Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Grandma's album 6

This silhouette of a pastoral scene is signed A. Scott, A.H.T.C. April 1909. It may well be copied from a postcard or illustration, or parts of it at least. The boy and girl with one-and-a-half dogs and the neat little row of trees in the background somehow seem more accomplished than the rather dodgy cows in the field. One of them in the distance appears to be lying on it's side and may be dead or dying, and another in the foreground looks as if it’s trodden in its own cowpat. Despite the mutant cattle, though, it’s quite an effective image.
Here's a poem from the neighbouring page:

What will you do for England,
Dear Little English maid?
You may be poor, weak, and obscure,
Still you can lend your aid.
It matters so much to England
What you will try to do;
You can if you will, make her greater still.
It lies, little child, with you.

In a child’s small hand lies the fate of our land.
It is hers to mar or save;
For a sweet child, sure, grows a woman pure,
To make men good and brave.
We English shall ne’er kiss the rod,
Come our foes on land or sea,
If our children be true to themselves and to God,
Oh! Great shall our England be.
Philip Trevor

With best wishes for the future,
Yours very lovingly –
Nellie Stafford

The Girl Guide movement was founded in 1909 and this was one of the poems the girls would have been indoctrinated with. Only the second verse appears in my grandmother's album, but I thought I'd include the full horror.

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