An Old Man's Winter Night

Robert Frost

 
All out-of-doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him—at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off;—and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon—such as she was,
So late-arising—to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man—one man—can't keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It's thus he does it of a winter night.
 

Poems by This Author

"Out, Out—" by Robert Frost
The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
A Line-storm Song by Robert Frost
The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift
Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost
I have been one acquainted with the night
After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost
My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Birches by Robert Frost
When I see birches bend to left and right
Blueberries by Robert Frost
You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
Bond and Free by Robert Frost
Love has earth to which she clings
Christmas Trees by Robert Frost
The city had withdrawn into itself
Design by Robert Frost
I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
Dust of Snow by Robert Frost
The way a crow
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire
For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost
Others taunt me with having knelt at well-curbs
Ghost House by Robert Frost
I dwell in a lonely house I know
Going for Water by Robert Frost
The well was dry beside the door
Home Burial by Robert Frost
He saw her from the bottom of the stairs
Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost
As I went down the hill along the wall
Mending Wall by Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
Mowing by Robert Frost
There was never a sound beside the wood but one
Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold
October by Robert Frost
O hushed October morning mild
Reluctance by Robert Frost
Out through the fields and the woods
The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost
Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
The Oven-Bird by Robert Frost
There is a singer everyone has heard
The Pasture by Robert Frost
I'm going out to clean the pasture spring
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost
I wonder about the trees
To Earthward by Robert Frost
Love at the lips was touch


Further Reading

Poems About Winter
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [Blow, blow, thou winter wind]
by William Shakespeare
Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene 2 [Winter]
by William Shakespeare
Snow-Bound [The sun that brief December day]
by John Greenleaf Whittier
A January Dandelion
by George Marion McClellan
A Winter Without Snow
by J. D. McClatchy
Approach of Winter
by William Carlos Williams
Fishing in Winter
by Ralph Burns
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Horoscope
by Maureen N. McLane
How like a winter hath my absence been (Sonnet 97)
by William Shakespeare
In drear nighted December
by John Keats
January
by Helen Hunt Jackson
Now Winter Nights Enlarge
by Thomas Campion
On Snow
by James Parton
Picture-books in Winter
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Places [III. Winter Sun]
by Sara Teasdale
Return to Winter
by Elaine Terranova
Spellbound
by Emily Brontė
spring love noise and all [excerpt]
by David Antin
The Darkling Thrush
by Thomas Hardy
The Magpie's Shadow
by Yvor Winters
The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens
The Snow Storm
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Visionary
by Emily Brontė
There's a certain Slant of light (258)
by Emily Dickinson
To a Locomotive in Winter
by Walt Whitman
Toward the Winter Solstice
by Timothy Steele
Triad
by Adelaide Crapsey
Untitled [Toward night]
by Kevin Goodan
Why Is the Color of Snow?
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Winter
by Walter De La Mare
Winter Heavens
by George Meredith
Winter is good - his Hoar Delights (1316)
by Emily Dickinson
Winter Morning
by William Jay Smith
Winter Sleep
by Edith Matilda Thomas
Winter Study
by Mark Wunderlich
Winter Trees
by William Carlos Williams
Winter Twilight
by Anne Porter
Winter-Time
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Winter: My Secret.
by Christina Rossetti