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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country, Water-Lilies (search)
and the god Nilus still binds a wreath of waterlilies around the throne of Memnon. From Egypt the Lotus was carried to Assyria, and Layard found it among fir-cones and honeysuckles on the later sculptures of Nineveh. The Greeks dedicated it to the nymphs, whence the name Nymphaea. Nor did the Romans disregard it, though the Lotus to which Ovid's nymph Lotis was changed, servato nomine, was a tree, and not a flower. Still different a thing was the enchanted stem of the Lotus-caters of Herodotus, which prosaic botanists have reduced to the Zizyphus Lotus found by Mungo Park, translating also the yellow Lotus-dust into a mere farina, tasting like sweet gingerbread. But in the Lotus of Hindostan we find our flower again, and the Oriental sacred books are cool with water-lilies. Open the Vishnu Purana at any page, and it is a Sortes Lilianae. The orb of the earth is Lotus-shaped, and is upborne by the tusks of Vesava, as if he had been sporting in a lake where the leaves and blos