Metrical Charm 6: Charms for Successful Pregnancy ("For Delayed Birth")

(Considered by early scholarship to be a single charm for a single situation, this is actually composed of a number of charms for different situations, though all involve the desire for a successful pregnancy.)

Ed. Murray McGillivray. Online Corpus of Old English Poetry (OCOEP). Edition in progress. This file last updated 21/08/09.

Charm 6a: Charm To Hasten Sluggish Labour

Se wifman, se hire cild afedan ne mæg, gange to gewitenes mannes birgenne and stæppe þonne þriwa ofer þa byrgenne and cweþe þonne þriwa þas word:

Þis me to bote    þære laþan lætbyrde,
þis me to bote    þære swæran swærtbyrde,
þis me to bote    þære laðan lambyrde.

Charm 6b: Charm on Going to Bed

And þonne þæt wif seo mid bearne and heo to hyre hlaforde on reste ga, þonne cweþe heo:

Up ic gonge,    ofer þe stæppe
mid cwican cilde,    nalæs mid cwellendum,
mid fulborenum,    nalæs mid fægan.

Charm 6c: Charm When the Baby First Kicks

And þonne seo modor gefele þæt þæt bearn si cwic, ga þonne to cyrican, and þonne heo toforan þan weofode cume, cweþe þonne:

Criste ic sæde!    Þis is gecyþed!

Charm 6d: Charm After a Stillbirth or Infant Death

Se wifmon, se hyre bearn afedan ne mæge, genime heo sylf hyre agenes cildes gebyrgenne dæl, wry æfter þonne on blace wulle and bebicge to cepemannum and cweþe þonne:

Ic hit bebicge,    ge hit bebicgan,
þas sweartan wulle    and þysse sorge corn.

Charm 6e: To Bear a Healthy Child

Se man, se þe ne mæge bearn afedan, nime þonne anes bleos cu meoluc on hyre handæ and gesupe þonne mid hyre muþe and gange þonne to yrnendum wætere and spiwe þær in þa meolc and hlade þonne mid þære ylcan hand þæs wæteres muð-fulne and forswelge. Cweþe þonne þas word:

Gehwer ferde ic me þone mæran    magaþihtan,
mid þysse mæran    meteþihtan;
þone ic me wille habban    and ham gan.

Þonne heo to þan broce ga, þonne ne beseo heo no, ne eft þonne heo þanan ga, and þonne ga heo in oþer hus oþer heo ut ofeode and þær gebyrge metes.