Two Tramps in Mud Time || by Robert Frost || Robert Frost's Poem Two Tramps in Mud Time

 Two Tramps in Mud Time
       -by Robert Frost
Out of the mud two strangers came
And caught me splitting wood in the yard. 
And one of them put me off my aim 
By hailing cheerily ' Hit them hard!' 
I knew pretty well why he dropped behind 
And let the other go on a way.  
I knew pretty well what he had in mind: 
He wanted to take my job for pay.  

Good blocks of oak it was I split,
As large around as the chopping block; 
And every piece I squarely hit
Full splinterless as a cloven rock.
The blows that a life of self-control 
Spares to strike for the common good,
That day, giving a loose to my soul,
I spent on the unimportant wood.

The sun was warm but the wind was chill. 
You know how it is with an April day 
When the sun is out and the wind is still, 
You' re one month on in the middle of may.
But if you so much as dare to speak, 
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch, 
A wind comes off a frozen peak, 
And you' re two months back in the middle of march.  

 A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight 
And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume, 
His song so pitched as not to excite 
A single flower as yet to bloom. 
 It is snowing a flake: and he half knew
 Winter was only playing possum. 
 Except in color he isn't blue, 
But he wouldn't advise a thing to blossom. 


The water for which we may have to look 
 In summertime with a witching wand, 
In every wheelrut's  now a brook,
 In every print of a hoof a pond, 
Be glad of water, but don 't forget
 The lurking frost in the earth beneath 
That will steal forth after the sun is set
 And show on the water its crystal teeth.

 The time when most I loved my task 
These two must make me love it more
By coming with what they came to ask. 
 You' d think I never had felt before 
The weight of an ax-head poised aloft, 
The grip on earth of outspread feet, 
The life of muscles rocking soft 
And smooth and moist in vernal heat.  

 Out of the woods two hulking tramps
(From sleeping God knows where last night,
 But not long since in the lumber camps). 
They thought all chopping was theirs of right.
  Men of the woods and lumberjacks, 
They judged me by their appropriate tool. 
 Except as a fellow handled an ax 
They had no way of knowing a fool. 

Nothing on either side was said.
They knew they had but to stay their stay 
And all their logic would fill my head: 
As that I had no right to play 
With what was another man ' s work for gain. 
My right might be love but theirs was need.
And where the two exist in twain 
Theirs was the better right -  agreed.


But yield who will to their separation,
 My object in living is to unite 
My avocation and my vocation 
As my two eyes make one in sit 
Only where love and need are one, 
And the work is play for mortal stakes, 
Is the deed ever really done 
For Heaven and the future' s sakes.

Source: Friends Classics, Robert Frost Selected Poems.

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