Summary (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
The situation described in this short poem is simple. Frost “beheads” a “happy Flower” even as it plays back and forth in a breeze. The flower is not surprised that it has died in this way, even if the frost’s power was “accidental.” The wordplay on axe, beheading, and accidental is clear. What is a surprise is that the real assassin is “blonde.” It is clearly the sun, which withheld its warmth and allowed the frost to do its dirty job. The sun “proceeds unmoved,” the oxymoron emphasizing that the sun simply observes the workings of nature from its high vantage point. It metes out a day, and God, higher still, approves it all as director of the conspiracy.
Bibliography (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
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