Good-bye, and Keep Cold

Original Text: 
Robert Frost, New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1923), pp. 93-94. D-11 0397 Fisher Library.
1This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark
3Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
4An orchard away at the end of the farm
5All winter, cut off by a hill from the house.
6I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse,
7I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse
8By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse.
9(If certain it wouldn't be idle to call
10I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall
11And warn them away with a stick for a gun.)
12I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
13(We made it secure against being, I hope,
14By setting it out on a northerly slope.)
15No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm;
16But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.
17"How often already you've had to be told,
18Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold.
19Dread fifty above more than fifty below."
20I have to be gone for a season or so.
21My business awhile is with different trees,
23And such as is done to their wood with an axe--
24Maples and birches and tamaracks.
25I wish I could promise to lie in the night
26And think of an orchard's arboreal plight
27When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
28Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
29But something has to be left to God.


2] And cold: And the cold (Robert Frost, Collected Poems, Prose, & and Plays (Library of America, 1995), p. 210). Back to Line
22] nourished: nurtured (Library of America edn.) Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.