Thursday 15 March 2012

Added Value: Things found in books - Calendula Officinalis

A supplement to the Amateur gardening magazine dated 4th January,1936. Calendual Officinalis "Orange King" a popular variety of the the old Scotch Marigold. A single sheet with a poem written on the back;

Before the beginning of years,
There came to the making of man
Time, with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;
Pleasure, with pain for leaven;
Summer, with flowers that fell;
Remembrance fallen from heaven,
And madness risen from hell;
Strength without hands to smite;
Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light,
And life, the shadow of death.
And the high gods took in hand
fire, and the falling of tears,
and a measure of sliding sand
from under the feet of the years; 
And froth and drift of the sea; And dust of the laboring earth; And bodies of things to be in the houses of death and birth; And wrought with weeping and laughter, and fashioned with loathing and love, with life before and after, and death below and above. For a day and a night and a morrow, that his strength might endure for a span, with travail and heavy sorrow, The holy spirit of man.
From the winds of the north and the south, they gathered as unto strife; They breathed upon his mouth, they filled his body with life; Eyesight and speech they wrought for the veils of the soul therein, a time for labor and thought, a time to serve and to sin; They gave him light in his ways, and love, and a space for delight; And beauty and length of days, and night, and sleep in the night.His speech is a burning fire; With his lips he travaileth; In his heart is a blind desire, in his eye foreknowledge of death; He weaves, and is clothed with derision; Sows, and he shall not reap; His life is a watch or a vision. Between a sleep and a sleep.

Chorus from 'Atalanta in Calydon' by Algernon Charles Swinburn (1837-1909) 

Found in The silent playmate a collection of doll stories. Published by Victor Gollancz, 1979.


  1. Hi Barbara

    I love finding things in books (except for squashed bugs). What a nice poem to find. I love to read and hear about things people have found in books.


  2. barbaraannefisher15 March 2012 at 13:02

    Hi Michelle
    Your comment made me laugh! I’ve never found a squashed bug (thank goodness), but I have found several mummified spiders! Barbara

  3. What a lovely poem! I think I'll write that one down :)

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

  4. That's one of the books I'd almost ordered from you, Barbara! (By the way, I've finished both the Allan Ahlberg & Jane Yolen books. And I'm currently reading Great Expectations because I'm curious about the Miss Havisham you've mentioned on one of my blog posts. :) )

    Great poem, here!

  5. barbaraannefisher15 March 2012 at 22:44

    Hello Megan, I agree it is a beautiful poem. I hadn't heard it before so finding the words on a scrap of paper was a real treat. I’m glad someone took the trouble to write them down.Barbara

  6. barbaraannefisher15 March 2012 at 23:00

    Hello Claudine, just think you could have found the added extra! I only discovered it because a customer asked for a scan of the title page, and as I put the book in the scanner, the paper fell out.
    Did you enjoy the Allan Ahlberg & Jane Yolen books?
    I will be interested to hear what you think about Great Expectations. It ‘got under my skin’ the first time I read it, and I’ve loved it ever since.

  7. Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem.

  8. What an awesome find! The poem is beautiful and it would be a great treat to find in a book. I never find all the goodies that you find in books- but you never know. Warmer weather is coming- and I get a lot of books at tag sales. Maybe I will find something good! Thanks for sharing!

  9. barbaraannefisher16 March 2012 at 11:56

    Hello Diane, you are most welcome. I’m glad you enjoy it.

  10. barbaraannefisher16 March 2012 at 12:03

    Hi Jess, I'm very lucky because I get to buy lots and lots of books – sadly I have to sell most of them, but I do get to add a few to my collection. A lot of the finds are in books from estate sales or from boxes of books that turn up at auction. A lot of the time the books have been packed away for ages and anything that was left in them is long forgotten. It’s lovely being able to share some on my blog. I hope you find lots of interesting things from the tag sales. I have never heard the expression ‘tag sale’ is it like a garage sale or a car boot sale where people sell on their unwanted things?

  11. The Desert Rocks16 March 2012 at 15:56

    Not such a Silent Playmate, huh?

  12. barbaraannefisher16 March 2012 at 16:26

    No, indeed not, very wordy, in fact!
    Thanks for visiting.

  13. It would be interesting to know if the keeper of this did so for any significant reason. The picture and the poem are beautiful.


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx