letters from dickinson to james d. clark

August 1882

Dear friend,

Please excuse the trespass of gratitude. My Sister thinks you will accept a few words in recognition of your great kindness.

In a intimacy of many years with the beloved Clergyman, I have never before spoken with one [met one] who knew him, and his Life was so shy and his tastes so unknown, that grief for him seems almost unshared.

He was my Shepherd from "Little Girl"hood and I cannot conjecture a world without him, so noble was he always - so fathomless - so gentle.

I saw him two years since for the last time, though how unsuspected!

He rang one summer evening to my glad surprise - "Why did you not tell me you were coming, so I could have it to hope for," I said - "Because I did not know it myself. I stepped from my Pulpit to the Train," was his quiet reply. He once remarked in talking "I am liable at any time to die," but I thought it no omen. He spoken on a previous visit of calling upon you, or perhaps remaining a brief time at your Home in Northampton.

I hope you may tell me all you feel able of that last interview, for he spoke with warmth of you as his friend, and please believe that your kindness is cherished.

Ther Sermons will be a sorrowful Treasure. I trust your health is stronger for the Summer Days, and with tender thanks, ask your kind excuse.

E. Dickinson.

thomas johnson's note on letter 766 | index to dickinson/j. clark letters

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Last updated on November 8, 1999