Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems
Christina Georgina Rossetti
"Goblin Market" is about two close sisters, Laura and Lizzie, as well as the goblin men to whom the title refers, and another girl named Jeanie. Although the sisters seem to be quite young, they live by themselves in a house, and are accustomed to draw water every evening from a stream. As the poem begins, twilight is falling, and as usual the sisters hear the calls from the goblin merchants, who sell fruits in fantastic abundance, variety and savour. On this evening, Laura lingers at the stream after her sister has left for home. Wanting fruit but having no money, the impulsive Laura offers a lock of her hair and "a tear more rare than pearl."