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"The cypress is the emblem of mourning."-SHAKSPEARE.
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,
THE CYPRESS WREATH.
SIR W. SCOTT.
O LADY, twine no wreath for me,
Let dimpled Mirth his temples twine
Let merry England proudly rear
Strike the wild harp, while maids prepare
Yes! twine for me the cypress bough;
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
From life's discordant scene, and o'er the tomb in silence wept.
I've thought, thou lonely cypress-tree, thou hermit of the
How many a heart, alas! is doomed forlorn on earth to
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
A few short years shall swiftly glide, and then thy boughs
When tempests beat, and breezes sigh, above my silent grave!
"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,
With the red blushing roses and shamrock so green;
"Though rich be the soil where blossoms the rose,
"Far-famed are our sires in the battles of yore,
O'er the foes of the land of the thistle so green;
"Oh, dear to our souls as the blessings of Heaven
"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.