Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/48

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Presidential Address.

Danish ballads is unintentional evidence to the same effect. It is evident that race gives the ballads their colour, though culture gave them form and social environment vitality.

One more group of survivals must be mentioned before I close. It is one which has so far received little notice from collectors, and I am the more anxious to draw attention to it because it is one into which any resident in England can enquire for himself in his own locality, and because the details which would assuredly come to light in the course of such an enquiry would be of the utmost service in compiling the projected great edition of Brand. I refer to the Annual Wakes as they are called in the northern counties, known as Feasts in the southern counties, and Revels in the extreme south and west, still held in the majority of country villages on the anniversary of the patron saint of the village church. Few perhaps realize how many interesting features are connected with these local festivals,—the special viands prepared for them, the special sports celebrated at them, the dates (often reckoned by Old Style) on which they are held, and the agricultural seasons with which they coincide. One such wake was brought to my notice for the first time last autumn, that, namely, at West Witton in Wensleydale (Yorkshire), which begins on St. Bartholomew's Day (August 24th) and lasts several days. On the last day of the wake the children drag an effigy, supposed to represent the saint, up and down the village, and finally throw it on to a bonfire, shouting the following rhyme:

"At Burskill Beck he broke his neck.
At Wadham's End he couldn't fend.
At Birskill End he made his end.
At Penhill Crags he tore his rags.
At Hunter's Thorn he blew his horn.
At Capplebank Stee he broke his knee."

These names seem to be parish boundaries. The rite