letters from dickinson to charles h. clark

July 1883

Dear friend -

While I thank you immediately for the invaluable Gift, I cannot express the bereavement that I am no more to behold it.

Believing that we are to have no Face in a farther Life, makes the Look of a Friend a Boon almost too precious. The resemblance is faithful - the scholarly gentleness - the noble modesty - the absence of every Dross, quite there - What a consoling Prize to you, his Mate through years of Anguish so much sharper to see, because endured so willingly - Chastening would seem unneeded by so supreme a Spirit.

I feel great grief for you - I hope his Memory may help you, so recently a Life. I wish I may say one liquid word to make your sorrow less. Is not the devotion that you gave him, an acute Balm? Had you not been with him, how solitary the Will of God!

Thank you for every word of his pure career - I hope it is nearer us than we are aware.

Will you not still tell us of yourself and your Home - from which this patient Guest has flown?

I am glad he lies near us. And thank you for the tidings of our other Fugitive, whom to know was Life - I can scarcely tell you how deeply I cherish your thoughtfulness. To still know of the Dead is a great permission, and you have almost enabled that. With the ceaseless sympathy of myself and my sister, and the trust that our sufferer rests -

E. Dickinson.

thomas johnson's note on letter 859 | index to dickinson/c. clark letters

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Last updated on February 25, 2008