Friday, July 13, 2012

Metrical Charm 6: For a Delayed Birth

Another translation made for a student, for an assignmentn using the Word Exchange as a point of comparision.


The woman, who cannot nourish her child, should go to a man’s grave and step over the grave three times and three times speak these words:

“This is my remedy—against the hateful late-birth,
This is my remedy —against the grievous heavy-birth,
This is my remedy—against the hateful lame-birth.”

And when that woman is with child and she goes to rest with her husband, then she should say:

“Up I go, and I step over you
With my living child, not at all with a dead one
Not at all with a full-born one, not at all with a doomed one.”

And when the mother feels that her baby is alive, she should go then to a church, and then she should come before the altar, and say this:

“Christ, I have said, make this known!”

The woman, who cannot nourish her child, should take herself some piece from the grave of her own child, and wrap it afterwards in black wool and sell it to merchants and speak this:

“I sell this! You sell this!
This dark wool and these grains of sorrow!”

The woman, who cannot nourish her child, should take a milk cow of one color in her hand and sip from it with her mouth and then go to running water and spit the milk into it there and then draw up a mouthful of that water with the same hand and swallow it. Then she should speak these words:

“Everywhere I have carried this glorious, strong child
By means of this glorious, strong nourishment
I will keep him for myself and go home.”

When she goes down to the brook, she should not look back nor again when she goes from there, and then she should go into a house other than the one she left, and there she should eat some food.

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