Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/123

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salmon-spear, and clear eyesight in finding deer in the forest."

In addition to these forms of symbolical magic (which might be multiplied to any extent), we find among savages the belief in the power of songs of incantation. This is a feature of magic which specially deserves our attention. In myths, and still more in märchen or household tales, we shall constantly find that the most miraculous effects are caused when the hero pronounces a few lines of rhyme. In Rome, as we have all read in the Latin Delectus, it was thought that incantations could draw down the moon. In the Odyssey the kinsfolk of Odysseus sing "a song of healing" over the wound which was dealt him by the boar's tusk. Sophocles speaks of the folly of muttering incantations over wounds that need the surgeon's knife. The song that salved wounds occurs in the Kalewala, the epic poem of the Finns. In many of Grimm's märchen, miracles are wrought by the repetition of snatches of rhyme. This belief is derived from the savage state of fancy. According to Kohl,[1] "Every sorrowful or joyful emotion that opens the Indian's mouth is at once wrapped up in the garb of a wabano-nagamowin (chanson magicale). If you ask one of them to sing you a simple innocent hymn in praise of Nature, a spring or jovial hunting stave, he never gives you anything but a form of incantation, with which he says you will be able to call to you all the birds from the sky, and all the foxes and wolves from their caves and burrows." The giant's daughter

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