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 me 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.
Many have sung of love a root of bane:
While to my mind a root of balm it is,
For love at length breeds love; sufficient bliss
For life and death and rising up again.
Surely when light of Heaven makes all things plain,
Love will grow plain with all its mysteries;
Nor shall we need to fetch from over seas
Wisdom or wealth or pleasure safe from pain.
Love in our borders, love within our heart,
Love all in all, we then shall bide at rest,
Ended for ever life’s unending quest,
Ended for ever effort, change and fear:
Love all in all; —no more that better part
Purchased, but at the cost of all things here.