Sunday, 4 April 2010


Let me take you back to the 19th century. Picture if you will, or even if you won't, the drawing room of a country estate where sits the lady of the manor taking tea. She looks up at the maid who waits upon her and dismisses her saying that she won't require her services for an hour or so.

The maid goes up to her tiny room at the top of the house, taking the back stairs of course, and sits herself down with her sampler. For anyone who doesn't know, a sampler was a framed piece of sewing, often of the alphabet, or of a poem or picture, which Victorian ladies would spend hours doing - thus idling their time away. In this respect, it was the Victorian equivalent of our computers.

The maid in my story is busy creating the following poem, which I discovered in my grandfathers album entitled simply 'From a sampler'.

"I pray that risen from the dead,
I may in glory stand,
A crown perhaps upon my head,
A needle in my hand.

I never learnt to sing or play
So let no harp be mine.
From youth until my dying day
Plain serving's been my line.

Therefore accustomed to the end
To plying useful stitches,
I'll be content if asked to mend
The little angels' breeches."


  1. Samplers - the Victorian equivalent of computers. Good way of describing them, Tony. Mind you, I much prefer computers. ;)