A poetic letter from Emily Dickinson to her aunt, Mrs. J. Howard Sweetser, late autumn 1884:
I hardly dare tell you how beautiful your Home is, lest it dissuade you from the more mortal Homestead in which you now dwell — Each Tree a Scene from India, and Everglades of Rugs.
Is not ‘lead us not into Temptation’ an involuntary plea under circumstances so gorgeous? Your little note dropped in upon us as softly as the flake of Snow that followed it, as spacious and as stainless, a paragraph from Every Where — to which we never go — We miss you more this time, I think, than all the times before —
An enlarged ability for missing is perhaps a part of our better growth, as the strange Membranes of the Tree broaden out of sight.
I hope the Owl remembers me, and the Owl’s fair Keeper, indeed the remembrance of each of you, were a gallant boon — I still recall your Son’s singing, and when the ‘Choir invisible’ assemble in your Trees, shall reverently compare them — Thank you for all the Acts of Light which beautified a Summer now past to its reward.
Love for your Exile, when you write her, as for Love’s Aborigines — Our Coral Roof, though unbeheld, its foliage softly adds —
Emily, with Love