THIS little New England tableau allows Robert Frost to display his customary originality and unexpected twists of thought. (It also reminds me of the first time I travelled by train through the Pennsylvanian countryside and saw apple trees with their wealth of uncollected red fruit scattered round their roots – such a waste to British eyes).


A scent of ripeness from over a wall.

And come to leave the routine road

And look for what had made me stall,

There sure enough was an apple tree

That had eased itself of its summer’s load,

And of all but its trivial foliage free,

Now breathed as light as a lady’s fan.

For there had been an apple fall

As complete as the apple had given man.

The ground was one circle of solid red.

May something go always unharvested!

May much stay out of our stated plan,

Apples or something forgotten and left,

So smelling their sweetness would be no theft.