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And in the currents of the air

Its tender branches flourished fair.

It reached the beam-it thrilled-it curledIt blessed the warmth that cheers the world! It rose towards the dungeon bars

It looked upon the sun and stars.

It felt the life of bursting Spring,
It heard the happy skylark sing;

It caught the breath of morns and eves,
And wooed the swallow to its leaves.

By rains and dews, and sunshine fed,
Over the outer wall it spread;
And in the daybeam, waving free,
into a steadfast tree.

It

grew

Upon that solitary place

Its verdure threw adorning grace :
The mating birds became its guests,
And sang its praises from their nests.

Would'st know the moral of the rhyme?
Behold the heavenly light, and climb -
To every dungeon comes a ray
Of God's interminable day.

THE IV Y.

BARTON.

HAST thou seen, in winter's stormiest day,

The trunk of a blighted oak,

Not dead, but sinking in slow decay
Beneath time's resistless stroke,

Round which a luxuriant ivy had grown,

And wreathed it with verdure no longer its own?

Perchance thou hast seen this sight, and then,
As I at thy years might do,

Passed carelessly by, nor turned again

That scathed wreck to view.

But now I can draw from that mouldering tree
Thoughts which are soothing and dear to me.

O smile not! nor think it a worthless thing,
If it be with instruction fraught;
That which will closest and longest cling

Is alone worth a serious thought!
Should aught be unlovely which thus can shed

Grace on the dying, and leaves on the dead?

[graphic]

IN

AMARANTH

(Immortality.)

"Immortal amaranth."-MILTON.

OST poetical of all flowers in meaning is the Amaranth. It has been selected as the symbol of immortality, and has ever been associated with Death as the portal through which the soul must pass to Eternity. Milton gives crowns of amaranth to the angelic multitude assembled before the Deity:

"To the ground

With solemn adoration down they cast
Their crowns inwove with amaranth and gold.
Immortal amaranth-a flower which once

In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,

Began to bloom: but soon for man's offence

To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows

And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life,

And where the river of bliss, through midst of heaven
Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream:

With these that never fade the spirits elect

Bind their resplendent locks enwreathed with beams;
Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright
Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone,

Impurpled with celestial rosy smile."

These flowers if gathered and dried will long preserve their beauty.

One of the most popular species of the amaranth is the "Love-lies-bleeding." The origin of this singular appellation is not known, but it has been suggested that the

following verses of Campbell account for it. The daughter of O'Connor is lamenting over the tomb of Connocht Moran :

66

"A hero's bride? this desert bower,

It ill befits thy gentle breeding:
And wherefore dost thou love this flower
To call 'My-love-lies-bleeding'?

"This purple flower my tears have nursed
A hero's blood supplied its bloom :

I love it, for it was the first

That grew on Connocht Moran's tomb."

;

THE AMARANTH.

SHELLEY.

WHOSE sad inhabitants each year would come

With willing steps, climbing that rugged height And hang long locks of hair, and garlands bound With amaranth flowers, which, in the clime's despite, Filled the frore air with unaccustomed light. Such flowers as in the wintry memory bloom Of one friend left, adorned that frozen tomb.

[graphic]

ASPEN.

(Lamentation.)

"And full of emotion, its fault doth deplore,
Sigh, shiver, and quiver, and droop evermore."
ELEANOR DARBY.

HE Trembling Poplar is now generally known as the Aspen. It is chiefly remarkable for the ceaseless tremulous motion of its leaves-a natural phenomenon, to account for which many very diverse explanations have been proffered. Miss Darby, in her "Lays of Love and Heroism," has thus versified a German legend upon the subject:

"The Lord of Life walked in the forest one morn,

When the song-wearied nightingale slept on the thorn;
Not a breath the deep hush of the dawning hour broke,

Yet every tree, even the firm knotted oak,

The tall warrior pine, and the cedar so regal,

The home of the stork and the haunt of the eagle,

All the patriarchal kings of the forest adored,

And bowed their proud heads at the sight of the Lord.

"One tree, and one only, continued erect,

Too vain to show even the Saviour respect!
The light giddy aspen its leafy front raised,

And on the Redeemer unbendingly gazed.

Then a cloud, more of sorrow than wrath, dimmed the brow
Of Him to whom everything living should bow;

While to the offender, with shame now opprest,
He breathed in these words the eternal behest :

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