Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
August 30th, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 294,682 comments.
Robert Frost - The Trial by Existence

Even the bravest that are slain
Shall not dissemble their surprise
On waking to find valor reign,
Even as on earth, in paradise;
And where they sought without the sword
Wide fields of asphodel fore'er,
To find that the utmost reward
Of daring should be still to dare.

The light of heaven falls whole and white
And is not shattered into dyes,
The light forever is morning light;
The hills are verdured pasture-wise;
The angle hosts with freshness go,
And seek with laughter what to brave;--
And binding all is the hushed snow
Of the far-distant breaking wave.

And from a cliff-top is proclaimed
The gathering of the souls for birth,
The trial by existence named,
The obscuration upon earth.
And the slant spirits trooping by
In streams and cross- and counter-streams
Can but give ear to that sweet cry
For its suggestion of what dreams!

And the more loitering are turned
To view once more the sacrifice
Of those who for some good discerned
Will gladly give up paradise.
And a white shimmering concourse rolls
Toward the throne to witness there
The speeding of devoted souls
Which God makes his especial care.

And none are taken but who will,
Having first heard the life read out
That opens earthward, good and ill,
Beyond the shadow of a doubt;
And very beautifully God limns,
And tenderly, life's little dream,
But naught extenuates or dims,
Setting the thing that is supreme.

Nor is there wanting in the press
Some spirit to stand simply forth,
Heroic in it nakedness,
Against the uttermost of earth.
The tale of earth's unhonored things
Sounds nobler there than 'neath the sun;
And the mind whirls and the heart sings,
And a shout greets the daring one.

But always God speaks at the end:
'One thought in agony of strife
The bravest would have by for friend,
The memory that he chose the life;
But the pure fate to which you go
Admits no memory of choice,
Or the woe were not earthly woe
To which you give the assenting voice.'

And so the choice must be again,
But the last choice is still the same;
And the awe passes wonder then,
And a hush falls for all acclaim.
And God has taken a flower of gold
And broken it, and used therefrom
The mystic link to bind and hold
Spirit to matter till death come.

'Tis of the essence of life here,
Though we choose greatly, still to lack
The lasting memory at all clear,
That life has for us on the wrack
Nothing but what we somehow chose;
Thus are we wholly stipped of pride
In the pain that has but one close,
Bearing it crushed and mystified.

Share |

Added: Feb 1 2004 | Viewed: 2052 times | Comments and analysis of The Trial by Existence by Robert Frost Comments (28)

The Trial by Existence - Comments and Information

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 21. The Trial by Existence
Volume: A Boy's Will
Year: Published/Written in 1913
Poem of the Day: Jan 6 2001

Comment 28 of 28, added on August 3rd, 2015 at 11:58 AM.
wbiekBthCwpoKkVM

UHAcvu take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to learn much more from you.

crorkzz from Romania
Comment 27 of 28, added on July 1st, 2015 at 1:12 PM.
MLZbHMQxFTvtIwqGst

sJqtq5 I value the post.Really thank you! Fantastic.

links crorkzz from Peru
Comment 26 of 28, added on March 6th, 2015 at 7:13 PM.
JcGRQojXDNcwGyFNANa

5g3HK5 hi!,I like your writing so so much! percentage we communicate extra about your post on AOL? I need an expert in this house to resolve my problem. May be that is you! Taking a look ahead to look you.

crork matt from Belgium

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, The Trial by Existence, has received 28 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Frost Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links