The Northern Way

The Anglo-Saxon Metrical Charms

Metrical Charm 1: For Unfruitful Land

Verse Indeterminate Saxon

Her ys seo bot, hu ðu meaht þine æceras betan gif hi
nellaþ wel wexan oþþe þær hwilc ungedefe þing on gedon bið
on dry oððe on lyblace. Genim þonne on niht, ær hyt
dagige, feower tyrf on feower healfa þæs landes, and gemearca

5

hu hy ær stodon. Nim þonne ele and hunig and beorman,
and ælces feos meolc þe on þæm lande sy, and ælces treow-
cynnes dæl þe on þæm lande sy gewexen, butan heardan
beaman, and ælcre namcuþre wyrte dæl, butan glappan anon,
and do þonne haligwæter ðær on, and drype þonne þriwa on

10

þone staðol þara turfa, and cweþe ðonne ðas word: Crescite,
wexe, et multiplicamini, and gemænigfealda, et replete, and
gefylle, terre, þas eorðan. In nomine patris et filii et spiritus
sancti sit benedicti
. And Pater Noster swa oft swa þæt oðer.
And bere siþþan ða turf to circean, and mæssepreost asinge

15

feower mæssan ofer þan turfon, and wende man þæt grene to
ðan weofode, and siþþan gebringe man þa turf þær hi ær
wæron ær sunnan setlgange. And hæbbe him gæworht of
cwicbeame feower Cristes mælo and awrite on ælcon ende:
Matheus and Marcus, Lucas and Iohannes. Lege þæt

20

Cristes mæl on þone pyt neoþeweardne, cweðe ðonne: Crux
Matheus, crux Marcus, crux Lucas, crux sanctus Iohannes
.
Nim ðonne þa turf and sete ðær ufon on and cweþe ðonne
nigon siþon þas word, Crescite, and swa oft Pater Noster,
and wende þe þonne eastweard, and onlut nigon siðon

25

eadmodlice, and cweð þonne þas word:
Eastweard ic stande,       arena ic me bidde,
bidde ic þone mæran domine,      bidde ðone miclan drihten,
bidde ic ðone haligan      heofonrices weard,
eorðan ic bidde      and upheofon

30

and ða soþan      sancta Marian
and heofones meaht      and heahreced,
þæt ic mote þis gealdor      mid gife drihtnes
toðum ontynan      þurh trumne geþanc,
aweccan þas wæstmas      us to woruldnytte,

35

gefyllan þas foldan      mid fæste geleafan,
wlitigigan þas wancgturf,      swa se witega cwæð
þæt se hæfde are on eorþrice,      se þe ælmyssan
dælde domlice      drihtnes þances.
Wende þe þonne III sunganges, astrece þonne on andlang

40

and arim þær letanias and cweð þonne: Sanctus, sanctus,
sanctus oþ ende. Sing þonne Benedicite aþenedon earmon
and Magnificat and Pater Noster III, and bebeod hit Criste
and sancta Marian and þære halgan rode to lofe and to
weorþinga and to are þam þe þæt land age and eallon þam þe

45

him underðeodde synt. ðonne þæt eall sie gedon, þonne
nime man uncuþ sæd æt ælmesmannum and selle him twa
swylc, swylce man æt him nime, and gegaderie ealle his
sulhgeteogo togædere; borige þonne on þam beame stor and
finol and gehalgode sapan and gehalgod sealt. Nim þonne

50

þæt sæd, sete on þæs sules bodig, cweð þonne:
Erce, Erce, Erce,      eorþan modor,
geunne þe se alwalda,      ece drihten,
æcera wexendra      and wridendra,
eacniendra      and elniendra,

55

sceafta hehra,      scirra wæstma,
and þæra bradan      berewæstma,
and þæra hwitan      hwætewæstma,
and ealra      eorþan wæstma.
Geunne him      ece drihten

60

and his halige,      þe on heofonum synt,
þæt hys yrþ si gefriþod      wið ealra feonda gehwæne,
and heo si geborgen      wið ealra bealwa gehwylc,
þara lyblaca      geond land sawen.
Nu ic bidde ðone waldend,      se ðe ðas woruld gesceop,

65

þæt ne sy nan to þæs cwidol wif      ne to þæs cræftig man
þæt awendan ne mæge      word þus gecwedene.
þonne man þa sulh forð drife and þa forman furh onsceote,
cweð þonne:
Hal wes þu, folde,      fira modor!

70

Beo þu growende      on godes fæþme,
fodre gefylled      firum to nytte.
Nim þonne ælces cynnes melo and abacæ man innewerdre
handa bradnæ hlaf and gecned hine mid meolce and mid
haligwætere and lecge under þa forman furh. Cweþe þonne:

75

Ful æcer fodres      fira cinne,
beorhtblowende,      þu gebletsod weorþ
þæs haligan noman      þe ðas heofon gesceop
and ðas eorþan      þe we on lifiaþ;
se god, se þas grundas geworhte,      geunne us growende gife,

80

þæt us corna gehwylc      cume to nytte.
Cweð þonne III Crescite in nomine patris, sit benedicti.
Amen
and Pater Noster þriwa.

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