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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 teazed me like a jeer; 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 thro' 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.
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.

Poem by Christina Rossetti
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