Lines 1–5: A lone traveler comes to a fork in the road and is sorry that he cannot travel down both paths. He stands in place for a long time, deciding which path to take and looking as far down one path as he can see.
Lines 6–10: The traveler looks down the other road. At first, he thinks it looks grassier and less worn than the first road, but then he realizes that the two roads are more or less the same.
Lines 11–15: Both roads are equally covered in leaves. The traveler decides to save the first road for another day, but knowing how one event can lead to another, he doubts he will ever return to travel the first road.
Lines 16–20: The traveler says that one day in the distant future, he will look back on that pivotal moment with a sigh and remember how he had a choice between two roads and he chose the one less traveled. He believes that he will look back on that decision and realize that it made a profound difference in his life.