Sarah Orne Jewett
"Dear robin," said this sad young flower,
"Perhaps you'd not mind trying
To find a nice white frill for me,
Some day when you are flying?"
"You silly thing!" the robin said;
"I think you must be crazy!
I'd rather be my honest self
Than any made-up daisy.
"You're nicer in your own bright gown,
The little children love you;
Be the best buttercup you can,
And think no flower above you.
"Though swallows leave me out of sight,
We'd better keep our places;
Perhaps the world would all go wrong
With one too many daisies.
"Look bravely up into the sky,
And be content with knowing
That God wished for a buttercup
Just here, where you are growing."
- "Discontent", in St. Nicholas Magazine, Vol. 3 (February 1876), p. 247
- The warm sun kissed the earth
To consecrate thy birth,
And from his close embrace
Thy radiant face
Sprang into sight,
A blossoming delight.
- "The Soul of the Sunflower" in Scribner's Magazine, Vol. XXII (October 1881), p. 942
- A harbor, even if it is a little harbor, is a good thing, since adventurers come into it as well as go out, and the life in it grows strong, because it takes something from the world, and has something to give in return.
- Country By-Ways, River Driftwood (1881)
- Your patience may have long to wait,
Whether in little things or great,
But all good luck, you soon will learn,
Must come to those who nobly earn.
Who hunts the hay-field over
Will find the four-leaved clover.
- "Perseverance" in St. Nicholas Magazine, Vol. X. (September 1883), p. 840
- The thing that teases the mind over and over for years, and at last gets itself put down rightly on paper — whether little or great, it belongs to Literature.
- Letter to Willa Cather, quoted in the preface to The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories (1925)
- It does seem so pleasant to talk with an old acquaintance who knows what you know. I see so many new folks nowadays who seem to have neither past nor future. Conversation has got to have some root in the past, or else you have got to explain every remark you make, and it wears a person out.
- As quoted in Reader's Digest Vol. 130 (1987)
The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)
- Captain Littlepage had overset his mind with too much reading.
- Ch. 5
- The old poets little knew what comfort they could be to a man.
- Ch. 5
- "Step in some afternoon," he said, as affectionately as if I were a fellow-shipmaster wrecked on the lee shore of age like himself.
- Ch. 7
- We were standing where there was a fine view of the harbor and its long stretches of shore all covered by the great army of the pointed firs, darkly cloaked and standing as if they waited to embark. As we looked far seaward among the outer islands, the trees seemed to march seaward still, going steadily over the heights and down to the water's edge.
- Ch. 7
- Tact is after all a kind of mind-reading.
- Ch. 10
- Yes'm, old friends is always best, 'less you can catch a new one that's fit to make an old one out of.
- Ch. 12
- In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness.
- Ch. 15
- 'Tain't worthwhile to wear a day all out before it comes.
- Ch. 16
- The road was new to me, as roads always are, going back.
- Ch. 19
- So we die before our own eyes; so we see some chapters of our lives come to their natural end.
- Ch. 19