Babies carried off and changed by fairies. In mid winter of
last winter of 1884, in Burghed, in the North of Scotland,
around great fires, incantations were pronounced to drive
away the evil spirits. The custom has come down from
the time of the Druids.
Where'er you find the Fisher folk
There, under superstitions yoke,
For a strong faith 'mong them prevails.
Of truth of witch and fairy tales.
They think that witch could hurl a shaft
Which would o'erwhelm their fishing craft,
For witches do with Satan truck,
They can give good or bring bad luck ;
Fish women do their children teach
To bait the lines down on the beach ;
Themselves do wade in sea for net
So husband's feet will not get wet,
For the women are barefooted,
And the men are heavy booted.
In Fisher, Town of Cromarty,
There once did meet a noisy party,
Confusion worse than Babel's Tower,
It did prevail for a whole hour;
When from sea shore wives did return
Each one did find good cause to mourn,
For each babe was left in cradle,
Had been changed, 'tis no fable ;
They said 'twas fairies did them change,
And left with them but weaklings strange.
Old wife, to end confusion wild,
Said each must bring to her the child ;
Soon mothers they did find their dears,
And did wipe then from eyes all tears,
While few young men across the way
They glorious did enjoy the fray,
For while the mothers were at beach
They changed all babes within their reach.