An Alphabet

A is the Alphabet, A at its head ;
     A is an Antelope, agile to run.
B is the Baker Boy bringing his bread,
     Or black Bear and brown Bear, both begging for bun.

C is a Cornflower come with the corn ;
     C is a Cat with a comical look.
D is a dinner which Dahlias adorn ;
     D is a Duchess who dines with a Duke.

E is an elegant eloquent Earl ;
     E is an Egg whence an Eaglet emerges.
F is a Falcon, with feathers to furl ;
     F is a fountain of full foaming surges.

G is the Gander, the Gosling, the Goose ;
     G is a Garnet in girdle of gold.
H is a Heartsense, harmonious of hews ;
     H is a huge Hammer, heavy to hold.

I is an Idler who idles on ice ;
     I am I–who will say I am not I?
J is a Jacinth, a jewel of price ;
     J is a Jay, full of joy in July.

K is a King, or a Kaiser still higher ;
     K is a kitten, or quaint Kangaroo.
L is a Lute or a lovely-toned Lyre ;
     L is a Lily all laden with dew.

M is a Meadow where Meadowsweet blows ;
     M is a mountain made dim by a mist.
N is a nut–in a nutshell it grows–
     Or a Next full of Nightingales singing–oh list !

O is an Opal, with only one spark ;
     O is an Olive, with oil on its skin.
P is a Pony, a pet in a park ;
     P is the Point of a Pen or a Pin.

Q is a Quail, quick-chirping at morn ;
     Q is a Quince quite ripe and near dropping.
R is a Rose, rosy red on a thorn ;
     R is a red-breasted Robin come hopping.

S is a Snow-storm that sweeps o’er the Sea ;
     S is the Song that the swift Swallows sing.
T is the Tea-table set out for Tea ;
     T is a Tiger with terrible spring.

U, the Umbrella, went up in a shower ;
     Or Unit is useful with ten to unite.
V is a Violet veined in the flower ;
     V is a Viper of venemous bite.

W stands for the water-bred Whale–
     Stands for the wonderful Waxwork so gay.
X, or XX, or XXX, is ale,
     Or Policeman X, excercised day after day.

Y is a yellow Yacht, yellow its boat ;
     Y is the Yacca, the Yam, or the Yew.
Z is a Zebra, zigzaggèd his coat,
     Or Zebu, or Zoöphyte, seen at the Zoo.

Christina Georgina Rossetti
circa 1875

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