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XVII.
Then up gat fechtin Jamie Fleck,

An' he swoor by his conscience,
That he could saw hemp-seed a peck;

For it was a' but nonsense ;
The auld guidman raught down the pock,

An' out a handfu' gied him ;
Syne bad him slip frae 'mang the folk,
Sometime when nae ane see'd him,

An' try't that night.

XVIII.
He marches thro' amang the stacks,

Tho' he was something sturtin ;
The graip he for a harrow taks,

An' haurls at his curpin :
An' ev'ry now an' then, he says,

“Hemp-seed, I saw thee,
An' ber that is to be my lass,
Come after me, and draw thee

As fast this night."

XIX.
He whistl'd up lord Lenox' march,

To keep his courage cheary ;
Altho' his hair began to arch,

He was sae fley'd an eerie : Till presently he hears a squeak,

An' then a grane an' gruntle ; He by his shouther gae a keek, . An' tumbl'd wi' a wintle

Out-owre that night.

then, “Hemp-seed, I saw thee, hemp-seed, I saw thee; and him (or her) that is to be my true-love, come after me and pou thee.”

Look over your left shoulder, and you will see the appearance of the person invoked, in the attitude of pulling hemp. Some traditions

say, come after shaw thee,” that is, show thyself; in which case it simply appears.

Others omit the harrowing, "come after me, and haitow thee."

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me, and

and say,

XX.
He roar'd a horrid murder-shaut,

In dreadfu' desperation !
An' young an' auld came rinnin out,

An' hear the sad narration:
He swoor 'twas hilchin Jean M'Craw,

Or crouchie Merran Humphie,
Till stop! she trotted thro' them a';
An' wha was it but Grumphie

Asteer that night!

XXI. Meg fain wad to the barn gaen,

To win three wechts o' naething* ; But for to meet the deil her lane,

She pat but little faith in :
She gies the herd a pickle nits,

An' twa red cheekit apples,
To watch, while for the barn she sets,
In hopes to see Tam Kipples

That vera night.

XXII.
She turns the key wi' caunie thraw,

An' owre the threshold ventures;
But first on Sawnie gies a ca',

Syne bauldly in she enters :

* This charm must likewise be performed, unperceived, and alone. You go to the barn, and open both doors, taking them off the hinges, if possible ; for there is danger, that the being, about to appear, may shut the doors, and do you some mischief. Then take that instrument used in winnowing the corn, which, in our country dialect, we call a wecht; and go through all the attitudes of letting down corn against the wind. Repeat it three times; and the third time, an apparition will pass through the barn, in at the windy door, and out at the other, having both the figure in question, and the appearance or retinue, marking the employment or station in life.

A ratton rattled up the wa',

An’ she cry'd L-d preserve her! An' ran thro'midden-hole an'a', An' pray'd wi' zeal and fervour,

Fu' fast that night.

XXIII.
They hoy't out Will, wi' sair advice ;

They hecht him some fine braw ane :
It chanc'd the stack he faddom't thrice*,

Was timmer-propt for thrawin; He taks a swirlie, auld moss-oak,

For some black, grousome carlin; An' loot a winze, an' drew a stroke, 'Till skin in blypes came haurlin

Aff's nieves that night.

XXIV.
A wanton widow Leezie was,

As canty as a kittlen;
But och ! that night, amang the shaws.

She got a fearfu' settlin !
She thro' the whins, an' by the cairn,

An' owre the hill gaed scrievin,
Whare three lairds' lands met at a burnt,
To dip her left sark-sleeve in,

Was bent that night.

* Take an opportunity of going, unnoticed, to a bear-siack, and fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time, you will catch in your arms the appearance of your future conjugal yokefellow.

+ You go out, one or more, for this is a social spell, to a south-running spring or rivulet, where *three lairds' lands meet," and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to dry. Lie awake; and, some time near midnight, an apparition, having the exact figure of the grand object in question, will come and turn the sleeve, as if to dry the other side of it.

XXV.
Whyles owre a linn the burnie plays,

As thro' the glen it wimpl't ;
Whyles round a rocky sear it strays;

Whyles in a wiel it dimpl't ; Whyles glitter'd to the nightly raye,

Wi’ bickering, dancing dazzle ; Whyles cookit underneath the brade, Below the spreading hazle,

Unseen that night

XXVI. Amang the brachens, on the brae,

Between her and the moon,
The deil, or else an outler quey,

Gat up an' gae a croon:
Poor Leezie's heart maist lap the hool ;

Near lav'rock-height she jumpit,
But mist a fit, an' in the pool
Out-owre the lugs she plumpit,

Wi' a plunge that night.

XXVII.
In order, on the clean hearth-stane,

The luggies three* are ranged,
And ev'ry time great care is ta’en,

To see them duly changed :
Auld uncle John, wha wedlock's joys

Sin Mars-year did desire,
Because he gat the toom-dish thrice,
He heav'd them on the fire

In wrath that night.

Take three dishes ; put clean water in one, fouł water in another, leave the third empty : blindfold a person, and lead him to the hearth where the dishes are ranged; he (or she) dips the left hand : if, by chance, in the clean water, the future husband or wife will come to the bar of matrimony a maid ; if in the foul, a widow ; if in the empty dish, it foretels, with equal certainty, no marriage at all. It is repeated three times, and every time the arrangement of the dishes is altered.

XXVIII.
Wi' merry sangs, an' friendly cracks,

I wat they did na weary';
An' unco tales, an' funnie jokes,

Their sports were cheap, an' cheáry ; 'Till butter'd so'ns*, wi' fragrant lunt,

Set a' their gabs a-steerin; Syne, wi’ a social glass o' strunt, They parted aff careerin

Fu' blythe that night.

THE AULD FARMER'S

NEW-YEAR MORNING SALUTATION

TO HIS AULD MARE MAGGIE,

On giving her the accustomed ripp of corn to

hansel in the new year.

A guid new-year I wish thee, Maggie !
Hae, there's a ripp to thy auld baggie:
Tho' thou's howe-backit, now, an' knaggie,

I've seen the day,
Thou could hae gaen like onie staggie

Out-owre the lay.

Tho' now thou's dowie, stiff, an' crazy,
An' thy auld hide as white's a daisy,
I've seen thee dappl't, sleek, and glaizie,

A bonny gray:
He should been tight that daurt to raize thee,

Ance in a day.

Thou ance was i' the foremost rank,
A filly buirdly, steeve, an' swauk,
An' set weel down a shapely shank,

As e'er tread yird ;

* Sowens, with butter instead of milk to them, is always the Halloween Supper.

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