Love at the lips was touch As sweet as I could bear; And once that seemed too much; I lived on air That crossed me from sweet things, The flow of—was it musk From hidden grapevine springs Downhill at dusk? I had the swirl and ache From sprays of honeysuckle That when they're gathered shake Dew on the knuckle. I craved strong sweets, but those Seemed strong when I was young; The petal of the rose It was that stung. Now no joy but lacks salt, That is not dashed with pain And weariness and fault; I crave the stain Of tears, the aftermark Of almost too much love, The sweet of bitter bark And burning clove. When stiff and sore and scarred I take away my hand From leaning on it hard In grass and sand, The hurt is not enough: I long for weight and strength To feel the earth as rough To all my length.
From The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1916, 1923, 1928, 1930, 1934, 1939, 1947, 1949, © 1969 by Holt Rinehart and Winston, Inc. Copyright 1936, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1953, 1954, © 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962 by Robert Frost. Copyright © 1962, 1967, 1970 by Leslie Frost Ballantine.
Love has earth to which she clings With hills and circling arms about— Wall within wall to shut fear out. But Thought has need of no such things, For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings. On snow and sand and turf, I see Where Love has left a printed trace With straining in the world’s embrace. And such is Love and glad to be. But Thought has shaken his ankles free. Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom And sits in Sirius’ disc all night, Till day makes him retrace his flight, With smell of burning on every plume, Back past the sun to an earthly room. His gains in heaven are what they are. Yet some say Love by being thrall And simply staying possesses all In several beauty that Thought fares far To find fused in another star.
This poem is in the public domain.