"Bible Leaf; Costmary"
A precious herb
were you Costmary,
For daily, weekly, your usage varied.
As a Bible Leaf, or for brewing teas,
For repelling insects, or the stings of bees.
As a healing ointment once used by Mary,
"Our Lady's Balsam" sweet Costmary.
To freshen rooms, or for parish ales,
Fascinating facts, curious details.
Yet it was Sunday morning, Costmary herb,
When your usage became a tad absurd.
It seems churchgoers your leaves would use,
To nibble and chew while in their pews.
They'd nibble and chew then take a whiff,
From your edges they'd get a sniff.
How pray tell did this custom derive?
I'm not quite sure, lest to be revived.
Ah! Revival they sought, not the Holy Ghost kind!
Seems your herbage was used to awaken the mind.
For the sermons were boring and long those days,
And your precious leaves were one of the ways,
Faithful parishioners chose to use,
To fight a sleepy Sunday snooze.
Upon your edges they'd nibble and chew,
What a peculiar thing to do.
They used your leaves to refresh their mind,
And your minty flavor seemed to work just fine.
So, those who attended would mark their way,
In the Bibles they carried they tucked away,
Your fragrant leaf as a bookmark to use,
To ward off sleepy sermon blues.
Nestled safely in Bibles, clutched tightly in palms,
To you precious Costmary we sing this psalm!
Dare say many would have nodded off in the pew,
If it had not been for the blessing of you!
"Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus,
who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on.
When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the
third story and was picked up dead."
© 2005 by Dot McGinnis
Music: "In The
Pages of the Bible"
By Joy Chastagner and Elton Smith
Used With Permission