Additional Poems By Robert Frost Essay Research

СОДЕРЖАНИЕ: Additional Poems By Robert Frost Essay, Research Paper My November Guest My Sorrow, when she’s here with me, Thinks these dark days of autumn rain Are beautiful as days can be;

Additional Poems By Robert Frost Essay, Research Paper

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.

from A Boy’s Will (1914)

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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 labor knows.

My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.

from A Boy’s Will (1914)

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The Pasture

I’m going out to clean the pasture spring;

I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away

(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):

I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.

I’m going out to fetch the little calf

That’s standing by the mother. It’s so young,

It totters when she licks it with her tongue.

I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.

from North of Boston (1915)

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The Death of the Hired Man

Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table

Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step,

She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage

To meet him in the doorway with the news

And put him on his guard. “Silas is back.”

She pushed him outward with her through the door

And shut it after her. “Be kind,” she said.

She took the market things from Warren’s arms

And set them on the porch, then drew him down

To sit beside her on the wooden steps.

“When was I ever anything but kind to him?

But I’ll not have the fellow back,” he said.

“I told him so last haying, didn’t I?

‘If he left then,’ I said, ‘that ended it.’

What good is he? Who else will harbour him

At his age for the little he can do?

What help he is there’s no depending on.

Off he goes always when I need him most.

‘He thinks he ought to earn a little pay,

Enough at least to buy tobacco with,

So he won’t have to beg and be beholden.’

‘All right,’ I say, ‘I can’t afford to pay

Any fixed wages, though I wish I could.’

‘Someone else can.’ ‘Then someone else will have to.’

I shouldn’t mind his bettering himself

If that was what it was. You can be certain,

When he begins like that, there’s someone at him

Trying to coax him off with pocket-money,—

In haying time, when any help is scarce.

In winter he comes back to us. I’m done.”

“Sh! not so loud: he’ll hear you,” Mary said.

“I want him to: he’ll have to soon or late.”

“He’s worn out. He’s asleep beside the stove.

When I came up from Rowe’s I found him here,

Huddled against the barn-door fast asleep,

A miserable sight, and frightening, too—

You needn’t smile—I didn’t recognise him—

I wasn’t looking for him—and he’s changed.

Wait till you see.”

“Where did you say he’d been?”

“He didn’t say. I dragged him to the house,

And gave him tea and tried to make him smoke.

I tried to make him talk about his travels.

Nothing would do: he just kept nodding off.”

“What did he say? Did he say anything?”

“But little.”

“Anything? Mary, confess

He said he’d come to ditch the meadow for me.”


“But did he? I just want to know.”

“Of course he did. What would you have him say?

Surely you wouldn’t grudge the poor old man

Some humble way to save his self-respect.

He added, if you really care to know,

He meant to clear the upper pasture, too.

That sounds like something you have heard before?

Warren, I wish you could have heard the way

He jumbled everything. I stopped to look

Two or three times—he made me feel so queer—

To see if he was talking in his sleep.

He ran on Harold Wilson—you remember—

The boy you had in haying four years since.

He’s finished school, and teaching in his college.

Silas declares you’ll have to get him back.

He says they two will make a team for work:

Between them they will lay this farm as smooth!

The way he mixed that in with other things.

He thinks young Wilson a likely lad, though daft

On education—you know how they fought

All through July under the blazing sun,

Silas up on the cart to build the load,

Harold along beside to pitch it on.”

“Yes, I took care to keep well out of earshot.”

“Well, those days trouble Silas like a dream.

You wouldn’t think they would. How some things linger!

Harold’s young college boy’s assurance piqued him.

After so many years he still keeps finding

Good arguments he sees he might have used.

I sympathise. I know just how it feels

To think of the right thing to say too late.

Harold’s associated in his mind with Latin.

He asked me what I thought of Harold’s saying

He studied Latin like the violin

Because he liked it—that an argument!

He said he couldn’t make the boy believe

He could find water with a hazel prong—

Which showed how much good school had ever done him.

