ā indicates a with macron ă indicates a with breve ĕ indicates e with breve]
Everyman's Library Edited by Ernest Rhys
Translated from the Finnish by
W. F. KIRBY, F.L.S., F.E.S.
In 2 Vols. Vol. 1
The Land of the Heroes
London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc.
All rights reserved Made in Great Britain at The Temple Press Letchworth and decorated by Eric Ravilious for J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. Aldine House Bedford St. London First Published in this Edition 1907 Reprinted 1914, 1923, 1936
The Kalevala, or the Land of Heroes, as the word may be freely rendered, is the national epic of Finland, and as that country and its literature are still comparatively little known to English readers, some preliminary explanations are here necessary.
On reference to a map of Europe, it will be seen that the north-western portion of the Russian Empire forms almost a peninsula, surrounded, except on the Norwegian and Swedish frontiers, by two great arms of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland; the two great lakes, Ladoga and Onega; the White Sea, and the Arctic Ocean. In the north of this peninsula is Lapland, and in the south, Finland.
The modern history of Finland begins with the year 1157, when the country was conquered from the original inhabitants by the Swedes, and Christianity was introduced. Later on, the Finns became Lutherans, and are a pious, industrious, and law-abiding people, the upper classes being highly educated.
During the wars between Sweden and Russia, under Peter the Great and his successors, much Finnish territory was wrested from Sweden, and St. Petersburg itself stands on what was formerly Finnish territory. When what was left of Finland was finally absorbed by Russia in 1809, special privileges were granted by Alexander I. to the Finns, which his successors confirmed, and which are highly valued by the people.
The upper classes speak Swedish and Finnish; and the lower classes chiefly Finnish. Finnish is upheld by many Finns from patriotic motives, and there is a considerable modern literature in both languages. Translations of most standard works by English and other authors are published in Finnish.
The Finns call their country Suomi or Marshland; and it is often spoken of as the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. The language they speak belongs to a group called Finnish-Ugrian, or Altaic, and is allied to Lappish and Esthonian, and more distantly to Turkish and Hungarian, There are only twenty-one letters in the alphabet; the letter J is pronounced like Y (as a consonant), and Y almost as a short I. The first syllable of every word is accented. This renders it difficult to accommodate such words as Kālĕvălā to the metre; but I have tried to do my best.
The Finlanders are very fond of old ballads, of which a great number have been collected, especially by Elias Lonnrot, to whom it occurred to arrange a selection into a connected poem, to which he gave the name of Kalevala. This he first published in 1835, in two small volumes containing twenty-five Runos or Cantos, but afterwards rearranged and expanded it to fifty Runos; in which form it was published in 1849; and this was speedily translated into other languages. Perhaps the best translations are Schiefner's German version (1852) and Collan's Swedish version (1864). Several volumes of selections and abridgments have also appeared in America and England; and an English translation by John Martin Crawford (in two volumes) was published in New York and London in 1889.
Schiefner used a flexible metre for his translation, which resembles the original as closely as the different character of Finnish and German would permit, a metre which had previously, though rarely, been used in English. His work attracted the attention of Longfellow, whose "Song of Hiawatha" is only a rather poor imitation of Schiefner's version of the Kalevala, some of the lines being almost identical, and several of the characters and incidents being more or less distinctly borrowed from those in the Kalevala. The incidents, however, are generally considerably altered, and not always for the better.
It will be seen that Lonnrot edited the Kalevala from old ballads, much as the poems of Homer, or at least the Iliad and Odyssey, are said to have been put together by order of Pisistratus.
In the preparation of my own translation, the flexibility of the metre has permitted me to attempt an almost literal rendering; without, I hope, sacrificing elegance. The simplicity of the Finnish language and metre would, in my opinion, render a prose version bald and unsatisfactory. My chief difficulty has been to fit the Finnish names into even a simple English metre, so as to retain the correct pronunciation, and I fear I have not always succeeded in overcoming it satisfactorily. I am greatly indebted to Prof. Kaarle Krohn and Madame Aino Malmberg of Helsingfors, for their kindness in looking over the whole of my typewritten translation, and for numerous suggestions and comments. Of course I am solely responsible for any errors and shortcomings which may be detected in my work.
I have added short notes at the end of each volume, and a glossary of proper names at the end of the book, but a detailed commentary would be out of place in a popular edition. The Arguments to each Runo are translated, slightly modified, from those in the original.
The religion of the poem is peculiar; it is a Shamanistic animism, overlaid with Christianity.
The Kalevala relates the history of four principal heroes: Vainamoinen, the Son of the Wind, and of the Virgin of the Air; a great culture-hero, patriarch, and minstrel, always described as a vigorous old man. The Esthonians call him Vanemuine, and make him the God of Music.
His "brother" Ilmarinen appears to be the son of a human mother, though he is also said to have been "born upon a hill of charcoal." He is a great smith and craftsman, and is described as a handsome young man.
The third hero, Lemminkainen, is a jovial, reckless personage, always getting into serious scrapes, from which he escapes either by his own skill in magic, or by his mother's. His love for his mother is the redeeming feature in his character. One of his names is Kaukomieli, and he is, in part, the original of Longfellow's "Pau-Puk-Keewis."
The fourth hero is Kullervo, a morose and wicked slave of gigantic strength, which he always misuses. His history is a terrible tragedy, which has been compared to that of OEdipus. He is, in part, the prototype of Longfellow's "Kwasind." He is the principal hero of the Esthonian ballads, in which he is called Kalevipoeg, the son of Kaiev (Kaleva in Finnish), the mythical ancestor of the heroes, who does not appear in person in the Kalevala. The history of the Kalevipoeg will be found in my work entitled The Hero of Esthonia, published by Nimmo in 1895, in two volumes. However, the Esthonians make him not a slave, but a king. In the Kalevala we meet with no kings, but only patriarchs, or chiefs of clans.
The principal heroines of the Kalevala are Ilmatar, the Daughter of the Air, the Creatrix of the world, in the first Runo, whose counterpart is Marjatta, the mother of the successor of Vainamoinen, in the last Runo; Aino, a young Lapp girl beloved of Vainamoinen, whose sad fate forms one of the most pathetic episodes in the Kalevala; Louhi, the Mistress of Pohjola, or the North Country; and her daughter, afterwards the wife of Ilmarinen. The character of the daughter of Louhi presents three phases, which illustrate more than anything else the composite character of the poem, for it is impossible that any two can have been drawn by the same hand.
