letters from dickinson to mary bowles

late summer 1878

Had you never spoken to any, dear, they would not upbraid you, but think of you more softly, as one who had suffered too much to speak. To forget you would be impossible, had we never seen you; for you were his for whom we moan while consciousness remains. As he was himself Eden, he is with Eden, for we cannot become what we were not.

I felt it sweet that you needed me - though but a simple shelter I will always last. I hope your boys and girls assist his dreadful absence, for sorrow does not stand so still on their flying hearts.

How fondly we hope they look like him - that his beautiful face may be abroad.

Was not his countenance on earth graphic as a spirit's? The time will be long till you see him, dear, but it will be short, for we have not each our heart to dress- heavenly as his?

He is without doubt with my father. Thank you for thinking of him, and the sweet, last respect you so faithfully paid him.

Mother is growing better, though she cannot stand, and has not the power to raise her head for a glass of water. She thanks you for being sorry, and speaks of you with love . . . . Your timid "for his sake," recalls the sheltering passage, "for his sake who loved us, and gave himself to die for us."


thomas johnson's note on letter 567 | index to dickinson/m. bowles letters

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Last updated on December 13, 1998