letters from dickinson to elizabeth holland

To Mrs. J.G. Holland
From ED

late autumn 1884

Dear One.

Upon the presumption that the "Swallows homeward" flew, I address to their Nest, as formerly - I trust "the Airs were delicated" the Day they made their flight, and that they still sing Life's portentous Music - I feared you would steal the Grandchild in the Parents' absence, but then it would be such a happy theft, so joyful to the robbed, and to the Thief presiding. Could Jurisprudence sigh? I hope the Lass is hearty, loving and beloved - I know she is Grandmama's Tonic - but which is the biggest, the Patient or the Medicine? You always were a Wren, you know, the tenant of a Twig -

The Leaves are flying high away, and the Heart flies with them, though where that wondrous Firm alight, is not "an open secret -" What a curious Lie that phrase is! I see it of Politicans - Before I write to you again, we shall have had a new Czar - Is the Sister a Patriot?

"George Washington was the Father of his Country" - "George Who?"

That sums all Politics to me - but then I love the Drums, and they are busy now -

I did not forget the Anniversary you so tenderly marked, but cover it with Leaves, as it was long since covered with Honor - which is better than Leaves - To put one's Hand on the sacred figures, is like touching "the Ark of the Covenant -"

All grows strangely emphatic, and I think if I should see you again, I sh'd begin every sentence with "I say unto you -" The Bible ends with the Centre, not with the Circumference -

          With love -

thomas johnson's note on letter 950 | index to dickinson/holland letters

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