MANUSCRIPT: The copy above (BPL Higg 30) is reproduced from the autograph enclosed with four other poems in a letter to T. W. Higginson (BPL Higg 83) written in January or February 1876. Another fair copy (H 380a) written about the same time is identical in text and form except that it is without punctuation at the end of lines 1 and 5, and has a dash, not a period, at the end of line 2. The worksheet versions of this poem are extant. The first (Bingham 98-4A-14), written in pencil presumably about January 1876, is jotted down on both sides of a scrap of stationery:
The last of Summer is a time"Divine," "sublime," and "revered" are crossed out. Attached to the worksheet by a pin is a smaller scrap with suggeseed changes for lines 1 and 2:
The last of Summer is Result - SurveyShe has almost arrived at her final version. On a half sheet of stationery, in ink, she began again (Bingham 94-17):
The last of Summer is DelightAt that point she stopped. With that to begin the poem, and adopting the underlined "Syndicate" for line 4, she produced her fair copy without further changes.
PUBLICATION: The text in FP (1929), 85, derives from the second fair copy (H 380a). In the published version the last word of the poem is rendered "vale." A version constructed from the worksheet is in New England Quarterly, XX (1947), 49.