Firstly, we find her as the beautiful and accomplished daughter of the witch, playing the part of a Medea, without her cruelty.
Secondly, we find her as a timid and shrinking bride, in fact almost a child-bride.
Thirdly, when married, she appears as a wicked and heartless peasant-woman of the worst type.
The heroes are all skilled in magic, and to some extent are able to command or propitiate even the gods. A peculiarity of Finnish magic is what is called "the word of origin."
To control or banish an evil power, it is sufficient to know and to repeat to it its proper name, and to relate the history of its creation.
Before concluding the Introduction, it may be well to give a brief summary of the principal contents of the fifty Runos of the poem.
Runo I. After a preamble by the bard, he proceeds to relate how the Virgin of the Air descended into the sea, was tossed about by the winds and waves, modelled the earth, and brought forth the culture-hero Vainamoinen, who swims to shore.
Runo II. Vainamoinen clears and plants the country, and sows barley.
Runo III. The Laplander Joukahainen presumes to contend with Vainamoinen in singing, but is plunged by him into a swamp, till he pledges to him his sister Aino; after which he is released, and returns home discomfited. But Aino is much distressed at the idea of being obliged to marry an old man.
Runo IV. Vainamoinen makes love to Aino in the forest; but she returns home in grief and anger, and finally wanders away again, and is drowned while trying to swim out to some water-nymphs in a lake. Her mother weeps for her incessantly.
Runo V. Vainamoinen fishes up Aino in the form of a salmon; but she escapes him, and his mother advises him to seek a bride in Pohjola, the North Country, sometimes identified with Lapland, but apparently still further north.
Runo VI. While Vainamoinen is riding over the water on his magic steed, Joukahainen shoots the horse under him. Vainamoinen falls into the water, and is driven onwards by a tempest, while Joukahainen returns to his mother, who upbraids him for shooting at the minstrel.
Runo VII. Vainamoinen is carried by an eagle to the neighbourhood of the Castle of Pohjola, where the chatelaine, Louhi, receives him hospitably, and offers him her beautiful daughter if he will forge for her the talisman called the Sampo. He replies that he cannot do so himself, but will send his brother Ilmarinen, so Louhi gives him a sledge in which to return home.
Runo VIII. Vainamoinen, on his journey, finds the daughter of Louhi sitting on a rainbow weaving, and makes love to her. In trying to accomplish the tasks she sets him, he wounds himself severely, and drives away till he finds an old man who promises to stanch the blood.
Runo IX. The old man heals Vainamoinen by relating the origin of Iron, and by salving his wounds.
Runo X. Vainamoinen returns home, and as Ilmarinen declines to go to Pohjola to forge the Sampo, he causes a whirlwind to carry him to the castle. Ilmarinen forges the Sampo, but the maiden declines to marry him at present, and he returns home disconsolate.
Runos XI.-XV. These Runos relate the early adventures of Lemminkainen. He carries off and marries the beautiful Kyllikki, but quarrels with her, and starts off to Pohjola to woo the daughter of Louhi. Louhi sets him various tasks, and at length he is slain, cast into the river of Tuoni, the death-god, and is hewed to pieces; but is rescued and resuscitated by his mother.
Runos XVI.-XVII. Vainamoinen regrets having renounced the daughter of Louhi in favour of Ilmarinen, and begins to build a boat, but cannot complete it without three magic words, which he seeks for in vain in Tuonela, the death-kingdom, but afterwards jumps down the throat of the dead giant, Antero Vipunen, and compels him to sing to him all his wisdom.
Runos XVIII.-XIX. Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen travel to Pohjola, one by water and the other by land, and agree that the maiden shall make her choice between them. She prefers Ilmarinen, who is aided by his bride to perform all the tasks set him by Louhi.
Runos XX.-XXV. The wedding is celebrated at Pohjola, an immense ox being slaughtered for the feast; after which ale is brewed by Osmotar, "Kaleva's most beauteous daughter." Every one is invited, except Lemminkainen, who is passed over as too quarrelsome and ill-mannered. Before the bride and bridegroom leave, they have to listen to long lectures about their future conduct.
Runos XXVI.-XXX. Lemminkainen is enraged at not being invited to the wedding, forces his way into the Castle of Pohjola through the magical obstacles in his path, and slays the lord of the castle in a duel. He flies home, and his mother sends him to hide in a distant island where all the warriors are absent, and where he lives with the women till the return of the men, when he is again obliged to fly. He returns home, and finds the whole country laid waste, and only his mother in hiding. Against her advice, he persuades his old comrade Tiera to join him in another expedition against Pohjola, but Louhi sends the Frost against them, and they are driven back in great distress.
Runos XXXI.-XXXVI. A chief named Untamo lays waste the territory of his brother Kalervo, and carries off his wife. She gives birth to Kullervo, who vows vengeance against Untamo in his cradle. Untamo brings Kullervo up as a slave, but as he spoils everything he touches, sells him to Ilmarinen. Ilmarinen's wife ill-treats him, and he revenges himself by giving her over to be devoured by wolves and bears, and escapes to the forests, where he rejoins his family. One of his sisters has been lost, and meeting her accidentally and without knowing her, he carries her off. She throws herself into a torrent, and he returns home. His mother advises him to go into hiding, but first he makes war on Untamo, destroys him and his clan, and again returns home. Here he finds all his people dead, and everything desolate; so he wanders off into the forest, and falls on his own sword.
Runos XXXVII.-XLIX. Ilmarinen forges himself a new wife of gold and silver, but cannot give her life or warmth, so he carries off another daughter of Louhi; but she angers him so much that he changes her into a seagull. Ilmarinen and Vainamoinen, who are afterwards joined by Lemminkainen, now undertake another expedition to Pohjola to carry off the Sampo. On the way, Vainamoinen constructs a kantele or harp of pikebone, and lulls Louhi and her people to sleep; but she pursues the robbers, and first the kantele is lost overboard, and then the Sampo is broken to pieces and lost in the sea. Vainamoinen saves enough to secure the prosperity of Kalevala, but Louhi only carries home a small and almost useless fragment. Vainamoinen then makes a new kantele of birchwood. Louhi brings pestilence on Kalevala, then sends a bear against the country, and lastly, steals away the sun and moon, hiding them in the stone mountain of Pohjola. Vainamoinen drives away the plagues, kills the bear, and renews fire from a conflagration caused by a spark sent down from heaven by the god Ukko. Ilmarinen then prepares chains for Louhi, and terrifies her into restoring the sun and moon to their original places.
