Poem Robert Frost

A Missive Missile

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Some one in ancient Mas d’Azil

Once took a little pebble wheel

And dotted it with red for me,

And sent it to me years and years—

A million years to be precise—

Across the barrier of ice:

Two round dots and a ripple streak,

So vivid as to seem to speak.

But what imperfectly appears

Is whether the two dots were tears,

Two tear drops, one for either eye,

And the wave line a shaken sigh.

But no, the color used is red.

Not tears but drops of blood instead.

The line must be a jagged blade.

The sender must have had to die,

And wanted someone now to know

His death was sacrificial-votive.

So almost clear and yet obscure.

If only anyone were sure

A motive then was still a motive.

O you who bring this to my hand,

You are no common messenger

(Your badge of office is a spade).

It grieves me to have had you stand

So long for nothing. No reply—

There is no answer, I’m afraid,

Across the icy barrier

For my obscure petitioner.

Suppose his ghost is standing by

Importunate to give the hint

And be successfully conveyed.

How anyone can fail to see

Where perfectly in form and tint

The metaphor, the symbol lies!

Why will I not analogize?

(I do too much in some men’s eyes.)

Oh slow uncomprehending me,

Enough to make a spirit moan

Or rustle in a bush or tree.

I have the ochre-written flint,

The two dots and the ripple line.

The meaning of it is unknown,

Or else I fear entirely mine,

All modern, nothing ancient in’t,

Unsatisfying to us each.

Far as we aim our signs to reach,

Far as we often make them reach,

Across the soul-from-soul abyss,

There is an aeon-limit set

Beyond which they are doomed to miss.

Two souls may be too widely met.

That sad-with-distance river beach

With mortal longing may beseech;

It cannot speak as far as this.

The Gift Outright
To a Thinker


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