Christina Rossetti: An Apple Gathering

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; 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. 
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.