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Verse > Robert Frost > phibìc of Boston
Robert Frost (1874–1963).  North of Boston.  1915.

You are watching: The best way out is always through

9. A servant to Servants
I DIDN’T do you know how glad ns was
To have you come and camp below on our land.
I promised myself to acquire down some day
And see the way you lived, yet I don’t know!
With a houseful of hungry males to feed        5
I assumption: v you’d find…. It appears to me
I can’t express my feelings any more
Than I deserve to raise my voice or want to lift
My hand (oh, I deserve to lift it when I have to).
Did ever you feeling so? i hope girlfriend never.        10
It’s obtained so i don’t even know because that sure
Whether i am glad, sorry, or anything.
There’s nothing but a voice-like left inside
That appears to tell me how I should feel,
And would feel if ns wasn’t every gone wrong.        15
You take it the lake. Ns look and also look in ~ it.
I view it’s a fair, pretty sheet of water.
I stand and make myself repeat out loud
The advantages it has, therefore long and narrow,
Like a deep item of part old running river        20
Cut quick off in ~ both ends. That lies 5 miles
Straight away through the hill notch
From the sink home window where i wash the plates,
And every our storms come up toward the house,
Drawing the sluggish waves whiter and also whiter and also whiter.        25
It took my mind turn off doughnuts and soda biscuit
To action outdoors and also take the water dazzle
A clear morning, or take it the climbing wind
About mine face and also body and through my wrapper,
When a storm threatened from the Dragon’s Den,        30
And a cold chilled shivered across the lake.
I watch it’s a fair, pretty paper of water,
Our Willoughby! exactly how did friend hear of it?
I expect, though, everyone’s heard the it.
In a book about ferns? hear to that!        35
You permit things much more like feathers regulate
Your going and also coming. And also you prefer it here?
I can see how you might. But I don’t know!
It would be various if an ext people came,
For climate there would certainly be business. Together it is,        40
The cottages Len built, sometimes we rental them,
Sometimes us don’t. We’ve a good piece that shore
That should be worth something, and also may yet.
But ns don’t count on the as lot as Len.
He watch on the bright side of everything,        45
Including me. He thinks I’ll be every right
With doctoring. However it’s no medicine—
Lowe is the just doctor’s dared to say so—
It’s remainder I want—there, I have said the out—
From food preparation meals because that hungry rental men        50
And washing dishes after them—from doing
Things over and also over that simply won’t remain done.
By an excellent rights ns ought no to have actually so much
Put top top me, however there appears no other way.
Len claims one stable pull an ext ought to carry out it.        55
He claims the best means out is constantly through.
And i agree come that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through—
Leastways because that me—and then they’ll it is in convinced.
It’s no that Len don’t want the finest for me.        60
It was his plan our moving over in
Beside the lake from wherein that work I showed you
We used to live—ten mile from anywhere.
We didn’t readjust without part sacrifice,
But Len went in ~ it to make up the loss.        65
His work’s a man’s, that course, from sunlight to sun,
But that works when he works as hard as i do—
Though there’s little profit in comparisons.
(Women and also men will certainly make them every the same.)
But work ain’t all. Len undertakes also much.        70
He’s into every little thing in town. This year
It’s highways, and he’s got too countless men
Around him come look after the make waste.
They take benefit of him shamefully,
And proud, too, that themselves because that doing so.        75
We have four here to board, good good-for-nothings,
Sprawling around the kitchen through their talk
While I fry their bacon. Much they care!
No an ext put the end in what they execute or say
Than if i wasn’t in the room at all.        80
Coming and also going all the time, lock are:
I don’t discover what your names are, permit alone
Their characters, or even if it is they room safe
To have inside the house with doors unlocked.
I’m not afraid of them, though, if they’re not        85
Afraid of me. There’s two can play at that.
I have my fancies: it runs in the family.
