Emily writes:

So beautiful

it looks this

fresh bright September


Dear Mr Lear,

                 Here is an “alone” which I hope may comfort you by being more ‘alone’ than you asked for. I am expecting visitors so farewell. Alfred’s love. He sends you this I have not sent it of myself



                  Courage poor heart of stone

                  I will not ask thee why

                  Thou cans’t not understand

                  That thou art left forever alone

                  Courage, poor stupid heart of stone:

                       Or if I ask thee why

                       Care not thou to reply

                  She is but dead & the time is of hand

                  When thou shalt more than die.

Emily Tennyson, letter to Edward Lear, 7 September 1855 
In August 1855, Henry Lushington – a mutual friend of Lear and the Tennysons – died, leaving them saddened and grieving. Lear had already been suffering from depression, and the fallout from this event was a particular strain on him. Emily sent him many lines of comfort, suggesting that ‘we must help each other, those who at all understand each other & love each other’. Over the next few months, her letters cheered and consoled Lear, and she found comfort in his words while Alfred was away. On Alfred’s return, the couple sent Lear an ‘alone’ that had just been written for Maud (1855). Later that month, Emily invited Lear and Lushington down to Farringford, suggesting that ‘the sadness of the past’ would ‘but deepen the delight of our hours together’
(25 Sept 1855).