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Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

A Birthday


              1My heart is like a singing bird
              2      Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
              3My heart is like an apple-tree
              4      Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
              5My heart is like a rainbow shell
              6      That paddles in a halcyon sea;
              7My heart is gladder than all these
              8      Because my love is come to me.

              9Raise me a dais of silk and down;
            10      Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
            11Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
            12      And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
            13Work it in gold and silver grapes,
            14      In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
            15Because the birthday of my life
            16      Is come, my love is come to me.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Macmillan's Magazine (April 1861). AP 4 M2 ROBA AP M337 MICR mfm. Text from Christina Rossetti, Poems (1890).
First publication date: 1861
RPO poem editor: Margaret Frances (Sister St. Francis) Nims
RP edition: 3RP 3.304.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/14

Composition date: November 1857
Rhyme: abcbdefe


Other poems by Christina Rossetti