letters from dickinson to frances and louise norcross

November 1876?

TO: Louise and Frances Norcross

. . . Oh that beloved witch-hazel which would not reach me till part of the stems were a gentle brown, though one loved stalk as hearty as if just placed in the mail by the woods. It looked like tinsel fringe combined with staider fringes, witch and witching too, to my joyful mind.

I never had seen it but once before, and it haunted me like childhood's Indian pipe, or ecstatic puff-balls, or that mysterious apple that sometimes comes on river-pinks; and is there not a dim suggestion of a dandelion, if her hair were ravelled and she grew on a twig instead of a tube, - though this is timidly submitted. For taking Nature's hand to lead her to me, I am softly grateful - was she willing to come? Though her reluctances are sweeter than other ones' avowals.

Trusty as the stars
Who quit their shining working
Prompt as when I lit them
In Genesis' new house,
Durable as dawn
Whose antiquated blossom
Makes a world's suspense
Perish and rejoice.

Love for the cousin sisters, and the lovely alien. . . .


thomas johnson's note on letter 479 | index to dickinson/norcross letters

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on December 21, 1998