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Such is the fate of simple bard,
Of prudent lore,
And whelm him o'er !
Such fate to suffering worth is given,
To misery's brink,
He ruin'd sink!
E'en thou, who mourn'st the daisy's fate,
Full on thy bloom,
Shall be thy doom.
Spartium scoparium. Common Broom.
Calyx extending downwards, two-lipped. Filaments adhering
to the germen. Summit woolly above. Leaves in threes, and solitary. Branches without prickles, angular.
Leaves and leaf-stalks slightly hairy. Calyx the upper seg. ment with two teeth larger than those of the lower. Blossom-standard nearly circular, slightly notched at the end. Keel the petals rather hooked, united at the lower edge by an intertexture of very fine, soft, woolly hairs. Stamens four long and six short. Style bowed almost into a circle, and after flowering, into a spiral; the very end, which one would be inclined to regard as the summit, not hairy, Blossom yellow.-Withering.
This gay shrub, with its bright yellow blossoms, like chains of gold hung upon its branches, is too well known to require further description. It was formerly called Planta Genista, and under this name possesses much historical interest, as from hence was derived the word Plantagenet. Géfroi, duke of Anjou, father of our Henry the Second, was in the practice of wearing a sprig of Planta Genista in his cap; or, as an old writer quaintly expresses it, " he wore commonly a broom-stalke in his bonnet;" and from this circumstance he acquired the name of Plantagenet, which he transmitted to his princely descendants, who all bore it, from Henry, who has been called the first royal sprig of Genista, down to Richard the Third, the last degenerate scion of the plant of Anjou.
AFAR from the cultur'd haunts of men,
Where Nature hath chanced thy seed to fling, In the turf-cover'd wild, or the woodland glen,
I've seen thee unfold, ʼmid the blossoms of spring.
Time was, when thy golden chain of flowers
Was link’d, the warrior's brow to bind; When rear'd in the shelter of royal bowers,
Thy wreath with a kingly coronal twined.
The chieftain who bore thee high on his crest,
And bequeath'd to his race thy simple name, Long ages past hath sunk to his rest,
And only lives in the voice of fame.
And one by one, to the silent tomb,
His line of princes hath pass'd away; But thou art here with thy golden bloom,
In all the pride of thy beauty gay.
Though the feeblest thing that nature forms,
A frail and perishing flower art thou ;
That have made the monarch and warrior bow.
The storied urn may be crumbled to dust,
And Time may the marble bust deface;
The memorial flower of a princely race.
Erica vulgaris. Common Heath. Ling.
Anthers with two tooth-serrated awns at the base. Leaves
Leaves arrow-shaped. Anthers shorter than the blossom.
Style longer. The calyx has close to its base four or five circular, concave, coloured leaves, fringed with soft hairs; and on the outside of these, two or three others partly resembling these, and partly the leaves of the cup. Proper cup coloured, so as in every respect to resemble the blossom, which is of a pale rose-colour, sometimes white, not distended; four or five cleft. Seedvessel inclosed by the proper cup.
This plant, but little regarded in happier climates, is made subservient to a variety of purposes, in the bleak and barren highlands of Scotland. The poorer inhabitants make walls for their cottages with alternate layers of heath, and a kind of mortar made of black earth and straw; the woody roots of the heath being placed in the centre, the tops internally and externally.
They make their beds of it, by placing the
roots downwards, and the tops only being uppermost, are sufficiently soft to sleep on*. Cabins are thatched with it. In the island of Ilay, ale is frequently made by brewing one part malt and two parts of the young tops of heath. In the north of Scotland, ropes are made of it as strong and nearly as pliable as hemp.
ON A SPRIG OF HEATH.
FLOWER of the waste! the heath-fowl shuns
For thee the brake and tangled wood;
Thy tender buds supply her food ;
Flower of the desert, though thou art !
The deer that range the mountain free,
Their food and shelter seek from thee ;
* With that he shook the gather'd heath,
And spread his plaid upon the wreath;
Lady of the Lake.