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~ By Courtesy of Others ~


The Song of the Nine Sacred Herbs      MP3 (off-site, 8 MB) 

My version of the Old English:

Gemyne šu, mugwyrt, hwęt žu ameldodest,
Hwęt žu renadest ęt Regenmelde.
Una žu hattest, yldost wyrta.
šu miht wiš žre and wiš žritig,
žu miht wiž attre and wiš onflyge,
žu miht wiž žam lažan še geond lond fęrš.
Modern English Translation:

Keep in mind, Mugwort, what you made known,
What you laid down at the great denouncing.
Una your name is, oldest of herbs,
Of might against three, and against thirty.
Of might against venom and the onflying,
Of might against the vile foe who fares through the land.

Ond žu, wegbrade, wyrta modor,
Eastan openo, innan mihtigu;
Ofer še crętu curran, ofer še cwene reodan,
Ofer še bryde bryodedon, ofer že fearras fnęrdon.
Eallum žu žon wišstode and wišstunedest;
Swa šu wišstonde attre and onflyge
And žęm lašan že geond lond fęrš.

And you, Waybread (Plantain) mother of herbs,
Open from the east, mighty inside.
Over you chariots creaked, over you queens rode,
Over you brides cried out, over you bulls snorted.
All of them you then withstood, you withstood them,
May you likewise withstand poison and the onflying,
And the loathsome foe roving through the land.

Stune hętte žeos wyrt, heo on stane geweox;
Stond heo wiš attre, stunaš heo węrce.
Stiše heo hatte, wišstunaš heo attre,
Wreceš heo wrašan, weorpeš ut attor.

Stune (Watercress) is the name of this herb, it grew on a stone,
It stands up against poison, it stands against pain,
Stithe it is called, it withstands poison,
It wrecks the wrathful one, it casts out poison.

žis is seo wyrt seo wiž wyrm gefeaht,
žeos męg wiš attre, heo męg wiš onflyge,
Heo męg wiš šam lažan še geond lond fęrš.
Fleoh žu nu, attorlaše, seo lęsse ša maran,
seo mare ža lęssan, oššęt him beigra bot sy.

This is the herb that fought against the snake,
It has power against poison, it has power against the onflying,
It has power against the loathsome foe roving through the land.
Put to flight now, Venom-loather (Viper's Bugloss),
      the great poisons you are less than,
The lesser poisons you are greater than,
      until the cure for both be with him.

Gemyne žu, męgšen, hwęt žu ameldodest,
Hwęt šu geęndadest ęt Alorforda;
žęt nęfre for gefloge feorh ne gesealde
Syžšan him mon męgšan to mete gegyrede.

Remember, Maythen (Chamomile), what you made known,
What you accomplished at Alorford,
That never a man should lose his life from infection
After Maythen was prepared for his food.

žis is seo wyrt še wergulu hatte;
šas onsęnde seolh ofer sęs hrygc
Ondan attres ožres to bote.
Stond heo wiš węrce, stunaš heo wiš attre,
Seo męg wiš žre and wiš žritig.
Wiš feondes hond and wiš fęrbregde,
Wiš malscrunge manra wihta.

This is the herb that is called Wergulu (Nettle).
A seal sent it across the sea-right,
A vexation to poison, a help to others.
It stands against pain, it dashes against poison,
It has power against three and against thirty,
Against the hand of a fiend and against noble scheming,
Against the spell of vile creatures.

Fille and finule, felamihtigu twa,
ža wyrte gesceop witig drihten,
Halig on heofonum, ža he hongode;
Sette and sęnde on nygon worulde
Earmum and eadigum eallum to bote.

Chervil (Sweet Cicely) and Fennel, two very mighty ones.
They were created by the wise one-eyed Lord,
Holy in heaven as he hung on the tree;
He set and sent them to the nine worlds,
To the wretched and the fortunate, As a help to all.

žęr geęndade ęppel and attor,
žęt heo nęfre ne wolde on hus bugan.

There the Apple accomplished against poison
That it would no more dwell in the world.

šas nygon magon wiš nygon attrum.
Wyrm com snican, toslat he man;
ša genam Woden nygon wuldortanas,
Sloh ša ža nęddran, heo on nygon tofleah.

These nine have power against nine poisons.
A worm came crawling, it killed nothing.
For Woden took nine glory-twigs,
He smote the adder that it flew apart into nine parts.

Nu magon žas nygon wyrta
      wiš nygon wuldorgeflogenum,
Wiš nygon attrum and wiš nygon onflygnum,
Wiš šy readan attre, wiš šy runlan attre,
Wiš šy hwitan attre, wiš šy wedenan attre,
Wiš šy geolwan attre, wiš šy grenan attre,
Wiš šy wonnan attre, wiš šy rudenan attre,
Wiš šy brunan attre, wiš šy basewan attre,

Now there nine herbs have power
      against nine fleers of glory,
Against nine poisons and against nine onflying:
Against the red poison, against the foul poison.
Against the white poison, against the blue poison,
Against the yellow poison, against the green poison,
Against the black poison, against the dark poison,
Against the brown poison, against the crimson poison.

Wiš wyrmgeblęd, wiš wętergeblęd,
Wiš žorngeblęd, wiš žystelgeblęd,
Wiš ysgeblęd, wiš attorgeblęd.

Against worm-blister, against water-blister,
Against thorn-blister, against thistle-blister,
Against ice-blister, against poison-blister.

Gif ęnig attor cume eastan fleogan
ošše ęnig noršan cume, ošše ęnig sušan cume,
ošše ęnig westan ofer weršeode.
Ic ana wat ea rinnende
žęr ža nygon nędran nean behealdaš;
Motan ealle weoda nu wyrtum aspringan,
Sęs toslupan, eal sealt węter,
šonne ic žis attor of še geblawe.

If any poison comes flying from the east,
Or any from the north, or any from the south,
Or any from the west among the people.
I alone know a running stream,
And the nine adders beware of it.
May all the weeds spring up new herbs,
The seas slip apart, all salt water,
When I this poison from you blow.

© Raven Kaldera

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