Spoils of the dead – Robert Frost

on
Two fairies it was
On a still summer day
Came forth in the woods
With the flowers to play.
*
The flowers they plucked
They cast on the ground
For others, and those
For still others they found.
*
Flower-guided it was
That they came as they ran
On something that lay
In the shape of a man.
*
The snow must have made
The feathery bed
When this one fell
On the sleep of the dead.
*
But the snow was gone
A long time ago,
And the body he wore
Nigh gone with the snow.
*
The fairies drew near
And keenly espied
A ring on his hand
And a chain at his side.
*
They knelt in the leaves
And eerily played
With the glittering things,
And were not afraid.
*
And when they went home
To hide in their burrow,
They took them along
To play with to-morrow.
*
When you came on death,
Did you not come flower-guided
Like the elves in the wood?
I remember that I did.
*
But I recognised death
With sorrow and dread,
And I hated and hate
The spoils of the dead.
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