Enrica, 1865.

A poem by Christina Georgina Rossetti

She came among us from the South
And made the North her home awhile
Our dimness brightened in her smile,
Our tongue grew sweeter in her mouth.

We chilled beside her liberal glow,
She dwarfed us by her ampler scale,
Her full-blown blossom made us pale,
She summer-like and we like snow.

We Englishwomen, trim, correct,
All minted in the self-same mould,
Warm-hearted but of semblance cold,
All-courteous out of self-respect.

She woman in her natural grace,
Less trammelled she by lore of school,
Courteous by nature not by rule,
Warm-hearted and of cordial face.

So for awhile she made her home
Among us in the rigid North,
She who from Italy came forth
And scaled the Alps and crossed the foam.

But if she found us like our sea,
Of aspect colourless and chill,
Rock-girt; like it she found us still
Deep at our deepest, strong and free.

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