Runo L. The virgin Marjatta swallows a cranberry, and brings forth a son, who is proclaimed King of Carelia. Vainamoinen in great anger quits the country in his boat, but leaves the kantele and his songs behind him for the pleasure of the people.
* * * * *
As a specimen of the Finnish language, I quote the original text of a few lines from the charming passage at the commencement of Runo VIII (lines 1-16):—
Tuo oli kaunis Pohjan neiti, Maan kuula, ve'en valio, Istui ilman wempelella, Taivon kaarella kajotti Pukehissa puhtaissa, Walkeissa vaattehissa; Kultakangasta kutovi, Hopeista huolittavi Kultaisesta sukkulasta, Pirralla hopeisella.
Suihki sukkula piossa, Kaami kaessa kaaperoitsi, Niiet vaskiset vatisi, Hopeinen pirta piukki Neien kangasta kutoissa, Hopeista huolittaissa.
The Kalevala is very unlike any poem familiar to general readers, but it contains much that is extremely curious and interesting; and many beautiful passages and episodes which are by no means inferior to those we find in the ballad-literature of better-known countries than Finland.
W. F. KIRBY.
Chiswick, May 1907
CONTENTS OF VOL. I
I. BIRTH OF VaINaMoINEN 1
II. VaINaMoINEN'S SOWING 10
III. VaINaMoINEN AND JOUKAHAINEN 20
IV. THE FATE OF AINO 35
V. VaINaMoINEN'S FISHING 48
VI. JOUKAHAINEN'S CROSSBOW 55
VII. VaINaMoINEN AND LOUHI 61
VIII. VaINaMoINEN'S WOUND 71
IX. THE ORIGIN OF IRON 78
X. THE FORGING OF THE SAMPO 93
XI. LEMMINKAINEN AND KYLLIKKI 106
XII. LEMMINKAINEN'S FIRST EXPEDITION TO POHJOLA 117
XIII. HIISI'S ELK 130
XIV. LEMMINKAINEN'S DEATH 137
XV. LEMMINKAINEN'S RECOVERY AND RETURN HOME 149
XVI. VaINaMoINEN IN TUONELA 166
XVII. VaINaMoINEN AND ANTERO VIPUNEN 177
XVIII. VaINaMoINEN AND ILMARINEN TRAVEL TO POHJOLA 193
XIX. THE EXPLOITS AND BETROTHAL OF ILMARINEN 211
XX. THE GREAT OX, AND THE BREWING OF THE ALE 224
XXI. THE WEDDING FEAST AT POHJOLA 240
XXII. THE TORMENTING OF THE BRIDE 251
XXIII. THE INSTRUCTING OF THE BRIDE 264
XXIV. THE DEPARTURE OF THE BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM 286
XXV. THE HOME-COMING OF THE BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM 300
NOTES TO RUNOS I-XXV 319
RUNO I.—BIRTH OF VaINaMoINEN
Prelude (1-102). The Virgin of the Air descends into the sea, where she is fertilized by the winds and waves and becomes the Water-Mother (103-176). A teal builds its nest on her knee, and lays eggs (177-212). The eggs fall from the nest and break, but the fragments form the earth, sky, sun, moon and clouds (213-244). The Water-Mother creates capes, bays, sea-shores, and the depths and shallows of the ocean (245-280). Vainamoinen is born from the Water-Mother, and is tossed about by the waves for a long time until he reaches the shore (281-344).
I am driven by my longing, And my understanding urges That I should commence my singing; And begin my recitation. I will sing the people's legends, And the ballads of the nation. To my mouth the words are flowing, And the words are gently falling, Quickly as my tongue can shape them, And between my teeth emerging. 10
Dearest friend, and much-loved brother, Best beloved of all companions, Come and let us sing together, Let us now begin our converse, Since at length we meet together, From two widely sundered regions. Rarely can we meet together, Rarely one can meet the other, In these dismal Northern regions, In the dreary land of Pohja. 20 Let us clasp our hands together, Let us interlock our fingers; Let us sing a cheerful measure, Let us use our best endeavours, While our dear ones hearken to us, And our loved ones are instructed, While the young are standing round us, Of the rising generation, Let them learn the words of magic. And recall our songs and legends, 30 Of the belt of Vainamoinen, Of the forge of Ilmarinen, And of Kaukomieli's sword-point, And of Joukahainen's crossbow: Of the utmost bounds of Pohja, And of Kalevala's wide heathlands.
These my father sang aforetime, As he carved his hatchet's handle, And my mother taught me likewise, As she turned around her spindle, When upon the floor, an infant, At her knees she saw me tumbling, 40 As a helpless child, milk-bearded, As a babe with mouth all milky. Tales about the Sampo failed not, Nor the magic spells of Louhi. Old at length became the Sampo; Louhi vanished with her magic; Vipunen while singing perished; Lemminkainen in his follies. 50
There are many other legends; Songs I learned of magic import; Some beside the pathway gathered; Others broken from the heather; Others wrested from the bushes; Others taken from the saplings, Gathered from the springing verdure, Or collected from the by-ways, As I passed along as herd-boy, As a child in cattle pastures, 60 On the hillocks, rich in honey, On the hills, for ever golden, After Muurikki, the black one, By the side of dappled Kimmo.
Then the Frost his songs recited, And the rain its legends taught me; Other songs the winds have wafted, Or the ocean waves have drifted; And their songs the birds have added, And the magic spells the tree-tops. 70
In a ball I bound them tightly; And arranged them in a bundle; On my little sledge I laid it, On my sleigh I laid the bundle; Home upon the sledge I brought it, Then into the barn conveyed it; In the storehouse loft I placed it, In a little box of copper.
In the cold my song was resting, Long remained in darkness hidden. 80 I must draw the songs from Coldness, From the Frost must I withdraw them, Bring my box into the chamber, On the bench-end lay the casket, Underneath this noble gable, Underneath this roof of beauty. Shall I ope my box of legends, And my chest where lays are treasured? Is the ball to be unravelled, And the bundle's knot unfastened? 90 Then I'll sing so grand a ballad, That it wondrously shall echo, While the ryebread I am eating, And the beer of barley drinking. But though ale should not be brought me, And though beer should not be offered, I will sing, though dry my throttle, Or will sing, with water only, To enhance our evening's pleasure, Celebrate the daylight's beauty, 100 Or the beauty of the daybreak, When another day is dawning.
