Ventorum rabie cum turbidus ęstuat aėr,
Cum tonat horrendum, cum fulgurat igneus ęther,
Nubibus illisus, coelo cadit iste lapillus,
Cujus apud Gręcos extat de fulmine nomen.
Illis quippe locis quos constat fulmine tactos,
Iste lapis tantum repiriri posse putatur;
Unde Ceraunius est Gręco sermone vocatus:
Nam quod nos fulmen, Gręci dixere kepaōvov.
Qui caste gerit hunc, a fulmine non ferietur;
Nec domus, aut villę, quibus assuerit lapis ille.
Sed neque navigio per flumen vel mare vectus,
Turbine mergetur, vel fulmine percutietur.
Ad causas etiam vincendaque pręlia prodest,
Et dulces sonmos, et dulcia somnia pręstat.
In Sweden stone axes were believed to be a protection against light-ning,
and in some districts they were formerly placed in the bed beside women
near their confinement, in order to lighten the pains of labour. They are
still occasionally used by the peasantry against a cutaneous disease in
children called the white fire. With the aid of a piece of steel, sparks
are emitted from them which are made to fall upon the head of the child.
In Germany during a thunderstorm a black wedge is believed to dart out of
the clouds and to bury itself in the earth as deep as the highest
church-tower is high. But every time it thunders again, it begins to rise
nearer to the surface, and after seven years you may find it above ground.
Any house in which it is preserved is proof against damage by lightning;
when a thunderstorm is coming on, it begins to sweat. Sir John Evans
mentions an instance which came under his own observation in Ireland,
where a stone celt was lent among neighbours to place in the troughs from
which cattle drank, on account of its healing powers. In Cornwall water
in which stone axes were boiled for some hours was given to people
suffering from rheumatism.