Christina Rossetti: A Ring Posy

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.
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:
Yet even there I lead the way.