MANUSCRIPT: The copy reproduced above (Bingham 104-32) is a penciled worksheet draft written about 1877. In line 3 "flight" is crossed out and "lapse" substituted. The alternative lines 7-8 are duplicated. Other trial words for the last two lines, crossed out or ignored, are:
And thereA fair copy presumably was made from this draft and sent to the two sisters of William C. Dickinson. The autograph of the fair copy has not been located but a transcript of it-with "antedates" (line 7) adopted- is in the Jones Library at Amherst. The poem was probably sent during the summer of 1877. A variant of the first stanza was incorporated in a letter (BPL Higg 93) written to T. W. Higginson during the autumn oF 1877, after the death of his wife in September:
Perhaps she does not go so far
PUBLICATION: The worksheet draft is the source of the two stanzas in New England Quarterly, XX (1947), 47. The suggested change to line 7 is adopted. The letter to Higginson is in Letters (ed. 1931 only), 308.