"O river-side! Where soft green rushes bear dark flowers, And reedy grasses weave dark bowers Through which fleet minnows glide; 0 river banks let me from you convey Something to scatter in that minster gray."

WITH August days come the jovial "rush-bearing " times, yet kept up in the north and east. Where the imperfect drainage permits the rushes still to flourish, we shall find the tall Bulrush (Scirpus lacustris), with its fringed brown head nodding in the breeze, ere the basket-bottomer gathers it, or the villager comes for it to form the wick of the humble rushlight.The Sweet Mag (Acorus calamus) was much sought after once for strewing in churches, in consequence of its fragrance. Here we cannot enter upon the distinctive features of the numerous tribe of Rushes, or do more than point out the graceful Cyperus Sedge, which nods its head by the river-side, or the more upright and sturdy Common Sedge. (See ante, 147.) The leading characteristics of the Sedge family we pointed out when treating of grassy nooks. Above them all the handsome Reedmace (Typha lati-folia) rears its tall catkin, so long, fleshy, and round. It is sometimes confounded with the bulrush, but is altogether a different plant. Its leaves are often an inch wide and a yard long, and the catkin is mounted on a stalk occasionally five or six feet long. The Common Reed (Phragmites communis) which bears a feathery spray of light brown down, is also a neighbour of the sedge and reedmace in the marshy pool. The Bur Reed {Sparganium ramosum), with its singular-looking balls of flowers on the tall stem, also forms a feature in the river-side landscape.

Three or four yellow flowers continue to bloom until far into the autumn. The somewhat rare, but once common Elecampane {Inula helenium), with its single terminal yellow-rayed flower, may sometimes be found.

Its toothed downy leaves clasp the stem, which is frequently upwards of a yard high. Its root was the basis of the confection known by the name of the flower, and is still used with candied horehound as a pectoral medicine. The Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) is anotner of these yellow flowers, with golden rays surrounding a disk, but is much smaller. Its wrinkled downy leaves are greyish in hue, and clasp the stem. The plant is bitter, but what special antipathy fleas have to its smoke would probably be difficult to discover. The Bur Marigold (Bidens tripartita) received its name from its bristly bur-like seeds. The yellow rays are dull-looking, and are frequently absent altogether from the dirty, greenish-looking disk. There are two varieties of this flower, not uncommon; but the difference between them is very slight: the foliage marks the distinction. Of a very different appearance is the tall and graceful yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris), or Willow Herb, whose star-like yellow flowers grow amongst the leaves, on a stem two feet high. The smaller variety (Lysimachia nummularia) is of a creeping habit, and is fond of the sparkling rivulet and dashing cascade. It is frequently known under the name of money wort, from its round foliage.

The Mint tribe (Mentha) is common by the riverside: the Capitate Mint (Mentha aguatica) is especially powerful amongst the Peppermints and Spearmint. Occasionally, too, the Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), with its strong smell familiar to the herb garden, may be found. These have all a common appearance, and there are nearly a dozen other varieties.

There are several species of Polygonums in bloom during the autumn months: one of the most common is the Spotted Persicaria (Polygonum maculatum). It is frequent in gardens and in damp places. Its long leaves, in the centre of which is a black spot, distinguish it. This spot is popularly said to have been caused by the plant receiving the drops of our Saviour's blood as He toiled up the Via Dolorosa. Its close flesh-coloured spikes of small flowers are more or less common in all the varieties. The Water-Pepper or Biting Persicaria (Polygonum hydropipa) has narrow leaves and waved margins. Its name is borne out by its pungent properties. The Amphibious Persicaria (P. amphibium) is of the same straggling habit as some of the other varieties. Its thick spike of rose-tinted flowers are well known at the water-side, and, indeed, better known than liked by many agriculturists.