Robert Frost

Two Look at One

Love and forgetting might have carried them 

A little further up the mountain side 

With night so near, but not much further up. 

They must have halted soon in any case 

With thoughts of a path back, how rough it was 

With rock and washout, and unsafe in darkness; 

When they were halted by a tumbled wall 

With barbed-wire binding. They stood facing this, 

Spending what onward impulse they still had 

In One last look the way they must not go, 

On up the failing path, where, if a stone 

Or earthslide moved at night, it moved itself; 

No footstep moved it. 'This is all,' they sighed, 

Good-night to woods.' But not so; there was more. 

A doe from round a spruce stood looking at them 

Across the wall, as near the wall as they. 

She saw them in their field, they her in hers. 

The difficulty of seeing what stood still, 

Like some up-ended boulder split in two, 

Was in her clouded eyes; they saw no fear there. 

She seemed to think that two thus they were safe. 

Then, as if they were something that, though strange, 

She could not trouble her mind with too long, 

She sighed and passed unscared along the wall. 

'This, then, is all. What more is there to ask?' 

But no, not yet. A snort to bid them wait. 

A buck from round the spruce stood looking at them 

Across the wall as near the wall as they. 

This was an antlered buck of lusty nostril, 

Not the same doe come back into her place. 

He viewed them quizzically with jerks of head, 

As if to ask, 'Why don't you make some motion? 

Or give some sign of life? Because you can't. 

I doubt if you're as living as you look." 

Thus till he had them almost feeling dared 

To stretch a proffering hand -- and a spell-breaking. 

Then he too passed unscared along the wall. 

Two had seen two, whichever side you spoke from. 

'This must be all.' It was all. Still they stood, 

A great wave from it going over them, 

As if the earth in one unlooked-for favour 

Had made them certain earth returned their love. 

Iris By Night

One misty evening, one another's guide, 

We two were groping down a Malvern side 

The last wet fields and dripping hedges home. 

There came a moment of confusing lights, 

Such as according to belief in Rome 

Were seen of old at Memphis on the heights 

Before the fragments of a former sun 

Could concentrate anew and rise as one. 

Light was a paste of pigment in our eyes. 

And then there was a moon and then a scene 

So watery as to seem submarine; 

In which we two stood saturated, drowned. 

The clover-mingled rowan on the ground 

Had taken all the water it could as dew, 

And still the air was saturated too, 

Its airy pressure turned to water weight. 

Then a small rainbow like a trellis gate, 

A very small moon-made prismatic bow, 

Stood closely over us through which to go. 

And then we were vouchsafed a miracle 

That never yet to other two befell 

And I alone of us have lived to tell. 

A wonder! Bow and rainbow as it bent, 

Instead of moving with us as we went 

(To keep the pots of gold from being found), 

It lifted from its dewy pediment 

Its two mote-swimming many-colored ends 

And gathered them together in a ring. 

And we stood in it softly circled round 

From all division time or foe can bring 

In a relation of elected friends.