MANUSCRIPT: The fair copy reproduced above (H H 70), written late in 1881, is incorporated in a letter sent to Mrs. J. G. Holland sometime after the death of Dr. Holland on 12 October. A rough draft written at the same time (Bingham 98-2-3) is jotted down on two scraps of paper fastened together by a pin:
The Things that never can come back, are several -This may be the original worksheet draft, and if so the poem was created in a finished state. "But" (line 3) is altered to "Though" in the fair copy; there are no other changes.
PUBLICATION: The copy to Mrs. Holland is in LH (1951), 157. The rough draft version is in BM (1945), 269.