He wanted to go over that. But most of all

He thinks if he could have another chance

To teach him how to build a load of hay——”

“I know, that’s Silas’ one accomplishment.

He bundles every forkful in its place,

And tags and numbers it for future reference,

So he can find and easily dislodge it

In the unloading. Silas does that well.

He takes it out in bunches like big birds’ nests.

You never see him standing on the hay

He’s trying to lift, straining to lift himself.”

“He thinks if he could teach him that, he’d be

Some good perhaps to someone in the world.

He hates to see a boy the fool of books.

Poor Silas, so concerned for other folk,

And nothing to look backward to with pride,

And nothing to look forward to with hope,

So now and never any different.”

Part of a moon was falling down the west,

Dragging the whole sky with it to the hills.

Its light poured softly in her lap. She saw

And spread her apron to it. She put out her hand

Among the harp-like morning-glory strings,

Taut with the dew from garden bed to eaves,

As if she played unheard the tenderness

That wrought on him beside her in the night.

“Warren,” she said, “he has come home to die:

You needn’t be afraid he’ll leave you this time."

“Home,” he mocked gently.

“Yes, what else but home?

It all depends on what you mean by home.

Of course he’s nothing to us, any more

Than was the hound that came a stranger to us

Out of the woods, worn out upon the trail.”

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there,

They have to take you in.”

“I should have called it

Something you somehow haven’t to deserve.”

Warren leaned out and took a step or two,

Picked up a little stick, and brought it back

And broke it in his hand and tossed it by.

“Silas has better claim on us you think

Than on his brother? Thirteen little miles

As the road winds would bring him to his door.

Silas has walked that far no doubt to-day.

Why didn’t he go there? His brother’s rich,

A somebody—director in the bank.”

“He never told us that.”

“We know it though.”

“I think his brother ought to help, of course.

I’ll see to that if there is need. He ought of right

To take him in, and might be willing to—

He may be better than appearances.

But have some pity on Silas. Do you think

If he’d had any pride in claiming kin

Or anything he looked for from his brother,

He’d keep so still about him all this time?”

“I wonder what’s between them.”

“I can tell you.

Silas is what he is—we wouldn’t mind him—

But just the kind that kinsfolk can’t abide.

He never did a thing so very bad.

He don’t know why he isn’t quite as good

As anyone. He won’t be made ashamed

To please his brother, worthless though he is.”

“I can’t think Si ever hurt anyone.”

“No, but he hurt my heart the way he lay

And rolled his old head on that sharp-edged chair-back.

He wouldn’t let me put him on the lounge.

You must go in and see what you can do.

I made the bed up for him there to-night.

You’ll be surprised at him—how much he’s broken.

His working days are done; I’m sure of it.”

“I’d not be in a hurry to say that.”

“I haven’t been. Go, look, see for yourself.

But, Warren, please remember how it is:

He’s come to help you ditch the meadow.

He has a plan. You mustn’t laugh at him.

He may not speak of it, and then he may.

I’ll sit and see if that small sailing cloud

Will hit or miss the moon.”

It hit the moon.

Then there were three there, making a dim row,

The moon, the little silver cloud, and she.

Warren returned—too soon, it seemed to her,

Slipped to her side, caught up her hand and waited.

“Warren,” she questioned.

“Dead,” was all he answered.

from North of Boston (1915)

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The Mountain

The mountain held the town as in a shadow

I saw so much before I slept there once:

I noticed that I missed stars in the west,

Where its black body cut into the sky.

Near me it seemed: I felt it like a wall

Behind which I was sheltered from a wind.

And yet between the town and it I found,

When I walked forth at dawn to see new things,

Were fields, a river, and beyond, more fields.

The river at the time was fallen away,

And made a widespread brawl on cobble-stones;

But the signs showed what it had done in spring;

Good grass-land gullied out, and in the grass

Ridges of sand, and driftwood stripped of bark.

I crossed the river and swung round the mountain.

And there I met a man who moved so slow

With white-faced oxen in a heavy cart,

It seemed no hand to stop him altogether.

