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103 O, Damon, while the minutes flee On silent wing, unfelt, unseen, Wilt thou again come down to me, And laugh at Folly’s Hallowe’en. How thy auld wrinkled dow and mine, Wad sit and plot, and girn, and whine; And burn prophetic nits forsooth, Insulting age wi’ glaiks o’ youth!70 The L—d preserve us frae their clutches, The grey-beard, auld-smell’d, wither’d witches. A social jug here waits my frien’, And eke the heel o’ an auld cheese, That’s now as onie raddish keen,71 And canna fail, I think, to please. Here, hid apart frae vulgar strife, And a’ the din o’ married life; While Friendship smiles upon our lot, And closer draws the mutual knot, We’ll sit and crack till midnight hour, Then gae to bed and sleep secure.’ O/S Memoirs, Parishes of County Antrim XIV, vol. 37, Parish of Carrickfergus, Lieutenant G. H. Mallock, April. 1832. (p. 77) ‘The lower class are very superstitious, in fact more so than in any other part of Antrim. The fishers are particularly superstitious and observant of omens. There is an implicit belief in witchcraft and charms, in fairies and banshees. Many will swear that they have seen the Devil: he usually appears here in the form of a black dog and on very dark nights.’ 70 Tricks. 71 Smooth.

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