Robert Frost

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

Reluctance


Out through the fields and the woods And over the walls I have wended; I have climbed the hills of view And looked at the world, and descended; I have come by the highway home, And lo, it is ended. The leaves are all dead on the ground, Save those that the oak is keeping To ravel them one by one And let them go scraping and creeping Out over the crusted snow, When others are sleeping. And the dead leaves lie huddled and still, No longer blown hither and thither; The last long aster is gone; The flowers of the witch-hazel wither; The heart is still aching to seek, But the feel question 'Whither? ' Ah, when to the heart of man Was it ever less than a treason To go with the drift of things, To yield with a grace to reason, And bow and accept the end Of a love or a season?

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Thursday, October 24, 2013

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  • Stephen W (7/12/2013 4:14:00 PM)

    Out through the fields and the woods
    And over the walls I have wended;
    I have climbed the hills of view
    And looked at the world, and descended;
    I have come by the highway home,
    And lo, it is ended.
    The leaves are all dead on the group,
    Save those that the oak is keeping
    To ravel them one by one
    And let them go scraping and creeping
    Out over the crusted snow,
    When others are sleeping.
    And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
    No longer blown hither and thither;
    The last long aster is gone;
    The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
    The heart is still aching to seek,
    But the feel question 'Whither? '
    Ah, when to the heart of man
    Was it ever less than a treason
    To go with the drift of things,
    To yield with a grace to reason,
    And bow and accept the end
    Of a love or a season? (Report) Reply

  • Josephine Collett (6/15/2012 6:52:00 PM)

    One of my favourite Frost poems. I love the last stanza - this is the wild heart that refuses to accept the loss of love gracefully, that loves defiantly, couched in such delicate and precise natural imagery, Frost's hallmark. Superb poetry. (Report) Reply

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