A Boy's Will/Asking for Roses

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Asking for Roses by Robert Frost
Part I
From A Boy's Will, 1913.
ASKING FOR ROSES

 
A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and
     master,
   With doors that none but the wind ever
     closes,
Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster;
    It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses.

I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary;
    'I wonder,' I say, 'who the owner of those
      is.
'Oh, no one you know,' she answers me airy,
    'But one we must ask if we want any roses.'
 
So we must join hands in the dew coming
    coldly
   There in the hush of the wood that reposes,
And turn and go up to the open door boldly,
   And knock to the echoes as beggars for
    roses.

 

'Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-
    were-you?'
  'Tis Mary that speaks and our errand dis-
    closes.
'Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, be
    stir you!
  'Tis summer again; there's two come for
    roses.

'A word with you, that of the singer recall-
   ing—
  Old Herrick: a saying that every maid
   knows is
A flower unplucked is but left to the falling,
  And nothing is gained by not gathering
   roses.'
 
We do not loosen our hands intertwining
  (Not caring so very much what she sup-
    poses),
There when she comes on us mistily shining
  And grants us by silence the boon of her
   roses.