I have often heard related, And have heard the song recited, How the nights closed ever lonely, And the days were shining lonely. Only born was Vainamoinen, And revealed the bard immortal, Sprung from the divine Creatrix, Born of Ilmatar, his mother. 110
Air's young daughter was a virgin, Fairest daughter of Creation. Long did she abide a virgin, All the long days of her girlhood, In the Air's own spacious mansions, In those far extending regions.
Wearily the time passed ever. And her life became a burden, Dwelling evermore so lonely, Always living as a maiden, 120 In the Air's own spacious mansions, In those far-extending deserts.
After this the maid descending, Sank upon the tossing billows, On the open ocean's surface, On the wide expanse of water.
Then a storm arose in fury, From the East a mighty tempest, And the sea was wildly foaming, And the waves dashed ever higher. 130
Thus the tempest rocked the virgin, And the billows drove the maiden, O'er the ocean's azure surface, On the crest of foaming billows, Till the wind that blew around her, And the sea woke life within her.
Then she bore her heavy burden, And the pain it brought upon her, Seven long centuries together, Nine times longer than a lifetime. 140 Yet no child was fashioned from her, And no offspring was perfected.
Thus she swam, the Water-Mother, East she swam, and westward swam she, Swam to north-west and to south-west, And around in all directions, In the sharpness of her torment, In her body's fearful anguish; Yet no child was fashioned from her, And no offspring was perfected. 150
Then she fell to weeping gently, And in words like these expressed her: "O how wretched is my fortune, Wandering thus, a child unhappy! I have wandered far already, And I dwell beneath the heaven, By the tempest tossed for ever, While the billows drive me onward. O'er this wide expanse of water, On the far-extending billows. 160
"Better were it had I tarried, Virgin in aerial regions, Then I should not drift for ever, As the Mother of the Waters. Here my life is cold and dreary, Every moment now is painful, Ever tossing on the billows, Ever floating on the water.
"Ukko, thou of Gods the highest, Ruler of the whole of heaven, 170 Hasten here, for thou art needed; Hasten here at my entreaty. Free the damsel from her burden, And release her from her tortures. Quickly haste, and yet more quickly, Where I long for thee so sorely."
Short the time that passed thereafter, Scarce a moment had passed over, Ere a beauteous teal came flying Lightly hovering o'er the water, 180 Seeking for a spot to rest in, Searching for a home to dwell in.
Eastward flew she, westward flew she. Flew to north-west and to southward, But the place she sought she found not, Not a spot, however barren, Where her nest she could establish, Or a resting-place could light on.
Then she hovered, slowly moving, And she pondered and reflected, 190 "If my nest in wind I 'stablish Or should rest it on the billows, Then the winds will overturn it, Or the waves will drift it from me."
Then the Mother of the Waters, Water-Mother, maid aerial, From the waves her knee uplifted, Raised her shoulder from the billows, That the teal her nest might 'stablish, And might find a peaceful dwelling. 200 Then the teal, the bird so beauteous, Hovered slow, and gazed around her, And she saw the knee uplifted From the blue waves of the ocean, And she thought she saw a hillock, Freshly green with springing verdure. There she flew, and hovered slowly, Gently on the knee alighting, And her nest she there established, And she laid her eggs all golden, 210 Six gold eggs she laid within it, And a seventh she laid of iron.
O'er her eggs the teal sat brooding, And the knee grew warm beneath her; And she sat one day, a second, Brooded also on the third day; Then the Mother of the Waters, Water-Mother, maid aerial, Felt it hot, and felt it hotter, And she felt her skin was heated, 220 Till she thought her knee was burning, And that all her veins were melting. Then she jerked her knee with quickness, And her limbs convulsive shaking, Rolled the eggs into the water, Down amid the waves of ocean, And to splinters they were broken, And to fragments they were shattered.
In the ooze they were not wasted, Nor the fragments in the water, 230 But a wondrous change came o'er them, And the fragments all grew lovely. From the cracked egg's lower fragment, Now the solid earth was fashioned, From the cracked egg's upper fragment, Rose the lofty arch of heaven, From the yolk, the upper portion, Now became the sun's bright lustre; From the white, the upper portion, Rose the moon that shines so brightly; 240 Whatso in the egg was mottled, Now became the stars in heaven, Whatso in the egg was blackish, In the air as cloudlets floated.
Now the time passed quickly over, And the years rolled quickly onward, In the new sun's shining lustre, In the new moon's softer beaming. Still the Water-Mother floated, Water-Mother, maid aerial, 250 Ever on the peaceful waters, On the billows' foamy surface, With the moving waves before her, And the heaven serene behind her.
When the ninth year had passed over, And the summer tenth was passing, From the sea her head she lifted, And her forehead she uplifted, And she then began Creation, And she brought the world to order, 260 On the open ocean's surface, On the far extending waters.
Wheresoe'er her hand she pointed, There she formed the jutting headlands; Wheresoe'er her feet she rested, There she formed the caves for fishes; When she dived beneath the water, There she formed the depths of ocean; When towards the land she turned her, There the level shores extended, 270 Where her feet to land extended, Spots were formed for salmon-netting; Where her head the land touched lightly, There the curving bays extended. Further from the land she floated, And abode in open water, And created rocks in ocean, And the reefs that eyes behold not, Where the ships are often shattered, And the sailors' lives are ended. 280
Now the isles were formed already, In the sea the rocks were planted; Pillars of the sky established, Lands and continents created; Rocks engraved as though with figures, And the hills were cleft with fissures. Still unborn was Vainamoinen; Still unborn, the bard immortal.
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Rested in his mother's body 290 For the space of thirty summers, And the sum of thirty winters, Ever on the placid waters, And upon the foaming billows.
So he pondered and reflected How he could continue living In a resting-place so gloomy, In a dwelling far too narrow, Where he could not see the moonlight, Neither could behold the sunlight. 300
Then he spake the words which follow, And expressed his thoughts in this wise:
"Aid me Moon, and Sun release me, And the Great Bear lend his counsel, Through the portal that I know not, Through the unaccustomed passage. From the little nest that holds me, From a dwelling-place so narrow, To the land conduct the roamer, To the open air conduct me, 310 To behold the moon in heaven, And the splendour of the sunlight; See the Great Bear's stars above me, And the shining stars in heaven."
