Christina Rossetti: Poems

An Apple Gathering

I plucked pink blossoms from mine apple-tree

And wore them all that evening in my hair:

Then in due season when I went to see

I found no apples there.

With dangling basket all along the grass

As I had come I went the selfsame track:

My neighbours mocked me while they saw me pass

So empty-handed back.

Lilian and Lilias smiled in trudging by,

Their heaped-up basket teased me like a jeer; 10

Sweet-voiced they sang beneath the sunset sky,

Their mother's home was near.

Plump Gertrude passed me with her basket full,

A stronger hand than hers helped it along;

A voice talked with her through the shadows cool

More sweet to me than song.

Ah Willie, Willie, was my love less worth

Than apples with their green leaves piled above?

I counted rosiest apples on the earth

Of far less worth than love. 20

So once it was with me you stooped to talk

Laughing and listening in this very lane:

To think that by this way we used to walk

We shall not walk again!

I let my neighbours pass me, ones and twos

And groups; the latest said the night grew chill,

And hastened: but I loitered, while the dews

Fell fast I loitered still.