Treasure Island

Robert Frost

(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

On Looking Up by Chance at the Constellations


You'll wait a long, long time for anything much
To happen in heaven beyond the floats of cloud
And the Northern Lights that run like tingling nerves.
The sun and moon get crossed, but they never touch,
Nor strike out fire from each other nor crash out loud.
The planets seem to interfere in their curves -
But nothing ever happens, no harm is done.
We may as well go patiently on with our life,
And look elsewhere than to stars and moon and sun
For the shocks and changes we need to keep us sane.
It is true the longest drout will end in rain,
The longest peace in China will end in strife.
Still it wouldn't reward the watcher to stay awake
In hopes of seeing the calm of heaven break
On his particular time and personal sight.
That calm seems certainly safe to last to-night.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Andrew Hoellering (1/4/2010 3:35:00 AM)

    This is Frost in philosophical vein.The heavens are at peace, but we should take nothing forgranted.
    Frost has a gift for the telling last line; see for instance Hyla Brook and Fireflies in the Garden. (Report) Reply

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