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He mentions also that in the South of Scotland every person
was supposed to be attended by a sprite, who had the power of
taking away his life — a strange perversion of the doctrine of
Guardian Angels. This is called by the old name of " Thrumpin,"
and is mentioned in these obscure verses : — •
When the huUers o' night are loosin'.

When the quakers are crumplin eerie;
When the moon is in the latter fa',

When the owlets are scranghin drearie ;
When the elleried are olumperin,

When the toweries hard are thrumping,
When the bawkie bird he kisses the yud,
Then, then's the time for thrumpin.
And gif ye miss the mystic hour.
When vengeful sprites are granted power,

To thrump ilk faithless wight;
The heavens will gloom like a wizard smile,
An' the foremost will dirn his carcase rile

Fra' all uncannie sight.
For man and beast by the three stones light,

Hae little chance to thrive;
Till the sixty are past, and not till the last.
Can man and beast survive.