Across the Border

By Sophie Jewett 1861–1909 Sophie Jewett

I have read somewhere that the birds of fairyland
are white as snow.—W. B. Yeats

Where all the trees bear golden flowers,   
   And all the birds are white;   
Where fairy folk in dancing hours   
   Burn stars for candlelight;

Where every wind and leaf can talk,   
   But no man understand
Save one whose child-feet chanced to walk   
   Green paths of fairyland;

I followed two swift silver wings;   
   I stalked a roving song;
I startled shining, silent things;   
   I wandered all day long.

But when it seemed the shadowy hours   
   Whispered of soft-foot night,
I crept home to sweet common flowers,   
   Brown birds, and candlelight.

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 Stars, Planets, Heavens, Nature, Time & Brevity, Mythology & Folklore

Poetic Terms Common Measure

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 . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Stars, Planets, Heavens, Nature, Time & Brevity, Mythology & Folklore

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Common Measure

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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