The Nine Herbs Charm

~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~

The Nine Herbs Charm
In Modern English

Remember, Mugwort, what you made known,
What you arranged at the Great proclamation.
You were called Una, the oldest of herbs,
you have power against three and against thirty,
you have power against poison and against infection,
you have power against the loathsome foe roving through the land.

And you, 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.
You withstood all of them, you dashed against them.
May you likewise withstand poison and infection
and the loathsome foe roving through the land.

‘Stune’ is the name of this herb, it grew on a stone,
it stands up against poison, it dashes against poison
Nettle (?) it is called, it attacks against poison,
it drives out the hostile one, it casts out poison.
This is the herb that fought against the serpent,
it has power against poison,  it has power against infection,
it has power against the loathsome foe roving through the land.
Put to flight now, Venom-loather, the greater poisons,
though you are the lesser, until he is cured of both.

Remember, Chamomile, what you made known,
what you accomplished at Alorford,
that never a man should lose his life from infection
after Chamomile was prepared for his food.

This is the herb that is called ‘Wergulu’.
A seal sent it across the sea-right,
a vexation to poison, a help to others.
it stands against pain, it dashes against poison,

A worm came crawling, it killed nothing.
For Woden took nine glory-twigs,
he smote the the adder that it flew apart into nine parts.
There the Apple accomplished it against poison
that she [the loathsome serpent] would never dwell in the house.

Chervil and Fennell, two of much might,
They were created by the wise Lord,
holy in heaven as He hung;
He set and sent them to the seven worlds,
to the wretched and the fortunate, as a help to all.
It stands against pain, it fights against poison,
it avails against 3 and against 30,
against foe´s hand and against noble scheming,
against enchantment of vile creatures.

Now there nine herbs have power against nine evil spirits,
against nine poisons and against nine infections:
Against the red poison, against the foul poison,
against the white poison, against the pale blue poison,
against the yellow poison, against the green poison,
against the black poison, against the blue poison,
against the brown poison, against the crimson poison,
against worm-blister, against water-blister,
against thorn-blister, against thistle-blister,
against ice-blister, against poison-blister,

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.
Christ stood over diseases of every kind.

I alone know a running stream,
and the nine adders beware of it.
May all the weeds spring up from their roots,
the seas slip apart, all salt water,
when I blow this poison from you.

Mugwort, plantain open form the east, lamb’s cress, venom-loather, camomile, nettle, crab-apple, chevil and fennel, old soap; pound the herbs to a powder, mix them with the soap and the juice oaf the apple.
Then prepare a paste of water and of ashes, take fennel, boil it with the paste and wash it with a beaten egg when you apply the salve, both before and after.
Sing this charm three times on each of the herbs before you (he) prepare them, and likewise on the apple. And sing the same charm into the mouth of the man and into both his ears, and on the wound, before you (he) apply the salve.

Nigon Wyrta Galdor 
In Old English

Gemyne ðu, mucgwyrt, hwæt þu ameldodest,
hwæt þu renadest æt Regenmelde.
Una þu hattest, yldost wyrta.
ðu miht wið III and wið XXX,
þu miht wiþ attre and wið onflyge,
þu miht wiþ þam laþan ðe geond lond færð.

Ond þu, wegbrade, wyrta modor,
eastan openo, innan mihtigu;
ofer ðe crætu curran, ofer ðe cwene reodan,
ofer ðe bryde bryodedon, ofer þe fearras fnærdon.
Eallum þu þon wiðstode and wiðstunedest;
swa ðu wiðstonde attre and onflyge
and þæm laðan þe geond lond fereð.

Stune hætte þeos wyrt, heo on stane geweox;
stond heo wið attre, stunað heo wærce.
Stiðe heo hatte, wiðstunað heo attre,
wreceð heo wraðan, weorpeð ut attor.
þis is seo wyrt seo wiþ wyrm gefeaht,
þeos mæg wið attre, heo mæg wið onflyge,
heo mæg wið ðam laþan ðe geond lond fereþ.
Fleoh þu nu, attorlaðe, seo læsse ða maran,
seo mare þa læssan, oððæt him beigra bot sy.

Gemyne þu, mægðe, hwæt þu ameldodest,
hwæt ðu geændadest æt Alorforda;
þæt næfre for gefloge feorh ne gesealde
syþðan him mon mægðan to mete gegyrede.

þis is seo wyrt ðe wergulu hatte;
ðas onsænde seolh ofer sæs hrygc
ondan attres oþres to bote.
ðas VIIII magon wið nygon attrum.

Wyrm com snican, toslat he man;
ða genam Woden VIIII wuldortanas,
sloh ða þa næddran, þæt heo on VIIII tofleah.
þær geændade æppel and attor,
þæt heo næfre ne wolde on hus bugan.

Fille and finule, felamihtigu twa,
þa wyrte gesceop witig drihten,
halig on heofonum, þa he hongode;
sette and sænde on VII worulde
earmum and eadigum eallum to bote.
Stond heo wið wærce, stunað heo wið attre,
seo mæg wið III and wið XXX,
wið feondes hond and wið færbregde,
wið malscrunge manra wihta.

Nu magon þas VIIII wyrta wið nygon wuldorgeflogenum,
wið VIIII attrum and wið nygon onflygnum,
wið ðy readan attre, wið ðy runlan attre,
wið ðy hwitan attre, wið ðy wedenan attre,
wið ðy geolwan attre, wið ðy grenan attre,
wið ðy wonnan attre, wið ðy wedenan attre,
wið ðy brunan attre, wið ðy basewan attre,
wið wyrmgeblæd, wið wætergeblæd,
wið þorngeblæd, wið þystelgeblæd,
wið ysgeblæd, wið attorgeblæd,

gif ænig attor cume eastan fleogan
oððe ænig norðan cume
oððe ænig westan ofer werðeode.
Crist stod ofer adle ængan cundes.

Ic ana wat ea rinnende
þær þa nygon nædran nean behealdað;
motan ealle weoda nu wyrtum aspringan,
sæs toslupan, eal sealt wæter,
ðonne ic þis attor of ðe geblawe.

Mugcwyrt, wegbrade þe eastan open sy, lombescyrse,
attorlaðan, mageðan, netelan, wudusuræppel, fille and finul,
ealde sapan. Gewyrc ða wyrta to duste, mængc wiþ þa
sapan and wiþ þæs æpples gor.
Wyrc slypan of wætere and of axsan, genim finol, wyl on þære slyppan and beþe mid æggemongc, þonne he þa sealfe on do, ge ær ge æfter.
Sing þæt galdor on ælcre þara wyrta, III ær he hy wyrce and on þone æppel ealswa; ond singe þon men in þone muð and in þa earan buta and on ða wunde þæt ilce gealdor, ær he þa sealfe on do.

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