Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, 9 July 2012

Robert Burns

Robert Burns
    Everytime I go to a bigger town I always take a peek at the Salvation army stores, the main attraction for me in those shops is the used book section where I am almost guaranteed to find a little treasure.

   Apart for beautiful books in English ( or French - Ah ! The advantage of being able to read in several languages.... ) I also love to pick up Agatha Christie paperbacks ( or other books of interest )  which I would like to say I collect, but it is simply that paperbacks are the only books I feel safe carrying around in my handbag, or am generous enough to lend to people whom I know will not be able to bring them back.

   There is an old adage that says ' Remember ABAB !', or ' Always Bring A Book !'.And paperbacks are the obvious solution for the traveler.

   Once on such a treasure hunt at the Fretex ( Salvation army shop ) in Tønsberg I picked up this volume of the collected works of Robert Burns.

    Now, the book itself is an 1930-1940 edition, nicely bound, biography, etc... but an interesting detail is the dedication on the front cover.

       The top right hand corner has the name Irene Med Taylor ( or Jaylor ... hard to read ) and her address : 12 Springfield Crescent, Stromness.

   Then she has her address added at a later date in ball point pen in the the center of the page, but her name is changed to Irene Med Marthinnissen, and a new address in Norway.

   But the interesting bit, is the little dedication that says:

' To wish you every happiness, April 1941 
Jan ' 

   Next to the dedication, dear Irene added in ball point ' Orkney Scotland'.

   1941 was the war, a volume of this quality would have been a very nice present.

     Who are Jan and Irene ? Where they students, friends or lovers stuck in Scotland during the war year ? Irene must have loved this book as she took the time to upgrade her address, obviously after her marriage, hence the name change.

   I guess we will never know, but it does make for some romantic speculation.....


   Robert Burns is known for his romantic poems, but from the reading I have been doing he was also a regular poetical rascal.

   Here are two example of ' naughty ' mealtime graces.


Lord, we thank, and Thee adore, 
For temporal gifts we little merit ;
At present we will ask no more -
Let William Hislop give the spirit.


O Lord, when hunger pinches sore, 
Do Thou stand us in stead, 
And send us, from Thy bounteous store, 
A tup or wether heads ! Amen.

O Lord, since we have feasted thus, 
Which we so little mreit, 
Let Meg now take away the flesh, 
And Jock bring in the spirit ! Amen.


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