MANUSCRIPTS: The fair copy reproduced above (H B 85) is incorporated in a letter that ED wrote to her nephew Ned in March 1877, while he was convalescing from an illness; she enclosed with it the first maple sugar of the season, and titled the poem "A Portrait of the Parish." The worksheet draft (Bingham 100-1) from which the fair copy derives suggests several alternative readings:
A Field of Stubble - lying sereLine 7 is marked for an alternate reading, but none is given. In the fair copy ED adopted only "thrust." On the same sheets with this draft are rough drafts of "How much the present moment means" and (on the verso) "Of his [their] peculiar light."
PUBLICATION: FF (1932), 257-258 - the letter to Ned. Two words in the poem are altered:
3. Brindled] brindle