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'Tis Flora's page:-in every place,

In every season fresh and fair,
It opens with perennial grace,

And blossoms everywhere. The name of this flower is very expressive of its character; for it is truly the day's eye, opening freshly to the rising sun, and slowly closing towards evening when the dew begins to fall :-

Before the stars are in the sky,

The daisy goes to rest,
And folds its little shining leaves

Upon its golden breast.
And so it sleeps in dewy night

Until the morning breaks ;
Then, with the songs of early birds,

So joyously awakes. The daisy is what is called a compound flower. That which appears to be but a single flower is really composed of a great number of tiny flowerets, each perfect and beautiful in itself. If you pull one to pieces, you will find that each little yellow knob in the centre is a small flower; and so is each of the rays of the rosy-tipped silver fringe. Indeed altogether it is a wonderful piece of workmanship; and none but He who arched the skies,' could rear the daisy's purple bud,'

Mould its green cup, its wiry stem ;

Its fringed border nicely spin;
And cut the gold embossèd gem,

hat, set in silver, gleams within.
And fling it, unrestrained and free,

O’er hill and dale, and desert sod,
That man where'er he walks may see,

In overy step, the stamp of God. Robert Burns wrote some very beautiful lines on a daisy, which he turned up with his plough:

Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thou'st met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure

Thy slender stem;
To spare thee now is past my pow'r,

Thou bonnie gem.



Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonnie lark, companion meet!
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,

Wi' spreckl'd breast,
When upward-springing, blithe, to greet

The purpling east.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent-earth

Thy tender form.
The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield,
High shelt'ring woods and wa’s maun shield,
But thou, beneath the random bield

O'clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble-field,

Unseen, alane.
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawy bosom sunward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head

In humble guise ;
But now the share uptears thy bed,

And low thou lies! The flower usually associated with the daisy is the buttercup, so called from the popular notion that it gives that rich tinge and flavour to butter which we notice in May, when the open meadows are literally buried alive with these flowers. At that time, if you stoop down and run your eye along a field, you see nothing but a sheet of flaming gold, eclipsing the green of the grass. Cows will not touch this flower, so that the notion respecting the butter is an erroneous one. Eliza Cook, writing about buttercups and daisies, says:

Smile, if you will, but some heart-strings
Are closest linked to simplest things ;
And these wild flowers will hold mine fast,
Till love, and life, and all be past;
And then the only wish I have

Is, that the one who raises
The turf-sod o'er me, plant my grave

With buttercups and daisies.

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When spring has fairly come, all young people in the country look out for the cowslips, which now lift their nodding heads, and begin to unfold their clustering petals. Few wild Howers excel the cowslip. Wherever it abounds its name is always associated with thoughts of joy and sweetness. What a happy time for children when they ramble across green fields richly enamelled with its tasselled blossoms, gathering large handfuls, and filling baskets to the brim with those sweet-smelling flowers! Well has Mary Howitt said :

Oh! fragrant dwellers of the lea,

When first the wild wood rings
With each sound of vernal minstrelsy,

When fresh the green grass springs !
What can the blessed spring restore,

More gladd’ning than your charins ?
Bringing the memory once more

Of lovely fields and farms ! A cowslip gathering is not only a charming occupation to those engaged in it, but it is also a profitable one from the wine-making that follows. Of course our country friend Dick, so fond of flowers as he is, does not forget the cowslips. And so we are told that

When the warm weather sets in, Dick has an eye to the cowslips, and he goes to work on them at a wholesale rate. First, he cuts a couple of hazel-rods, a good inch thick, and splits them down from the top to within a few inches of the bottom. Each being four feet in length, will hold twenty pounds of cowslips, picked in handfuls; and the handfuls are laid one upon another, right and left, within the cleft of the stick. Forty pounds is a good day's picking, and as much as master Dick can comfortably carry. When the sticks are full, and the gaping ends tied up, he shoulders his burdens and marches off with them. Mother sets all the children to work, picking out the pips into cups and basins, to make cowslip wine; and a delightfully fragrant operation it is, and a delightful dissonance of juvenile tongues accompanies it. Then, when the pips are in the pot, the poor blind flowers are strung upon lengths of twine, and


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tied up in 'tisty-tosties,' to serve till they are withered, and long afterwards, as balls and playthings for the children. As for Dick, he is not content with a blind tosty, but makes one as big as his head, of the finest full-blown flowers, for his special enjoyment.

Thomson connects the nightingale with this flower, and speaks of

The nightingale's harmonious woe,
In dewy eventides, when cowslips droop

Their sleepy heads, and languish in the breeze. The cowslip has ever been a great favourite with the poets. Milton, in his song on May morning, writes

Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May! The flowers which have been mentioned are all of them favourites, and especially so with children, most probably from the fact that they are so universally distributed throughout our land.

But there are many others which we welcome with delight. Of wild flowers, we have the wood-anemone in March ; the bluebell, the oxlip, and the wild heart's-ease in April ; in the

merry month of May,' so profuse on every hand with its beauties, the whitethorn of the hedges is covered with one mass of star-like blossoms, like 'odorous snow,' while the gorse is then clothed in all the splendour of its golden bloom. In June, the flowers of spring begin to give way to summer blossoms. The wild-rose appears, climbing the fences, and starring them with its delicate flowers of different hues; the honeysuckle and the eglantine emit their fragrance; and in dells and glades, on banks and hedge-sides, the stately foxglove rears its pyramid of bells. In July, climbing plants, as the clematis, the wild hop, and the white convolvulus, cover the hedges; the scarlet poppy—unwelcome sight to the farmer-glows like a coal of fire amidst the corn; the harebell, with its slender stem, is found on every bank; while on the moors and downs the blossoms of the wild thyme shed their perfume around. In August,

the flowers, though still abundant, become less nume-
rous; September sees many of them to their graves;
and at last
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and

Heap'd in the hollows of the grove the wither'd leaves lie

They rustle to the eddying gust and to the rabbits' tread.
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprung

and stood,
In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood ?
Alas! they all are in their graves; the gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds with the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie,—but the cold November

Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again.
The wind-flower and the violet, they perish'd long ago,
And the wild rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sunflower by the brook in autumn beauty

Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague

on men; And the brightness of their smile was gone from upland, glade,

and glen. And now when comes the calm mild day, as still such days will


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To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home,-
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees

are still,
And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, -
The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late

he bore, And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.

PART V. Man's life has often been compared to that of a flower in its bud, blossoming, and decline; and when dead,

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