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About this Poem 

"Asking for Roses" was published in A Boy's Will (Henry Holt and Company, 1915).

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 discloses.
‘Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you!
     ’Tis summer again; there’s two come for roses.

‘A word with you, that of the singer recalling—
     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 supposes),
There when she comes on us mistily shining
     And grants us by silence the boon of her roses.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

One of the most celebrated poets in America, Robert Frost was an author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes and a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.

by this poet

poem
We make ourselves a place apart
     Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
     Till someone find us really out.

’Tis pity if the case require
     (Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
     The understanding of a friend.

But so with all, from babes that
poem

LONELINESS
(Her Word)

One ought not to have to care
  So much as you and I
Care when the birds come round the house
  To seem to say good-bye;

Or care so much when they come back     
  With whatever it is they sing;
The truth being we are as much
  Too glad

poem

The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the