Emily Dickinson's Correspondences
Correspondence with Susan Dickinson

H L5a           Thursday evening

I wept a tear here, Susie - on purpose for you - because this "sweet silver moon" smiles in on me and Vinnie, and then it goes so far before it gets to you and then you never told me if there was any moon in Baltimore - and how do I know Susie- that you see her sweet face at all? She looks like a fairy tonight, sailing around the sky in a little silver gondola with stars for gondoliers. I asked her to let me ride a little while ago - and told her I would get out when she got as far as Baltimore, but she only smiled to herself and went sailing on.

I think she was quite ungenerous - but I have learned the lesson and shant ever ask her again. To day it rained at home - sometimes it rained so hard that I fancied you could hear it's patter patter, patter, as it fell upon the leaves- and the fancy pleased me so, that I sat and listened to it and watched it earnestly. Did you hear it Susie- or was it only fancy? Bye and bye the sun came out- just in time to bid us goodnight, and as I told you

H L5b

sometime, the moon is shining now.

It is such an evening Susie, as you and I would walk and have such pleasant musings, if you were only here- perhaps we would have a "Reverie" after the form of "Ik Marvel," indeed I do not know why it would'nt be just as charming as of that lonely Bachelor, smoking his cigar- and it would be far more profitable as "Marvel" only marvelled, and you and I would try to make a little destiny to have for our own. Do you know that charming man is dreaming again, and will wake pretty soon- so the papers say, with another Reverie- more beautiful than the first?

Dont you hope he will live as long as you and I do- and keep on having dreams and writing them to us[;] what a charming old man he'll be, and how I envy his grandchildren, little "Bella" and "Paul"! We will be willing to die Susie- when such as he have gone, for there will be none left to interpret these lives of our's.

Longfellow's "golden Legend" has come to town I hear- and may be seen in state on Mr. Adams' bookshelves. It always makes me

H L5c

think of "Pegasus in the pound - " hen I find a gracious author sitting side by side with "Murray" and "Wells" and "Walker" in that renowned store- and like him I half expect to hear they have "flown" some morning and in their native ether revel all the day[;] but for our sakes dear Susie, who please ourselves with the fancy that we are the only poets- and everyone else is prose, let us hope they will yet be willing to share our humble world and feed upon such aliment as we consent to do!

You thank me for the Rice cake- you tell me Susie, you have just been tasting it- and how happy I am to send you anything you love- how hungry you must grow before it is noon there- and then you must be faint from teaching those stupid scholars. I fancy you very often descending to the schoolroom with a plump Binomial Theorem struggling in your hand which you must dissect and exhibit to your incomprehending ones- I hope you whip them Susie- for my sake- whip them hard whenever they don't behave just as you want to have them!

H L5d

I know they are very dull- sometimes- from what Mattie says- but I presume you encourage them and forgive all their mistakes. It will teach you patience Susie- you may be sure of that. And Mattie tells me too of your evening carousals- and the funny frights you give in personating the Master- just like you Susie- like you for all the world- how Mr Payson would laugh if I could only tell him, and then those great dark eyes- how they would glance and sparkle! Susie- have all the fun wh' you possibly can- and laugh as often and sing, for tears are plentier than smiles in this little world of our's[;] only dont be so happy as to let Mattie and me grow dimmer and dimmer and finally fade away, and merrier maids than we smile in our vacant places!

Susie, did you think that I would never write you when you were gone away- what made you? I am sure you know my promise far too well for that- and had I never said so- I should be constrained to write- for what shall separate us from any whom we love- not "hight nor depth". . .


H L5

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Transcription and commentary copyright 1996 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Last updated on July 14, 1998
Maintained by Tanya Clement <tclement@umd.edu>