Jessie Cameron Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Jessie Jessie CameronA
Hear me but this once quoth heB
Good luck go with you neighbor's sonA
But I'm no mate for you quoth sheB
Day was verging toward the nightC
There beside the moaning seaB
Dimness overtook the lightC
There where the breakers beB
O Jessie Jessie CameronA
I have loved you long and trueD
Good luck go with you neighbor's sonA
But I'm no mate for youD
She was a careless fearless girlE
And made her answer plainF
Outspoken she to earl or churlE
Kind hearted in the mainF
But somewhat heedless with her tongueG
And apt at causing painF
A mirthful maiden she and youngG
Most fair for bliss or baneF
O long ago I told you soH
I tell you so to dayI
Go you your way and let me goH
Just my own free wayI
The sea swept in with moan and foamJ
Quickening the stretch of sandK
They stood almost in sight of homeJ
He strove to take her handK
O can't you take your answer thenL
And won't you understandK
For me you're not the man of menL
I've other plans are plannedK
You're good for Madge or good for CisH
Or good for Kate may beB
But what's to me the good of thisH
While you're not good for meB
They stood together on the beachM
They two aloneN
And louder waxed his urgent speechM
His patience almost goneO
O say but one kind word to meB
Jessie Jessie CameronA
I'd be too proud to beg quoth sheB
And pride was in her toneN
And pride was in her lifted headP
And in her angry eyeQ
And in her foot which might have fledP
But would not flyQ
Some say that he had gypsy bloodR
That in his heart was guileE
Yet he had gone through fire and floodR
Only to win her smileE
Some say his grandam was a witchS
A black witch from beyond the NileE
Who kept an image in a nicheS
And talked with it the whileE
And by her hut far down the laneF
Some say they would not pass at nightC
Lest they should hear an unked strainF
Or see an unked sightC
Alas for Jessie CameronA
The sea crept moaning moaning nigherD
She should have hastened to be goneO
The sea swept higher breaking by herD
She should have hastened to her homeJ
While yet the west was flushed with fireD
But now her feet are in the foamJ
The sea foam sweeping higherD
O mother linger at your doorD
And light your lamp to make it plainF
But Jessie she comes home no moreD
No more againL
They stood together on the strandK
They only each by eachM
Home her home was close at handK
Utterly out of reachM
Her mother in the chimney nookT
Heard a startled sea gull screechM
But never turned her head to lookT
Towards the darkening beachM
Neighbors here and neighbors thereD
Heard one scream as if a birdU
Shrilly screaming cleft the airD
That was all they heardU
Jessie she comes home no moreD
Comes home neverD
Her lover's step sounds at his doorD
No more foreverD
And boats may search upon the seaB
And search along the riverD
But none know where the bodies beB
Sea winds that shiverD
Sea birds that breast the blastV
Sea waves swellingW
Keep the secret first and lastV
Of their dwellingW
Whether the tide so hemmed them roundX
With its pitiless flowH
That when they would have gone they foundX
No way to goH
Whether she scorned him to the lastV
With words flung to and froH
Or clung to him when hope was pastV
None will ever knowH
Whether he helped or hindered herD
Threw up his life or lost it wellE
The troubled sea for all its stirD
Finds no voice to tellE
Only watchers by the dyingW
Have thought they heard one prayD
Wordless urgent and replyingW
One seem to say him nayD
And watchers by the dead have heardU
A windy swell from miles awayD
With sobs and screams but not a wordU
Distinct for them to sayD
And watchers out at sea have caughtY
Glimpse of a pale gleam here or thereD
Come and gone as quick as thoughtZ
Which might be hand or hairD

Christina Rossetti


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