“What town is this?” I asked.

“This? Lunenburg.”

Then I was wrong: the town of my sojourn,

Beyond the bridge, was not that of the mountain,

But only felt at night its shadowy presence.

“Where is your village? Very far from here?”

“There is no village—only scattered farms.

We were but sixty voters last election.

We can’t in nature grow to many more:

That thing takes all the room!” He moved his goad.

The mountain stood there to be pointed at.

Pasture ran up the side a little way,

And then there was a wall of trees with trunks:

After that only tops of trees, and cliffs

Imperfectly concealed among the leaves.

A dry ravine emerged from under boughs

Into the pasture.

“That looks like a path.

Is that the way to reach the top from here?—

Not for this morning, but some other time:

I must be getting back to breakfast now.”

“I don’t advise your trying from this side.

There is no proper path, but those that have

Been up, I understand, have climbed from Ladd’s.

That’s five miles back. You can’t mistake the place:

They logged it there last winter some way up.

I’d take you, but I’m bound the other way.”

“You’ve never climbed it?”

“I’ve been on the sides

Deer-hunting and trout-fishing. There’s a brook

That starts up on it somewhere—I’ve heard say

Right on the top, tip-top—a curious thing.

But what would interest you about the brook,

It’s always cold in summer, warm in winter.

One of the great sights going is to see

It steam in winter like an ox’s breath,

Until the bushes all along its banks

Are inch-deep with the frosty spines and bristles—

You know the kind. Then let the sun shine on it!”

“There ought to be a view around the world

From such a mountain—if it isn’t wooded

Clear to the top.” I saw through leafy screens

Great granite terraces in sun and shadow,

Shelves one could rest a knee on getting up—

With depths behind him sheer a hundred feet;

Or turn and sit on and look out and down,

With little ferns in crevices at his elbow.

“As to that I can’t say. But there’s the spring,

Right on the summit, almost like a fountain.

That ought to be worth seeing.”

“If it’s there.

You never saw it?”

“I guess there’s no doubt

About its being there. I never saw it.

It may not be right on the very top:

It wouldn’t have to be a long way down

To have some head of water from above,

And a good distance down might not be noticed

By anyone who’d come a long way up.

One time I asked a fellow climbing it

To look and tell me later how it was.”

“What did he say?”

“He said there was a lake

Somewhere in Ireland on a mountain top.”

“But a lake’s different. What about the spring?”

“He never got up high enough to see.

That’s why I don’t advise your trying this side.

He tried this side. I’ve always meant to go

And look myself, but you know how it is:

It doesn’t seem so much to climb a mountain

You’ve worked around the foot of all your life.

What would I do? Go in my overalls,

With a big stick, the same as when the cows

Haven’t come down to the bars at milking time?

Or with a shotgun for a stray black bear?

’Twouldn’t seem real to climb for climbing it.”

“I shouldn’t climb it if I didn’t want to—

Not for the sake of climbing. What’s its name?”

“We call it Hor: I don’t know if that’s right.”

“Can one walk around it? Would it be too far?”

“You can drive round and keep in Lunenburg,

But it’s as much as ever you can do,

The boundary lines keep in so close to it.

Hor is the township, and the township’s Hor—

And a few houses sprinkled round the foot,

Like boulders broken off the upper cliff,

Rolled out a little farther than the rest.”

“Warm in December, cold in June, you say?”

"I don’t suppose the water’s changed at all.

You and I know enough to know it’s warm

Compared with cold, and cold compared with warm.

But all the fun’s in how you say a thing.”

“You’ve lived here all your life?”

“Ever since Hor

Was no bigger than a——” What, I did not hear.

He drew the oxen toward him with light touches

Of his slim goad on nose and offside flank,

Gave them their marching orders and was moving.

from North of Boston (1915)

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The Fear

A lantern light from deeper in the barn

Shone on a man and woman in the door

And threw their lurching shadows on a house

Near by, all dark in every glossy window.

