A Star In A Stoneboat Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


For Lincoln MacVeaghA
Never tell me that not one star of allB
That slip from heaven at night and softly fallB
Has been picked up with stones to build a wallB
Some laborer found one faded and stone coldC
And saving that its weight suggested goldC
And tugged it from his first too certain holdC
He noticed nothing in it to remarkD
He was not used to handling stars thrown darkD
And lifeless from an interrupted arcD
He did not recognize in that smooth coalE
The one thing palpable besides the soulE
To penetrate the air in which we rollE
He did not see how like a flying thingF
It brooded ant eggs and bad one large wingF
One not so large for flying in a ringF
And a long Bird of Paradise's tailG
Though these when not in use to fly and trailG
It drew back in its body like a snailG
Nor know that be might move it from the spotH
The harm was done from having been star shotH
The very nature of the soil was hotH
And burning to yield flowers instead of grainI
Flowers fanned and not put out by all the rainI
Poured on them by his prayers prayed in vainI
He moved it roughly with an iron barJ
He loaded an old stoneboat with the starJ
And not as you might think a flying carJ
Such as even poets would admit perforceK
More practical than Pegasus the horseK
If it could put a star back in its courseK
He dragged it through the plowed ground at a paceL
But faintly reminiscent of the raceL
Of jostling rock in interstellar spaceL
It went for building stone and I as thoughM
Commanded in a dream forever goM
To right the wrong that this should have been soM
Yet ask where else it could have gone as wellN
I do not know I cannot stop to tellN
He might have left it lying where it fellN
From following walls I never lift my eyeO
Except at night to places in the skyO
Where showers of charted meteors let flyO
Some may know what they seek in school and churchP
And why they seek it there for what I searchP
I must go measuring stone walls perch on perchP
Sure that though not a star of death and birthQ
So not to be compared perhaps in worthQ
To such resorts of life as Mars and EarthQ
Though not I say a star of death and sinR
It yet has poles and only needs a spinR
To show its worldly nature and beginR
To chafe and shuffle in my calloused palmS
And run off in strange tangents with my armT
As fish do with the line in first alarmT
Such as it is it promises the prizeU
Of the one world complete in any sizeU
That I am like to compass fool or wiseU

Robert Frost


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