To a Child

By Sophie Jewett 1861–1909 Sophie Jewett
The leaves talked in the twilight, dear;   
   Hearken the tale they told:   
How in some far-off place and year,   
   Before the world grew old,

I was a dreaming forest tree,
   You were a wild, sweet bird
Who sheltered at the heart of me
   Because the north wind stirred;

How, when the chiding gale was still,   
   When peace fell soft on fear,
You stayed one golden hour to fill
   My dream with singing, dear.

To-night the self-same songs are sung   
   The first green forest heard;
My heart and the gray world grow young—
   To shelter you, my bird.

Source: The Poems of Sophie Jewett (1910)

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Poet Sophie Jewett 1861–1909

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Relationships, Living, Parenthood

Occasions Birthdays, Birth

Holidays Mother's Day

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Biography

Born in Moravia, New York, poet Sophie Jewett was the daughter of a country doctor. Her childhood was marked by loss and displacement. When she was seven years old, her mother died, and Jewett was summoned from sleep to observe her passing; her father died two years later. After his death, Jewett and her three siblings moved to Buffalo to live with their uncle and grandmother, both of whom died during Jewett’s adolescence.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, Relationships, Living, Parenthood

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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