Robert Frost

A Considerable Speck

(Microscopic) A speck that would have been beneath my sight On any but a paper sheet so white Set off across what I had written there. And I had idly poised my pen in air To stop it with a period of ink When something strange about it made me think, This was no dust speck by my breathing blown, But unmistakably a living mite With inclinations it could call its own. It paused as with suspicion of my pen, And then came racing wildly on again To where my manuscript was not yet dry; Then paused again and either drank or smelt– With loathing, for again it turned to fly. Plainly with an intelligence I dealt. It seemed too tiny to have room for feet, Yet must have had a set of them complete To express how much it didn’t want to die. It ran with terror and with cunning crept. It faltered: I could see it hesitate; Then in the middle of the open sheet Cower down in desperation to accept Whatever I accorded it of fate. I have none of the tenderer-than-thou Collectivistic regimenting love With which the modern world is being swept. But this poor microscopic item now! Since it was nothing I knew evil of I let it lie there till I hope it slept. I have a mind myself and recognize Mind when I meet with it in any guise No one can know how glad I am to find On any sheet the least display of mind.

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