“Sunset and the Pinafore” by Childe Hassam
Thaxter died in August of the year An Island Garden was published.
In her preface to The Poems of Celia Thaxter (1896), Sarah Orne Jewett wrote, “It was midsummer, and the bayberry bushes were all a bright and shining green, and we watched a sandpiper, and heard the plaintive cry that begged us not to find and trouble its nest. Under the very rocks and gray ledges, to the far nests of the wild sea birds, her love and knowledge seemed to go. She was made of that very dust, and set about with that sea, islanded indeed in the reserves of her lonely nature with its storms and calmness of high tides, but it seemed as if a little star dust must have been mixed with the ordinary dust of those coasts; there was something bright in her spirit that will forever shine, and light the hearts of those who loved her. It will pass on to a later time in these poems that she wrote of music, of spring and winter, of flower and birds, and of that northern sea which was her friend and fellow.”