The Mending Wall
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The photos on this page were taken in Ireland.
The Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
No one has seen or heard the gaps made,
But at spring mending-time, we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each,
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance.
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side; it comes to little more.
Then we reach a place where we don't need a wall,
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors?
Isn't it where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall;
That wants it down."
I see him there, grasping a stone in each hand,
Like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me --
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says it again:
"Good fences make good neighbors."
-- Robert Frost