When the moon no freedom gave him, Neither did the sun release him, Then he wearied of existence, And his life became a burden. Thereupon he moved the portal, With his finger, fourth in number, 320 Opened quick the bony gateway, With the toes upon his left foot, With his nails beyond the threshold, With his knees beyond the gateway.
Headlong in the water falling, With his hands the waves repelling, Thus the man remained in ocean, And the hero on the billows.
In the sea five years he sojourned, Waited five years, waited six years, 330 Seven years also, even eight years, On the surface of the ocean, By a nameless promontory, Near a barren, treeless country.
On the land his knees he planted, And upon his arms he rested, Rose that he might view the moonbeams, And enjoy the pleasant sunlight, See the Great Bear's stars above him, And the shining stars in heaven. 340
Thus was ancient Vainamoinen, He, the ever famous minstrel, Born of the divine Creatrix, Born of Ilmatar, his mother.
RUNO II.—VaINaMoINEN'S SOWING
Vainamoinen lands on a treeless country and directs Sampsa Pellervoinen to sow trees (1-42). At first the oak will not grow, but after repeated sowings it springs up, overshadows the whole country, and hides the sun and moon (43-110). A little man rises from the sea, who fells the oak, and permits the sun and moon to shine again (111-224). Birds sing in the trees; herbs, flowers and berries grow on the ground; only the barley will not spring up (225-256). Vainamoinen finds some barleycorns in the sand on the shore, and fells the forest, leaving only a birch-tree as a resting-place for the birds (257-264). The eagle, grateful for this, strikes fire, and the felled trees are consumed (265-284). Vainamoinen sows the barley, prays to Ukko for its increase, and it grows and flourishes (285-378).
Then did Vainamoinen, rising, Set his feet upon the surface Of a sea-encircled island, In a region bare of forest.
There he dwelt, while years passed over, And his dwelling he established On the silent, voiceless island, In a barren, treeless country.
Then he pondered and reflected, In his mind he turned it over, 10 "Who shall sow this barren country, Thickly scattering seeds around him?"
Pellervoinen, earth-begotten, Sampsa, youth of smallest stature, Came to sow the barren country, Thickly scattering seeds around him.
Down he stooped the seeds to scatter, On the land and in the marshes, Both in flat and sandy regions, And in hard and rocky places. 20 On the hills he sowed the pine-trees, On the knolls he sowed the fir-trees, And in sandy places heather; Leafy saplings in the valleys.
In the dales he sowed the birch-trees, In the loose earth sowed the alders, Where the ground was damp the cherries, Likewise in the marshes, sallows. Rowan-trees in holy places, Willows in the fenny regions, 30 Juniper in stony districts, Oaks upon the banks of rivers.
Now the trees sprang up and flourished, And the saplings sprouted bravely. With their bloom the firs were loaded, And the pines their boughs extended. In the dales the birch was sprouting, In the loose earth rose the alders, Where the ground was damp the cherries, Juniper in stony districts, 40 Loaded with its lovely berries; And the cherries likewise fruited.
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Came to view the work in progress, Where the land was sown by Sampsa, And where Pellervoinen laboured. While he saw the trees had flourished, And the saplings sprouted bravely, Yet had Jumala's tree, the oak-tree, Not struck down its root and sprouted. 50
Therefore to its fate he left it, Left it to enjoy its freedom, And he waited three nights longer, And as many days he waited. Then he went and gazed around him, When the week was quite completed. Yet had Jumala's tree, the oak-tree, Not struck down its root and sprouted.
Then he saw four lovely maidens; Five, like brides, from water rising; 60 And they mowed the grassy meadow, Down they cut the dewy herbage, On the cloud-encompassed headland, On the peaceful island's summit, What they mowed, they raked together, And in heaps the hay collected.
From the ocean rose up Tursas, From the waves arose the hero, And the heaps of hay he kindled, And the flames arose in fury. 70 All was soon consumed to ashes, Till the sparks were quite extinguished.
Then among the heaps of ashes, In the dryness of the ashes, There a tender germ he planted, Tender germ, of oak an acorn Whence the beauteous plant sprang upward, And the sapling grew and flourished, As from earth a strawberry rises, And it forked in both directions. 80 Then the branches wide extended, And the leaves were thickly scattered, And the summit rose to heaven, And its leaves in air expanded.
In their course the clouds it hindered, And the driving clouds impeded, And it hid the shining sunlight, And the gleaming of the moonlight.
Then the aged Vainamoinen, Pondered deeply and reflected, 90 "Is there none to fell the oak-tree, And o'erthrow the tree majestic? Sad is now the life of mortals, And for fish to swim is dismal, Since the air is void of sunlight, And the gleaming of the moonlight."
But they could not find a hero, Nowhere find a man so mighty, Who could fell the giant oak-tree, With its hundred spreading branches. 100
Then the aged Vainamoinen, Spoke the very words which follow; "Noble mother, who hast borne me, Luonnotar, who me hast nurtured; Send me powers from out the ocean: (Numerous are the powers of ocean) So that they may fell the oak-tree, And destroy the tree so baneful, That the sun may shine upon us. And the pleasant moonlight glimmer." 110
Then a man arose from ocean, From the waves a hero started, Not the hugest of the hugest, Nor the smallest of the smallest. As a man's thumb was his stature; Lofty as the span of woman.
Decked his head a helm of copper, On his feet were boots of copper, On his hands were copper gauntlets. Gloves adorned with copper tracings; 120 Round his waist his belt was copper; In his belt his axe was copper; And the haft thereof was thumb-long, And the blade thereof was nail-long.
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Deeply pondered and reflected: "While he seems a man in semblance, And a hero in appearance, Yet his height is but a thumb-length, Scarce as lofty as an ox-hoof." 130
Then he spoke the words which follow, And expressed himself in this wise: "Who are you, my little fellow, Most contemptible of heroes, Than a dead man scarcely stronger; And your beauty all has vanished."
Then the puny man from ocean, Hero of the floods, made answer: "I'm a man as you behold me, Small, but mighty water-hero, 140 I have come to fell the oak-tree, And to splinter it to fragments."
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Answered in the words which follow: "You have hardly been created, Neither made, nor so proportioned, As to fell this mighty oak-tree, Overthrow the tree stupendous."
Scarcely had the words been spoken, While his gaze was fixed upon him, 150 When the man transformed before him, And became a mighty hero. While his feet the earth were stamping, To the clouds his head he lifted, To his knees his beard was flowing, To his spurs his locks descended. Fathom-wide his eyes were parted, Fathom-wide his trousers measured; Round his knee the girth was greater, And around his hip 'twas doubled. 160 Then he sharpened keen the axe-blade, Brought the polished blade to sharpness; Six the stones on which he ground it, Seven the stones on which he whet it.
