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by Robert Frost


My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree

Toward heaven still

And there's a barrel that I didn't fill

Beside itand there may be two or three

Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.

But I am done with apple-picking now.

Essence of winter sleep is on the night

The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.

I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight

I got from looking through a pane of glass

I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough

And held against the world of hoary grass.

It meltedand I let if fall and break.

But I was well

Upon my way to sleep before it fell

And I could tell

What form my dreaming was about to take.

Magnified apples appear and disappear

Stem end and blossom end

And every fleck of russet showing clear.

My instep arch not only keeps the ache

It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.

I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.

And I keep hearing from the cellar bin

The rumbling sound

Of load on load of apples coming in.

For I have had too much

Of apple-picking: I am overtired

Of the great harvest I myself desired.

There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch

Cherish in handlift downand not let fall.

For all

That struck the earth

No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble

Went surely to the cider-apple heap

As of no worth.

One can see what will trouble

This sleep of minewhatever sleep it is.

Were he not gone

The woodchuck could say whether it's like his

Long sleepas I describe its coming on

Or just some human sleep. - -