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Verse > Robert Frost > North of Boston
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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 make you understand exactly how glad I was
To have actually you come and camp here on our land.
I promised myself to obtain dvery own some day
And check out the method you lived, but I don’t know!
With a hobeneficial of hungry guys to feed        5
I guess you’d find…. It seems to me
I can’t express my feelings any kind of more
Than I deserve to raise my voice or desire to lift
My hand (oh, I deserve to lift it once I have to).
Did ever you feel so? I hope you never.        10
It’s gained so I don’t even understand for sure
Whether I am glad, sorry, or anypoint.
There’s nothing yet a voice-choose left inside
That appears to tell me just how I should feel,
And would certainly feel if I wasn’t all gone wrong.        15
You take the lake. I look and also look at it.
I view it’s a fair, pretty sheet of water.
I stand and make myself repeat out loud
The benefits it has, so long and also narrow,
Like a deep piece of some old running river        20
Cut short off at both ends. It lies 5 miles
Straight ameans through the hill notch
From the sink window wbelow I wash the plates,
And all our storms come up toward the house,
Drawing the slow-moving waves whiter and also whiter and also whiter.        25
It took my mind off doughnuts and also soda biscuit
To action outdoors and take the water dazzle
A sunny morning, or take the increasing wind
About my confront and body and via my wrapper,
When a storm endangered from the Dragon’s Den,        30
And a cold chill shivered across the lake.
I watch it’s a fair, pretty sheet of water,
Our Willoughby! How did you hear of it?
I suppose, though, everyone’s heard of it.
In a book around ferns? Listen to that!        35
You let points even more prefer feathers regulate
Your going and coming. And you favor it here?
I deserve to check out just how you might. But I don’t know!
It would certainly be different if even more human being came,
For then there would be business. As it is,        40
The cotteras Len constructed, periodically we rent them,
Sometimes we don’t. We’ve a great item of shore
That ought to be worth something, and also might yet.
But I don’t count on it as much as Len.
He looks on the bright side of whatever,        45
Including me. He thinks I’ll be all right
With doctoring. But it’s not medicine—
Lowe is the only doctor’s dared to say so—
It’s remainder I want—tbelow, I have actually sassist it out—
From food preparation meals for hungry hired men        50
And washing dishes after them—from doing
Things over and over that simply won’t continue to be done.
By excellent rights I ought not to have actually so much
Put on me, yet tbelow seems no other means.
Len says one secure pull even more must perform it.        55
He claims the best means out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I have the right to check out no way out yet through—
Leastmethods for me—and also then they’ll be persuaded.
It’s not that Len don’t want the ideal for me.        60
It was his setup our moving over in
Beside the lake from wright here that day I confirmed you
We used to live—ten miles from anywhere.
We didn’t change without some sacrifice,
But Len went at it to make up the loss.        65
His work’s a man’s, of course, from sun to sun,
But he functions once he works as tough as I do—
Though there’s tiny profit in comparisons.
(Woguys and also guys will make them all the same.)
But work ain’t all. Len undertakes too much.        70
He’s right into everything in tvery own. This year
It’s highmeans, and also he’s gained too many men
Around him to look after that make waste.
They take benefit of him shamefully,
And proud, too, of themselves for doing so.        75
We have actually four here to board, good good-for-nopoints,
Sprawling about the kitchen via their talk
While I fry their bacon. Much they care!
No even more put out in what they execute or say
Than if I wasn’t in the room at all.        80
Coming and also going all the moment, they are:
I don’t learn what their names are, let alone
Their characters, or whether they are safe
To have actually inside the house via doors unlocked.
I’m not afrhelp of them, though, if they’re not        85
Afrassist of me. There’s 2 can play at that.
I have my fancies: it runs in the family members.
My father’s brother wasn’t best. They preserved him
Locked up for years back there at the old farm.
I’ve been away once—yes, I’ve been amethod.        90
The State Asylum. I was prejudiced;
I wouldn’t have sent anyone of mine there;
You know the old idea—the just asylum
Was the poorresidence, and also those that could afford,
Rather than send their folks to such a area,        95
Kept them at home; and it does seem more huguy.
But it’s not so: the area is the asylum.
Tright here they have actually eexceptionally suggests correct to carry out via,
And you aren’t darkening other people’s lives—
Worse than no excellent to them, and also they no good        100
To you in your condition; you can’t know
Affection or the want of it in that state.
I’ve heard also a lot of the old-fashioned method.
My father’s brother, he went mad fairly young.
Some assumed he had actually been bitten by a dog,        105
Due to the fact that his violence took on the form
Of carrying his pillow in his teeth;
But it’s more likely he was crossed in love,
Or so the story goes. It was some girl.
Anymeans all he talked around was love.        110
They quickly observed he would execute someone a mischief
If he wa’n’t kept strict watch of, and it ended
In father’s building him a type of cage,
Or room within a room, of hickory poles,
Like stanchions in the barn, from floor to ceiling,—        115
A narrow passage all the means approximately.
Anypoint they put in for furniture
He’d tear to pieces, also a bed to lie on.
So they made the place comfortable with straw,
Like a beast’s stall, to ease their conscientific researches.        120
Of course they had actually to feed him without dishes.
They tried to save him clothed, but he paraded
With his apparel on his arm—every one of his apparel.
Cruel—it sounds. I ’spose they did the best
They knew. And just when he was at the elevation,        125
Father and mother married, and mommy came,
A bride, to assist take care of such a creature,
And accommodate her young life to his.
That was what marrying father meant to her.
She had actually to lie and also 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 passed away down progressively from fatigue.
He’d pull his bars apart choose bow and also bow-string,
And let them go and also make them twang until        135
His hands had worn them smooth as any kind of ox-bow.
And then he’d crow as if he believed that child’s play—
The just fun he had actually. I’ve heard them say, though,
They uncovered a way to put a speak to it.
He was before my time—I never before saw him;        140
But the pen stayed exactly as it was
Tright here in the top chamber in the ell,
A type of catch-all full of attic clutter.
I regularly think of the smooth hickory bars.
It obtained so I would say—you understand, fifty percent fooling—        145
“It’s time I took my rotate upstairs in jail”—
Just as you will certainly till it becomes a habit.
No wonder I was glad to gain away.
Mind you, I waited till Len sassist the word.
I didn’t desire the blame if things went wrong.        150
I was glad though, no end, when we relocated out,
And I looked to be happy, and I was,
As I shelp, for a while—but I don’t know!
Somehow the readjust wore out like a prescription.
And there’s more to it than just window-views        155
And living by a lake. I’m past such help—
Unless Len took the concept, which he won’t,
And I won’t ask him—it’s not sure enough.
I ’spose I’ve got to go the road I’m going:
Other folks have to, and why shouldn’t I?        160
I virtually think if I might execute prefer you,
Drop everything and live out on the ground—
But it might be, come night, I shouldn’t favor it,
Or a lengthy rain. I have to soon acquire enough,
And be glad of an excellent roof overhead.        165
I’ve lain awake reasoning of you, I’ll warrant,
More than you have yourself, some of these nights.
The wonder was the tents weren’t snatched away
From over you as you lay in your beds.
I haven’t courage for a threat like that.        170
Bmuch less you, of course, you’re keeping me from job-related,
But the thing of it is, I need to be kept.
There’s job-related enough to do—there’s always that;
But behind’s behind. The worst that you can do
Is set me ago a little more behind.        175
I sha’n’t catch up in this world, anyway.

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I’d rather you’d not go unless you must.
 
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