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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/34

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in the Calder Canal, and this method was adopted before dragging for the body. In this case the candle-flame represents the soul going in quest of its husk.

In the legends of several of the Irish saints, the mother of one dreams that a spark has fallen into her mouth or her lap. It is the soul coming to her child. With this may be taken the Yorkshire notion of a falling star, already referred to.

Repeatedly in the Icelandic sagas one reads of the haug-eldir, cairn-fires, flames that flicker and wave above tumuli covering dead warriors who have been buried with their treasures. These fires are none other than the spirits of the dead guarding their plunder. The Esquimaux suppose the Northern Lights to be the spirits dancing about the Polar Circle.

There is at the present day, or was till recently, a morass near Stadr by Reykjanes in Iceland, where from the other side of the bay a wavering blue flame is seen, and it is supposed that a treasure lies sunken there; but the light is that of the spirit of him whose gold lies beneath the marsh.

It was a belief among the German peasantry that the stars were human souls. When a child died its spirit was taken up to heaven