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About this Poem 

"Love and a Question" was published in A Boy's Will (Henry Holt and Company, 1915).

Love and a Question

A stranger came to the door at eve,
     And he spoke the bridegroom fair.
He bore a green-white stick in his hand,
     And, for all burden, care.
He asked with the eyes more than the lips
     For a shelter for the night,
And he turned and looked at the road afar 
     Without a window light.

The bridegroom came forth into the porch
     With ‘Let us look at the sky,
And question what of the night to be,
     Stranger, you and I.’
The woodbine leaves littered the yard,
     The woodbine berries were blue,
Autumn, yes, winter was in the wind;
     ‘Stranger, I wish I knew.’

Within, the bride in the dusk alone
     Bent over the open fire,
Her face rose-red with the glowing coal
     And the thought of the heart’s desire.

The bridegroom looked at the weary road,
     Yet saw but her within,
And wished her heart in a case of gold
     And pinned with a silver pin.

The bridegroom thought it little to give
     A dole of bread, a purse,
A heartfelt prayer for the poor of God,
     Or for the rich a curse;

But whether or not a man was asked
     To mar the love of two
By harboring woe in the bridal house,
     The bridegroom wished he knew.

This poem appears in the public domain.

This poem appears in the public domain.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

One of the most celebrated figures in American poetry, Robert Frost was the author of numerous poetry collections, including including New Hampshire (Henry Holt and Company, 1923). Born in San Francisco in 1874, he lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont. He died in Boston in 1963.

by this poet

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round
I went to turn the grass once after one
Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
Before I came to view the levelled scene.

I looked for him behind an isle of trees;
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be
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.