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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.

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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.

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Primula officinalis. Cowslip.

Pentandria Monogynia.

Leaves wrinkled and toothed. Stalk many-flowered; all the flowers drooping; border of the blossom concave. Leaf-stalk 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."

SHAKSPEARE.

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 balls 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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12

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Cowslipo.

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 rollid
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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