Brinkburn Fairies and the Bells

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brinkburn priory fairies

Mr. Wilson says the fairies lie buried at Brinkburn. This mortality, unheard of elsewhere, must have been attributable to the potency of the bells. Half a century ago the bell of the parish kirk of Hounam, in Boxburghshire, fell; in consequence of which the banished fairies reassembled from the ends of the earth to resume their revelry on the green banks of the Kale. But the mischief that they perpetrated was insufferable, and as a remedy the bell was reinstated, when matters were restored in statu quo ante. This is true to the general belief about these beings. ” There is a hill near Botna, in Sweden, in which formerly dwelt a troll, a sort of Scandinavian fairy. When they got up bells in Botna Church, and he heard the ringing of them, he is related to have said:

Pleasant it were in Botnahill to dwell,

Wore it not for the sound of that plaguey bell.

It is said that a farmer having found a troll sitting very disconsolate on a stone near Tiis lake, in the island of Zealand, and taking him at first for a decent Christian man, accosted him with, ‘Well! where are yon going, friend?’ ‘Ah!’ said he, in a melancholy tone, ‘I am going off out the country. I cannot live hero any longer, they keep such eternal ringing and dinging!’ (23). (Denham 134-135)

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