letters from dickinson to abiah root

19 August 1851

"Yet a little while I am with you, and again a little while and I am not with you" because you go to your mother! Did she not tell me saying, "yet a little while ye shall see me and again a little while and ye shall not see me, and I would that where I am, there ye may be also" - but the virtue of the text consists in this my dear - that "if I go, I come again, and ye shall be with me where I am;" that is to say, that if you come in November you shall be mine, and I shall be thine, and so on "vice versa" until "ad infinitum" which isn't a great way off! While I think of it my dear friend, and we are upon these subjects, allow me to remark that you have the funniest manner of popping into town, and the most lamentable manner of popping out again of any one I know.

It really becomes to me a matter of serious moment, this propensity of your's concerning your female friends - the "morning cloud and the early dew" are not more evanescent.

I think it was Tuesday evening that we were so amused by the oratorical feats of three or four young gentlemen - I remember I sat by you and took great satisfaction in such seat and society - I remember further our mutual Goodnights, our promises to meet again, to tell each other tales of our own heart and life, to see and find each other after so long a time of distant separation - I can hardly realize Abiah that these are recollections, that our happy today joins the great band of yesterdays and marches on to the dead - too quickly flown my Bird, for me to satisfy me that you did sit and sing beneath my chamber window! I only went out once after the time I saw you - the morning of Mr Beecher, I looked for you in vain - I discovered your Palmer cousins, but if you indeed were there it must have been in a form to my gross sense impalpable. I was disappointed Abiah - I had been hoping much a little visit from you - when will the hour be that we shall sit together and talk of what we were, and what we are and may be - with the shutters closed, dear Abiah and the balmest little breeze stealing in at the window? I love those little fancies, yet I would love them more were they not quite so fanciful as they have seemed to be - I have fancied so many times and so many times gone home to find it was only fancy that I am half afraid to hope for what I long for. It would seem my dear Abiah that out of all the moments crowding this little world a few might be vouchsafed to spend with those we love - a separated house - an hour more pure and true than ordinary hours, when we could pause a moment before we journey on - we had a pleasant time talking the other morning - had I known it was all my portion, mayhap I'd improved it more - but it never'll come back again to try whether or nor. Dont you think sometimes these brief imperfect meetings have a tale to tell - perhaps but for the sorrow which accompanies them we would not be reminded of brevity and change - and would build the dwelling earthward whose site is in the skies - perhaps the treasure here would be too dear a treasure - could'nt "the moth corrupt, and the thief break thro' and steal" - and this makes me think how I found a little moth in my stores the other day - a very subtle moth that had in ways and manners to me and mine unknown, contrived to hide itself in a favorite worsted basket - how long my little treasurehouse had furnished an arena for it's destroying labors it is not mine to tell - it had an errand there - I trust it fulfilled it's mission; it taught me dear Abiah to have no treasure here, or rather it tried to tell me in it's little mothy way of another enduring treasure, the robber cannot steal which, nor time waste away. How many a lesson learned from lips of such tiny teachers - dont it make you think of the Bible - "not many mighty - not wise"?

You met our dear Sarah Tracy after I saw you here - her sweet face is the same as in those happy school days - and in vain I search for wrinkles brought on by many cares - we all love Sarah dearly, and shall try to do all in our power to make her visit happy. Is'nt it very remarkable that in so many years Sarah has changed so little - not that she has stood still, but has made such peaceful progress - her thot's tho' they are older have all the charm of youth - have not yet lost their freshness, their innocence and peace - she seems so pure in heart - so sunny and serene, like some sweet Lark or Robin ever soaring and singing - I have not seen her much - I want to see her more - she speaks often of you, and with warm affection - I hope no change or time shall blight these loves of our[r]'s , I would bear them all in my arms to my home in the glorious heaven and say "here am I my Father, and those whom thou hast given me." If the life which is to come is better than dwelling here, and angels are there and our friends are glorified and are singing there and praising there need we fear to go - when spirits beyond wait for us - I was meaning to see you more and talk about such things with you - I want to know your views and your eternal feelings - how things beyond are to you - Oh there is much to speak of in meeting one you love, and it always seems to me that I might have spoken more, and I almost always think that what was found to say might have been left unspoken.

Shall it always be so Abiah - is there no longer day given for our communion with the spirits of our love? - writing is brief and fleeting - conversation will come again, yet it will, it hastes and must be on it's way - earth is short Abiah, but Paradise is long there must be many moments in an eternal day - then sometime we shall tarry, while time and tide roll on, and till then Vale!

Your own dear


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