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Religion & morality

Old women's sayings

(20) Old women's sayings


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                  Tune, Shop Windows

DRAW near and give at-
And you shall hear in rhyme,
The old women's sayings,
In the olden time.
High and low, rich and poor,
By daylight or dark,
Are sure for to make
Some curious remark.


These are odds and ends,
And superstitious ways,
The signs and tokens
Of my grandmother's days.

The first thing you will see,
At the house of rich or poor,
To keep the witches out,
A horse shoe's o'er the door.
Bellows on the table,
Cause a row by day or night,
If there's two knives across
You are sure to have a fight.
There's a stranger in the grate
Or if the cat should sneeze,
Or lay before the fire,
It will rain or freeze.

A cinder with a hole
In the middle is a purse
But a long one from the fire
Is a coffin, which is worse.
A spider tickling in the wall
Is the death-watch at night,
A spark in the candle
Is a letter, sure as life ;
If your right eye itches,
You'll cry till out of breath,
A Winding-sheet in the candle
Is a sure sign of death.

If your left eye itches,
You will laugh outright,
But the left or the right
Is very good at night.
If your elbow itch,
A strange bedfellow found,
If the bottom of your foot itch
You'll tread on fresh ground.
If your knee itch you'll kneel
In a church, that's a good 'un,
And if your stomach itch,
You'll get a lot of pudding.

If your back should itch,
I do declare,
Butter will be cheap,
When the grass grows there.
If the dog howl at night,
Or mournfully cry,
Or if the cock should crow,
There will somebody die.
If you stumble up stairs,
Indeed I'm no railer,
You'll be married to a snob,
Or else to a tailor.

A speck on your finger nail,
Is a gift that's funny,
If your hand itch in the middle
You will get some money.
Spilling of the salt
Is ager outright,
You'll see a ghost if the doors
Should rattle in the night ;
If your sweetheart
Dream of bacon and eggs,
She'll have a little boy
That has got three legs.

The cat washing her face
The wind will blow,
If the cat licks her foot,
It is sure to snow.
Put your gown or your jacket
On inside out,
You will change your luck,
And be put to the route ;
If your nose itches
You'll get vexed till you jump
If your great toe itch
You'll get a kick on the rump.

If a girl snaps one finger
She'll have a child it seems,
And if she snaps two,
She's sure to have twins.
And if she snaps eight,
Nine, ten, or eleven,
It's a chance if she don't
Have twenty and seven.
If you lay with your head
Underneath the clothes,
You'll get an ugly man,
What has got no nose.

If you see a star shoot,
You'll get What you wish,
If a hair gets in your mouth,
You'll get as drunk as a fish.
If your little toe itch,
You'll be lost in a wave,
If you shiver, there's somebody
Going over your grave.
If you go under a ladder,
You'll have bad luck and fall,
And some say bad luck
Is better than none at all.
So to please outright,
I have told you in rhyme,
The great superstition
Of the olden time.

J. Catnach, Printer, 2, 3,

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