letters from dickinson to higginson

December 1879

Dear friend,

Brabantio's Gift was not more fair than your's, though I trust with- out his pathetic inscription - "Which but thou hast already, with all my Heart I would keep from thee" - Of Poe, I know too little to think -Hawthorne appalls, entices-

Mrs Jackson soars to your estimate lawfully as a Bird, but of Howells and James, one hesitates-Your relentless Music dooms as it redeems -

Remorse for the brevity of a Book is a rare emotion, though fair as Lowell's "Sweet Despair" in the Slipper Hymn-

One thing of it we borrow
And promise to return-
The Booty and the Sorrow
It's Sweetness to have known-
One thing of it we covet-
The power to forget-
The Anguish of the Avarice
Defrays the Dross of it-

Had I tried before reading your Gift, to thank you, it had perhaps been possible, but I waited and now it disables my Lips- Magic, as it electrifies, also makes decrepit- Thank you for thinking of me-

Your Scholar-

thomas johnson's note on letter 622 | index to dickinson/higginson letters

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on September 25, 1998