Thursday, June 20, 2013


A Catalogue of Herbs

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), "Muiopotmos, or The Fate of the Butterflie," lines 187-200:
The wholsome Saulge, and Lauender still gray,
Ranke smelling Rue, and Cummin good for eyes,
The Roses raigning in the pride of May,
Sharpe Isope, good for greene wounds remedies,        190
Faire Marigoldes, and Bees alluring Thime,
Sweete Marjoram, and Daysies decking prime,
Coole Violets, and Orpine growing still,
Embathed Balme, and chearfull Galingale,
Fresh Costmarie, and breathfull Camomill,        195
Dull Poppie, and drink-quickning Setuale,
Veyne-healing Veruen, and hed-purging Dill,
Sound Sauorie, and Bazill hartie-hale,
Fat Colworts, and comforting Perseline,
Colde Lettuce, and refreshing Rosmarine.
187 Saulge: sage
190 Isope: hyssop
196 Setuale: setwall
197 Veruen: vervain
198 Bazill: basil
hartie-hale: hearty-hale, i.e. good for the heart
199 Perseline: purslane
200 Rosmarine: rosemary

This passage isn't discussed by Agnes Arber, "Edmund Spenser and Lyte's 'Nievve Herball'," Notes & Queries 160 (1931) 345-347.

Related post: A Catalogue of Trees.

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