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 “So it all passed; and the old tithe went on
Of anise, mint, and cumin, till the sun
Set, leaving still the weightier work undone.
“Help, for the good man faileth! Who is strong,
If these be weak? Who shall rebuke the wrong,
If these consent? How long, O Lord! how long!”
He ceased; and, bound in spirit with the bound,
With folded arms, and eyes that sought the ground,
Walked musingly his little garden round.
About him, beaded with the falling dew,
Rare plants of power and herbs of healing grew,
Such as Van Helmont and Agrippa knew.
For, by the lore of Gorlitz' gentle sage,
With the mild mystics of his dreamy age
He read the herbal signs of nature's page,
As once he heard in sweet Von Merlau's1 bowers
Fair as herself, in boyhood's happy hours,
The pious Spener read his creed in flowers.
‘The dear Lord give us patience!’ said his wife,
Touching with finger-tip an aloe, rife
With leaves sharp-pointed like an Aztec knife
Or Carib spear, a gift to William Penn
From the rare gardens of John Evelyn,
Brought from the Spanish Main by merchantmen.
1 Eleonora Johanna Von Merlau, or, as Sewall the Quaker Historian gives it, Von Merlane, a noble young lady of Frankfort, seems to have held among the Mystics of that city very much such a position as Anna Maria Schurmaus did among the Labadists of Holland. William Penn appears to have shared the admiration of her own immediate circle for this accomplished and gifted lady.
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