The Gift Outright

Robert Frost 1874 (San Francisco) – 1963 (Boston)

The land was ours before we were the land's.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert Frost

Robert Lee Frost was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in the United States. more…

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  • This is the poem he read during John F. Kennedyo's inguaration January, 1961. I saw an old film of Frost trying to read with the sunlight was shining on his paper. A favorite poem of my by this great poet, 
    LikeReply10 months ago

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"The Gift Outright" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 18 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/30917/the-gift-outright>.

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