Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/87

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Collectanea. 65

by day every night fell down. Here Mrs. Bevan's mother saw a lady in white, whom she pointed out to her companion. He saw nothing. The lady came on, and passed between the two people with a sound of rustling silk, and vanished. She had long, loose, golden hair and a rich white gown. Mrs. Bevan's mother fainted, and had to be carried home.

One of Mrs. Briton's children was at an early age afflicted with rupture ; she tried a great many cures for him, and none were successful. At last an old charmer advised her to pass him through a maiden ash, and that would cure him. (A maiden ash is one grown from its own seed and never touched with a knife.) At twelve o'clock on Friday night the baby was wrapped up and taken to the field while the clock was striking. The ash stood in the hedge, and had been wedged open the night before at the same time. Mrs. Briton stood one side of the hedge and the charmer the other, and they passed the baby nine times backwards and forwards through the tree. All this time not a word was spoken, the ash was bound up and the baby taken home, and as the tree healed so did the child, and is now as well as any other, and to this day the " stoggle " of the ash remains in the hedge.

On Midsummer Eve there is a custom at Cwmcarvon to make a little mound of clay shaped like a grave and put in it pieces of valerian ("midsummer men" they call it about there), naming one for each member of the household. In the morning some are found lying right down — these are those destined to die within the year, those drooping will be ill during the year, and so on.

To prophesy the course of true love two " midsummer men " should be taken and named, say one for Tom and one for Jane. These should be stuck in clay and put over the lintel of the door. In the morning you will be able to tell how things stand. If Jane leans to Tom and Tom stands straight or leans away, Jane loves him in vain, and vice versa. If both stand straight they do not care for each other, and if they bend over and touch they will marry within the year(?).

At a wedding in Penallt, when the bride and bridegroom are coming back from church the way is roped, and on the rope