MANUSCRIPT: BPL (Higg 84). Ink.
PUBLICATION: L (1894) 325‹326, in part; LL 304‹305, in part; L (1931) 306-307, entire. One prose passage is printed as verse.
Higginson's volume of sketches, Oldport Days, had been published in 1873. With this letter ED enclosed one poem: "Because that you are going." On 3 December 1873 Higginson had been invited to lecture at Amherst. While there, he called on ED for the second (and last) time, though the occasion was not significant enough for him to make record of the fact in his diary (HCL). After his return to Newport he wrote a letter (HCL) to his sisters on 9 December:
. . . the boys are numerous & hearty & better taken care of physically than at Harvard‹all being obliged to exercise in gymnasium. I saw my eccentric poetess Miss Emily Dickinson who never goes outside her father's grounds & sees only me & a few others. She says "there is always one thing to be grateful for‹that one is one's self & not somebody else" but [my wife] Mary thinks this is singularly out of place in E.D.'s case. She (E.D.) glided in, in white, bearing a Daphne odora for me, & said under her breath "How long are you going to stay." I'm afraid Mary's other remark "Oh why do the insane so cling to you?" still holds. I will read you some of her poems when you come.AB 129). Since ED clearly had not written Higginson after his call, one conjectures that she presented the poem to him during his visit, and that the acknowledgment is made in the following letter.