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.


It is winter, still and quiet.

The speaker is attracted by the deepness and darkness of the woods. The serene, mysterious, seductive Nature compels the speaker to hang out in spite of dangerous consequences.

He is contemplating staying in the woods rather than returning to the village to fulfill the obligations and promises he’s made and flirts momentarily with the idea of breaking them, before deciding against it.

The feeling of being so far away from where you need to be almost makes you feel like easier to just give up and hang out.

He might be reflecting upon something deeper and darker like death.

It’s as though the horse reminds the speaker of the “promises” he has made to those in the village and reminds him of the social life he has in the village.

He tells himself that he’s got things to do, people to see and places to go. He’s still got a long way to go before he can rest and sleep, so he had better get going.



When I was in Form 7 after the AL public examination, I had a similar feeling and experience when I went to the Lion Rock Country Park alone at night. There was no one there while I sat there watching over the Victoria Harbour of Hong Kong. The glimmering night view and the hustle and bustle of the city allures me to think about the meaning of life and my future. I had a deep feeling of despair, frustration and aloneness which really felt like death. I immediately left the Park when the feelings got quite overwhelmingly worse. To be honest, I think this kind of spiritual experience could be quite dangerous if one is left to do it all alone without company.

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