« PreviousContinue »
Some merry, friendly, countra folks,
Together did convene,
Fu' blythe that night.
Mair braw than when they're fine ;
Hearts leal, an' warm, an' kin': The lads sae trig, wi’ wooer-babs,
Weel knotted on their garten, Some unco blate, an' some wi' gabs, Gar lasses' hearts gang startin
Whiles fast at night.
Their stocks* maun a' be sought ance;
For muckle anes an' straught anes. Poor hav'rel Will fell aff the drift,
An' wander'd thro' the bow-kail, An' pow't, for want o' better shift, A runt was like a sow-tail,
Sae bow't that night.
* The first ceremony of Halloween is pulling each a stock, or plant of kail. They must go out, hand in hand, with eyes shut, and pull the first they meet with : its being big or little, straight or crooked, is prophetic of the size and shape of the grand object of all their spells-the husband or wife. If any yird, or earth, stick to the root, that is tocher, or fortune; and the taste of the custoc, that is, the heart of the stem, is indicative of the natural temper and disposition. Lastly, the stems, or, to give them their ordinary appellation, the runts, are placed somewhere above the head of the door ; and the Christian names of the people, whom chance brings into the house, are, according to the priority of placing the runts, the names in ques. tion.
They roar an' cry a' throu’ther ;
Wi' stocks out-owre their shouther ;
Wi' joctelegs they taste them ;
To lie that night
The lasses staw frae 'mang them a?
To pou their stalks of corn* ;
Behint the muckle thorn :
Loud skirl'd a' the lasses ;
Wi' him that night.
Are round an' round divided,
Are there that night decided :
* They go to the barn yard and pull each, at three several times, a stalk of oats. If the third stalk wants the top-pickle, that is, the grain at the top of the stalk, the party in question will come to the marriage-bed any thing but a maid.
+ When the corn is in a doubtful state, by being too green, or wet, the stack-builder, by means of old timber, &c. makes a large apartment in his stack, with an opening in the side, which is fairest exposed to the wind : this he calls a fause-house.
# Burning the nuts is a famous charm. They name the lad and lass to each particular nut, as they lay them in the fire, and accordingly as they burn quietly together, or start from beside one another, the course and issue of the courtship will be:
Some kindle, couthie, side by side,
An'burn thegither trimly;
Fu’ high that night.
VIII. Jean slips in twa wi' tentie e'e ;
Wha 'twas, she wadna tell;
She says in to hersel :
As they wad never mair part;
To see't that night.
Was brunt wi' primsie Mallie ;
To be compar'd to Willie :
An' her ain fit it brunt it ;
To be that night.
She pits herself an' Robin ;
'Till white in ase they're sobbin: Nell's heart was dancin at the view,
She whisper'd Rob to leuk fort: Rob, stowlins, prie'd her bonie mou, Fu' cozie in the neuk fort,
Unseen that night.
Her thoughts on Andrew Bell;
And slips out by hersel :
An’to the kiln she goes then,
Right fear't that night.
I wat she made nae jaukin;
Guid L-d! but she was quakin! But whether 'twas the deil himsel,
Or whether 'twas a bauk-en', Or whether it was Andrew Bell, She did na wait on talkin
To spier that night.
“Will ye go wi' me, graunie? I'll eat the applet at the glass,
I gat frae uncle Johnie :"
* Whoever would, with success, try this spell, must strictly observe these directions: Steal out, all alone, to the kiln, and, darkling, throw into the pot, a clue of blue yarn; wind it in a new clue off the old one; and, towards the latter end, something will hold the thread; demand, who hauds ? i. e, who holds; and answer will be returned from the kiln-pot, by naming the christian and sirname of your future
spouse. * Take a candle, and go alone to a lookingglass ; eat an apple before it, and some traditions say, you should comb your hair all the time; the face of your conjugal companion, to be, will be seen in the glass, as if peeping over your shoulder.
She suff’t her pipe wi' sic a lunt,
In wrath she was sae vapörin, She notic't na, an aizle brunt Her braw new worset apron
Qut thro' that nighte:
XIV. “ Ye little skelpie-limmer's face.!
How daur you try sic sportin, As seek the foul thief ony place,
For him to spae your fortune?
Great cause ye hae to fear it;
On sic a night.
XV. “ Ae hairst afore the Sherra-moor,
I mind't as weel's yestreen,
I was na past fyfteen :
An' stuff was unco green;
It fell that night.
A clever, sturdy fallow;
That liv'd in Achmacalla :
An' he made unco light o't;
That vera night."
* Steal out, unperceived, and sow a handful of hemp-seed; harrowing it with any thing you can conveniently draw after you,
Repeat now and