E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
is a funeral tree, and was dedicated by the Romans to Pluto, because when once cut it never grows again.
Cypresse garlands are of great account at funeralls amongst the gentiler sort, but rosemary and bayes are used by the commons both at funeralls and weddings. They are plants which fade not a good while after they are gathered . and intimate that the remembrance of the present solemnity might not dye presently.Coles: Introduction to the Knowledge of Plants.
The magic cypress branch. In the opera of Roberto il Diavolo, after the dance of love, in which Helena seduces the duke, he removes the cypress branch, which has the power of imparting to him whatever he wishes. With this he enters the palace of Isabella, princess of Sicily, and transfixes the princess and her attendants in a magic sleep, but afterwards relenting, he breaks the branch, and is dragged away by the guards.