three bones taken from a grave

This a well known Gaelic love charm, mostly ascribed to Blind Allan, the Glengarry bard. The translation is taken from JG Campbell. It is a recipe how to gain the love of a man and has to be performed on a Wednesday on a broad level flagstone with a wooden shovel on your shoulders.

For the love of the man you like – ach gràdh an fhir thig riut.

Get nine stalks of fern

Cut with an axe

And three bones of an old man

Taken from a grave;

Burn that in a fire of brushwood

Till you reduce it all to ashes,

And shake it in you lover’s fair bosom

Against a north wind,

And I will go twice security

That man will not leave you.

You have a hold of him now.

John Gregorson Campbell: The Gaelic Otherworld – Superstitions Of the Highlands and Island. (1900) Edinburgh, Birlinn, 2008

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