letters from dickinson to otis phillips lord

3 December 1882

What if you are writing! Oh, for the power to look, yet were I there, I would not, except you invited me - reverence for each other being the sweet aim. I have written you, Dear, so many Notes since receiving one, it seems like writing a Note to the Sky - yearning and replyless - but Prayer has not an answer and yet how many pray! While others go to Church, I go to mine, for are not you my Church, and have we not a Hymn that no one knows but us?

I hope your "Thanksgiving" was not too lonely, though if it were a little, Affection must not be displeased.

Sue [? name altered] sent me a lovely Banquet of Fruit, which I sent to a dying Irish Girl in our neighborhood - That was my Thanksgiving. Those that die seem near me because I lose my own.

Not all my own, thank God, a darling "own" remains - more darling than I name.

The Month in which our Mother died, closed it's Drama Thursday, and I cannot conjecture a form of space without her timid face. Speaking to you as I feel, Dear, without that Dress of spirit must be worn for most, Courage is quite changed.

Your Sorrow was in Winter - one of our's in June and the other, November, and my Clergyman passed from Earth in spring, but sorrow brings it's own chill. Seasons do not warm it. You said with loved timidity in asking me to your dear Home, you would "try not to make it unpleasant." So delicate a diffidence, how beautiful to see! I do not think a Girl extant has so divine a modesty.

You even call me to your Breast with apology! Of what must my poor Heart be made?

That the one for whom Modesty is felt, himself should feel it sweetest and ask his own with such a grace, is beloved reproach. The tender Priest of Hope need not allure his Offering - 'tis on his Altar ere he asks. I hope you wear your Furs today. Those and the love of me, will keep you sweetly warm, though the Day is bitter. The love I feel for you, I mean, your own for me a treasure I still keep . . .

thomas johnson's note on letter 790 | index to dickinson/lord letters

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Last updated on December 8, 1999