The divine weed, vervain
, said by the ancient Romans
to cure the bites of all rabid
animals to arrest the progress of venom
, to cure the plague
, to avert sorcery
, to reconcile enemies
, etc. So highly esteemed was it that feasts called Verbenalia
were annually held in its honour. Heralds
wore a wreath of vervain when they declared war; and the Druids
held vervain in similar veneration.
"Lift your boughs of vervain blue,
Dipt in cold September dew;
And dash the moisture, chaste and clear,
O'er the ground, and through the air.
Now the place is purged and pure."