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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Bridge of Dread
Myths and Folk-Lore of the Aryan Peoples
 
        
From ‘Border Minstrelsy’
  
  [“This dirge used to be sung in the North of England, over a dead body, previous to burial. The tune is weird and doleful, and joined to the mysterious import of the words, has a solemn effect. The word sleet, in the chorus, seems to be corrupted from selt, or salt.”—Sir Walter Scott’s note.]

THIS ae nighte, this ae nighte,
        Every night and alle;
Fire and sleete, and candle lighte,
    And Christe receive thye saule.
 
When thou from hence away are paste,        5
        Every night and alle;
To Whinny-muir thou comest at laste:
    And Christe receive thye saule.
 
If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
        Every night and alle;        10
Sit thee down and put them on:
    And Christe receive thye saule.
 
If hosen and shoon thou ne’er gavest nane,
        Every night and alle;
The Whinnes shall pricke thee to the bare bane:        15
    And Christe receive thye saule.
 
From Whinny-muir when thou mayst passe,
        Every night and alle;
To Brigg o’ Dread thou comest at laste:
    And Christe receive thye saule. 1
*        *        *        *        *
        20
From Brigg o’ Dread when thou mayst passe,
        Every night and alle;
To purgatory fire thou comest at laste:
    And Christe receive thye saule.
 
If ever thou gavest meat or drink,        25
        Every night and alle;
The fire shall never make thee shrinke:
    And Christe receive thye saule.
 
If meat and drinke thou gavest nane,
        Every night and alle;        30
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane:
    And Christe receive thye saule.
 
This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
        Every night and alle;
Fire and sleete, and candle lighte,        35
    And Christe receive thye saule.
 
Note 1. There must originally have been two more verses, describing the fate of the good and bad souls at the Bridge. [back]
 
 
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