MANUSCRIPTS: The copy reproduced above (H H 30) is incorporated in a letter to Mrs. J. G. Holland, written in early summer 1873. The worksheet draft (Bingham 103-13), written in pencil at the same time, shows a twelve-line arrangement:
The most triumphant BirdA third copy, now lost, was incorporated in a letter to the Norcross cousins and was written about the same time. As published, it shows the twelve-line arrangement of the worksheet draft. Reckoning lines from the worksheet, one observes that the text of lines 1-4, 9-12 is identical in all three versions. The variants occur in lines 5-8, which in the Norcross version read:
I perish to beholdThis version adopts changes suggested in the worksheet for lines 6, 7, 8. The copy to Mrs. Holland creates variants in lines 5, 6, 8 which are not elsewhere suggested.
PUBLICATION: The letter to Mrs. Holland is in LH (1951), 92-93. The letter to the Norcrosses is in Letters (ed. 1894), 278; (ed. 1931), 253; also LL (1924), 290. In the 1931 edition "competent" is cued in a note as an alternate for "impudent" (line 8). No such note appears in the 1894 edition, which was prepared by Mrs. Todd from a transcript of the letter supplied by Fanny Norcross. The alternate in the 1931 edition probably derives from the worksheet draft.