Selected American and British Poems


My Butterfly

by Robert Frost
Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1915
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Frost, R. (1915). A Boy's Will New York: Henry Holt
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 9.0
  • Word Count: 661
  • Genre: Poetry
  • ✎ Cite This
  • Share |


Thine emulous fond flowers are dead, too,
    And the daft sun-assaulter, he
    That frighted thee so oft, is fled or dead:
    Save only me
    (Nor is it sad to thee!)
    Save only me
    There is none left to mourn thee in the fields.
    The gray grass is not dappled with the snow;
    Its two banks have not shut upon the river;
    But it is long ago—
    It seems forever—
    Since first I saw thee glance,
    With all the dazzling other ones,
    In airy dalliance,
    Precipitate in love,
    Tossed, tangled, whirled and whirled above,
    Like a limp rose-wreath in a fairy dance.
    When that was, the soft mist
    Of my regret hung not on all the land,
    And I was glad for thee,
    And glad for me, I wist.
    Thou didst not know, who tottered, wandering on high,
    That fate had made thee for the pleasure of the wind,
    With those great careless wings,
    Nor yet did I.
    And there were other things:
    It seemed God let thee flutter from his gentle clasp:
    Then fearful he had let thee win
    Too far beyond him to be gathered in,
    Snatched thee, o'er eager, with ungentle grasp.
    Ah! I remember me
    How once conspiracy was rife
    Against my life—
    The languor of it and the dreaming fond;
    Surging, the grasses dizzied me of thought,
    The breeze three odors brought,
    And a gem-flower waved in a wand!
    Then when I was distraught
    And could not speak,
    Sidelong, full on my cheek,
    What should that reckless zephyr fling
    But the wild touch of thy dye-dusty wing!
    I found that wing broken to-day!
    For thou are dead, I said,
    And the strange birds say.
    I found it with the withered leaves
    Under the eaves.




   OUT through the fields and the woods
    And over the walls I have wended;
    I have climbed the hills of view
    And looked at the world, and descended;
    I have come by the highway home,
    And lo, it is ended.
    The leaves are all dead on the ground,
    Save those that the oak is keeping
    To ravel them one by one
    And let them go scraping and creeping
    Out over the crusted snow,
    When others are sleeping.
    And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
    No longer blown hither and thither;
    The last lone aster is gone;
    The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
    The heart is still aching to seek,
    But the feet question 'Whither?'
    Ah, when to the heart of man
    Was it ever less than a treason
    To go with the drift of things,
    To yield with a grace to reason,
    And bow and accept and accept the end
    Of a love or a season?