Veronica Virginica (Speedwell.) Name of doubtful derivation; perhaps the flower of St. Veronica. — Gray’s Manual.
SPEEDWELL, THE FLOWER OF SAINT VERONICA.
Among the sacred legends which are ours,
We find that of Veronica, the saint,
Who, seeing Christ surrounded by the powers
Of wickedness, and yet without complaint
Bearing His cross, pressed forward to his side.
And seeing then His countenance of pain.
Drew forth her handkerchief, and gently dried
The drops of anguish which stood out like rain.
For this compassion, a Divine reward
Sweet and mysterious was granted her ;
The cloth retained the impress of her Lord —
Known ever after as Veronica.
Perhaps the joy of ministry approved,
Which fills the hearts of any who have knelt,
And ministered to suffering ones beloved,
Is something like the joy she must have felt!
We have the legend, and its lesson sweet
Is made so plain that they who will may learn,
Human compassion in the heart will meet,
Here or hereafter, some Divine return.
Linked with the mystic name we find a flower,
Though how it came to be, none may aver ;
Yet, true it is, that in some by-gone hour,
A plant was strangely named Veronica.
It is not classed as rare, nor found alone
In distant land where lived that gentle saint ;
It is our common speedwell, and is known
By any who with flowers are well acquaint.
But it is highly honored of the flowers ;
Wearing a name above the common-place —
Would that the sweet saint’s spirit govern ours,
That we might wear compassion as a grace!
Even in these, our common earthly lives,
Among the sinful, suffering, and oppressed,
Love be the tender impulse which survives.
Till on our hearts Christ’s image is impressed.
Sept. 7, 1900.
Speedwell or The flower of Saint Veronica. Verses, Granniss, Anna J. (Anna Jane) 1900
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