Wednesday, 1 October 2008


We were sad to take down Miss Fleur Oakes's show to-day. This corset was about Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin's Market'. 
Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
"Come buy our orchard fruits, 
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump un pecked cherries-
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries--
All ripe together
In summer weather--
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy;
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegramates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the south,
Sweet tongue and sound to eye,
Come buy, come buy."

Evening by evening
Among brookside rushes,
Laura bowed her head to hear, 
Lizzie veiled her blushes:
Crouching close together, 
In the cooling weather,
With clasping arms and cautioning lips,
With tingling cheeks and finger-tips,
"Lie-close," Laura said,
Pricking up her golden head:
We must not look at Goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"
"Come buy," call the goblins
hobbling down the glen.
"O! cried Lizzie, Laura, Laura,
You should not peep at goblin men."
Lizzie covered up her eyes
Covered close lest they should look;
Laura reared her glossy head,
And whispered like the restless brook:
"Look Lizzie, look, Lizzie,
Down the glen tramp little men.
One hauls a basket,
One bears a plate,
One lugs a golden dish
Of many pounds of weight.
How fair the vine must grow
Who's grapes are so luscious;
How warm the wiond must blow
Through those fruit bushes."
"No," said Lizzie "no, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us,
Their evil gifts would harm us."
She thrust a dimples finger
In each ear, shut her eyes and ran:
Curious Laura chose to linger
Wondering at each merchant man.
One had a cat's face,
One a whisked tail,
One tramped at a rat's pace,
One crawled like a snail,
One like a wombat prowled obtuse and furry,
One like a ratel tumbled hurry-scurry.
Lizzie heard a voice like a voice of doves
Cooing all together:
They sounded kind and full of loves
In the pleasent weather.

Laura stretched her gleaming neck
Like a rush-imbedded swan,
Like a lilly from the beck,
Like a moonlit poplar branch,
Like a vessel at the launch
When its last restraint is gone.

Backwards up the mossy glen,
Turned and trooped the goblin men,
With their shrill repeated cry, 
"Come buy, come buy."
When they reached where Laura was
They stood stock still upon the moss, 
Learing at each other
Brother with queer brother;
Signalling at each other,
Brother with sly brother.
One set his basket down,
One reared his plate;
One began to weave a crown
Of trendrils, leaves, and rough nuts brown
(men sell not such in any town);
One heaved the golden weight
Of dish and fruit to offer her:
"Come buy, come buy," was still their cry.
Laura stared but did not stir,
Longed but had no money:
The whisk-tailed merchant bade her taste
In tones as smooth as honey,
the cat-faced purr'd
The rat-paced spoke a word
Of welcome, and the snail-paced even was heard;
One parrot-voiced and jolly
Cried "Pretty Goblin" still for "Pretty Polly";
One whistled like a bird.

But sweet tooth Laura spoke in haste:
"Good folk, I have no coin;
To take were to purloin:
I have no copper in my purse,
I have no silver either,
And all my gold is on the furze
That shakes in windy weather
above the rusty heather."
"You have much gold upon your head,"
They answered altogether:
"Buy from us with a golden curl."
She clipped a precious golden lock,
She dropped a tear more rare than a pearl,
Then sucked their fruit globes fair or red:
Sweeter than honey from the rock,
Stronger than men-rejoicing wine,
Clearer than water flowed that juice;
she never tasted such before,
how should it cloy with length of use?
The sucked and sucked and sucked the more,
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore,
She sucked until her lips were sore;
Then flung the emptied rinds away,
But gathered up one kernal stone,
And knew not it was night or day
As she turned home alone.

Lizzie met her at the gate
Full of wise upbraidings:
"Dear, you should not stay so late,
Twilight is not good for maidens;
Should not loiter in the glen
In the haunts of goblin men.
Do you not remember Jeanie,
How she met them in the moonlight,
took their gifts both choice and many,
Ate their fruits and wore their flowers
Plucked from bowers
Where summer ripens at all hours?
But ever in the moonlight
She pined and pined away;
Sought them by night and day,
Found them no more, but dwindled and grew gray;
Then fell with the first snow,
While to this day no grass will grow
Where she lies low:
I planted daisies there a year ago
That never blow.
You should not loiter so."
"Nay hush," said Laura.
"Nay hush, my sister:
I ate and ate my fill,
Yet my mouth waters still;
To-morrow night I will,
Buy more,"and kissed her.
"Have done with sorrow:
I'll bring you plums tomorrow
fresh on their mother twigs
Cherries worth getting;
you cannot think what figs
My teeth have met in,
What melons, icy-cold
Plied on a dish of gold
Too huge for me to hold,
What peaches with a velvet nap,
Pellucid grapes without one seed:
Odorous indeed must be the mead
Whereon they grow, and pure wave they drink,
With lillies at the brink,
And sugar sweet their sap."

Golden head by golden head, 
Like two pigeons in one nest
Folded in each others wings, 
They lay down, in curtained bed:
Like two blossoms on one stem,
Like two flakes of new-fallen snow,
Like two wands of ivory
Tipped with gold for awful kings.
Moon and stars beamed in at them,
Wind sang to them lullaby,
Lumbering owls forbore to fly,
Not a bat flapped to and fro
Round their rest:
Cheek to cheek and breast to breast
Locked together in one nest.

Early in the morning.......
and I suggest you follow this link, because I'm having to type this out, and I have to open the shop now.....