Today we had a bad Christmas Tree experience – actually it’s been a bad Christmas Tree season. In lieu of that story (I’ll have the energy for that tomorrow), here’s one of my all time favourite poems – about Christmas Trees. A Christmas Circular Letter by Robert Frost THE CITY had withdrawn into itself And […]
Today we had a bad Christmas Tree experience – actually it’s been a bad Christmas Tree season. In lieu of that story (I’ll have the energy for that tomorrow), here’s one of my all time favourite poems – about Christmas Trees.
A Christmas Circular Letter
by Robert Frost
THE CITY had withdrawn into itself
And left at last the country to the country;
When between whirls of snow not come to lie
And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove
A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,
Yet did in country fashion in that there
He sat and waited till he drew us out
A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.
He proved to be the city come again
To look for something it had left behind
And could not do without and keep its Christmas.
He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees;
My woods‚Äîthe young fir balsams like a place
Where houses all are churches and have spires.
I hadn‚Äôt thought of them as Christmas Trees.
I doubt if I was tempted for a moment
To sell them off their feet to go in cars
And leave the slope behind the house all bare,
Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.
I‚Äôd hate to have them know it if I was.
Yet more I‚Äôd hate to hold my trees except
As others hold theirs or refuse for them,
Beyond the time of profitable growth,
The trial by market everything must come to.
I dallied so much with the thought of selling.
Then whether from mistaken courtesy
And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether
From hope of hearing good of what was mine,
I said, ‚ÄúThere aren‚Äôt enough to be worth while.‚Äù
‚ÄúI could soon tell how many they would cut,
You let me look them over.‚Äù
‚ÄúYou could look.
But don‚Äôt expect I‚Äôm going to let you have them.‚Äù
Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close
That lop each other of boughs, but not a few
Quite solitary and having equal boughs
All round and round. The latter he nodded ‚ÄúYes‚Äù to,
Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one,
With a buyer‚Äôs moderation, ‚ÄúThat would do.‚Äù
I thought so too, but wasn‚Äôt there to say so.
We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over,
And came down on the north.
He said, ‚ÄúA thousand.‚Äù
‚ÄúA thousand Christmas trees!‚Äîat what apiece?‚Äù
He felt some need of softening that to me:
‚ÄúA thousand trees would come to thirty dollars.‚Äù
Then I was certain I had never meant
To let him have them. Never show surprise!
But thirty dollars seemed so small beside
The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents
(For that was all they figured out apiece),
Three cents so small beside the dollar friends
I should be writing to within the hour
Would pay in cities for good trees like those,
Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools
Could hang enough on to pick off enough.
A thousand Christmas trees I didn‚Äôt know I had!
Worth three cents more to give away than sell,
As may be shown by a simple calculation.
Too bad I couldn‚Äôt lay one in a letter.
I can‚Äôt help wishing I could send you one,
In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas.