Study Guide

Goblin Market Stanza 19

By Christina Rossetti

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Stanza 19

Lines 335-347

Clucking and gobbling,
Mopping and mowing,
Full of airs and graces,
Pulling wry faces,
Demure grimaces,
Cat-like and rat-like,
Ratel- and wombat-like,
Snail-paced in a hurry,
Parrot-voiced and whistler,
Helter skelter, hurry skurry,
Chattering like magpies,
Fluttering like pigeons,
Gliding like fishes, -

  • This stanza just continues the overwhelming detail describing the individual goblins.
  • It's a huge group, but each of them is different, and Rossetti seems determined to describe every single one.
  • The goblins are "full of airs and graces," in other words, they're very polite and graceful.
  • But some of them are making "wry," or sarcastic faces at Lizzie (or at each other).
  • Others are making "demure," or modest faces.
  • Again, there's a list of all the different animals the goblins resemble: cats, rats, ratels (a South African mammal that looks like a badger, if you'd forgotten), wombats (a marsupial from Australia), snails, parrots, magpies, pigeons, fishes…

Lines 348-352

Hugg'd her and kiss'd her:
Squeez'd and caress'd her:
Stretch'd up their dishes,
Panniers, and plates:
"Look at our apples

  • The goblins actually start to touch Lizzie physically – they "kiss" and "hug" and "caress" and "squeeze."
  • They hold out dishes and "panniers" (baskets) of fruit to her.

Lines 353-362

Russet and dun,
Bob at our cherries,
Bite at our peaches,
Citrons and dates,
Grapes for the asking,
Pears red with basking
Out in the sun,
Plums on their twigs;
Pluck them and suck them,
Pomegranates, figs." -

  • The goblins tell Lizzie to admire their fruit.
  • Just like with Laura, the goblins list all their various kinds of fruit, inviting Lizzie to taste this or that.
  • They have red or yellow apples ("russet or dun"), cherries, peaches, citrons (a kind of citrus fruit from Asia), dates, grapes, pears, plums, pomegranates, and figs. That's a lot of choices.
  • The goblins invite Lizzie to "pluck them and suck them," and the internal rhyme of "pluck" and "suck" calls attention to those particular words…and to the icky sexiness of the goblin's invitation.

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