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". MS APR99
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