A horse’s hoof pawed once the hollow floor,

And the back of the gig they stood beside

Moved in a little. The man grasped a wheel,

The woman spoke out sharply, “Whoa, stand still!”

“I saw it just as plain as a white plate,”

She said, “as the light on the dashboard ran

Along the bushes at the roadside—a man’s face.

You must have seen it too.”

“I didn’t see it.

Are you sure——”

“Yes, I’m sure!”

“—it was a face?”

“Joel, I’ll have to look. I can’t go in,

I can’t, and leave a thing like that unsettled.

Doors locked and curtains drawn will make no difference.

I always have felt strange when we came home

To the dark house after so long an absence,

And the key rattled loudly into place

Seemed to warn someone to be getting out

At one door as we entered at another.

What if I’m right, and someone all the time—

Don’t hold my arm!”

“I say it’s someone passing.”

“You speak as if this were a travelled road.

You forget where we are. What is beyond

That he’d be going to or coming from

At such an hour of night, and on foot too.

What was he standing still for in the bushes?”

“It’s not so very late—it’s only dark.

There’s more in it than you’re inclined to say.

Did he look like——?”

“He looked like anyone.

I’ll never rest to-night unless I know.

Give me the lantern.”

“You don’t want the lantern.”

She pushed past him and got it for herself.

“You’re not to come,” she said. “This is my business.

If the time’s come to face it, I’m the one

To put it the right way. He’d never dare—

Listen! He kicked a stone. Hear that, hear that!

He’s coming towards us. Joel, go in—please.

Hark!—I don’t hear him now. But please go in.”

“In the first place you can’t make me believe it’s——”

“It is—or someone else he’s sent to watch.

And now’s the time to have it out with him

While we know definitely where he is.

Let him get off and he’ll be everywhere

Around us, looking out of trees and bushes

Till I sha’n’t dare to set a foot outdoors.

And I can’t stand it. Joel, let me go!”

“But it’s nonsense to think he’d care enough.”

“You mean you couldn’t understand his caring.

Oh, but you see he hadn’t had enough—

Joel, I won’t—I won’t—I promise you.

We mustn’t say hard things. You mustn’t either.”

“I’ll be the one, if anybody goes!

But you give him the advantage with this light.

What couldn’t he do to us standing here!

And if to see was what he wanted, why

He has seen all there was to see and gone.”

He appeared to forget to keep his hold,

But advanced with her as she crossed the grass.

“What do you want?” she cried to all the dark.

She stretched up tall to overlook the light

That hung in both hands hot against her skirt.

“There’s no one; so you’re wrong,” he said.

“There is.—

What do you want?” she cried, and then herself

Was startled when an answer really came.

“Nothing.” It came from well along the road.

She reached a hand to Joel for support:

The smell of scorching woollen made her faint.

“What are you doing round this house at night?”

“Nothing.” A pause: there seemed no more to say.

And then the voice again: “You seem afraid.

I saw by the way you whipped up the horse.

I’ll just come forward in the lantern light

And let you see.”

“Yes, do.—Joel, go back!”

She stood her ground against the noisy steps

That came on, but her body rocked a little.

“You see,” the voice said.

“Oh.” She looked and looked.

“You don’t see—I’ve a child here by the hand.”

“What’s a child doing at this time of night——?”

“Out walking. Every child should have the memory

Of at least one long-after-bedtime walk.

What, son?”

“Then I should think you’d try to find

Somewhere to walk——”

“The highway as it happens—

We’re stopping for the fortnight down at Dean’s.”

“But if that’s all—Joel—you realize—

You won’t think anything. You understand?

You understand that we have to be careful.

This is a very, very lonely place.

Joel!” She spoke as if she couldn’t turn.

The swinging lantern lengthened to the ground,

It touched, it struck it, clattered and went out.

from North of Boston (1915)

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Christmas Trees

(A Christmas Circular Letter)

The city had withdrawn into itself

And left at last the country to the country;

When between whirls of snow not come to lie

And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove

A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,

Yet did in country fashion in that there

He sat and waited till he drew us out

A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.

