Christina Rossetti




An Alphabet

A is the Alphabet, A at its head;
  A is an Antelope, agile to run.
B is the Baker Boy bringing the bread,
  Or black Bear and brown Bear, both begging for bun.

C is a Cornflower come with the corn;
  C is a Cat with a comical look.
D is a Dinner which Dahlias adorn;
  D is a Duchess who dines with a Duke.

E is an elegant eloquent Earl;
  E is an Egg whence an Eaglet emerges.
F is a Falcon, with feathers to furl;
  F is a Fountain of full foaming surges.

G is the Gander, the Gosling, the Goose;
  G is a Garnet in girdle of gold.
H is a Heartsease, harmonious of hues;
  H is a huge Hammer, heavy to hold.

I is an Idler who idles on ice;
  I am I — who will say I am not I?
J is a Jacinth, a jewel of price;
  J is a Jay, full of joy in July.

K is a King, or a Kaiser still higher;
  K is a Kitten, or quaint Kangaroo.
L is a Lute or a lovely-toned Lyre;
  L is a Lily all laden with dew.

M is a Meadow where Meadowsweet blows;
  M is a Mountain made dim by a mist.
N is a Nut — in a nutshell it grows —
  Or a Nest full of Nightingales singing — oh list!

O is an Opal, with only one spark;
  O is an Olive, with oil on its skin.
P is a Pony, a pet in a park;
  P is the Point of a Pen or a Pin.

Q is a Quail, quick-chirping at morn;
  Q is a Quince quite ripe and near dropping.
R is a Rose, rosy red on a thorn;
  R is a red-breasted Robin come hopping.

S is a Snow-storm that sweeps o'er the Sea;
  S is the Song that the swift Swallows sing.
T is the Tea-table set out for tea;
  T is a Tiger with terrible spring.

U, the Umbrella, went up in a shower;
  Or Unit is useful with ten to unite.
V is a Violet veined in the flower;
  V is a Viper of venomous bite.

W stands for the water-bred Whale;
  Stands for the wonderful Wax-work so gay.
X, or XX, or XXX is ale,
  Or Policeman X, exercised day after day.

Y is a yellow Yacht, yellow its boat;
  Y is the Yucca, the Yam, or the Yew.
Z is a Zebra, zigzagged his coat,
  Or Zebu, or Zoöphyte, seen at the Zoo.