Then the man stepped forward lightly, Hastened on to do his mission; Wide his trousers, and they fluttered Round his legs as onward strode he, And the first step taken, brought him To the shore so soft and sandy; 170 With the second stride he landed On the dun ground further inland, And the third step brought him quickly, Where the oak itself was rooted.
With his axe he smote the oak-tree, With his sharpened blade he hewed it; Once he smote it, twice he smote it, And the third stroke wholly cleft it. From the axe the flame was flashing, Flame was bursting from the oak-tree, 180 As he strove to fell the oak-tree, Overthrow the tree stupendous. Thus the third blow was delivered, And the oak-tree fell before him, For the mighty tree was shattered, And the hundred boughs had fallen, And the trunk extended eastward, And the summit to the north-west, And the leaves were scattered southwards, And the branches to the northward. 190
He who took a branch from off it, Took prosperity unceasing, What was broken from the summit, Gave unending skill in magic; He who broke a leafy branchlet, Gathered with it love unending. What remained of fragments scattered, Chips of wood, and broken splinters, On the bright expanse of ocean, On the far-extending billows, 200 In the breeze were gently rocking, On the waves were lightly drifted. Like the boats on ocean's surface, Like the ships amid the sea-waves.
Northward drove the wind the fragments, Where the little maid of Pohja, Stood on beach, and washed her head-dress, And she washed her clothes and rinsed them, On the shingle by the ocean, On a tongue of land projecting. 210
On the waves she saw the fragments, Put them in her birchbark wallet, In her wallet took them homeward; In the well-closed yard she stored them, For the arrows of the sorcerer, For the chase to furnish weapons.
When the oak at last had fallen, And the evil tree was levelled, Once again the sun shone brightly, And the pleasant moonlight glimmered, 220 And the clouds extended widely, And the rainbow spanned the heavens, O'er the cloud-encompassed headland, And the island's misty summit.
Then the wastes were clothed with verdure, And the woods grew up and flourished; Leaves on trees and grass in meadows. In the trees the birds were singing, Loudly sang the cheery throstle; In the tree-tops called the cuckoo. 230
Then the earth brought forth her berries; Shone the fields with golden blossoms; Herbs of every species flourished; Plants and trees of all descriptions; But the barley would not flourish, Nor the precious seed would ripen.
Then the aged Vainamoinen, Walked around, and deeply pondered, By the blue waves' sandy margin, On the mighty ocean's border, 240 And six grains of corn he found there, Seven fine seeds of corn he found there, On the borders of the ocean, On the yielding sandy margin. In a marten's skin he placed them, From the leg of summer squirrel.
Then he went to sow the fallows; On the ground the seeds to scatter, Near to Kaleva's own fountain, And upon the field of Osmo. 250
From a tree there chirped the titmouse: "Osmo's barley will not flourish, Nor will Kaleva's oats prosper, While untilled remains the country, And uncleared remains the forest, Nor the fire has burned it over."
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Ground his axe-blade edge to sharpness And began to fell the forest, Toiling hard to clear the country. 260 All the lovely trees he levelled, Sparing but a single birch-tree, That the birds might rest upon it, And from thence might call the cuckoo.
In the sky there soared an eagle, Of the birds of air the greatest, And he came and gazed around him. "Wherefore is the work unfinished, And the birch-tree still unfallen? Wherefore spare the beauteous birch-tree?"
Said the aged Vainamoinen, 270 "Therefore is the birch left standing, That the birds may perch upon it; All the birds of air may rest there."
Said the bird of air, the eagle, "Very wisely hast thou acted, Thus to leave the birch-tree standing And the lovely tree unfallen, That the birds may perch upon it, And that I myself may rest there."
Then the bird of air struck fire, 280 And the flames rose up in brightness, While the north wind fanned the forest, And the north-east wind blew fiercely. All the trees were burned to ashes, Till the sparks were quite extinguished.
Then the aged Vainamoinen, Took the six seeds from his satchel, And he took the seven small kernels, From the marten's skin he took them, From the leg of summer squirrel, 290 From the leg of summer ermine.
Then he went to sow the country, And to scatter seeds around him, And he spoke the words which follow; "Now I stoop the seeds to scatter, As from the Creator's fingers, From the hand of Him Almighty, That the country may be fertile, And the corn may grow and flourish.
"Patroness of lowland country, 300 Old one of the plains; Earth-Mother, Let the tender blade spring upward, Let the earth support and cherish. Might of earth will never fail us, Never while the earth existeth, When the Givers are propitious. And Creation's daughters aid us.
"Rise, O earth; from out thy slumber, Field of the Creator, rouse thee, Make the blade arise and flourish. 310 Let the stalks grow up and lengthen, That the ears may grow by thousands, Yet a hundredfold increasing, By my ploughing and my sowing, In return for all my labour.
"Ukko, thou of Gods the highest. Father, thou in heaven abiding, Thou to whom the clouds are subject. Of the scattered clouds the ruler, 320 All thy clouds do thou assemble, In the light make clear thy counsel, Send thou forth a cloud from eastwards In the north-west let one gather, Send thou others from the westward, Let them drive along from southward. Send the light rain forth from heaven, Let the clouds distil with honey, That the corn may sprout up strongly, And the stalks may wave and rustle." 330
Ukko, then, of Gods the highest, Father of the highest heaven, Heard, and all the clouds assembled. In the light made clear his counsel, And he sent a cloud from eastward. In the north-west let one gather, Others, too, he sent from westward, Let them drive along from southward, Linked them edge to edge together, And he closed the rifts between them. 340 Then he sent the rain from heaven, And the clouds distilled sweet honey, That the corn might sprout up stronger, And the stalks might wave and rustle. Thus the sprouting germ was nourished, And the rustling stalks grew upward, From the soft earth of the cornfield. Through the toil of Vainamoinen.
After this, two days passed over, After two nights, after three nights, 350 When the week was full completed, Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Wandered forth to see the progress; How his ploughing and his sowing And his labours had resulted. There he found the barley growing, And the ears were all six-cornered, And the stalks were all three-knotted.
Then the aged Vainamoinen Wandered on and gazed around him, 360 And the cuckoo, bird of springtime, Came and saw the birch-tree growing. "Wherefore is the birch left standing, And unfelled the slender birch-tree?"
