Christina Rossetti: Poems

A Triad


Three sang of love together: one with lips

Crimson, with cheeks and bosom in a glow,

Flushed to the yellow hair and finger-tips;

And one there sang who soft and smooth as snow

Bloomed like a tinted hyacinth at a show;

And one was blue with famine after love,

Who like a harpstring snapped rang harsh and low

The burden of what those were singing of.

One shamed herself in love; one temperately

Grew gross in soulless love, a sluggish wife;

One famished died for love. Thus two of three

Took death for love and won him after strife;

One droned in sweetness like a fattened bee:

All on the threshold, yet all short of life.