Wednesday, 8 September 2010

08.09.2010

8.9.10


Two Nightmare Charms or Spells against the Mara


Shetland Islands (Unst)


Pulling from my head the longest hair it possessed, and then going through the pantomime of binding a refractory animal, the nurse slowly chanted this spell:
De man o' meicht
He rod a' neicht
We nedder swird
Nor faerd nor leicht,
He socht da mare,
He fand da mare,
He band da mare
Wi' his ain hair,
An' made her swear
By midder's meicht,
Dat shö wad never bide a neicht
What he had rod, dat man o' meicht.
There are different versions of this incantation, and I [Mrs. Saxby] forget which it was that the old nurse used on the occasion mentioned. Therefore I have given the one which is most familiar to me.


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Shetland Islands

Arthur Knight
He rade a' night,
Wi' open swird
An' candle light.
He sought da mare;
He fan' da mare;
He bund da mare
Wi' her ain hair.
And made da mare
Ta swear:
'At she should never
Bide a' night
Whar ever she heard
O' Arthur Knight.


Source: County Folk-Lore, vol. 3: Examples of Printed Folk-Lore Concerning the Orkney & Shetland Islands, collected by G. F. Black and edited by Northcote W. Thomas (London: Folk-Lore Society, 1903), p. 145. 


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