Christina Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1847 December
Rhyme: tetrameter couplets
Meter: iambic
Genre: narrative


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Germ text.

Scholarly Commentary


As with all of CR's poems published in The Germ, this short piece appeared pseudonymously as the work of “Ellen Alleyn”. It was first reprinted posthumously in WMR's edition of his sister's New Poems (1896).

Textual History: Composition

December 1847. The manuscript title is “An Argument”. (The MS is in the Bodleian Library.)

Printing History

First printed in The Germ 3, pages 111-117.


The influence of Tennyson's “Mariana” is evident in the general conception of the tale. New Testament allusions are laid in discreetly; their presence turns the poem from a secular tale to a religious allegory.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1