letters from dickinson to higginson

February 1863

Dear friend

I did not deem that Planetary forces annulled - but suffered an Exchange of Territory, or World -

I should have liked to see you, before you became improbable. War feels to me an oblique place - Should there be other Summers, would you perhaps come?

I found you were gone, by accident, as I find Systems are, or Seasons of the year, and obtain no cause - but suppose it a treason of Progress - that dissolves as it goes. Carlo - still remained - and I told him -

Best gains - must have the Losses' Test -
To constitute them - Gains -

My Shaggy Ally assented -

Perhaps Death - gave me awe for friends - striking sharp and early, for I held them since - in a brittle love - of more alarm, than peace. I trust you may pass the limit of War, and though not reared to prayer - when service is had in Church, for Our Arms, I include yourself - I, too, have an "Island" - whose "Rose and Magnolia" are in the Egg, and it's "Black Berry" but a spicy prospective, yet as you say, "Fascination" is absolute of Clime. I was thinking, today - as I noticed, that the "Supernatural," was only the Natural, disclosed -

Not "Revelation" - 'tis - that waits,
But our unfurnished eyes -

But I fear I detain you -

Should you, before this reaches you, experience immortality, who will inform me of the Exchange? Could you, with honor, avoid Death, I entreat you - Sir - It would bereave

Your Gnome -

I trust the "Procession of Flowers" was not a premonition -

thomas johnson's note on letter 280 | index to dickinson/higginson letters

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Last updated on September 1, 1998