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "Therefore is the birch left standing, And unfelled the slender birch-tree, As a perch for thee, O Cuckoo; Whence the cuckoo's cry may echo. From thy sand-hued throat cry sweetly, 370 With thy silver voice call loudly, With thy tin-like voice cry clearly, Call at morning, call at evening, And at noontide call thou likewise, To rejoice my plains surrounding, That my woods may grow more cheerful, That my coast may grow more wealthy, And my region grow more fruitful."
RUNO III.—VaINaMoINEN AND JOUKAHAINEN
Vainamoinen increases in wisdom and composes songs (1-20). Joukahainen sets out to contend with him in wisdom; but as he cannot overcome him, he challenges him to a duel, whereupon Vainamoinen grows angry, and sinks him in a swamp by his magic songs (21-330). Joukahainen, in great distress, finally offers his sister Aino in marriage to Vainamoinen, who accepts the offer and releases him (331-476). Joukahainen returns home discomfited, and relates his misfortunes to his mother (477-524). The mother rejoices at the prospect of such an alliance, but the daughter laments and weeps (525-580).
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast Passed the days of his existence Where lie Vainola's sweet meadows, Kalevala's extended heathlands: There he sang his songs of sweetness Sang his songs and proved his wisdom.
Day by day he sang unwearied, Night by night discoursed unceasing, Sang the songs of by-gone ages, Hidden words of ancient wisdom, 10 Songs which all the children sing not. All beyond men's comprehension, In these ages of misfortune, When the race is near Its ending.
Far away the news was carried, Far abroad was spread the tidings Of the songs of Vainamoinen, Of the wisdom of the hero; In the south was spread the rumour; Reached to Pohjola the tidings. 20
Here dwelt youthful Joukahainen, He, the meagre youth of Lapland; And, when visiting the village, Wondrous tales he heard related, How there dwelt another minstrel, And that better songs were carolled. Far in Vainola's sweet meadows, Kalevala's extended heathlands; Better songs than he could compass; Better than his father taught him. 30
This he heard with great displeasure, And his heart was filled with envy That the songs of Vainamoinen Better than his own were reckoned. Then he went to seek his mother; Sought her out, the aged woman, And declared that he would journey, And was eager to betake him, Unto Vainola's far dwellings, That he might contend with Vaino. 40
But his father straight forbade him. Both his father and his mother, Thence to Vainola to journey, That he might contend with Vaino. "He will surely sing against you, Sing against you, and will ban you, Sink your mouth and head in snow-drifts, And your hands in bitter tempest: Till your hands and feet are stiffened, And incapable of motion." 50
Said the youthful Joukahainen, "Good the counsel of my father, And my mother's counsel better; Best of all my own opinion. I will set myself against him, And defy him to a contest, I myself my songs will sing him, I myself will speak my mantras; Sing until the best of minstrels Shall become the worst of singers. 60 Shoes of stone will I provide him, Wooden trousers on his haunches; On his breast a stony burden, And a rock upon his shoulders; Stony gloves his hands shall cover. And his head a stony helmet."
Then he went his way unheeding, Went his way, and fetched his gelding, From whose mouth the fire was flashing, 'Neath whose legs the sparks were flying. 70 Then the fiery steed he harnessed, To the golden sledge he yoked him, In the sledge himself he mounted, And upon the seat he sat him, O'er the horse his whip he brandished, With the beaded whip he smote him, From the place the horse sprang quickly, And he darted lightly forwards.
On he drove with thundering clatter, As he drove a day, a second, 80 Driving also on the third day, And at length upon the third day, Came to Vainola's sweet meadows, Kalevala's extended heathlands.
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, He, the oldest of magicians, As it chanced was driving onward, Peacefully his course pursuing On through Vainola's sweet meadows, Kalevala's extended heathlands. 90
Came the youthful Joukahainen Driving on the road against him, And the shafts were wedged together, And the reins were all entangled, And the collar jammed with collar, And the runners dashed together.
Thus their progress was arrested, Thus they halted and reflected; Sweat dropped down upon the runners; From the shafts the steam was rising. 100
Asked the aged Vainamoinen, "Who are you, and what your lineage, You who drive so reckless onward, Utterly without reflection? Broken are the horses' collars, And the wooden runners likewise; You have smashed my sledge to pieces. Broke the sledge in which I travelled."
Then the youthful Joukahainen Answered in the words which follow: 110 "I am youthful Joukahainen; But yourself should also tell me, What your race, and what your nation, And from what vile stock you issue."
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Told his name without concealment, And began to speak as follows: "Youth, if you are Joukahainen, You should move aside a little. For remember, you are younger." 120
But the youthful Joukahainen Answered in the words which follow: "Here of youthfulness we reck not; Nought doth youth or age concern us, He who highest stands in knowledge, He whose wisdom is the greatest, Let him keep the path before him, And the other yield the passage. If you are old Vainamoinen, And the oldest of the minstrels, 130 Let us give ourselves to singing, Let us now repeat our sayings, That the one may teach the other. And the one surpass the other,"
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Answered in the words which follow: "What can I myself accomplish As a wise man or a singer? I have passed my life in quiet, Here among these very moorlands, 140 On the borders of my home-field I have heard the cuckoo calling. But apart from this at present, I will ask you to inform me What may be your greatest wisdom; And the utmost of your knowledge?"
Said the youthful Joukahainen, "Many things I know in fulness, And I know with perfect clearness, And my insight shows me plainly, 150 In the roof we find the smoke-hole, And the fire is near the hearthstone.
"Joyful life the seal is leading, In the waves there sports the sea-dog, And he feeds upon the salmon, And the powans round about him.
"Smooth the water loved by powans, Smooth the surface, too, for salmon; And in frost the pike is spawning, Slimy fish in wintry weather. 160 Sluggish is the perch, the humpback, In the depths it swims in autumn, But it spawns in drought of summer, Swimming slowly to the margin.
"If this does not yet suffice you, I am wise in other matters, And of weighty things can tell you. In the north they plough with reindeer, In the south the mare is useful, And the elk In furthest Lapland. 170
"Trees I know on Pisa mountain, Firs upon the rocks of Horna, Tall the trees on Pisa mountain, And the firs on rocks of Horna.
"Three great waterfalls I know of, And as many lakes extensive, And as many lofty mountains, Underneath the vault of heaven. Hallapyora is in Hame, Karjala has Kaatrakoski, 180 But they do not match the Vuoksi, There where Imatra is rushing."
