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ROUSSEAU AND THE WILD FLOWER.
Wuer known to fame, but not to peace,
Alone, unfriended, worn with care,
And breath'd once more his native air,
The plant that bloom'd along the shore,
When there in happier hours he stray'd,
In all its azure charms array'd;
It seem'd to say, “ Hadst thou, like me,
• Contented blooin'd within the bed
• When first her dews were on thee shed,
It seem'd to say, “ The loveliest flower,
• That keeps unmoved its native sphere,
And live through many a stormy year;
Happy are those alone who aim
In duty's quiet path to shine,
Unseen their fairest garlands twine;
Nymphæa alba. White Water-lily.
Leaves heart-shaped, very entire. Calyx four-cleft.
Petals in several rows, resembling a double flower. The
flower opens about seven in the morning, closes about four in the afternoon, and then lies down upon the surface of the water. Leaf-stalks and fruit-stalks round, within full of pores, four of which are generally larger than the rest. Calyx leaves smaller than the outer petals. Summits seventeen or eighteen, placed in a circle, and corresponding with as many cells in the germen. Stamens fixed to the side of the germen. Leaves oval, with a deep notch at the base. Leafits nearly cen
tral. Petals numerous, white. This most beautiful aquatic floats its splendid white or
pinkish flowers by broad leaves. Withering.
The Nymphæa alba may be justly called the most magnificent of our wild flowers. It has been considered as a rival to the magnolia of America, which indeed it strongly resembles when the blossoms of that shrub are partially expanded. It is more rare than the N. Lutea, but is nevertheless abundant in many parts of the kingdom. We can recall with delight, as no doubt many of our readers can, pleasant boat-excursions, in July or August, when our path in the waters has been skirted by widely-extended beds of white water-lilies, sometimes edging the shores with a deep, waving border of flowers and foliage, bending with every undulation of the stream; sometimes running up in broad alleys, between the flags and reeds, which seem to have broken their ranks, and made an opening to give them room. It is scarcely possible to imagine any thing more beautiful than these fine blossoms, each one floating on a broad, green leaf, which spreads beneath it as it rises to the surface of the water, and looks like a salver of verd antique supporting a vase of ivory. In Egypt this flower was dedicated to the moon. It grows luxuriantly in the Nile, and was the more reverenced from that circumstance, since the river was itself held sacred by the inhabitants
of the land. These " white blossoms of the Nile” were considered emblematic of purity and chastity; and the bands of virgin priestesses who ministered in the temples, wore them wreathed in their hair, on solemn or festive occasions, as their most appropriate ornament. It should also be remembered, that it is a flower of this tribe, though not the N. a. which is so celebrated by the poets of the east. The N. nelumbo is the lotus of India; the theme of legend and of song in every age of oriental literature.
THE DOG AND THE WATER-LILY.
The noon was shady, and soft airs
Swept Ouse's silent tide,
I wander'd on his side.
My spaniel, prettiest of his race,
And high in pedigree,
That spaniel found for me,)
Now wanton'd, lost in flags and reeds ;
Now starting into sight
With scarce a slower flight.
It was the time when Quse display'd
His lilies newly blown :
And one I wish'd my own.
With cane extended far, I sought
To steer it close to land;
Escap'd my eager hand.
Beau mark'd my unsuccessful pains
With fix’d, considerate face ; . And puzzling, set his puppy brains
To comprehend the case.
But with a cherup clear and strong,
Dispersing all his dream,
The windings of the stream.
My ramble finish'd, I return'd;
Beau, trotting far before,
And plunging left the shore.
I saw liim, with that lily cropp'd,
Impatient swim to meet
The treasure at my feet.
Charm'd with the sight, the world, I cried,
Shall know of this thy deed; My dog shall mortify the pride
Of man's superior breed.