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CYPRESS.

(Mourning.)

"The cypress is the emblem of mourning."-SHAKSPEARE.

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CCORDING to Ovid, this tree was named after Cyparissus, an especial favourite of Apollo. He had accidentally slain his pet stag, and was so sorrow-stricken that he besought the gods to doom his life to everlasting gloom; and they in compliance with his request, transformed him into a cypress-tree.

"When, lost in tears, the blood his veins forsakes,

His every limb a grassy hue partakes ;

His flowing tresses, stiff and bushy grown,

Point to the stars, and taper to a cone,

Apollo thus: 'Ah! youth, beloved in vain,

Long shall thy boughs the gloom I feel retain :

Henceforth, when mourners grieve, their grief to share,
Emblem of woe the cypress shall be there.""

THE CYPRESS WREATH.

SIR W. SCOTT.

O LADY, twine no wreath for me,
Or twine it of the cypress-tree!
Too lively glow the lilies light,
The varnished holly's all too bright,
The May-flower and the eglantine
May shade a brow less sad than mine;
But, lady, weave no wreath for me,
Or weave it of the cypress-tree.

Let dimpled Mirth his temples twine
With tendrils of the laughing vine;
The manly oak, the pensive yew,
To patriot and to sage be due;
The myrtle bough bids lovers live,
But that Matilda will not give;
Then, lady, twine no wreath for me,
Or twine it of the cypress-tree.

Let merry England proudly rear
Her blended roses, bought so dear;
Let Albin bind her bonnet blue
With heath and harebell dipped in dew;
On favoured Erin's crest be seen
The flower she loves of emerald green-
But, lady, twine no wreath for me,
Or twine it of the cypress-tree.

Strike the wild harp, while maids prepare
The ivy meet for minstrel's hair;
And while his crown of laurel leaves
With bloody hand the victor weaves,
Let the loud trump his triumph tell;
But when you hear the passing bell,
Then, lady, twine a wreath for me,
And twine it of the cypress-tree.

Yes! twine for me the cypress bough;
But, O Matilda, twine not now!
Stay till a few brief months are past,
And I have looked and loved my last!
When villagers my shroud bestrew
With pansies, rosemary, and rue,-
Then, lady, weave a wreath for me,
And weave it of the cypress-tree.

THE CYPRESS-TREE.

BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE.

A SLENDER tree upon a height in lonely beauty towers, So dark, as if it only drank the rushing thunder showers; When birds were at their evening hymns, in thoughtful reverie,

I've marked the shadows deep and long, from yonder cypress-tree.

I've thought of oriental tombs, of silent cities, where
In many a row the cypress stands, in token of despair!
And thought, beneath the evening star, how many a
maiden crept

From life's discordant scene, and o'er the tomb in silence wept.

I've thought, thou lonely cypress-tree, thou hermit of the

grove,

How many a heart, alas! is doomed forlorn on earth to

rove;

When all that charmed the morn of life, and cheered the youthful mind,

Have like the sunbeams passed away, and left but clouds behind!

Thou wert a token unto me, thou stem with dreary leaf, So desolate thou look'st, as earth were but a home of

grief!

A few short years shall swiftly glide, and then thy boughs

shall wave,

When tempests beat, and breezes sigh, above my silent grave!

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"The thistle shall bloom on the bed of the brave."-ANON. S the national emblem of Scotland the Thistle has been celebrated, far and wide, by the many bards of its brave people. There is some little doubt as to how this flower was first adopted by the Scots. Some patriotic authors go back to the days of the Picts in order to trace the origin of its use, and adduce a romantic legend in proof of the antiquity of the custom. Be this as it may, the Plantagenets were not prouder of the broom than were the Stuarts of their thistle; and princes of the royal house were wont to wear the Cluas-au-pheidh, as it is called in Gaelic, with all the respect that its presumed antique and honourable history entitled it to. The poets of Scotland are ever ready to pay it homage, and the following thoroughly characteristic poem, to be found in Hogg's 'Jacobite Relics,' is supposed to have been written by the Ettrick Shepherd himself:

"Let them boast of the country gave Patrick his fame,
Of the land of the ocean and Anglian name,

With the red blushing roses and shamrock so green;
Far dearer to me are the hills of the North,
The land of blue mountains, the birthplace of worth;
Those mountains where Freedom has fixed her abode,
Those wide-spreading glens where no slave ever trode,
Where blooms the red heather and thistle so green.

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"Though rich be the soil where blossoms the rose,
And barren the mountains and covered with snows
Where blooms the red heather and thistle so green;
Yet for friendship sincere, and for loyalty true,
And for courage so bold which no foe could subdue,
Unmatched is our country, unrivalled our swains,
And lovely and true are the nymphs on our plains,
Where rises the thistle, the thistle so green.

"Far-famed are our sires in the battles of yore,
And many the cairnies that rise on our shore

O'er the foes of the land of the thistle so green;
And many a cairnie shall rise on our strand,
Should the torrent of war ever burst on our land.
Let foe come on foe, as wave comes on wave,
We'll give them a welcome, we'll give them a grave
Beneath the red heather and thistle so green.

"Oh, dear to our souls as the blessings of Heaven
Is the freedom we boast, is the land that we live in,
The land of red heather, and thistle so green;
For that land and that freedom our fathers have bled,
And we swear by the blood that our fathers have shed,
No foot of a foe shall e'er tread on their grave;
But the thistle shall bloom on the bed of the brave,
The thistle of Scotland, the thistle so green.'

"There appears to be no proof of this sturdy flower having been adopted as the symbol of Scotland earlier than the middle of the fifteenth century, when a puritanic council held a solemn consultation within the walls of the old Council-house at Edinburgh as to the advisability of erasing the papistic figure of St. Giles-which for so many centuries had been triumphantly borne through the battle and the breeze-from the old standard: religious animosity gained the day, and the time-honoured figure of the saint was replaced by the thistle."-J. INGRAM.

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