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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, 'mid 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.
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.
Gem of the heath! whose modest bloom
Sheds beauty o'er the lonely moor; Though thou dispense no rich perfume,
Nor yet with splendid tints allure; Both valour's crest and beauty's bower, Oft hast thou deck'd, a favourite flower.
Flower of the wild! whose purple glow
Adorns the dusky mountain's side,
Nor garden's artful, varied pride,
Flower of his heart ! thy fragrance mild,
Of peace and freedom seems to breathe;
And deck his bonnet with the wreath,
Flower of his dear-loved, native land!
Alas! when distant, far more dear! When he, from some cold foreign strand,
Looks homeward through the blinding tear, How must his aching heart deplore, That home and thee he sees no more !
· THE END,
Printed by Harvey, Darton, and Co.