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"I Had A Lover's Quarrel With The World"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Frost argues against the "sages" of today who insist that "this uncertain age in which we dwell" is really "dark." The poet believes otherwise: "We can't appraise the time in which we act," because we are too close to it. Furthermore, "There's always something to be sorry for,/ A sordid peace or an outrageous war." Time has always been the same, "all ages shine/ With equal darkness." The poet then comforts himself in the realization of what life really is and concludes with an affirmation of life:

We all are doomed to broken-off careers,
And so's the nation, so's the total race.
The earth itself is liable to the fate
Of meaninglessly being broken off.
. . .
I take my incompleteness with the rest.
God bless himself can no one else be blessed.
. . .
And were an epitaph to be my story
I'd have a short one ready for my own.
I would have written of me on my stone:
I had a lover's quarrel with the world.