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Eryngium maritimum. Sea Eryngo.

Pentandria Digynia.

Flowers forming a head: general involucrum many-leaved. Receptacle chaffy. Seeds rough, with flexible scales. Rootleaves roundish, plaited, thorny. Flowering-heads on fruitstalks. Chaff three-pointed. Leaves mealy on the surface, with a whitish wood-like border; angles ending in sharp, whitish thorns. Blossom whitish-blue.—Withering.



- The Eryngo here

Sits as a queen amongst the scanty tribes

Of vegetable race. Around her neck

A gorgeous ruff of leaves, with snowy points,

Averts all rough intrusion. On her brow

She binds a crown of amethystine hue,

Bristling with spicula, thick interwove

With clustering florets, whose light anthers dance

In the fresh breeze, like tiny topaz gems.

Here the sweet rose would die. But she imbibes

From arid sands, and salt sea dew-drops, strength;

The native of the beach, by nature form'd

To dwell among the ruder elements.

Dr. Brummond's " First Steps to Botany.'

Primula officinalis. Cowslip.

Pentandria Monogynia.

Leaves wrinkled and toothed. Stalk many-flowered; all the flowers drooping; border of the blossom concave. Leafstalk often longer that the leaves, which is not the case in the primrose or oxlip. Blossom sweet-scented, full yellow, with an orange blotch at the base of each segment; contracted about the middle of the tube, where the stamens are inserted.—Withering.

"The Cowlips tall her pensioners be,
In their gold coats spots you see:
Those be rubies, fairies favours,
In those freckles live their savours."


Unfolding to the breeze of May,
The Cowslip greets the vernal ray:
The topaz and the ruby gem,
Her blossom's simple diadem;
And, as the dew-drops gently fall,
They tip with pearls her coronal.

In princely halls and courts of kings
Its lustrous ray the diamond flings;
Yet few of those who see its beam,
Amid the torch-light's dazzling gleam,
As bright as though a meteor shone,
Can call the costly prize their own.

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But gems of every form and hue
Are glittering here in morning dew;
Jewels that all alike may share
As freely as the common air:
No niggard hand, or jealous eye,
Protects them from the passer by.

Man to his brother shuts his heart,
And science acts a miser's part;
But nature, with a liberal hand,
Flings wide her stores o'er sea and land.
If gold she gives, not single grains
Are scatter'd far across the plains;
But lo, the desert streams are roll'd
O'er precious beds of virgin gold.
If flowers she offers, wreaths are given
As countless as the stars of heaven:
Or music—'tis no feeble note
She bids along the valleys float;
Ten thousand nameless melodies
In one full chorus swell the breeze.

Oh, art is but a scanty rill
That genial seasons scarcely fill.
But nature needs no tide's return
To fill afresh her flowing urn:
She gathers all her rich supplies
Where never-failing waters rise.

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