Sunday, July 24, 2016

What a spirit of adventure, what wild ambition! Sarah Orne Jewett form A White Heron

"A White Heron" from A White Heron and Other Stories by Sarah Orne Jewett

What a spirit of adventure, what wild ambition! What fancied triumph and delight and glory for the later morning when she could make known the secret! It was almost too real and too great for the childish heart to bear.

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He can make them rich with money; he has promised it, and they are poor now. He is so well worth making happy, and he waits to hear the story she can tell. No, she must keep silence! What is it that suddenly forbids her and makes her dumb? Has she been nine years growing and now, when the great world for the first time puts out a hand to her, must she thrust it aside for a bird’s sake? The murmur of the pine’s green branches is in her ears, she remembers how the white heron came flying through the golden air and how they watched the sea and the morning together, and Sylvia cannot speak; she cannot tell the heron’s secret and give its life away.

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I'd read Jewett's Country of the Pointed Firs (often considered her best work) a number of years ago. A significant figure in American regionalist literature, she lived and worked in Maine, just across the water from Portsmouth, NH where I'm spending some summer vacation.

Sarah Orne Jewett (September 3, 1849 – June 24, 1909) was an American novelist, short story writer and poet, best known for her local color works set along or near the southern seacoast of Maine. (Wikipedia)

Photos on this page from the Sarah Orne Jewett Historic Site, South Berwick, Maine

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