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Elsie Cole

The Herb Of Grace

Find some freckled fern seed to sprinkle in your shoes
And you may step invisible down the peopled street,
Or curve about the apple boughs like swallows if you choose,
Lifted by the elfin wings that tingle in your feet.
Oh, you may cull a-many sweets with fern seed iin your shoe!
But leave alone the rue--
Little boy, little girl,
Leave alone the rue!

Keep the downy dittany and storms will bring you calm,
Fill a vervain pillow for a thought-grieved head;
Cherish balm whene'er you can, there's none too much of balm,
And never stop for rosemary, 'twill follow where you tread.
Taste the scarlet love-apple, if youth will drive you to,
But leave alone the rue--
Fair lass, fine lad,
Leave alone the rue!

Mix tansy in your Easter cake and earn a placid year,
For though you cross the Little Folk they cannot then offend;

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Song of the Foot Track

COME away, come away from the straightness of the road;
I will lead you into delicate recesses
Where peals of ripples ring through the maidenhair’s abode
In the heart of little water wildernesses.

I will show you pleasant places; tawny hills the sun has kissed,
Where the giant trees the wind is always swinging
Rise from clouds of pearly saplings tipped with rose and amethyst,—
Fairy boughs where fairy butterflies are clinging.

Come away from the road; I will lead through shade and sheen,
Changing brightly as the year of colour passes
Through each tint the opal knows, from the flaming winter green
To the summer gold and silver of the grasses.

Here is riot of leaf and blossom, ferny mosses in the glade
Pressing round the wattle’s stem of dappled splendour;
Even the pathway that you tread smiles with daisies unafraid,—
Laden branches lean to breathe a welcome tender.

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