Birds and Flowers and Other Country Things [In Verse]

Birds and Flowers and Other Country Things [In Verse]

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1855 edition. Excerpt: ...groan they heard. And words they muttered, but what none knew, With motion slow of hand and foot; Then into the cave the three withdrew, And carried with them the mandrake root. They all were scholars of high degree, So they took the root of the mandrake fell, And cut it and carved it hideously, And muttered it into a magic spell. Then who had been there, by dawn of day, Might have seen the two from the grated door Speed forth; and as sure as they went away, The magic mandrake root they bore. And the old lord up in his chamber sat, Blessing himself, sedate and mute, That he thus could gift the wise and great With more than gold--the mandrake root. The reverence attached to the mandrake may be classed among the very oldest of superstitions, for the Hebrews of the patriarchal ages regarded it as a plant of potent influence. The Greeks, who held it in the same estimation, called it after Circe, their celebrated witch, and also after Atropos, the eldest of the three Fates. The Romans adopted the same opinions respecting it, and Pliny relates the ceremonies which were used in obtaining the root. In the middle ages, when the traditional superstitions of the ancients were grafted upon the popular ignorance, the mandrake was a powerful engine in the hands of the crafty. It was believed that when the mandrake was taken from the earth, it uttered a dreadful shriek; and that any human being who was presumptuous enough to remove it, was suddenly struck dead. Dogs, therefore, were used for this purpose. The earth was carefully lightened, and the plant fastened to the animal's tail; he was then made to draw it forth, and pay whatever penalty the demon of the plant thought fit to impose upon the disturber of his rest. The pretenders to medical skill in...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 24 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 1mm | 64g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236943961
  • 9781236943965