To Elizabeth Holland
I thought I would write again. I write you many letters with pens which are not seen. Do you receive them?
I think of you all today, and dreamed of you last night.
When father rapped on my door to wake me this morning, I was walking with you in the most wonderful garden, and helping you pick - roses, and though we gathered with all our might, the basket was never full. And so all day I pay that I may walk with you, and gather roses again, and as night draws on, it pleases me, and I count impatiently the hours 'tween me and the darkness, and the dream of you and the roses, and the basket never full.
God grant the basket fill not, till, with hands purer and whiter, we gather flowers of gold in baskets made of pearl; higher - higher! It seems long since we heard from you - long, since how little Annie was, or any one of you - so long since Cattle Show, when Dr. Holland was with us. Oh, it always seems a long while from our seeing you, and even when at your house, the nights seemed much more long than they're wont to do, because separated from you. I want to much to know if the friends are all well in that dear cot in Springfield - and if well whether happy, and happy - how happy, and why, and what bestows the joy? And then those other questions, asked again and again, whose answers are so sweet, do they love - remember us - wish sometimes we were there? Ah, friends - dear friends - perhaps my queries tire you, but I so long to know.
The minister to-day, not our own minister, preached about death and judgment, and what would become of those, meaning Austin and me, who behaved improperly - and somehow the sermon scared me, and father and Vinnie looked very solemn as if the whole was true, and I would not for worlds have them know that I troubled me, but I longed to come to you, and tell you all about it, and learn how to be better. He preached such an awful sermon though, that I didn't much think I should ever see you again until Judgment Day, and then you would not speak to me, according to his story. The subject of perdition seemed to please him, somehow. It seems very solemn to me. I'll tell you all about it, when I see you again.
I wonder what you are doing today - if you have been to meeting? Today has been a fair day, very still and blue. Tonight the crimson children are playing in the west, and tomorrow will be colder. How sweet if I could see you, and talk of all these things! Please write us very soon. The days with you last September seem a great way off, and to meet you again, delightful. I'm sure it won't be long before we sit together.
Then will I not repine, knowing that bird of mine, though flown - learneth beyond the sea, melody new for me, and will return.