My father’s brothers wasn’t right. They maintained him
Locked up for years ago there in ~ the old farm.
I’ve to be away once—yes, I’ve been away.        90
The State Asylum. Ns was prejudiced;
I wouldn’t have sent anyone of mine there;
You recognize the old idea—the just asylum
Was the poorhouse, and those who can afford,
Rather 보다 send their folks to together a place,        95
Kept them at home; and also it go seem an ext human.
But it’s no so: the place is the asylum.
There they have actually every means proper to execute with,
And girlfriend aren’t darkening other people’s lives—
Worse than no good to them, and also they no good        100
To girlfriend in your condition; friend can’t know
Affection or the want of the in the state.
I’ve heard too much of the old-fashioned way.
My father’s brother, that went mad rather young.
Some believed he had actually been bitten by a dog,        105
Because his violence take it on the form
Of delivering his pillow in his teeth;
But it’s more likely he was crossed in love,
Or for this reason the story goes. It was part girl.
Anyway every he talked about was love.        110
They soon saw the would perform someone a mischief
If he wa’n’t kept strict watch of, and also it ended
In father’s building him a type of cage,
Or room within a room, the hickory poles,
Like stanchions in the barn, from floor to ceiling,—        115
A small passage every the means around.
Anything they put in because that furniture
He’d tear come pieces, also a bed to lie on.
So they made the place comfortable v straw,
Like a beast’s stall, to ease your consciences.        120
Of food they had to feed him without dishes.
They tried to store him clothed, yet he paraded
With his garments on his arm—all of his clothes.
Cruel—it sounds. Ns ’spose they did the best
They knew. And just as soon as he to be at the height,        125
Father and also mother married, and mother came,
A bride, to help take care of such a creature,
And accommodate she young life to his.
That was what marrying father supposed to her.
She had actually to lie and hear love points made dreadful        130
By his shouts in the night. He’d shout and also shout
Until the toughness was shouted out of him,
And his voice died down slowly from exhaustion.
He’d pull his bars apart like bow and also bow-string,
And allow them go and also make lock twang until        135
His hands had worn lock smooth as any ox-bow.
And climate he’d crow together if he assumed that child’s play—
The only fun that had. I’ve heard them say, though,
They discovered a way to placed a protect against to it.
He was prior to my time—I never ever saw him;        140
But the pen stayed precisely as the was
There in the top chamber in the ell,
A sort of catch-all full of attic clutter.
I regularly think of the smooth hickory bars.
It acquired so I would say—you know, half fooling—        145
“It’s time i took my turn upstairs in jail”—
Just as you will certainly till it becomes a habit.
No wonder ns was glad to acquire away.
Mind you, ns waited till Len claimed the word.
I didn’t want the blame if points went wrong.        150
I to be glad though, no end, when we relocated out,
And i looked to be happy, and I was,
As ns said, for a while—but ns don’t know!
Somehow the readjust wore out like a prescription.
And there’s much more to it than simply window-views        155
And life by a lake. I’m past such help—
Unless Len took the notion, which that won’t,
And i won’t ask him—it’s not sure enough.
I ’spose I’ve got to walk the roadway I’m going:
Other folks have actually to, and also why shouldn’t I?        160
I virtually think if I can do choose you,
Drop everything and also live the end on the ground—
But it could be, come night, ns shouldn’t favor it,
Or a long rain. I must soon obtain enough,
And it is in glad that a great roof overhead.        165
I’ve lain awake thinking of you, I’ll warrant,
More 보다 you have yourself, several of these nights.
The wonder to be the tents weren’t snatched away
From end you together you place in her beds.
I haven’t courage because that a risk like that.        170
Bless you, of course, you’re maintaining me native work,
But the thing of that is, I need to be kept.
There’s work enough to do—there’s constantly that;
But behind’s behind. The worst the you deserve to do
Is set me back a little much more behind.        175
I sha’n’t catch up in this world, anyway.

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