Poem Robert Frost

The Gold Hesperidee

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Square Matthew Hale’s young grafted apple tree
Began to blossom at the age of five,
And after havmg entertained the bee,
And cast its flowers and all the stems but three,
It set itself to keep those three alive;
And downy wax the three began to thrive.
They had just given themselves a little twist
And turned from looking up and being kissed
To looking down and yet not being sad,
When came Square Hale with Let’s see what we had
And two was all he counted (one he missed\
But two for a beginning wasn’t bad.
His little Matthew, also five years old,
Was led mto the presence of the tree
And raised among the leaves and duly told,
We mustn’t touch them yet, but see and see!
And what was green would by and by be gold.
Their name was called the Gold Hesperidee.
As regularly as he went to feed the pig
Or milk the cow, he visited the fruit.
The dew of night and morning on his boot.
Dearer to him than any barnyard brute,
Each swung in danger on its slender twig,
A bubble on a pipe-stem growing big.
Long since they swung as three instead of two-
One more, he thought, to take him safely through.
Three made it certain nothing Fate could do
With codlin moth or rusty parasite
Would keep him now from proving with a bite
That the name Gold Hesperidee was right.
And so he brought them to the verge of frost.
But one day when the foliage all went swish
With autumn and the fruit was rudely tossed,
He thought no special goodness could be lost
If he fulfilled at last his summer wish.
And saw them picked unbruised and in a dish.
Where they could ripen safely to the eatmg.
But when he came to look, no apples there
Under, or on the tree, or anywhere.
And the light-natured tree seemed not to care!
Twas Sunday and Square Hale was dressed for meeting
The final summons into church was beating.
Just as he was without an uttered sound
At those who’d done him such a wrong as that.
Square Matthew Hale took off his Sunday hat
And ceremoniously laid it on the ground,
And leaping on it with a solemn bound,
Danced slowly on it till he trod it flat.
Then suddenly he saw the thing he did.
And looked around to see if he was seen.
This was the sin that Ahaz was forbid
(The meaning of the passage had been hid):
To look upon the tree when it was green
And worship apples. What else could it mean?
God saw him dancing in the orchard path.
But mercifully kept the passing crowd
From witnessing the fault of one so proud.
And so the story wasn’t told m Gath;
In gratitude for which Square Matthew vowed
To walk a graver man restrained in wrath.

In Time of Cloudburst
A Drumlin Woodchuck


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