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- THE VERVAIN, A DRUIDICAL CHARM.

The Vervain was one of the sacred plants of the Druids, who observed many peculiar rites at its gathering. After libations of honey had been poured forth, it was gathered with much solemn ceremony at the rising of the dog-star, when neither sun nor moon looked upon it. In digging it up, the left hand only was used. It was then waved aloft, and the leaves, stalk, and root dried separately in the shade. It is described in their mystical writings as “ cheerful, placid vervain, which has been borne aloft and kept apart from the moon.” Thus prepared, it was considered an antidote to many diseases, and, above all, it was a charm to conciliate friendship.

There are fairer flowers that bloom on the lea,

And give out their fragrant scent to the gale; But the vervain, with charmed leaf, shall be

The plant of our choosing, though scentless and pale,

For, wrapp'd in the veil of thy lowly flower,

They say that a powerful influence dwells,
And that, duly cull'd in the star-bright hour,
Thou bindest the heart by thy powerful spells.

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along, exhausted by the fatigues of their first spring rambles; and perhaps, like older children, weary of the treasures they were so anxious to obtain when they set out.

With this plant we have an association furnished by Shakspeare.

“ Daffodils
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty.”

We may be allowed to add to this the plaintive dirge of one of our elder bards, who poured forth his strains in the spring-time of our poesy.

TO DAFFODILS.

HERRICK.

Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon ;
As yet the early rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon:

Stay, stay,
Until the hast'ning day

Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we

Will go with you along!

We have short time to stay as you,
We have as short a spring ;
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you, or any thing:

We will plant thee beneath our sheltering tree,

In our bow'r we will bid thy blossoms unfold; So faithful and firm may our friendships be,

So never may glowing hearts grow cold.

Pseudo-narcissus. Common daffodil.

Hexandria Monogynia. Sheath one-flowered. Nectary bell-shaped, upright, curled;

as long as the petals Petals egg-shaped. Bula roundish. Lertes rather glaucous, bluntly teeled, tattish at the edge. Flower nodding, large, of an unpleasant scent. Germen with three grooves Stalk twoedged. Petals straw-coloured. Nectary throughout of a full yellow; the rim a little plaited and snipt.-Withering.

In the months of March and May, the hedgerows and coppices, in many parts of the country, are gay with the blossoms of the daffodil; and oftentimes you may trace the homeward path of the village children by these bright yellow flowers, which, one after another, have fallen from their hands, as they wandered

along, exhausted by the fatigues of their first spring rambles; and perhaps, like older children, weary of the treasures they were so anxious to obtain when they set out.

With this plant we have an association furnished by Shakspeare.

“ Daffodils
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty.”

We may be allowed to add to this the plaintive dirge of one of our elder bards, who poured forth his strains in the spring-time of our poesy.

TO DAFFODILS.

HERRICK.

Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon:

Stay, stay,
Until the hast’ning day

Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we

Will go with you along!

We have short time to stay as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you, or any thing:

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