by Christina Rossetti
A is the Alphabet, A at its head;
A is an Antelope, agile to run.
B is the Baker Boy bringing the 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 Heartsease, harmonious of hues;
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 Nest 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 venomous bite.
W stands for the water-bred Whale;
Stands for the wonderful Wax-work so gay.
X, or XX, or XXX is ale,
Or Policeman X, exercised day after day.
Y is a yellow Yacht, yellow its boat;
Y is the Yucca, the Yam, or the Yew.
Z is a Zebra, zigzagged his coat,
Or Zebu, or Zoophyte, seen at the Zoo.