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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/252

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228 Ghost Lights of the West Highlands.

the earth till the Day of Judgement, both because she herself had been so stubborn and because her mother had im- precated her [rinn droch guidhe dhi).^' Mr. MacRury gives a stanza of a song in proof of the dislike entertained for Galium Saggart's wife by her neighbours on account of her witchcraft, which had made her imprecation effective :

  • ' 'N am biodh Callum Sagart marbh,

Dh' fhalbhmaid le cruisgean ; Nam biodh Callum Sagart marbh, 'S e chuireadh an sogan oirinn ; Nam biodh Callum Sagart marbh, Dh' fhalbhmaid le cruisgean.

Dh' fhalbhamaid dhachaidh le'r fuigheall, Dh' ionnsuidh na cailliche duibhe, 'Bhean a's miosa th'ann an Uidhist ; 'S buidhe learn nach learn i."

" If Priest Callum were dead. We would go with a lamp ; If Priest Callum were dead, That would put us in good humour ; If Priest Callum were dead. We would go with a lamp.

We would go home with what was left

To the black witch (old wife),

The worst woman in Uist ;

It is fortunate for me she is not mine."

The probability is that Priest Callum's putative child, if it would speak, could, like other changelings, tell an older story than Callum himself. In fact, as Mr. H. F. Feilberg tells us, we find in Denmark \Vill-o'-the-Wisp ascribed to " the soul of an unrighteous surveyor, or of an unbaptized, murdered child " — in fact, personages, who like the factor who prevents the gathering of the rudh, and the girl done to death by her mother, indicate a not very distant relation- ship with the soil in some form.^

' Folk-Lorc. vol. vi. p. 298.