THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL 25TH OCTOBER, 1896
The night when fairies hold high Carnival
In Ireland young women place three nuts on the grate bars of the fire. One that cracks or jumps is a faithless lover, while one that burns or blazes is a true one. They burn the shells of nuts eaten on Hallow Eve and cause snails to crawl through the ashes and so trace the initials of the future husband.
These glowing nuts are emblems true
Of what in human life we view.
The ill-matched couple fret and fume,
And thus in strife themselves consume;
Or from each other wildly start,
And with a noise forever part.
But see the happy, happy pair,
Of genuine love and truth sincere;
With natural fondness while they burn,
Still to each other kindly turn’
And as the vital sparks decay,
Together gently sink away;
Till life’s fierce ordeal being past
Their mingled ashes rest at last.
(Charles Graydon, Dublin 1801)