Player Queen O, confound the rest! Such love must needs be treason in my breast: In second husband let me be accurst! None wed the second but who kill’d the first. HAMLET [Aside] Wormwood, wormwood. Player Queen The instances that second marriage move Are base respects of thrift, but none of love: A second time IContinue reading “Wormwood”


I have a deadly nightshade So twisted does it grow With berries black as midnight And a skull as white as snow The vicar’s cocky young son Came to drink my tea He touched me without asking Now he’s buried ‘neath a tree. Trad. “Girls’ Skipping Rhyme” from Chokely in Wynterset History of Belladonna Belladonna,Continue reading “Belladonna”


If they wad drink nettles in March, And eat muggins [Mugwort] in May, Sae mony braw young maidens Wad na’ be gang to clay.” Popular Rhymes of Scotland, Robert Chambers History of Mugwort An herb of the night, mugwort has a long mysterious and magickal history. An unassuming, weed-like plant, this herb has been usedContinue reading “Mugwort”


 A kindlier background for the whole,  Between the gloom and splendour.  Let others captivate the mass  With power and brilliant seeming:  The lily and the rose I pass,  The yarrow holds me dreaming. Sorrow by Archibal lampman, canadian poet History of Yarrow Perhaps one of the oldest herbs on the planet, yarrow is a plantContinue reading “Yarrow”


 She came up to me one evening, when I was very low, to ask (she being then afflicted with the disorder I have mentioned) if I could oblige her with a little tincture of cardamums mixed with rhubarb, and flavoured with seven drops of the essence of cloves, which was the best remedy for herContinue reading “Cloves”


Old apple tree, I wassail thee, And hoping thou will bear For the lady knows where we shall be Till apples come next year. For to bear well and to bloom well So merry let us be, Let every man take off his hat And shout to the old apple tree. Hats full, caps full,Continue reading “Apple”


The Grocers’. oh the Grocers’. nearly closed, with perhaps two shutters down, or one; but through those gaps such glimpses. It was not alone that the scales descending on the counter made a merry sound, or that the twine and roller parted company so briskly, or that the canisters were rattled up and down likeContinue reading “Cinnamon”


And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun, And she forgot the blue above the trees, And she forgot the dells where waters run, And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze; She had no knowledge when the day was done, And the new morn she saw not: but in peace Hung over her sweetContinue reading “Basil”


If you pronounce it Chamomile That will your Yankiness reveal For Brits assume it more worthwhile To render it as Chamomile So wear a wreath of Chamomile To make your beauty sweeter still, Then pour some tea with Chamomile To have your lunch in British style Chamomile and Chamomile, Artyom Timeyev History of Chamomile HoweverContinue reading “Chamomile”


For she had said that she was nobler of form and more excellent in beauty than dark-eyed Persephone and she boasted that Aidoneus would return to her and banish the other from his halls : such infatuation leapt upon her tongue. And from the earth spray the weak herb that bears her name. Oppian, Halieutica HistoryContinue reading “Mint”