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MURRAY AND GIBB, EDINBURGH,

PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.

‘Spake full well, in language quaint and olden,

One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine, When he called the flowers, so blue and golden,

Stars, that in earth's firmament do shine ;

Stars they are, wherein we read our history,

As astrologers and seers of eld ;
Yet not wrapped about with awful mystery,

Like the burning stars, which they beheld.

Wondrous truths, and manifold as wondrous,

God hath written in those stars above ; But not less in the bright flow'rets under us,

Stands the revelation of His love.

Bright and glorious is that revelation,

Written all over this great world of ours; Making evident our own creation, In these Stars of Earth,--these golden flowers.'

LONGFELLOW.

INTRODUCTION.

'Flowers ! flowers ! bright, merry-faced flowers !
I bless ye in joyous, or saddened hours :

I love ye dearly,

Ye look so cheerly.
In summer, autumn, winter, or spring,
A flower is to me the loveliest thing

That hath its birth

On this chequered earth :
Oh! who will not chorus the lay I sing ?'

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HO does not love flowers-fair, luxu

riant wild flowers with which our earth is so beautiful ? What pure,

healthful thoughts they bring to the mind! with what warm, bright, happy feelings they stir the heart! They are 'a joy for ever.'

'Flowers are the brightest things which earth

On her broad bosom loves to cherish;
Gay they appear, as children's mirth,
Like fading dreams of hope they perish.

A

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