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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles

Christina G. Rossetti (1830–1894)

CHRISTINA GEORGINA ROSSETTI, sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Michael Rossetti, was born in London on the 5th of December, 1830. When no more than sixteen years of age, her first verse attempts were printed by her grandfather, G. Polidori, at his private press, under the title “Verses by Christina G. Rossetti” (1847); and three years later she contributed verses to The Germ, using the nom de plume Ellen Alleyn. In 1862 she published “Goblin Market and other Poems,” and in 1866 “The Prince’s Progress.” These were followed by a collection of tales, “Commonplace and other Short Stories” (1870); “Sing-Song, a Nursery Rhyme-book” (1872); “Speaking Likenesses,” three short tales (1874); “Annus Domini, a Collect for each Day of the Year” (1874); “Seek and Find: Short Studies of the Benedicite” (1879); “Called to be Saints, the Minor Festivals devotionally Studied” (1881); “A Pageant and other Poems” (1881); “Letter and Spirit: Notes on the Commandments” (1883); “Time Flies, a Reading Diary” (1885); and “Poetical Works” (1890). Miss Rossetti died on the 29th of December, 1894.

Miss Rossetti’s general poetry is dealt with in the volume of this series devoted to the Women Poets of the Century, where her verse is introduced by a critical article from the pen of Mr. Arthur Symons. But so much of her later work was of a religious or devotional character, that, even at the cost of repetition, it is not possible to omit a selection from a representative volume of sacred poetry. The following selection is from the small and inexpensive volume “Time Flies,” published by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, and is included in this work by the courtesy of that society. For a critical and illustrative explanation of Miss Rossetti’s method and style the reader is referred to the article by Mr. Symons in the former volume. The following selection may be allowed to speak for itself.