Robert Frost
The Need of Being Versed in Country Things (1920)

 

The house had gone to bring again

 

To the midnight sky a sunset glow.

 

Now the chimney was all of the house that stood,

 

Like a pistil after the petals go.

 

 

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The barn opposed across the way,

 

That would have joined the house in flame

 

Had it been the will of the wind, was left

 

To bear forsaken the place’s name.

 

 

 

No more it opened with all one end

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For teams that came by the stony road

 

To drum on the floor with scurrying hoofs

 

And brush the mow with the summer load.

 

 

 

The birds that came to it through the air

 

At broken windows flew out and in,

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Their murmur more like the sigh we sigh

 

From too much dwelling on what has been.

 

 

 

Yet for them the lilac renewed its leaf,

 

And the aged elm, though touched with fire;

 

And the dry pump flung up an awkward arm;

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And the fence post carried a strand of wire.

 

 

 

For them there was really nothing sad.

 

But though they rejoiced in the nest they kept,

 

One had to be versed in country things

 

Not to believe the phoebes wept.