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J. Neruda (1834–1891)

MOUNTAIN BALLAD

Say what salve can close a wound
(Nanny, speak to me),
Heal and save from death a man
Wounded grievously?”

To heal a mortal’s open wounds
In a body ailing,
The spring juice of the plantain herb
Is alone availing.”

What is there can bring relief
(Nanny, speak to me),
When a head is hot with pain,
Throbbing ceaselessly?”

To heal a head so feverish hot
Nothing else is good
Save the strawberry plant’s young leaves,
Gathered in the wood.”

From the cottage ran the child
Into the near-by field.
Plantain herb, give me your juice,
That pain of man be healed.”

From field to woods through thorns, through briars,
Onwards ran the child.
Give me of your tender leaves,
Blessed strawberry wild.”

 

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