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About this Poem 

"Spoils of the Dead" was published in A Boy's Will (Henry Holt and Company, 1915).

Spoils of the Dead

Two fairies it was
     On a still summer day
Came forth in the woods
    With the flowers to play.

The flowers they plucked
     They cast on the ground
For others, and those
     For still others they found.

Flower-guided it was
    That they came as they ran
On something that lay
    In the shape of a man.

The snow must have made
     The feathery bed
When this one fell
     On the sleep of the dead. 

But the snow was gone
     A long time ago,
And the body he wore
     Nigh gone with the snow. 

The fairies drew near
     And keenly espied
A ring on his hand
     And a chain at his side.

They knelt in the leaves
     And eerily played
With the glittering things,
     And were not afraid.

And when they went home
     To hid in their burrow,
They took them along
      To play with to-morrow.

When you came on death,
     Did you not come flower-guided
Like the elves in the wood?
     I remember that I did.

But I recognised death
     With sorrow and dread,
And I hated and hate
     The spoils of the dead.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

One of the most celebrated poets in America, Robert Frost was an author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes and a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.

by this poet

poem
Nature's first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf's a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay. 
poem

A neighbor of mine in the village
    Likes to tell how one spring
When she was a girl on the farm, she did
    A childlike thing.

One day she asked her father
    To give her a garden plot
To plant and tend and reap herself,
    And he said, “Why not?”

In casting

poem
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would