Spoils Of The Dead Poem by Robert Frost

Spoils Of The Dead

Rating: 3.0

Two fairies it was
On a still summer day
Came forth in the woods
With the flowers to play.
The flowers they plucked
They cast on the ground
For others, and those
For still others they found.
Flower-guided it was
That they came as they ran
On something that lay
In the shape of a man.
The snow must have made
The feathery bed
When this one fell
On the sleep of the dead.
But the snow was gone
A long time ago,
And the body he wore
Nigh gone with the snow.
The fairies drew near
And keenly espied
A ring on his hand
And a chain at his side.
They knelt in the leaves
And eerily played
With the glittering things,
And were not afraid.
And when they went home
To hide in their burrow,
They took them along
To play with to-morrow.
When you came on death,
Did you not come flower-guided
Like the elves in the wood?
I remember that I did.
But I recognised death
With sorrow and dread,
And I hated and hate
The spoils of the dead.

Angela Sorenson 29 March 2010

nice poem.i wouldn't think it would be fun to be dead.i hope no one dies.take care.

6 10 Reply
* Sunprincess * 27 January 2013

an awesome poem and i love the touch of fantasy!

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John Richter 06 October 2014

I think the colloquial terms ferries and elves were used interchangeably in those days. But honestly must say that I don't understand his reference to spoils of the dead. He paints a rather grisly picture of the man's remains - as if he were in an advanced stage of decomposition - even perhaps only bones remaining - with the trinkets still attached. I should think he was referencing things taken directly off the rotting corpse as spoils. But that is the problem with poetic license - it is open to so many interpretations.

6 0 Reply
Mark Arvizu 16 October 2015

Could an inheritance be the spoils of the dead?

4 1 Reply
The poem licker 19 November 2020

man this poem tastes like. ima still lick it tho

0 0 Reply
The poem licker 19 November 2020

Man this poem tast lik. im still gonna lick it tho.

0 0 Reply
The poem licker 19 November 2020

MAn this poem tast like

0 0 Reply
Subhas Chandra Chakra 05 October 2017

They knelt in the leaves And eerily played With the glittering things, And were not afraid. A beautiful poem shared.

0 1 Reply
Susan Williams 05 April 2016

um...... yikes..... Frost, what were you thinking of besides fairies discovering a dead man's body and playing with it? What, we're led by sprinkled flowers like so many memories of pleasure into evil and darkness? Frost, I barely know you in this- -I wanna go stop by a forest on a snowy evening and converse with a horse instead, okay?

24 0 Reply
Robert Frost

Robert Frost

San Francisco
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