letters from dickinson to unknown recipients

about 1861


If you saw a bullet hit a Bird - and he told you he was'nt shot - you might weep at his courtesy, but you would certainly doubt his word.

One drop more from the gash that stains your Daisy's bosom - then would you believe? Thomas' faith in Anatomy, was stronger than his faith in faith. God made me - [Sir] Master - I did'nt be - myself. I dont know how it was done. He built the heart in me - Bye and bye it outgrew me - and like the little mother - with the big child - I got tired holding him. I heard of a thing called "Redemption" - which rested men and women. You remember I asked you for it - you gave me something else. I forgot the Redemption [in the Redeemed - I did'nt tell you for a long time, but I knew you had altered me - I] and was tired - no more - [so dear did this stranger become that were it, or my breath - the Alternative - I had tossed the fellow away with a smile.] I am older - tonight, Master - but the love is the same - so are the moon and the crescent. If it had been God's will that I might breathe where you breathed - and find the place - myself - at night - if I (can) never forget that I am not with you - and that sorrow and frost are nearer than I - if I wish with a might I cannot repress - that mine were the Queen's place - the love of the Plantagenet is my only apology - To come nearer than presbyteries - and nearer than the new Coat - that the tailor made - the prank of the Heart at play on the Heart - in holy Holiday - is forbidden me - You make me say it over - I fear you laugh - when I do not see - [but] "Chillon" is not funny. Have you the Heart in your breast - Sir - is it set like mine - a little to the left - has it the misgiving - if it wake in the night - perchance - itself to it - a timbrel is it - itself to it a tune.

These things are [reverent] holy, Sir, I touch them [reverently] hallowed, but persons who pray - dare remark [our] "Father"! You say I do not tell you all - Daisy confessed - and denied not.

Vesuvious dont talk - Etna - dont - [Thy] one of them - said a syllable - a thousand years ago, and Pompeii heard it, and hid forever - She could'nt look the world in the face, afterward - I suppose - Bashfull Pompeii! "Tell you of the want" - you know what a leech is, dont you - and [remember that] Daisy's arm is small - and you have felt the horizon hav'nt you - and did the sea - never come so close as to make you dance?

I dont know what you can do for it - thank you - Master - but if I had the Beard on my cheek - like you - and you - had Daisy's petals - and you cared so for me - what would become of you? Could you forget me in fight, or flight - or the foreign land? Could'nt Carlo, and you and I walk in the meadows an hour - and nobody care but the Bobolink - and his - silver scruple? I used to think when I died - I could see you - so I died as fast as I could - but the "Corporation" are going Heaven too so [Eternity] wont be sequestered - now [at all] - Say I may wait for you - say I need go with no stranger to the to me - untried [country] fold - I waited a long time - Master - but I can wait more - wait till my hazel hair is dappled - and you carry the cane - then I can look at my watch -- and if the Day is too far declined - we can take the chances [of] for Heaven - What would you do with me if I came "in white?" Have you the little chest to put the Alive - in?

I want to see you more - Sir - than all I wish for in this world - and the wish - altered a little - will be my only one - for the skies.

Could you come to New England - [this summer - could] would you come to Amherst - Would you like to come - Master?

[Would it do harm - yet we both fear God -] Would Daisy disappoint you - no - she would'nt - Sir - it were comfort forever - just to look in your face, while you looked in mine - then I could play in the woods till Dark - till you take me where Sundown cannot find us - and the true keep coming - till the town is full. [Will you tell me if you will?]

I did'nt think to tell you, you did'nt come to me "in white," nor ever told me why,

No Rose, yet felt myself a'bloom,
No Bird - yet rode in Ether.

thomas johnson's note on letter 233 | index to dickinson/unknown letters

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Last updated on February 25, 2008