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6 Dec 2021

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Question about English (US)

What does "simples" (magic roots and simples; the use of simples) in the pieces below mean?

Then the medicine-men, the Medas,
The magicians, the Wabenos,
And the Jossakeeds, the Prophets,
Came to visit Hiawatha;
Built a Sacred Lodge beside him,
To appease him, to console him,
Walked in silent, grave procession,
Bearing each a pouch of healing.
Skin of beaver, lynx, or otter.
Filled with magic roots and simples.
Filled with very potent medicines.
....
Forth then issued Hiawatha,
Wandered eastward, wandered westward,
Teaching men the use of simples
And the antidotes for poisons,
And the cure of all diseases.

/The Song of Hiawatha by H. W. Longfellow/
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