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Forsaken lovers are represented by our earlier poets as wearing wreaths of Willow.
In love, the sad, forsaken wight
DRAYTON. I offered him my company to a Willow-tree, to make him a garland, as being forsaken.
The Arabs have a particular tradition relative to the origin of the Weeping W low. This tradition is founded on the story of Bathsheba, and corresponds with the account given in the Old Testament of the manner in which she became the wife of David and the mother of Solomon. It then proceeds thus: One morning, the king was seated as usual at his harp, composing psalms, when he perceived to his astonishment two strangers seated opposite to him on the divan. As strict orders were issued that no person whatever should be admitted
during the first four hours of the day, David wondered greatly how the strangers had gained access to his closet. They rose, and begged pardon for having entered unannounced, because they had an urgent complaint to lay before him. David quitted the harp, and placed himself on his judgment-seat. “This man,” began one of them,“has ninety-nine sheep, which plentifully supply all his wants; while I, poor wretch, had but one that was my joy and comfort, and that one he has forcibly taken from me.” At the mention of the ninety-nine sheep, David could not help thinking of the flock of his harem. He recognised in the strangers two angels of the Lord, and was sensible of the heinousness of his offence. Forthwith he threw himself upon the floor, and shed tears of bitter repent
There he lay for forty days and forty nights upon his face, weeping and trembling before the judgment of the Lord. tears of repentance as the whole human race have shed and will shed on account of their sins, from the time of David till the judgmentday, so many did David weep in those forty days, all the while moaning forth psalms of penitence. The tears from his eyes formed two streams, which ran from the closet into the ante-room, and thence into the garden. Where they sank into the ground, there sprang up two trees, the Weeping Willow and the Frankincense Tree. The first weeps and mourns, and the second is incessantly shedding big tears, in memory of the sincere repentance of David.
Ion, the Greek name of this flower, is traced by some etymologists to Ia, the daughter of Midas, who was betrothed to Atys, and changed by Diana into a Violet, to hide her from Apollo. The beautiful modest flower still retains the bashful timidity of the nymph, partially concealing itself amidst foliage from the garish gaze of the sun. Hence it has been ingeniously given as a device to an amiable and witty lady, of a timid and reserved disposition, surrounded with the motto: Il faut me chercher. I must be sought after.
A woman's love, deep in the heart,
Is like the Violet flower,
Her tears may fall, her bosom swell;
The White Violet is also made the emblem of innocence; and, from the following lines, by a poet of the sixteenth century, it appears to have been then considered as a symbol of constancy:
Violet is for faithfulness,
Which in me shall abide;
You will not let it slide. The poetry, the romance, and the scenery, of every country are embroidered with Violets.
SHAKSPEARE. From several other passages in Shakspeare's works, it is evident that the Violet was a favourite with our great dramatist. We doubt if the poetry of any language can produce lines more exquisitely beautiful than these, in which he compares the soft strains of plaintive music to the perfume of Violets ::
That strain again! - it had a dying fall!