You can’t judge a book by it’s cover the old saw tells us. But we all do. All of the time.

In a more literal vein I will sometimes actually by a book just for it’s cover and this one is an example of that. The book Dear Home in England edited by C G Fillmore is an anthology of poetry loosely themed around the title. Published by Frederick Muller in 1949 it’s easy to imagine the books conception as an antidote to the fresh memories of war.

It contains much that is familiar if not predictable. My two favourites are The Brook by Tennyson and the untitled one by Charles Mackay that I have written out below, but it is the art on the dustjacket that I love. Sadly nowhere is the artist credited. The John Nash-like manner is of it’s time and the trees are either oaks or elms and stylised though they are I favour the latter, which of course adds to the romantic appeal.

I have lived and I have loved;

I have waked and I have slept;

I have sung and I have danced;

I have smiled and I have wept;

I have won and wasted treasure;

I have had my fill of pleasure;

And all of these things were weariness,

And some of them were dreariness.

And all of these things, but two things,

Were emptiness and pain;

And Love – it was the best of them;

And Sleep – worth all the rest of them.