Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti Poems

Christina Rossetti was one of the most important poets of the Victorian age. She wrote several important pieces of poetry, many of which were published in Goblin Market and other Poems. Interest in Rossetti’s poetry has only increased in the decades since her death. Read more about Christina Rossetti.

Goblin Market

by Christina Rossetti

‘Goblin Market’ is one of Christina Rossetti’s most famous and well-studied poems. The symbolism in the poem has led to a number of interpretations. One could argue that it is a metaphor for drug addiction or female purity.

Rossetti is considered one of the foremost poets of the Victorian era, known for her lyrical style and her exploration of themes such as love, death, and spirituality. 'Goblin Market' is one of her most famous works, if not her most famous. The poem is celebrated for its lyrical beauty and its exploration of themes such as sexuality, temptation, and the power of the natural world.

Morning and evening

Maids heard the goblins cry:

“Come buy our orchard fruits,

Come buy, come buy:

A Bird Song

by Christina Rossetti

‘A Bird Song’ by Christina Rossetti describes, through the interactions of swallows, the need a speaker has for a consistent companion. 

It's a year almost that I have not seen her:

Oh, last summer green things were greener,

Brambles fewer, the blue sky bluer.

A Dirge

by Christina Rossetti

‘A Dirge’ by Christina Rossetti is a thoughtful and moving poem about death. It speaks on the birth and death of an important person in the speaker’s life.

Why were you born when the snow was falling?

You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling,

Or when grapes are green in the cluster,

Or, at least, when lithe swallows muster

After Death

by Christina Rossetti

‘After Death’ is a Petrarchan Sonnet by Victorian poet Christina Rossetti. It skillfully explores themes of death and tragic love.

The curtains were half drawn, the floor was swept

And strewn with rushes, rosemary and may

Lay thick upon the bed on which I lay,

Where through the lattice ivy-shadows crept.

An Apple Gathering

by Christina Rossetti

‘An Apple Gathering’ is a first-person account of a woman who had a relationship before marriage and suffered the societal consquences.

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.

At Home

by Christina Rossetti

‘At Home’ describes the plight of a ghost who is kept separate from happiness, friends, and her no longer possible future.

I passed from the familiar room,

         I who from love had passed away,

Like the remembrance of a guest

        That tarrieth but a day.

Explore more poems from Christina Rossetti

Cousin Kate

by Christina Rossetti

‘Cousin Kate’ speaks to the circumstance of women during the Victorian era. The period in which Rossetti wrote this poem makes the message all the more meaningful.

I was a cottage maiden

Hardened by sun and air,

Contented with my cottage mates,

Not mindful I was fair.

De Profundis

by Christina Rossetti

‘De Profundis’ by Christina Rossetti describes a speaker’s longing for heaven, and the impossibility of reaching it during one’s lifetime. 

Oh why is heaven built so far,

Oh why is earth set so remote?

I cannot reach the nearest star

That hangs afloat.


by Christina Rossetti

Come to me in the silence of the night;

   Come in the speaking silence of a dream;

Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright

   As sunlight on a stream;

From the Antique

by Christina Rossetti

It's a weary life, it is, she said:

Doubly blank in a woman's lot:

I wish and I wish I were a man:

Or, better then any being, were not:

Good Friday

by Christina Rossetti

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,

That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,

To number drop by drop Thy blood’s slow loss,

And yet not weep?

I wish I could remember that first day

by Christina Rossetti

‘I wish I could remember that first day’ by Christina Rossetti is also known as ‘First Day.’ It focuses on the speaker’s regret that she can’t remember more about her first love.

I wish I could remember that first day,

   First hour, first moment of your meeting me,

   If bright or dim the season, it might be

Summer or winter for aught I can say;

In an Artist’s Studio

by Christina Rossetti

‘In an Artist’s Studio’ describes one artist’s obsession over a particular woman and the way that her face has absorbs his every thought. 

One face looks out from all his canvases,

One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:

We found her hidden just behind those screens,

That mirror gave back all her loveliness.

In the Bleak Midwinter

by Christina Rossetti

‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ describes the birth of the Christ child on a “bleak midwinter” day and those who came to see him. 

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,

In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Jessie Cameron

by Christina Rossetti

“Jessie, Jessie Cameron,

Hear me but this once,” quoth he.

“Good luck go with you, neighbor's son,

But I'm no mate for you,” quoth she.

Let Me Go

by Christina Rossetti

In ‘Let Me Go,’ readers will find a soothing and peaceful depiction of death from the perspective of someone about to face it. 

When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me

I want no rites in a gloom filled room

Why cry for a soul set free?

Maude Clare

by Christina Rossetti

Out of the church she followed them

With a lofty step and mien:

His bride was like a village maid,

Maude Clare was like a queen.


by Christina Rossetti

‘May’ by Christina Rossetti describes an unknown, now finished, event a speaker experienced in the warm, young and pleasant month of May.


by Christina Rossetti

I nursed it in my bosom while it lived,

I hid it in my heart when it was dead;

In joy I sat alone, even so I grieved

Alone and nothing said.

No, Thank You, John

by Christina Rossetti

I never said I loved you, John:

        Why will you tease me, day by day,

And wax a weariness to think upon

        With always "do" and "pray"?