Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nine Fierce Herbs

from Charm of the Nine Healing Herbs

...On stone in crags
You grow Stime
Fierce you are
You beat back pain
You fight all venoms
So fierce you're called
The grass that defeats the snake

A seal bore you up
Over the sea's high ridge
You heal all evil brought
By the nine wicked spirits
You stand strong against pain
You beat down poison
Fierce against the three and the thirty
You broke the demon's claw
You hold off the wicked glance
You break the harmful spells
Of every wicked thing

These nine healing herbs
Fight the nine laming demons
And the nine evil poisons
And the nine flying ills
They fight the red poison
The white poison and the purple
They fight the yellow poison
And the green poison
The black poison and the blue
And the brown poison
And the crimson

They fight the worm-boil
And the water-blister
The thorn-blister and thistle-swell
They fight the ice-blister
And swollen bite

Only I know the power
Of the stream that clears
And the nine slithering ones know it

Now all the fields bloom
Full of healing herbs
When I blow these ills away
The very salt of the sea disappears
And the waters clear forever

~Anonymous, translated by David Cloutier

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