Letter XXII.

From: Love-Letters of Margaret Fuller, 1845-1846
Published: 1903 New York

Sunday evening, 27th April.


  For from its short and dissatisfying flights my mind returns to rest on the broad certainty that such you really are. The mists have given place to a lovely shower, which refreshes the trees, while it makes the blossoms fall. I have a fire in my own room, and the evening light falls on the pictures, gifts of a most cherished hand, which have been my companions, ever since my earthly father died. I feel quite happy now, it seems domestic in the stillness, and, my heavenly Father, it is that makes the “home.” He, I feel, will care for me. He will make me to bear the want of the soft, mother’s arms, and father’s sheltering breast, and the music of love’s heart-beat tuned to perfect melody. He will help me not to misjudge my fellow men, and to bear the weight of spirit’s mystery, though it must turn me pale.

“The beautiful are never desolate
For some one always loves them, God or man,
If man forsakes-God himself takes them,”

and I am surely one of the beautiful, so far that the soul is full of beauty.

  This day has been like life as it is in the blossoming sweetness of outward nature and the equally sweet promises of the eye, the brutal attacks of wicked men, and the shrewd comments of worldly ones, no less than the Tantalus cup filled for one another by two, who really meet,- if not enough. The life that will be is the fruit of this worm-assailed flower.

  Fate will not grant both at once it seems, the joys of absence and of presence. The day we passed together, Wednesday, I enjoyed thoroughly, except the hour we spent-I know not why-in mining in one another’s hearts. Perhaps we found treasure by doing so, and yet the rest of the day had been passed merely in culling what grows on the surface of the earth, and that is so entirely sweet. Yet that day ended in satisfaction, too, and I drew nearer to you. I did not wish to speak of it to-day, but never have I felt anything like that night after writing the note, which you so clearly saw was but an evasion. What I felt that night was worth our knowing one another, for it was beautiful and full indeed. But these times of pure soul communion are almost too much for my strength. All is so rapid; in real intercourse, such as that of the day we rode, life proceeds with a gentle tranquil step, and her fresh green garland is better than the halo, till one be to that crown of light gewachsen.

  My friend, I send you a book with which, more than any, except Wilhelm Meister, I have sympathized. These two books express something of the peculiar life of this age of which we are part. I know not what it is-on us lies the weight of giving it to the light. Tennyson knows some things about it, but none like this man. Keep it by you a week or two; there is much that might tire, but your eye may fall on passages that go deep, and which you may understand as well as I or better. The person, who called me unnatural, or rather my way of viewing things so, said, that if I had the experience of passionate life, it would alter my view. Such an experience has this Festus and you too, I suppose; perhaps that is, what you mean by unlikeness in our experiences.

  We parted in the lane and went our opposite ways, and I thought: my brother wishes to make his existence more poetic, I need mine should be more deeply real; must we go opposite ways in the same road?

  I send the little gift, but you will not wear it for a daily companion; yours to me is also something that I shall lay aside, to look at only now and then, but it is a thing exquisitely fair and pure; and mine to you is a memento of that truly human heart, which first turned mine to you, for I saw you had a heart for all mankind.1

  In return let me say one thing. The sadness, that lingers in memory of that period, when your spirit-life took its painful birth, is almost gone. These are the last bitter drops which I drink with you.

  I cannot bear to write any more except: God bless you and protect me.

Tuesday evening.

  This morning brought on its glittering wings your letter written at the same time with mine. (I expected to receive it this morning.)

  As always you express yourself with more simple force than I can, but the mood was identical in both of us. When writing, I had your flower by me. Well did I understand, when you likened yourself to that flower. The passage in yours, beginning “Oh for wings” receive back in echo, for even in words I said it to myself also. Now I will not send you Festus—there is no time for books and no poem like the poem we can make for ourselves.

  This day has been to me one of rapturous joy; the earth has decked herself in such beauty as if for the fairest of festivals; it is impossible not to meet her, it is incredible—the dawning of sweetness since yesterday.

  Many deep things have also dawned in my thought which are yours, but to-night they can-not be expressed, for I feel subdued. My head is heavy, let me lean it on your shoulder, and you divine these deep things.

  A sweet good-night.

1 Marginal note to letter: “Here is not the exact truth, and yet it seemed so, while writing.”

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