Digital Tradition Mirror

Wha Sains the Hoose the Nicht?

Wha Sains the Hoose the Nicht?

     Wha sains the hoose the nicht?
     They that sains it ilka nicht--
     Saint Bryde an her brat,
     Saint Colme an his hat,
     Saint Michael an his spear,
     Keep this hoose frae the weir,
     Frae rinnin thief,
     Frae burnin thief,
     An frae a ill rea
     That by the gate can gae,
     An frae an ill wicht
     That by the gate can licht.

     Bough II (1959), 24 [quoting George Sinclair, Satan's
     Invisible World Discovered (1685; repr. 1789)], who
     glosses brat as "mantle" [from Gaelic] and rea as "evil
     spirit" [cf. ree "crazy", etc.].
     The Bride referred to is "St. Bride of the Isles",
     venerated in the Highlands and Islands as Muime Chroisd,
     the foster-mother of Christ.  Bride, Columba and Michael
     are often found together in spells of this nature: cf.
     MacNeill, ibid., quoting Alexander Stewart, 'Twixt Ben
     Nevis and Glencoe (1885).  Cf. ODNR 303 (no. 346), note to
     the charm "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John".


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