Hallow Eve

Noo here's a tale you'll scarce believe,
O' strange events yin Hallow-eve,
And how a woman's last command
Spread fear and terror through the land.

The story goes that widow Mayne
Had lived some forty years her lane,
Till death come knockin' at her door,
Yin Hallow-eve - a week before.

A pity death should come that day
And tak' poor widow Mayne away.
For o' a' the days throughout the year
She cherished Hallow-eve maist dear.

The neighbours gathered 'roun her bed,
Tae hear her last will duly read,
And marvelled at her last bequest
She made when bein' laid tae rest.

"In case I take a sudden crave,
I want beside me in my grave
Sweet hazel-nuts - a sack at least
Convenient placed upon my breest."

Beloved, respected, mourned and blest,
She had her wish - was laid tae rest.
Some wiped their een, some wrung their han's,
While ithers made mischievous plans.

An' so the tale goes on tae state,
How twa young drunks returning late
Yin nicht intae the graveyard strayed,
An' planned the widow's grave tae raid.

The bag o' hazel nuts - their prize,
Was soon retrieved despite it's size.
But something big tae tak' it's place
Must fill the gapin' empty space.

Then inspiration - 'get a sheep,'
So ower the dyke wi' agile leap
Yin sauntered forth - the ither stayed.
The bulky bran-bag by his side.

At that same hour by some mischance,
A neighbour comin' frae a dance,
Strange noises frae the graveyard heard,
So through the graveyard gates he peered.

He looked again. Then pale as death
Raced speechless hamewards - oot o' breath.
His poor oul' Faither, limp an' pale,
Was stricken dumb wi' sich a tale.

But still he dared his son tae tak'
Him tae the graveyard - on his ba'k.
And as they through the bracken sped,
He wished that he was ba'k in bed.

As nearer tae the grave they drew
A whispered voice said, "Tip or Ewe."
The son cried - "Please yersel, you knave"
And flung his Faither in the grave.

The oul' man jump-ed in the air,
Then oot the graveyard like a hare,
The blue sparks fleein' frae his heels,
As if pursued by twenty De'ils.

An' yet for fifteen year before,
They say he lay at death's front door.
Completely cured wi' shock an' fear
He lived anither thirty year.

John Clifford

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John Clifford
johnclifford