Autograph letter signed, to Helen Hamlin, with manuscript poem. Cambridge, 20 June 1879.
3 pages, 7 by 4.4 inches. To the daughter of Augustus Hamlin, once Surgeon-General of Maine, Longfellow sends thanks for the gift of a pen, made of iron from the prison of Chillon, where François de Bonnivard was held, wood from the U.S.S. Constitution, and gems from Siberia, Ceylon, and Maine, and he encloses a holograph manuscript of a poem about that pen: "Today I send you some lines, not written with the Pen, but about the Pen. I find that my hand is fettered by that bit of Bonnivard's chain and moves more easily with a lighter quill...." Longfellow closes with a postscript suggesting "Perhaps at some future day, if you have no objection, I may like to publish these lines in the Atlantic." In fact he published them in Harper's, in Dec. 1879, in a considerably longer version (10 stanzas vs. 4 here) as "The Iron Pen". With 2 page, 8.6 by 7.1 inch holograph poem entitled "The Pen". Stained & browned at edges. With remnants of mounting hinges. Autograph letter signed, to Helen Hamlin, with manuscript poem. (Item ID: 23616)