Evidently a continuation of the previous letter.
[For correct and critical edition of this letter see Mehew 6, 2122]
To Charles Baxter
[Baxter Letters, p. 239-40, http://www.hathitrust.org]
Tautira [8 or 9 November 1888]
My dear Charles,
Mrs. Mary Ann Watts and her credit on Willis and Trantum, the same, please, as last year;
if you haven’t Mary Ann’s address, Miss Boodle will manage it.
Our mainmast is dry-rotten, and we are all to the devil.
I shall lie in a debtors’ jail.
Never mind: Tautira is first chop.
I am so besotted that I shall put on the back of this my attempt at words to “Wandering Willie”.
If you can conceive at all the difficulty, you will also conceive the vanity with which I regard any kind of result; and whatever mine is like, it has some sense, and Burns’s has none.
Home no more home to me, whither must I wander?
Hunger my driver, I go where I must.
Cold blows the winter wind over hill and heather;
Thick drives the rain, and my roof is in the dust.
Loved of wise men was the shade of my roof-tree;
The true word of welcome was spoken in the door.
Dear days of old, with the faces in the firelight,
Kind folks of old, you come again no more.
Home was home then, my dear, full of kindly faces,
Home was home then, my dear, happy for the child.
Fire and the windows bright glittered on the moorland;
Song, tuneful song, built a palace in the wild.
Now, when day dawns on the brow of the moorland,
Lone stands the house, and the chimney-stone is cold.
Lone let it stand, now the friends are all departed,
The kind hearts, the true hearts, that loved the place of old.