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To Miss Augusta King.

Northampton, October 21, 1840.
My heart has written you several epistles in reply, but the hand could not be spared. Oh for some spiritual daguerreotype, by which thoughts might spontaneously write themselves! How should you like that? Would you dare venture upon it for the sake of the convenience?

Oh, but you should have seen Lonetown woods in [38] the rich beauty of autumnal foliage! Color taking its fond and bright farewell of form,--Like the imagination giving a deeper, richer, warmer glow to old familiar truths, before the winter of rationalism comes, and places trunk and branches in naked outline against the clear cold sky.

I have had a charming letter from Mr. W., a real German effusion, filling matter brimful of life; so that statues beseech, and are sad that we do not understand their language ; and flowers dance in troops to wind-music; and the brook goes tumbling to the river, roaring as he falls, and the river smiles that he comes to her unharmed. It is the old instinct that peopled nature with the graceful forms of naiad, dryad, and oread. Thus imperfectly, with all our strivings, do we spell out the “literature of God,” as Margaret Fuller eloquently calls creation .

A truce with my “Orphic sayings!” Here am I well nigh thirty-nine years old, and cannot for the life of me talk common sense. What shall I do to place myself in accordance with the received opinions of mankind? if I had been a flower or a bird, Linnaeus or Audubon might have put me into some order; if I had been a beaver or an antelope, Buffon might have arranged me. One would think that being a woman were more to the purpose than either; for if to stand between “two infinities and three immensities,” as Carlyle says (the two infinities being cooking done and to be done, and the three immensities being making, mending, and washing), if this won't drive poetry out of a mortal, I know not what will.

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