I came upon this little booklet of verse and aphorisms at a book sale and its cover and place of publication intrigued me. Branches of Jasmine (which will grow and bloom on the West Coast) published in 1939 in Vancouver under the auspices of Chapter A, P.E.O. Sisterhood. I have learnt that P.E.O. stands for Philanthropic Educational Organization.
Among the treasures is this quatrain from Bliss Carman
Have little care that Life is brief,
And less that Art is long.
Success is in the silences
Though fame is in the song.
Carman is here troping on the commonplace Ars longa, vita brevis which finds its locus classicus in English in Chaucer: “The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne” (“The life so short, the craft so long to learn”, the first line of the Parlement of Foules).
And the French say “A chaque jour suffit sa peine.” Their version of Matthew 6:34 which the translators of the King James Version rendered “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” What distance between “toil” and “evil” so like the silences of success.
And so for day 1408