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Aspects of Narrative | Analysis of Cousin Kate by Christina Rossetti

Steve Campsall | Sunday October 09, 2011

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Guide Navigation

1. Introduction
2. AQA Specific Section: Assessment Objectives, etc.
3. A Critical Vocabulary
4. Tips for Improving Exam Grades
5. Guide to Narrative: Narrative Frameworks
6. Guide to Narrative: Narrative Concepts
7. Focalisation and Diegesis
8. Mimesis
9. Narrative Forms and Structures
10. AQA Specific Exam Tips
11. Help with Exam Revision
12. Analysis of Cousin Kate, poem by Christina Rossetti

Cousin Kate

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

I was a cottage maiden

[1]
Hardened by sun and air,

Contented with my cottage mates,
Not mindful I was fair.

[2]

Why did a great lord find me out,

[3]

And praise my flaxen hair?

[4]

Why did a great lord find me out
To fill my heart with care?

[5]
 
He

lured

me to his palace home— [6]
Woe’s me for joy thereof—
To lead a

shameless shameful life,

[7]

His plaything and his love.

[8]

He wore me

like a silken knot, [9]

He changed me like a glove

; [10]
So now I moan,

an unclean thing,

[11]
Who might have been a dove.

O Lady Kate, my cousin Kate,
You grew more fair than I:

[12]
He saw you at your father’s gate,
Chose you, and cast me by.
He watched your steps along the lane,

Your work among the rye;

[13]
He lifted you from

mean estate

[14]

To sit with him on high.

[15]
 
Because you were

so good and pure

[16
He

bound you with his ring

: [17]

The neighbours call you good and pure,
Call me an outcast thing.

[18]
Even so I sit and howl in dust,
You sit in gold and sing:
Now which of us has tenderer heart?
You had the stronger wing.
 
O cousin Kate, my love was true,
Your love was writ in sand:
If he had fooled not me but you,
If you stood where I stand,

He’d not have won me with his love

[19]
Nor bought me with his land;
I would have spit into his face
And not have taken his hand.

Yet I’ve a gift you have not got,

[20]
And seem not like to get:
For all your clothes and wedding-ring
I’ve little doubt you fret.

My fair-haired son, my shame, my pride,
Clings...


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