He proved to be the city come again

To look for something it had left behind

And could not do without and keep its Christmas.

He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees;

My woods—the young fir balsams like a place

Where houses all are churches and have spires.

I hadn’t thought of them as Christmas Trees.

I doubt if I was tempted for a moment

To sell them off their feet to go in cars

And leave the slope behind the house all bare,

Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.

I’d hate to have them know it if I was.

Yet more I’d hate to hold my trees except

As others hold theirs or refuse for them,

Beyond the time of profitable growth,

The trial by market everything must come to.

I dallied so much with the thought of selling.

Then whether from mistaken courtesy

And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether

From hope of hearing good of what was mine,

I said, “There aren’t enough to be worth while.”

“I could soon tell how many they would cut,

You let me look them over.”

“You could look.

But don’t expect I’m going to let you have them.”

Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close

That lop each other of boughs, but not a few

Quite solitary and having equal boughs

All round and round. The latter he nodded “Yes” to,

Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one,

With a buyer’s moderation, “That would do.”

I thought so too, but wasn’t there to say so.

We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over,

And came down on the north.

He said, “A thousand.”

“A thousand Christmas trees!—at what apiece?”

He felt some need of softening that to me:

“A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars.”

Then I was certain I had never meant

To let him have them. Never show surprise!

But thirty dollars seemed so small beside

The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents

(For that was all they figured out apiece),

Three cents so small beside the dollar friends

I should be writing to within the hour

Would pay in cities for good trees like those,

Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools

Could hang enough on to pick off enough.

A thousand Christmas trees I didn’t know I had!

Worth three cents more to give away than sell,

As may be shown by a simple calculation.

Too bad I couldn’t lay one in a letter.

I can’t help wishing I could send you one,

In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas.

from Mountain Interval (1920)

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Hyla Brook

By June our brook’s run out of song and speed.

Sought for much after that, it will be found

Either to have gone groping underground

(And taken with it all the Hyla breed

That shouted in the mist a month ago,

Like ghost of sleigh-bells in a ghost of snow)—

Or flourished and come up in jewel-weed,

Weak foliage that is blown upon and bent

Even against the way its waters went.

Its bed is left a faded paper sheet

Of dead leaves stuck together by the heat—

A brook to none but who remember long.

This as it will be seen is other far

Than with brooks taken otherwhere in song.

We love the things we love for what they are.

from Mountain Interval (1920)

Online Source


The battle rent a cobweb diamond-strung

And cut a flower beside a ground bird’s nest

Before it stained a single human breast.

The stricken flower bent double and so hung.

And still the bird revisited her young.

A butterfly its fall had dispossessed

A moment sought in air his flower of rest,

Then lightly stooped to it and fluttering clung.

On the bare upland pasture there had spread

O’ernight ’twixt mullein stalks a wheel of thread

And straining cables wet with silver dew.

A sudden passing bullet shook it dry.

The indwelling spider ran to greet the fly,

But finding nothing, sullenly withdrew.

from Mountain Interval (1920)

Online Source

“Out, Out—”

The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard

And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,

Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.

And from there those that lifted eyes could count

Five mountain ranges one behind the other

Under the sunset far into Vermont.

And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,

As it ran light, or had to bear a load.

And nothing happened: day was all but done.

Call it a day, I wish they might have said

To please the boy by giving him the half hour

That a boy counts so much when saved from work.

His sister stood beside them in her apron

To tell them “Supper.” At the word, the saw,

As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,

Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap—

He must have given the hand. However it was,

Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!

The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh,

As he swung toward them holding up the hand

Half in appeal, but half as if to keep

The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all—

Since he was old enough to know, big boy

Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart—

He saw all spoiled. “Don’t let him cut my hand off—

The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!”

So. But the hand was gone already.

The doctor put him in the dark of ether.

He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.

And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.

No one believed. They listened at his heart.

Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it.

No more to build on there. And they, since they

Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

from Mountain Interval (1920)

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The Ax-helve

I’ve known ere now an interfering branch

Of alder catch my lifted ax behind me.

