Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/196

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FOLK-LORE OF THE WYE VALLEY.

BY MARGARET EYRE.

{Read at Meeting, yth December, 1904.)

The present is the second instalment of folk-lore collected in this district which I have had the honour of reading before a meeting of the Folk-Lore Society, and it does not by any means exhaust the matter gathered in the course of much rambling about the country-side during the last few years.^

I cannot give the names of my informants, for I do not know most of them. My stories were often told by chance- met folk crossing moors, by men stripping bark in the woods, women in little cottages miles from any village, and girls who showed me short cuts from hill to hill. Living, as I do, at the extreme edge of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, and on the borders of Mon- mouthshire, my opportunities for collecting characteristic folk-lore should be great, for I have three racial districts within walking distance, districts where one would expect to find distinct varieties of folk-lore, if folk-lore follows race.

First, there are the Forest of Dean people of my own immediate neighbourhood — small, dark, and passionate ; descendants of gipsies, squatters, and broken men. Then there are the Gloucestershire people of the rolling culti- vated lands and valleys ; they are fairer, larger, and more ordinary. Over the river we come to Welshmen, for

^Folk-Lore, Vol. XIII., p, 170.