‘A Prayer in Spring’ by Robert Frost

Looking for some peace and quiet? Robert Frost’s poem ‘A Prayer in Spring’ just might give you some inspiration.

As I often mention in my poetry posts, try to read this poem out loud—it has a great rhythm that you might completely miss out on if you read it silently. And that would be unfortunate, because the rhythm is intentional: it contributes to the message of the poem. Its stable consistency adds to the sense of calm.

How did Frost create this effect? You will notice the steady AABB rhyme pattern, but there’s more. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, which is a five-set series of iambs (an iamb is a metrical unit consisting of two syllables, where the first one is unstressed and the second one stressed).

English language learners can do a simple vocabulary exercise found below the poem, and there’s also a selection of additional resources on Robert Frost and iambic pentameter.

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.


Match the following words found in the poem with their definitions:

ORCHARD (n.) | DILATE (v.) | THRUST (v.) | SWARM (n.) | SANCTIFY (v.) | DART (v.)

  • to become wider or larger
  • to move suddenly and quickly
  • an area where fruit trees are grown 
  • to make holy, consecrate
  • a large group of insects
  • to push suddenly and strongly

To check your answers, please click here.


‘A Prayer in Spring’ read by Robert Frost

Iambic pentameter – an Encyclopedia Britannica entry

‘October’ by Robert Frost

Robert Frost board on the Grammaticus Pinterest profile

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