from Lacnunga LXXIX-LXXXII

text and facing translation

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last updated on 27-August-2002

+ Gemyne ðu, mucgwyrt,     hwæt þu ameldodest,


Remember, Mugwort,      what you revealed,
hwæt þu renadest      æt regenmelde.


what you established     at the mighty proclamation
Una þu hattest,     yldost wyrta.


'Una' you are called,     oldest of herbs.
Ðu miht wið III     and wið XXX,


you may avail against 3     and against 30,
þu miht wiþ attre     and wið onflyge,


you may avail against poison     and against contagion,
þu miht wiþ þa{m} laþan     ðe geond lond færð.


you may avail against the loathsome one     who travels through the land.
Ond þu, wegbrade,     wyrta modor,


And, you, Waybread [Plantain],     mother of herbs,
eastan op{e}no,     innan mihtigu;


open to the east,     mighty within;
ofer ð{e} cræt{u} curran,     ofer ð{e} cwene reodan,


carts rolled over you,     women rode over you,
ofer ð{e} bryde bryodedon,     ofer ð{e} fearras fnærdon.


over you brides cried out,     bulls snorted over you.
Eallum þu þon wiðstonde     and wiðstunedest;


All you withstood then,     and were crushed;
swa ðu wiðstonde      attre and onflyge


So you withstand     poison and contagion
and þæm laðan     þe geond lond fereð.


and the loathsome one     who travels through the land.
Stune hætte þeos wyrt,     heo on stane geweox;


Cress [?] this herb is called,     it grew on a stone;
stond heo wið attre,     stunað heo wærce.


it stands against poison,     it attacks against pain.
Stiðe heo hatte,     wiðstunað heo attre,

Nettle [?] it is called,     it attacks against poison,
wreceð heo wraðan,     weorpeð ut attor.


it expels malignant things,     casts out poison.
+ Þis is seo wyrt     seo wiþ wyrm gefeaht,


This is the herb     that fought against the serpent,
þeos mæg wið attre,     heo mæg wið onflyge,


this avails against poison,     it avails against contagion,
heo mæg wið ða{m} laþan     ðe geond lond fereþ.


it avails against the loathsome one     who travels through the land.
Fleoh þu nu, attorlaðe,     seo læsse ða maran,

Now, you, Attorlothe [Betony?, Black Nightshade?], put to flight     the lesser the greater,
seo mare þa læssan,     oððæt him beigra bot sy.


the greater the lesser,     until the cure for both be with him.
Gemyne þu, mægðe,     hwæt þu ameldodest,


Remember, Chamomile,     what you revealed,
hwæt ðu geændadest     æt Alorforda;


what you brought to an end     at Alorford;
þæt næfre for gefloge     feorh ne gesealde


that never because of infection     should he give up his life
syþðan him mon mægðan     to mete gegyrede.

after Chamomile for him     was prepared for food.
Þis is seo wyrt     ðe wergulu hatte;


This is the herb     called Crab-Apple [?]
ðas onsænde seolh     ofer sæs hrygc


a seal sent this forth     across the sea's spine
ondan attres     oþres to bote.


for the harm of poison     of some other as a remedy.
Ðas VIIII {m}agon     wið nygon attrum.


These 9 have strength     against nine poison.
+ Wyrm com snican,     toslat he {m}an;

A worm came creeping,     he tore a man in two
ða genam Woden     VIIII wuldortanas,


then Woden took     9 Glory-Twigs,
sloh ða þa næddran,     þæt heo on VIIII tofleah.


struck the adder then,     that it flew apart into 9 (bits).
Þær geændade     æppel and attor,


There brought about     the apple and poison,
þæt heo næfre ne wolde     on hus bugan.


that she [the adder] would never     enter a house.
+ Fille and finule,     felamihtigu twa,

Chervil and Fennel,     two of much might,
þa wyrte gesceop     witig drihten,


these herbs shaped     the wise Lord,
halig on heofonum,     þa he hongode;


holy in the heavens,     when He hung;
sette and sænde     on VII worulde


He established (them) and sent (them)     into the 7 worlds,
earmum and eadigum     eallum to bote.


for the poor and the rich,     a remedy for all.
Stond heo wið wærce,     stunað heo wið attre,

it stands against pain,     it fights against poison,
seo mæg wið III     and wið XXX,


it avails against 3     and against 30,
wið <feondes> hond     and wið freab{r}egde,


against foe's hand     and against noble scheming,
wið malscrunge     m{a}nra wihta.


against enchantment     of vile creatures.
+ Nu magon þas VIIII wyrta     wið nygon wuldorgeflogegum,


Now these 9 herbs have strength     against nine who have fled from glory,
wið VIIII attrum     and wið nygon onflygnum,

against 9 poisons     and against nine contagions,
wið ðy readan attre,     wið ð{y} ru{t}an attre,


against the red poison,     against the dark poison,
wið ðy hwitan attre,     wið ðy {hæwe}nan attre,


against the white poison,     against the pale blue poison,
wið ðy geolwan attre,     wið ðy grenan attre,


against the yellow poison,     against the green poison,
wið ðy wonnan attre,     wið ðy wedenan attre,


against the dusky poison,     against the dark blue poison,
wið ðy brunan attre,     wið ðy basewan attre,

against the brown poison,     against the purple poison,
wið wyrmgeblæd,     wið wætergeblæd,


against worm-blister,     against water-blister,
wið þorngeblæd,     wið þystelgeblæd,


against thorn-blister,     against thistle-blister,
wið ysgeblæd,     wið attorgeblæd,


against the ice-blister,     against the poison-blister,
gif ænig attor cume     eastan fleogan


if any poison comes     flying from the east,
oððe ænig norðan    cume


or any from the north     comes,
oððe ænig westan    ofer werðeode.


or any from the west     over the the tribe of men.
+ Crist stod ofer a{dl}e    ængan cundes.


Christ stood over sickness     of a cruel kind.
Ic ana wat    ea rinnende


I alone know     the running rivers
þær þa nygon nædran    <nean> behealdað;


there the nine adders     they enclose;
motan ealle weoda nu    wyrtum aspringan,


all weeds now must     spring up as herbs,
sæs toslupan,    eal sealt wæter,


the seas slip apart,     all salt water,
ðonne ic þis attor    of ðe geblawe.


while I this poison     blow from you.
Mucgcwyrt, 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 æcre 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.


Mugwort, waybread [plantain] which has opened from the east, lamb's cress, attorlothe [betony?, black nightshade?], chamomile, nettle, wood sour apple, chervil and fennel, old soap; work the herbs into powder, mix with the soap and the apple's juice. Make a paste of water and of ash; take the fennel, boil in the paste and warm it with the mixture when he puts on the salve, and before and after. Sing that charm on each of the herbs thrice before he prepares them, and on the apple also, and sing into the mouth of the man and both the ears and on the wound that same charm before he puts on the salve.