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MOTHER SHIPTON’S PROPHECY

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Last week a reader asked us if we would print the complete version of what she called "Mother Shipton's Poem." She had heard the words when she was a child and was particularly interested in seeing the passage that predicted the world would end. We printed the text she sent to us and in response received several letters with information about what is officially referred as "Mother Shipton's Prophecy."

According to a publication called "Scriptural and Secular Prophecies Pertaining to The Last Days," compiled by Robert W. Smith and Elisabeth A. Smith, Mother Shipton was born about 1486. She reputedly was a witch and prophetess. The prophecy in question was supposedly written about 1562. There have been additions and changes to the prophecy. A Charles Hendley confessed in 1873 that he added the phrase regarding the world's coming to an end in 1881.That prophecy caused a lot of consternation in the year 1881.

What follows is one of two versions of "Mother Shipton's Prophecy" printed in "Scriptural and Secular Prophecies" along with some additions. Interpretations are in parentheses.

Carriages without horses shall go

And accidents fill the world with woe:

(true about auto accidents)

Around the world thoughts shall fly

In the twinkling of an eye:

(telegraph and radio)

Water shall yet more wonders do,

Now strange, but shall be true;

(producing electricity)

The world upside down shall be

And gold be found at the root of a tree:

(conditions now)

Through lands man shall ride,

And no horse nor ass be at his side:

(railroad and auto)

Under water man shall walk,

Shall ride, shall sleep, shall talk:

(fulfilled by the submarine)

In the air man shall be seen,

In white, in black and green:

(note colors of airplanes)

Iron in the water shall float

As easy as a wooden boat:

(ships of iron and steel support this)

Gold shall be found and shown

In a land that is not yet known:

(California, Alaska and Australia)

Fire and water shall wonders do,

England at last shall admit a Jew:

(steam power indicated; England has Jews in high governmental positions)

The world to an end will come

In eighteen hundred and eighty-one.

Other predictions included in another version:

All England's sons that plough the land

Shall oft be seen with book in hand

(predicting the printing press)

A house of glass shall come to pass

In England, but alas, alas

(Crystal palace)

A war shall follow with the work

Where dwells the Pagan and the Turk

(Crimean War)

The states shall lock in fiercest strife

And seek to take each other's life

(Civil War)

When north shall thus divide the south

The eagle build in lion's mouth

Then tax and blood and cruel war

Shall come to every humble door

And now a word in uncough rhyme

Of what shall be in future time

For in those wondrous far off days

The women shall adopt a craze

And cut off all their locks of hair

To dress like men and trousers wear

They'll ride astride with brazen brow

As witches do on broomsticks now

Then love shall die and marriage cease

And nations wane as babes decrease

The wives shall fondle cats and dogs

And man live much the same as hogs

Build houses light of straw and sticks.

In nineteen hundred and twenty-six

For then shall mighty wars be planned

And fire and sword shall sweep the land

But those who live the century through

In fear and trembling this will do:

Flee to the mountains and the dens

To bog and forest and wild fens _

For storms will rage and oceans roar

When Gabriel stands on sea and shore;

And as he blows his wondrous horn

Old worlds shall die and new be born.

And as he blows his wondrous horn

Old worlds shall die and new be born.