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BY THE RIVERSIDE.   111

flora. Longfellow taking this gem for a theme gave us one of his most pleasing poems. I can-not find place for it all, but here are given a few stanzas :

" Beautiful lily, dwelling by still rivers

Or sheltering mere,

Or where the sluggish meadow-brook delivers Its waters to the weir.

 

"Born in the purple, born to joy and pleasance, Thou (lost not toil nor spin,

But makest glad and radiant with thy presence The meadow and the lin.

 

"0 flower-de-lute. bloom on and let the river Linger to kiss thy feet !

0 flower of song, bloom on and make forever The world more fair and sweet! "

 

The poet calls this flower a lily, which it is not; but there has been a good deal of con-fusion about it in song and story, where it is often termed a lily. Fleur-de-lis is a corruption from Fleur-de-Louis, for Louis VII of France chose it as his heraldic emblem when he went on his crusade to the Iloly Land. We have also a white variety growing here and there among the blue. I do not think it is to be reckoned as a species, although it is surely well on the way to that distinction. The root of the blue flag is used in medicine, but I do not know


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