Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
-Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert frost
A local traveller who has taken a short break and realizes the beauty of what he sees, yet understands his responsibilities. He is tempted to stay long and enjoy, but he understands that he has made promises which he has to keep before he rests. Notice that line 3 of each verse rhymes with lines 1, 2 and 4 of the following verse. This also enables the poem to be read literally on the beat of a drum, thereby infusing greater energy to it. A beautiful merger of content and form.
The poem asks to take time to stop and enjoy life, but not to an extent that it stops us from pursuing our dreams. What vivid, beautiful imagery! This is among the very few poems that can speak to many different people and yet bring a smile on each of their faces. It asks us to keep walking that extra mile, even when we think no-one is watching, or when all we really want is to rest.