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A. Richard Diebold Center for Indo-European Language and Culture

Indo-European Texts

Old English

Douglas Simms and Jonathan Slocum

A Bee Charm

MS. 41 Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Text from Grendon, Felix. The Anglo-Saxon Charms. Journal of American Folklore 22 (1909): 168. Originally prepared by Douglas Simms; edited by Jonathan Slocum. Each bold word/phrase in a gloss corresponds to a single word in the source; non-bold terms indicate grammatical information.

Nim eorþan, take imp; earth fem,
oferweorp mid þînre swîþran handa throw-over imp; with prep; your fem,; right wk.fem,; hand fem,
under þînum swîþran fêt and cweð: under prep; your masc,; right wk.masc,; foot masc,; and conj; say imp.
'Take dirt, throw it under your right foot with your right hand and say:'
Fô ic under fôt; seize pres; I under prep; foot masc,
funde ic hit. found pret; I; it neut,
'I have it under (my) foot, I found it.'
Hwæt, eorðe mæg Lo interj; earth fem,; can pres.
with ealra wihta gehwilce, against prep; all neut,; creatures neut,; each neut,
'Lo! Earth has power
against every creature,'
and wið andan and wið æ:minde, and conj; against prep; hatred masc,; and conj; against prep; enmity fem,
and wið þâ micelan mannes tungan. and conj; against prep; the fem,; great wk.masc,; man masc,; tongue fem,
'and against hatred and against enmity,
and agains the tongue of a great man.'
Forweorp ofer grêot, cast imp; over prep; gravel masc,
þonne hî swirman, and cweð: when; they nom. pl; swarm pres. subj; and conj; say imp.
'Cast (it) over gravel
when they might swarm, and say:'
Sitte gê, sigewîf, sit imp; ye nom; victory-women neut,
sîgað tô eorþan, sink imp; to prep; earth fem,
'Sit ye, victory-women,
sink to the earth,'
næ:fre gê wilde never adv; ye nom; wildly adv.
tô wudu flêogan! to prep; wood masc,; fly pres. subj.
'May ye never fly
wildly to the woods!'
Bêo gê swâ gemindige mînes gôdes, be imp; ye nom; as adv; my neut,; welfare neut,
swâ bið manna gehwilc metes and êþeles. as adv; is pres; mens' masc,; each masc,; foodmasc,; and conj; property masc,
'Be ye as mindful of my well-being,
as every man is of food and property!'

Key to gloss abbreviations:

Abbrev. Meaning
1.=1st (person)
2.=2nd (person)
3.=3rd (person)
acc.=accusative (case)
dat.=dative (case)
fem.=feminine (gender)
gen.=genitive (case)
imp.=imperative (mood)
masc.=masculine (gender)
neut.=neuter (gender)
nom.=nominative (case)
pl.=plural (number)
pres.=present (tense)
pret.=preterite (tense)
sg.=singular (number)
subj.=subjunctive (mood)