Christina Rossetti: Poems

A Ring Posy

Jess and Jill are pretty girls,

Plump and well to do,

In a cloud of windy curls:

Yet I know who

Loves me more than curls or pearls.

I'm not pretty, not a bit--

Thin and sallow-pale;

When I trudge along the street

I don't need a veil:

Yet I have one fancy hit. 10

Jess and Jill can trill and sing

With a flute-like voice,

Dance as light as bird on wing,

Laugh for careless joys:

Yet it's I who wear the ring.

Jess and Jill will mate some day,

Surely, surely:

Ripen on to June through May,

While the sun shines make their hay,

Slacken steps demurely: 20

Yet even there I lead the way.