Defeated

By Sophie Jewett 1861–1909 Sophie Jewett
When the last fight is lost, the last sword broken;   
The last call sounded, the last order spoken;   
When from the field where braver hearts lie sleeping,
Faint, and athirst, and blinded, I come creeping,
With not one waving shred of palm to bring you,
With not one splendid battle-song to sing you,
O Love, in my dishonor and defeat,
Your measureless compassion will be sweet.

Source: The Poems of Sophie Jewett (1910)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Sophie Jewett 1861–1909

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Love, Disappointment & Failure, Relationships, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes

Poetic Terms Epigram, Couplet

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.

Jewett . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Disappointment & Failure, Relationships, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Epigram, Couplet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.