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The Devil

My old Mayo woman told me one day that something very bad had come
down the road and gone into the house opposite, and though she would
not say what it was, I knew quite well. Another day she told me of two
friends of hers who had been made love to by one whom they believed to
be the devil. One of them was standing by the road-side when he came by
on horseback, and asked her to mount up behind him, and go riding. When
she would not he vanished. The other was out on the road late at night
waiting for her young man, when something came flapping and rolling
along the road up to her feet. It had the likeness of a newspaper, and
presently it flapped up into her face, and she knew by the size of it
that it was the Irish Times. All of a sudden it changed into a young
man, who asked her to go walking with him. She would not, and he

I know of an old man too, on the slopes of Ben Bulben, who found the
devil ringing a bell under his bed, and he went off and stole the
chapel bell and rang him out. It may be that this, like the others, was
not the devil at all, but some poor wood spirit whose cloven feet had
got him into trouble.

William Butler Yeats