No autograph copy of this poem is known. It is here reproduced from the text of the Letters. It was written to Mrs. Samuel Bowles, probably in late January, 1878. Samuel Bowles died 16 January 1878, and these lines are incorporated in a second letter sent to Mrs. Bowles following his death.
PUBLICATION: Letters (ed. 1894), 224; (ed. 1931), 209; also LL (1924), 315. It was perhaps written as prose and was not arranged as poetry until it appeared in the 1931 edition.