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Uron that night, when fairies light,

On Cassilis Downans* dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,

On sprightly coursers prance ;
Or for Colean the route is ta'en,

Beneath the moon's pale beams; There, up the Cove,t to stray an' rove Amang the rocks and streams

To sport that night.

Amang the bonie winding banks,

Where Doon rins, wimplin, clear,
Where Brucet ance rul'd the martial ranks,

An' shook the Carrick spear,
Some merry, friendly, countra folks,

Together did convene,
To Burn their nits, an' pou their stocks,
And haud their Halloween

Fu' blythe that night.

The lasses feat, an' cleanly neat,

Mair braw than when they're fine ; . Certain little, romantic, rocky, green hills, in the neighbour. hood of the ancient seat of the Earls of Cassilis.

+ A noted cavern near Colenn house, called The Cove of Colean ; which, as Cassilis Downans, is famed in country story for being a favourite haunt of fairies.

# The famous family of that name, the ancestors of Robert, the great deliverer of his country, were Earls of Carrick,


Their faces blythe, fu’sweetly kythe,

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.

Then first and foremost, thro’ the kail,

Their stocks* maun a' be sought ance;
They steek their een, an' graip an’ wale,

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,

Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane,

They roar an’ cry a' throu’ther;
The vera wee things, todlin, rin

Wi' stocks out-owre their shouther;

• The first ceremony of Halloween is, pulling each a stock, or plant of kail. They must go ont, 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 eartha, stick to the root, that is tocher, or fortune; and the state 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 question.

An' gif the custoc's sweet or sour,

Wi' joctelegs they taste them;
Syne coziely, aboon the door,
Wi' canni care, they've plac'd them

To lie that night.

The lasses staw frae 'mang them a'

To pou their stalks o' corn ;*
But Rab slips out, an' jinks about,

Behint the muckle thorn:
He grippet Nelly hard an' fast;

Loud skirl'd a' the lasses;
But her tap-pickle maist was lost,
When kiuttlin in the fause-houset

Wi' him that night.

The auld guidwife's weel hoordet nits:

Are round an' round divided,
An' monie lads and lasses' fates,

Are there that night decided : Some kindle, couthie, side by side,

An' burn thegither trimly ;

They go to the barn-yard and pull each, at three several cimes, 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 start awa wi’ saucy pride,
And jump out-owre the chimlie

Fu' high that night.

Jean slips in twa wi' tentie e'e;

Wha 'twas, she wadna tell;
But this is Jock, an' this is me,

She says in to hersel :
He bleez'd owre ber, an' she owre him,

As they wad never mair part;
Till fuff! he started up the lum,
An' Jean had e'en a sair heart

To see't that night.


Poor Willie, wi’ his bow-kail runt,

Was brunt wi' primsie Mallie ;
An' Mallie, nae doubt, took the drunt,

To be compar'd to Willie:
Mall's nit lap oựt wi' pridefu' Aing,

An' her ain fit it brunt it;
While Willie lap, and swoor by jing,
'Twas just the way he wanted

To be that night.

Nell had the fause-house in her min',

She pits hersel an' Rob in;
In loving bleeze they sweetlie join,

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 bonny mou,
Fu' cozie in the neuk fort,

Unseen that night

But Merran sat behint their backs,

Her thoughts on Andrew Bell ;
She lea'es them gashin at their cracks,

And slips out by hersel :
She thro' the yard the nearest taks,

An' to the kiln she goes then,
An' darklins grapit for the bauks,
And in the blue-clue* throws then,

Right fear't that night.

An'ay she win't, an' ay she swat,

I wat she made nae jaukin ;
Till something held within the pat,

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.

* 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 vill hold the thread; demand wha hauds ? i. e. who holds ? an answer will be returned from the kiln-pot, by naming the christian and surname of your future spouse.

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