MANUSCRIPTS: The copy reproduced above (H H 76) concludes a letter written to Mrs. J. G. Holland about March 1883. Mrs. Holland had sent ED photographs of three young members of her family - her son and her two sons-in-law. ED's reply introduces the poem by saying:
May I present your Portrait to your Sons in Law?A variant fair copy (Bingham 106-48), written at the same time, ED incorporated in a note written to an unidentified recipient:
To see her is a Picture -The worksheet draft (Bingham 106-51) from which both variant fair copies derive also survives. It is in handwriting of the same period:
To see her is a Picture -Perhaps ED sent a copy, now lost, to Sue, for a third variant survives in a transcript made by Sue (H ST 23c):
To see her is a pictureThe four final lines are not suggested in the worksheet draft, nor is line 5, which sounds very much like an alternative reading for line 4, as Mrs. Bingham conjectures in New England Quarterly, XX (1947), 49. ED never sent rough or semifinal drafts to her friends. Whence the transcript is not clear.
PUBLICATION: The copy to Mrs. Holland is in LH (1951), 172. The text in AB (1945), 378, arranged as two quatrains, derives from the letter to the unknown recipient. The text is New England Quarterly (cited above) is one contrived from the worksheet draft. The text in SH (1914), 137, follows the transcript made by Sue, but whether it derives from the transcript or from a holograph cannot be determined unless the holograph is recovered.