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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Phila-Trivia: A Philatelic Poem From 1898

It is sometimes rewarding to spend a bit of time ferreting through old tomes and philatelic journals, as one can uncover oddities like a poem about stamp collecting.

The Eastern Philatelist, in its February, 1889 edition, published this rather charming and evocative poem entitled “Their Designs.”

It reads as follows:

Their Designs

by Guy W. Green

As I glance in my haste o’er the pages,

My album presents to my view,

I think of the various symbols

Impressed upon stamps, old and new.

Fair France with her anchor and virgins,

Old Turkey with crescent and star,

Denmark wit
h crown, shield and lions,

Then Baden with griffins and bar.

Proud Austria comes with her eagles,

And Hungary’s horn, wreath and crown

Are followed by Spain’s oblong framings,

From which her dead rulers look down.

While Barbadoes, Cyprus and Fiji,

Tobago and fair Trinidad,

Together with Queensland and Natal,

Do honor to England’s brave head.

At last but not least in my rev’rence,

Our nation among them appears

With her presidents, gen’rals and statesmen,

Who’ve flourished and lived in past years.

The figures confuse and commingle.

Bewildered, I turn me away,

And leave all my fancies and dreaming,

For tasks that await me t


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