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"The memorial flower of a princely race." EOFFRY, Count of Anjou, acquired the surname of Plantagenet from the incident of his wearing a sprig of broom in his helmet on a day of battle. This Geoffry was second husband to Matilda, or Maud, Empress of Germany and daughter of Henry I. of Eng. land; and from this Plantagenet family were descended all our Edwards and Henrys.

It could not be expected that so romantic a story would escape the poets, and accordingly we find it embalmed in the following verses:

"Time was when thy golden chain of flowers
Was linked, the warrior's brow to bind ;
When reared in the shelter of royal bowers,
Thy wreath with a kingly coronal twined.
"The chieftain who bore thee high in his crest,
And bequeathed to his race thy simple name,
Long ages past has sunk to his rest,

And only survives in the rolls of fame.

"Though a feeble thing that Nature forms,
A frail and perishing flower art thou;
Yet thy race has survived a thousand storms,
That have made the monarch and warrior bow.

"The storied urn may be crumbled to dust,
And time may the marble bust deface;
But thou wilt be faithful and firm to thy trust,
The memorial flower of a princely race."

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ERVAIN, or wild verbena, has been the floral symbol of enchantment from time immemorial.

It was styled "sacred herb" by the Greeks, who ascribed a thousand marvellous properties to it, one of which was its power of reconciling enemies. Under the influence of this belief, they, as did also the Romans, sent it by their ambassadors on treaties of peace; and whenever they despatched their heralds to offer terms of reconciliation, renewal or suspension of hostilities, one of them invariably bore a sprig of vervain. In his "Muses' Elysium," Drayton calls it "holy vervain," and thus speaks of it:

"A wreath of vervain heralds wear

Amongst our garlands named,
Being sent that weighty news to bear
Of peace or war proclaimed."

The peoples of antiquity also frequently used this plant in various kinds of divinations, sacrifices, and incantations; and its specific name of verbena originally signified a herb used to decorate altars. Ben Jonson says,

"Bring your garlands, and with reverence place

The vervain on the altar."

It was much valued by the Druids, being regarded by

them as only second to the mistletoe: they used it largely in their divinations and casting of lots.

Sir William Davenant, in his poem of "Gondibert,” alludes to its curative powers:

"Black melancholy rusts, that fed despair

Through wounds' long rage, with sprinkled vervain cleared; Strewed leaves of willow to refresh the air,

And with rich fumes his sullen senses cheered."

Vervain is used still amongst the Cornish peasantry as a charm against ague.

In gathering the vervain for "good luck," the herb is first crossed with the hand, and then blessed, thus:

"Hallowed be thou, Vervain,

As thou growest in the ground;
For in the Mount of Calvary
There thou first wast found."

SWEET SEDGE.

(Resignation.)

USH bearing is still kept up in the north-west of England. Our ancestors strewed their rooms and churches with rushes, and of these, sweetest of all was the Sedge.

It is well chosen for resignation, as when trodden on, its incense to God is sweetest.

THE SWEET SEDGE.

CALDER CAMPBELL.

OH, river-side,

Where soft green rushes bear dark flowers,
And reedy grasses weave dark bowers,

Through which fleet minnows glide

Oh, river-banks, let me from you convey
Something to scatter in yon ancient minster gray.

Oh, minster gray!

Where graves of friends beloved are found,
I come to thee with strewments.-Round

Each blade of grass, each spray

Of Acorus, a fragrant essence breathes,

Nature's own incense shed to sanctify these wreaths!

Oh, rushes green,

With blossoms wan or brown !—and ye
Sweet flags, from whose scent-roots to me
Come thoughts of the Has Been,

Ye are the fitting plants at eve to shed

A vague mysterious perfume o'er the silent dead!

"Not so!not so !"

A voice replies: "For joy alone

These reeds and rushes here are strewn !"

But I again cry: "Lo!

Joy's emblems here I fitly use, to prove

That life and death alike spring from God's holy love.”

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