letters from dickinson to bowles

To Samuel Bowles
From ED

late November 1862

Dear friend.

I did not need the little Bat - to enforce your memory - for that can stand alone, like the best Brocade - but it was much - that far and ill, you recollected me - Forgive me if I prize the Grace - superior to the Sign. Because I did not see you, Vinnie and Austin, upbraided me - They did not know I gave my part that they might have more - but then the Prophet had no fame in his immediate Town - My Heart led all the rest - I think that we know - we can endure that others doubt, until their faith be riper. And so, dear friend, who knew me, I make no argument - to you -

Did I not want to see you? Do not the Phebes want to come? Oh They of little faith! I said I was glad that you were alive - Might it bear repeating? Some prhases are too fine to fade - and Light but just confirms them - Few absences could seem so wide as you'rs has done, to us - If 'twas a larger face - or we a smaller Canvas - we need not know - now you have come -

We hope often to see you - Our poverty - entitle us - and friends are nations in themselves - to supersede the Earth -

'Twould please us, were you well - and could your health be had by sacrifice ours - 'twould be contention for the place - We used to tell each other, when you were from America - how failure in a Battle - were easier - and you here - I will not tell you further -

Perhaps you tire - no - A small weight - is so obnoxious - upon a weary Rope - but had you Exile - or Eclipse - or so huge a Danger, as would dissolve all other friends - 'twould please me to remain -

Let others - show this Surry's Grace -
Myself - assist his Cross.


thomas johnson's note on letter 277 | index to dickinson/bowles letters

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Last updated on December 5, 1998