The Brownie, The Bogle, The
Kelpy, Mermen, Demons
Graham of Morphie
THE old family of the Grahams of
Morphie was in former times very powerful, but at length they sunk in
fortune, and finally the original male line became extinct. Among the old
women of the Mearns, their decay is attributed to a supernatural cause.
When one of the lairds, say they, built the old castle, he secured the
assistance of the water-kelpy or river-horse, by the accredited means of
throwing a pair of branks [shafts] over his head. He then compelled the
robust spirit to carry prodigious loads of stones for the building, and
did not relieve him till the whole was finished. The poor kelpy was glad
of his deliverance, but at the same time felt himself so galled with the
hard labour, that on being permitted to escape from the branks, and just
before he disappeared in the water, he turned about, and expressed, in the
following words, at once his own grievances and the destiny of his
"Sair back and sair banes,
Drivin’ the laird o’ Morphie’s stanes!
The laird o’ Morphie ‘ll never thrive
As lang’s the kelpy is alive!"
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