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number of seeds which she produces. It
has been calculated that there are about thirty
thousand seeds in every single head of poppy,
and if all were to come up, the whole of our
globe would in a few years be covered with
poppies. One of our native thistles would by
the second year of its growth, if all its seeds
were to take root, be the progenitor of about
five hundred and eighty millions of thistles. In
the great cat's-tail (Typha major), the seeds,
being blown off by the wind, are often lost, but
this is made up for by each spike bearing about
forty thousand seeds, so that upon the three
spikes which every plant commonly produces,
there are every year more than a hundred and
twenty thousand seeds. The majestic Norfolk
Island pine (Araucaria) bears on every tree from
twenty to thirty fruits, and each fruit contains
about three hundred kernels. In some parts of
the country in which they grow, when left to
themselves, these trees form immense forests,
extending north and south for eight hundred
miles. The tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) has
been known to produce on one plant three hundred
and sixty thousand seeds; and the annual
produce of a single stalk of spleenwort has been
estimated at a million.

Many plants in their wild state propagate
themselves by shoots. The care taken by Nature
to ensure the production of grass is truly wonderful.
Even when the leaves are trodden down
or consumed, the roots still increase; and the
stalks which support the flowers are seldom
eaten by cattle, so that the seeds are always
allowed to ripen. Some of the grasses growing
on the very high mountains, where the heat
is not sufficient to ripen the seeds, are propagated
by shoots or suckers, which, rising from
the root, spread along the ground and then take
root themselves. And these grasses, deriving
their name from their peculiar structure, are
called sucker-bearing (Stoloniferous). Other
grasses are propagated in a not less remarkable
manner: the seeds begin growing within the
flower-cup itself (which in grasses is called the
husk), until diminutive plants are formed with
leaves and roots, and these falling to the ground
take root, and then continue to grow like the
parent plant. In such cases the grass is called
live-born (Viviparous). There is a native kind
called viviparous fescue-grass, which grows in
perfection in Scotland on dry walls, and in the
moist crevices of rocks. The lily of the valley
spreads itself by means of creepers under the
soil, and the verbena by throwing out long shoots
which produce roots at their joints. Strawberry
seeds are always eaten along with the pulp,
therefore the plant is easily made to grow from
suckers or young shoots. The mango-trees,
which grow in very damp and marshy soil upon
the tropical sea-shore, bear their fruit and seds
at the tips of their branches. The seeds do not
fall when ripe, but sprout out their roots three
or four feet long from the parent tree until
they reach the ground. They then fix
themselves into the earth, and each plant multiplying
in turn in the same way, the progeny of a single
tree will sometimes spread themselves until they
may be found covering an area of more than sixty


SPRING comes, with violet eyes unveiled,
     Her fragrant lips apart;
And Earth smiles up as tho' she held,
     Most honeyed thoughts at heart.
But never more will Spring arise,
Dancing in sparkles of her eyes.

A gracious wind, low-breathing, comes
     As from the fields of God;
The old lost Eden newly blooms
     From out the sunny sod.
My buried joy stirs with the Earth,
And tries to sun its sweetness forth.

The trees move in their slumbering,
     Dreaming of one that's near
Put forth their feelers for the Spring,
     To wake and find her here.
My spirit on the threshold stands,
And stretches out its waiting hands;

Then floweth from me in a stream
     Of yearning! wave on wave
Slides thro' the stillness of a dream,
     By little Marian's grave.
For all the miracle of Spring,
My long-lost babe will never bring.

Where blooms the golden crocus- burst,
     And Winter's tenderling,
There lies my little snowdrop! first
     Of flowers in our love's Spring
How all the year's young beauties blow
About her there, I know, I know.

The blackbird with his warble wet,
     The thrush with reedy thrill,
Open their hearts to Spring, and let
     The influence have its will.
On all around the Spring hath smiled,
But seems to have kissed where lies my child

In purple shadow, and golden shine,
     Old Arthur's Seat stands crowned;
Like shapes of silence crystalline,
     The great white clouds sail round.
The dead at rest the long day thro',
Lie calm against the pictured blue.

Marian! my maid Marian!
     So strange it seems to me,
That you, the household's darling one,
     So soon should cease to be.
Ah, was it that our praying breath
Might kindle heavenward fires of faith?

So much forgiven for your sake,
     When bitter words were said!
And little arms about the neck,
     With blessings bowed the head.
So happy as we might have been,
Our hearts more close with you between.

Dear, early dewdrop! Such a gleam
     Of sun from heaven you drew;
We little thought that smiling beam
     Would drink our precious dew.
But back to heaven our dew was kissed,
We saw it pass in mournful mist.