MANUSCRIPT: About 1884 (Bingham 97-15). It is incorporated in a note that says:
A Tone from the old Bells, perhaps might wake the Children -and is signed "Emily. with love -."
PUBLICATION: It is published among the letters to the Norcross cousins, arranged as an eight-line stanza. In Letters (ed. 1894), 277 - and in LL (1924), 288, which derives from the 1894 text - lines 5 and 7 are variants:
We make the sage decision stillIn Letters (ed. 1931), 252-253, the text remains as in the 1894 edition but footnotes suggest two alternative readings:
5. sage] wiseOne conjectures that the 1894 edition reproduced the poem in the letter to the Norcross cousins as it there was written; and that when Mrs. Todd was preparing the 1931 edition, she compared the published text with the manuscript of the letter and poem. Seeing that the latter was a variant, she entered two of the three variants in a footnote in the new edition. ED evidently had made two fair copies of her letter, one of which she sent.