site logo

The Hymn Of Donald Ban

Categories: Modern Hauntings
Scary Books: The Book Of Dreams And Ghosts
: Andrew Lang

O God that created me so helpless,

Strengthen my belief and make it firm.

Command an angel to come from Paradise,

And take up his abode in my dwelling,

To protect me from every trouble

That wicked folks are putting in my way;

Jesus, that did'st suffer Thy crucifixion,

Restrain their doings, and be with me Thyself.

Little wonder though I am thoughtful--

_Always at the
time when I go to bed

The stones and the clods will arise--

How could a saint get sleep there_?

I am without peace or rest,

Without repose or sleep till the morning;

O Thou that art in the throne of grace,

Behold my treatment and be a guard to me.

Little wonder though I am troubled,

So many stories about me in every place.

Some that are unjust will be saying,

"It is all owing to himself, that affair".

Judge not except as you know,

Though the Son of God were awaking you;

No one knows if I have deserved more

Than a rich man that is without care.

Although I am in trouble at this time,

Verily, I shall be doubly repaid;

When the call comes to me from my Saviour,

I shall receive mercy and new grace;

I fear no more vexation,

When I ascend to be with Thy saints;

O Thou that sittest on the throne,

Assist my speaking and accept my prayer.

O God, make me mindful

Night and day to be praying,

Seeking pardon richly

For what I have done, on my knees.

Stir with the spirit of Truth

True repentance in my bosom,

That when Thou sendest death to seek me,

Christ may take care of me.

The bocan was not the only inhabitant of the spirit-world that Donald

Ban encountered during his lifetime. A cousin of his mother was said

to have been carried off by the fairies, and one night Donald saw him

among them, dancing away with all his might. Donald was also out

hunting in the year of the great snow, and at nightfall he saw a man

mounted on the back of a deer ascending a great rock. He heard the

man saying, "Home, Donald Ban," and fortunately he took the advice,

for that night there fell eleven feet of snow in the very spot where

he had intended to stay.

We now take two modern Icelandic cases, for the purpose of leading up

to the famous Icelandic legend of Grettir and Glam the Vampire, from

the Grettis Saga. It is plain that such incidents as those in the two

modern Icelandic cases (however the effects were produced) might

easily be swollen into the prodigious tale of Glam in the course of

two or three centuries, between Grettir's time and the complete

formation of his Saga.