PUBLICATION: L (1894) 277-278; LL 289-290; L (1931) 253.
The poem included here was also sent to Mrs. Holland in the early summer of 1873 (see letter no. 391). Though Mrs. Todd dated the letter "Spring, 1874," it may have been written in 1873. Maggie Maher's brother, who had gone as a miner to California in the sixties, had urged Maggie to join him, but she had family cares in Amherst and did not go (see Jay Leyda, "Miss Emily's Maggie," New World Writing, May 1953, page 263). Bret Harte's The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches (1870) contained "Miggles" and "The Outcasts of Poker Flat," in which the chief character of the story is the gambler John Oakhurst. It is clearly with a sense of relief that ED concludes her letter, knowing that the faithful Maggie will not have to be replaced.