poet Robert Frost

Robert Frost

#3 on top 500 poets

The Tuft Of Flowers

I went to turn the grass once after one
Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
Before I came to view the levelled scene.

I looked for him behind an isle of trees;
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be, as he had been,—alone,

'As all must be,' I said within my heart,
'Whether they work together or apart.'

But as I said it, swift there passed me by
On noiseless wing a bewildered butterfly,

Seeking with memories grown dim over night
Some resting flower of yesterday's delight.

And once I marked his flight go round and round,
As where some flower lay withering on the ground.

And then he flew as far as eye could see,
And then on tremulous wing came back to me.

I thought of questions that have no reply,
And would have turned to toss the grass to dry;

But he turned first, and led my eye to look
At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook,

A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared
Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared.

I left my place to know them by their name,
Finding them butterfly-weed when I came.

The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
By leaving them to flourish, not for us,

Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him,
But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.

The butterfly and I had lit upon,
Nevertheless, a message from the dawn,

That made me hear the wakening birds around,
And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground,

And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
So that henceforth I worked no more alone;

But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
And weary, sought at noon with him the shade;

And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.

'Men work together,' I told him from the heart,
'Whether they work together or apart.'

Topic(s) of this poem: flowers

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003
Poem Edited: Friday, January 2, 2015

Add this poem to MyPoemList

Rating Card

3,1 out of 5
92 total ratings
rate this poem

Comments about The Tuft Of Flowers by Robert Frost

  • Mary Beth Alban, ofs (9/14/2018 8:47:00 PM)

    The conversion of feeling Alone when working, together or alone;

    into glad realization that Working Together, alone or apart.

    This realization is what makes us all One.

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Amar AgarwalaAmar Agarwala (5/13/2016 7:48:00 PM)

    Another piece of marvel by Frost. Simple and so meaningful!

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Seema JayaramanSeema Jayaraman (10/6/2015 12:33:00 PM)

    One of favorite poet.. and such a lovely well constructed poem.. one with nature.. man, butterfly and flower!

    Report Reply
    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Andrew Hoellering (8/21/2009 12:36:00 PM)

    A tremendous poem that affirms human brotherhood through a shared appreciation of the natural world.
    The simplicity of language and structure matches the sincerity of the underlying emotion.
    Frost's magic is to combine such simplicity with lines of real poetic beauty, for example -'But from sheer morning gladness at the brim' once read is always remembered, as is the poem as a whole.

    Report Reply
    13 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Raabia TabassumRaabia Tabassum (5/1/2009 3:07:00 AM)

    this poem is simply great

    Report Reply
    11 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Elizabeth Emerick Wilholt (8/31/2008 1:13:00 AM)

    I love this poem. It's on my top 10 list of favorites. I sent a copy of it to my boyfriend when he was serving in Iraq.

    Report Reply
    6 person liked.
    7 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

Read poems about / on: butterfly, together, work, flower, alone, sun, heart, night, dream, hope, memory, tree