Daisies are our silver

Not many people know this hymn, which was my favourite one in childhood, when the world seemed enchanted and I was sure there were fairies very near me most of the time; it was just that they had hopped out of sight just as I approached:


1. Daisies are our silver,
Buttercups our gold:
This is all the treasure
We can have or hold.

2. Raindrops are our diamonds
And the morning dew;
While for shining sapphires
We've the speedwell blue.

3. These shall be our emeralds
Leaves so new and green;
Roses make the reddest
Rubies ever seen.

Bookbinding first effort
  4. God, who gave these treasures
To your children small,
Teach us how to love them
And grow like them all.

5. Make us bright as silver:
Make us good as gold;
Warm as summer roses
Let our hearts unfold.

6. Gay as leaves in April,
Clear as drops of dew
God, who made the speedwell,
Keep us true to you.

Jan Struther



The pocket is not the first time I've tackled the themes of this hymn; here is my first bookbinding effort from 2001, using a cloth based directly on the hymn, and you might see that I've done some more of that same design to include in this pocket, either side of the centre. I saw myself as primarily a machine embroiderer, but this first pocket got me started on using much more handwork, because I started it at Christmas when the house was very full and I had no access to my machines for a fortnight; so there was a lot of crocheting-in-a-chair, and what a gift this was to the whole project, as it started me off exploring texture in more depth than ever before.

Lots of research was done to arrive at the design - looking at how diamonds are cut in the 'round brilliant cut' way, all based on the number 8. Emeralds are 'highly included' gems, i.e. they have a lot of irregularities called a 'jardin', and often crystallize into hexagons. The patch with gems in 3 colours is based on a tiara in the V & A; there's sunlight and there's grass.... and so on. I create a whole load of 'ingredients' and then combine them in as balanced a way that I can.

There's a bit of my favourite and ancient linen skirt included, removed when I shed a few pounds; so this piece really does have a lot of 'me' in it, going back a long way. I never took much notice of the 'good as gold' part of the hymn, as I assumed I was good enough as I was, but the rest of the hymn spoke to me of a world made by God, to be enjoyed, savoured, cherished; that it is good to be satisfied with simple things; that religion is a kindly thing that makes all aspects of life better. Ah, those were the days.


4 comments:

  1. Like you, I loved this hymn as a child and can only remember the first verse so I am glad to find the full version and that you love it too. I've often sung this to my daughter whilst she was small and now to my granddaughter.

    Thank you so much Gail

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  2. This is a lovely entry. Can you tell me what year this hymn was written?

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  3. Ahhh lovely funny how these things stay with you

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  4. I used to play this hymn on my violin, but I too only knew the first verse.

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