The Story of My Life

Part II. Letters (1887–1901)

TO SIR JOHN EVERETT MILLAIS


My Dear Mr. Millais:--Your little American sister is going to write you a letter, because she wants you to know how pleased she was to hear you were interested in our poor little Tommy, and had sent some money to help educate him. It is very beautiful to think that people far away in England feel sorry for a little helpless child in America. I used to think, when I read in my books about your great city, that when I visited it the people would be strangers to me, but now I feel differently. It seems to me that all people who have loving, pitying hearts, are not strangers to each other. I can hardly wait patiently for the time to come when I shall see my dear English friends, and their beautiful island home. My favourite poet has written some lines about England which I love very much. I think you will like them too, so I will try to write them for you.


"Hugged in the clinging billow's clasp,

From seaweed fringe to mountain heather,

The British oak with rooted grasp

Her slender handful holds together,

With cliffs of white and bowers of green,

And ocean narrowing to caress her,

And hills and threaded streams between,

Our little mother isle, God bless her!"

You will be glad to hear that Tommy has a kind lady to teach him, and that he is a pretty, active little fellow. He loves to climb much better than to spell, but that is because he does not know yet what a wonderful thing language is. He cannot imagine how very, very happy he will be when he can tell us his thoughts, and we can tell him how we have loved him so long.

Tomorrow April will hide her tears and blushes beneath the flowers of lovely May. I wonder if the May-days in England are as beautiful as they are here.

Now I must say good-bye. Please think of me always as your loving little sister,

HELEN KELLER.

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