MANUSCRIPT: About 1873 (Bingham 103-2). The extant copy is a penciled worksheet. ED first wrote line 6: "And we inhale Despair." She crossed out "And," substituting "may" (underlined to certify her decision) after "We," to make the line read as given above.
PUBLICATION: The first stanza is in a letter to the Norcross cousins: Letters (1894), 277; (1931), 252; also LL (1924), 288. It offers a variant reading for line 1, and adopts both suggested changes:
A word left careless on a pageThe worksheet is the source for the two stanzas (the second here first published) in New England Quarterly, XX (1947), 15. The suggested change for line 4 is adopted.