letters from dickinson to benjamin kimball

February 1885

Dear friend -

To take the hand of my friend's friend, even apparitionally, is a hallowed pleasure.

I think you told me you were his kinsman.

I was only his friend - and cannot yet believe that

"his part in all the pomp that fills
The circuit of the Southern Hills,
Is that this Grave is green."

His last words in his last Note were "A Caller comes." I infer it to be Eternity, as he never returned.

Your task must be a fervent one - often one of pain.

To fulfill the will of a powerless friend supersedes the Grave.

Oh, Death, where is thy Chancellor? On my way to my sleep, last night, I paused at the Portrait. Had I not loved it, I had feared it, the Face had such ascension.

Go thy great way!
The Stars thou meetst
Are even as Thyself -
For what are Stars but Asterisks
To point a human Life?

Thank you for the nobleness, and for the earnest Note - but all are friends, upon a Spar.

E. Dickinson -

thomas johnson's note on letter 967 | index to dickinson/kimball letters

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Last updated on April 14, 2000