St Agnes' Night
: Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales
"The women have several magical secrets handed down to them by
tradition, as on St. Agnes' night, 21st January. Take a row of pins, and
pull out every one, one after another, saying a Pater Noster, sticking a
pin in your sleeve, and you will dream of him or her you shall marry.
You must lie in another county, and knit the left garter about the
right-legg'd stockin (let the other garter and stockin alone), and as
earse these following verses, at every comma knit a knot:
This knot I knit
To know the thing I know not yet:
That I may see
The man that shall my husband be,
How he goes and what he wears,
And what he does all the days.
Accordingly in your dream you will see him, if a musician with a lute or
other instrument, if a scholar, with a book, &c. A gentlewoman that I
knew confessed in my hearing, that she used this method, and dreamt of
her husband whom she had never seen. About two or three years after, as
she was on Sunday at church, up pops a young Oxonian in the pulpit. She
cries out presently to her sister, 'This is the very face of the man
that I saw in my dream.'"--Aubrey's Miscellanies, ed. 1696, p. 105.
On St. Agnes' day, take a sprig of rosemary, and another of thyme, and
sprinkle them thrice with water. In the evening put one in each shoe,
placing a shoe on each side of the bed, and when you retire to rest, say
the following lines, and your future husband will appear "visible to
St. Agnes, that's to lovers kind,
Come ease the trouble of my mind.