But that was in the woods, to hold my hand

From striking at another alder’s roots,

And that was, as I say, an alder branch.

This was a man, Baptiste, who stole one day

Behind me on the snow in my own yard

Where I was working at the chopping-block,

And cutting nothing not cut down already.

He caught my ax expertly on the rise,

When all my strength put forth was in his favor,

Held it a moment where it was, to calm me,

Then took it from me—and I let him take it.

I didn’t know him well enough to know

What it was all about. There might be something

He had in mind to say to a bad neighbor

He might prefer to say to him disarmed.

But all he had to tell me in French-English

Was what he thought of—not me, but my ax,

Me only as I took my ax to heart.

It was the bad ax-helve someone had sold me—

“Made on machine,” he said, plowing the grain

With a think thumbnail to show how it ran

Across the handle’s long-drawn serpentine—

Like the two strokes across a dollar sign.

“You give her one good crack, she’s snap raght off.

Den where’s your hax-ead flying t’rough de hair?”

Admitted; and yet, what was that to him?

“Come on my house and I put you one in

What’s las’ awhile—good hick’ry what’s grow crooked.

De second growt’ I cut myself—tough, tough!”

Something to sell? That wasn’t how it sounded.

“Den when you say you come? It’s cost you nothing.


As well tonight as any night.

Beyond an over-warmth of kitchen stove

My welcome differed from no other welcome.

Baptiste knew best why I was where I was.

So long as he would leave enough unsaid,

I shouldn’t mind his being overjoyed

(If overjoyed he was) at having got me

Where I must judge if what he knew about an ax

That not everybody else knew was to count

For nothing in the measure of a neighbor.

Hard if, though cast away for life ’mid Yankees,

A Frenchman couldn’t get his human rating!

Mrs. Baptiste came in and rocked a chair

That had as many motions as the world:

One back and forward, in and out of shadow,

That got her nowhere; one more gradual,

Sideways, that would have run her on the stove

In time, had she not realized her danger

And caught herself up bodily, chair and all,

And set herself back where she started from.

“She ain’t spick too much Henglish—dat’s too bad.”

I was afraid, in brightening first on me,

Then on Baptiste, as if she understood

What passed between us, she was only feigning.

Baptiste was anxious for her; but no more

Than for himself, so placed he couldn’t hope

To keep his bargain of the morning with me

In time to keep me from suspecting him

Of really never having meant to keep it.

Needlessly soon he had his ax-helves out,

A quiverful to choose from, since he wished me

To have the best he had, or had to spare—

Not for me to ask which, when what he took

Had beauties he had to point me out at length

To insure their not being wasted on me.

He liked to have it slender as a whipstock,

Free from the least knot, equal to the strain

Of bending like a sword across the knee.

He showed me that the lines of a good helve

Were native to the grain before the knife

Expressed them, and its curves were no false curves

Put on it from without. And there its strength lay

For the hard work. He chafed its long white body

From end to end with his rough hand shut round it.

He tried it at the eye-hole in the ax-head.

“Hahn, hahn,” he mused, “don’t need much taking down.”

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it, and yet not waste time either.

Do you know, what we talked about was knowledge?

Baptiste on his defense about the children

He kept from school, or did his best to keep—

Whatever school and children and our doubts

Of laid-on education had to do

With the curves of his ax-helves and his having

Used these unscrupulously to bring me

To see for once the inside of his house.

Was I desired in friendship, partly as someone

To leave it to, whether the right to hold

Such doubts of education should depend

Upon the education of those who held them?

But now he brushed the shavings from his knee

And stood the ax there on its horse’s hoof,

Erect, but not without its waves, as when

The snake stood up for evil in the Garden,—

Top-heavy with a heaviness his short,

Thick hand made light of, steel-blue chin drawn down

And in a little—a French touch in that.

Baptiste drew back and squinted at it, pleased;

“See how she’s cock her head!”

from New Hampshire (1923)

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