging mist. The desolate, deserted trees, The faded earth, the 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, 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. 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. 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 rest, and 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.

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