No Gift Outright

The original – The Gift Outright, has troubled me for some time; so, following Hugh MacDiarmids rebuttal of Housman’s Epitaph of an army of Mercenaries’ I offer the following; with the proviso that Frost was writing for his time. And it’s well worth googling the reading he gave at JFK’s inauguration in 1962. I will also try an article on this later.



                                   No Gift Outright 


                 The land was not yours before you arrived.

                 She was her own for thousands of years.

                 Already, she had her people – they were hers;

                 In the forests, on the coasts, and the plains;

                 While you were yet still Europe’s complainants;

                 Desiring what you were undesired by.

                 Something you were withholding made you weak;

                 Until you found it was your own conceit.

                 Such as you were, you gave yourselves outright;

                 Your deed of gift became the deeds of war,

                 As across the land – Westward you poured.

                 And each dead Huron, Navajo, and Sioux,

                 Has now come back – a rebuttal to you.

                 And the Negro you enslaved and balked,

                 Is still here, alive – in the way you walk.

                 So, make no mistake – you cannot escape,

                 The complicity of Manifold Destiny.


                                                                      D G Moody





© Dodgem 2023
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has now came back is it correct?

yes I will try to google more today about all the things you say in the short description and look forward to reading your article

what’s the connection exactly, and what’s the bottom line this seems like a poem not destined to give anything but one central idea and meaning..

it was what I call Miss Havisham syndrome, this Great Expectations (or Lost Illusions) that will eventually end in flames (of war) or bloodthirsty revolutions.
And I base my conclusion on this line

Something you were withholding made you weak;


Well written D.

Great counterpoint.

We have to remember history is written by the victors – and Frost, as great a poet as he was, was still part of the conquering crowd.



Bravo! Well said, Dougie!

Mark Twain had it when he said: ‘“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

Untruths sure do have a habit of biting you on the bum. 🙂


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