Omens

If you find an even ash, or four-leafed clover,
You will see your love afore the day is over.


A storm of hail
Brings frost on its tail


If I am to marry far,
Let me hear a bird cry.
If I am to marry near,
Let me hear a cow low.
If I am to single die,
Let me hear a knocking by.


Pale moon doth rain,
Red moon doth blow,
White moon doth neither rain or snow


Rainbow I' the morning,
Shipper's warning;
Rainbow at night,
Shipper's delight.


The 1849 version collected by James O. Halliwell:
If there be a rainbow in the eve,
It will rain and leave;
If there be a rainbow in the morrow,
It will neither lend nor borrow.

The older Sailor's version:
Rainbow in the east,
Sailors at peace.
Rainbows in the west,
Sailors in distress.

The more commonly known Sailor's Warning:
Red sky at night,
Sailor's delight.
Red sky at morning,
Sailor take warning.


If bees stay at home, rain will soon come;
If they fly away, fine will be the day.


When a cow tries to scratch her ear,
It means a shower is very near.
When she thumps her ribs with her tail,
Look out for thunder, lightening and hail.


If you see the cuckoo sitting,
The swallow a-flitting,
And a filly-foal lying still,
You all the year shall have your will.


The south wind brings wet weather,
The north wind wet and cold together;
The west wind always brings us rain,
The east wind blows it back again.


When the wind is in the east,
'Tis neither good for man or beast;
When the wind is in the north,
The skillful fisher goes not forth;
When the wind is in the south,
It blows the bait in the fishes' mouth;
When the wind is in the west,
Then tis at it's very best.


When the dew is on the grass,
Rain will never come to pass.


Comes the rain before the wind,
Then your topsoil you must mind.
Comes the wind before the rain,
Haul your topsoil up again.


Fog on the hill
Brings water to the mill.
Fog on the moor
Brings sun to the door.


The sharper the blast,
The sooner it's past.


Sow peas and beans in the wane of the moon;
Who soweth them sooner, he soweth too soon.


If the moon shows a silver shield,
Be not afraid to reap your field.


White horse, white horse,
Ding, ding, ding,
On my way I'll find something.


When the stars begin to huddle
The earth will soon become a puddle


No weather is ill
If the wind be still.


Redbird, redbird, fly to the right,
And I'll see my true love by Saturday night.


Friday's moon,
Come when it wool,
It comes too soon.


Saturday's new [moon],
and Sunday's full,
Was never fine,
nor never wool.


A scratch up and down
Is a lover found,
A scratch across
Is a lover lost.


On Spider colors:
Black, sad
Brown, glad,
White, good luck attend you.


A cherry year,
A merry year;
A pear year,
A dear year;
A plumb year,
A dumb year.


Onion's skin very thin,
Mild winter's coming in.
Onion's skin thick and tough,
Coming winter cold and rough.


On meeting magpies, ravens or crows:
One's lucky,
Two's unlucky,
Three is health,
Four is wealth,
Five is sickness,
And six is death.


If the cock molt before the hen,
We shall have weather thick and thin,
But if the hen molt before the cock,
We shall have weather hard as a block.


When the cuckoo comes to the bare thorn
Sell your cow and buy your corn,
But when she comes to the full bit,
Sell your corn and buy your sheep.


When elm's leaves are as big as a farden, [farthing]
You may plant your kidney beans in the garden;
When elm leaves are as big as a shilling,
It's time to plant kidney beans if you're willing;
When elms leaves are as big as a penny,
You must plant kidney beans — if you mean to have any!


Charms

Raine, raine, goe away,
Come againe a Saterday

Collected by John Aubrey in 1687, in the modern version it reads:
Rain, rain go away,
Come again another day
(Little Johnny wants to play)


A charm from Yorkshire to "call" Snow, and another to banish it:
Snow, snow faster,
The cow's in the pasture.

Snow, snow, give over,
The cow's in the clover.


A Charm to rid you of a wart:
Ash tree, ashen tree,
Pray buy this wart of me!


A Charm to heal a burn:
Three holy men went out walking,
They did bless the heat and the burning;
They blessed that it might not increase;
They blessed that it might quickly cease.


If you wish to live and thrive,
Let the spider walk alive.


To determine if the next day be good or foul weather:
A garden snail is held over a candle; repeat these lines:
“Snail, snail,
Put out your horns,
I'll give you bread
And Barley corns.”

If it "puts out its horns", the day will be fair.


For good luck:
Magpie, magpie,
Chatter and flee,
Turn up thy tail,
And good luck to me.


Upon a maiden hearing the cuckoo's call:
Kiss your hand and say:
Cuckoo, cuckoo,
Tell me true,
When shall I be married?

As many calls as the cuckoo bird makes, is the number of years.


A charm for use when churning butter:
Repeat three times:
Come butter, come,
Come butter, come,
Peter stands at the gate
Waiting for a butter cake.
Come butter, come.


For having a wish granted, on seeing a load of hay:
Hay, hay, load of hay,
Make a wish and turn away.


Line to be said when two people say the same thing:
[Q] "What comes out of a chimney?"
[A] "Smoke"
[each make a wish]

Both then say:
"May your wish and my wish never be broke."

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