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "Childish tales, and woman's wisdom, But for bearded men unsuited, And for married men unfitted. Tell me words of deepest wisdom. Tell me now of things eternal."
Then the youthful Joukahainen Answered in the words which follow: 190 "Well I know whence comes the titmouse, That the titmouse is a birdie, And a snake the hissing viper, And the ruffe a fish in water. And I know that hard is iron, And that mud when black is bitter. Painful, too, is boiling water, And the heat of fire is hurtful, Water is the oldest medicine, Cataract's foam a magic potion; 200 The Creator's self a sorcerer, Jumala the Great Magician.
"From the rock springs forth the water, And the fire from heaven descendeth, And from ore we get the iron, And in hills we find the copper.
"Marshy country is the oldest, And the first of trees the willow. Pine-roots were the oldest houses, And the earliest pots were stone ones." 210
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Answered in the words which follow: "Is there more that you can tell me, Or is this the end of nonsense?"
Said the youthful Joukahainen, "Many little things I wot of, And the time I well remember When 'twas I who ploughed the ocean, Hollowed out the depths of ocean, And I dug the caves for fishes, 220 And I sunk the deep abysses, When the lakes I first created, And I heaped the hills together. And the rocky mountains fashioned.
"Then I stood with six great heroes! I myself the seventh among them. When the earth was first created, And the air above expanded; For the sky I fixed the pillars. And I reared the arch of heaven, 230 To the moon assigned his journey, Helped the sun upon his pathway, To the Bear his place appointed, And the stars in heaven I scattered,"
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "Ay, indeed, a shameless liar! You at least were never present When the ocean first was furrowed, And the ocean depths were hollowed. And the caves were dug for fishes, 240 And the deep abysses sunken, And the lakes were first created, When the hills were heaped together, And the rocky mountains fashioned.
"No one ever yet had seen you, None had seen you, none had heard you. When the earth was first created, And the air above expanded, When the posts of heaven were planted, And the arch of heaven exalted, 250 When the moon was shown his pathway, And the sun was taught to journey, When the Bear was fixed in heaven, And the stars in heaven were scattered."
But the youthful Joukahainen Answered in the words which follow: "If I fail in understanding, I will seek it at the sword-point. O thou aged Vainamoinen, O thou very broad-mouthed minstrel, 260 Let us measure swords together, Let the blade decide between us."
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "I have little cause to fret me Either for your sword or wisdom, For your sword-point or your judgment. But, apart from this at present, I will draw no sword upon you, So contemptible a fellow, And so pitiful a weakling." 270
Then the youthful Joukahainen Shook his head, his mouth drawn crooked, And he tossed his locks of blackness. And he spake the words which follow:
"He who shuns the sword's decision, Nor betakes him to his sword-blade, To a swine I soon will sing him, To a snouted swine transform him. Heroes I have thus o'erpowered, Hither will I drive and thither. 280 And will pitch them on the dunghill, Grunting in the cowshed corner."
Angry then was Vainamoinen, Filled with wrath and indignation, And himself commenced his singing, And to speak his words of wisdom. But he sang no childish ditties, Children's songs and women's jesting, But a song for bearded heroes, Such as all the children sing not, 290 Nor a half the boys can master, Nor a third can lovers compass, In the days of dark misfortune, When our life is near its ending.
Sang the aged Vainamoinen; Lakes swelled up, and earth was shaken, And the coppery mountains trembled. And the mighty rocks resounded. And the mountains clove asunder; On the shore the stones were shivered. 300 Then he sang of Joukahainen, Changed his runners into saplings, And to willows changed the collar, And the reins he turned to alder, And he sang the sledge all gilded, To the lake among the rushes, And the whip, with beads embellished, To a reed upon the water, And the horse, with front white-spotted To a stone beside the torrent. 310
Then he sang his sword, gold-hilted, To a lightning-flash in heaven, And his ornamented crossbow, To a rainbow o'er the water, And he sang his feathered arrows, Into hawks that soar above him; And his dog, with upturned muzzle, Stands a stone in earth embedded.
From his head, his cap, by singing, Next became a cloud above him, 320 From his hands, his gloves, by singing, Next were changed to water-lilies, And the blue coat he was wearing, Floats a fleecy cloud in heaven, And the handsome belt that girt him, In the sky as stars he scattered.
As he sang, sank Joukahainen Waist-deep in the swamp beneath him, Hip-deep in the marshy meadow, To his arm-pits in a quicksand. 330 Then indeed young Joukahainen Knew at last, and comprehended; And he knew his course was finished, And his journey now was ended. For in singing he was beaten, By the aged Vainamoinen.
He would raise his foot to struggle But he could no longer lift it; Then he tried to lift the other, But as shod with stone he felt it. 340
Then the youthful Joukahainen Felt the greatest pain and anguish, And he fell in grievous trouble, And he spoke the words which follow: "O thou wisest Vainamoinen, O thou oldest of magicians, Speak thy words of magic backwards, And reverse thy songs of magic. Loose me from this place of terror, And release me from my torment. 350 I will pay the highest ransom, And the fixed reward will give thee."
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "What do you propose to give me, If I turn my words of magic, And reverse my songs of magic, Loose you from this place of terror, And release you from your torment?"
Said the youthful Joukahainen, "I've two crossbows I could give you, 360 Ay, a pair of splendid crossbows, One shoots forth with passing quickness, Surely hits the mark the other. If it please you, choose between them."
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "No, your bows I do not covet, For the wretched bows I care not; I myself have plenty of them. All the walls are decked with crossbows, All the pegs are hung with crossbows; 370 In the woods they wander hunting, Nor a hero needs to span them."
Then the youthful Joukahainen In the swamp he sang yet deeper. Said the youthful Joukahainen, "I have yet two boats to offer; Splendid boats, as I can witness, One is light, and fit for racing, Heavy loads will bear the other; If it please you, choose between them." 380
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "No, your boats I do not covet, And I will not choose between them, I myself have plenty of them. All the staves are full already, Every creek is crowded with them, Boats to face the gale adapted, Boats against the wind that travel."
Then the youthful Joukahainen, in the swamp he sang yet deeper. 390
Said the youthful Joukahainen, "I have still two noble stallions; Ay, a pair of handsome horses; One of these of matchless swiftness, And the other best in harness. If it please you, choose between them."
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "No, I do not want your horses; Do not need your steeds, white-footed. I myself have plenty of them. 400 Every stall has now its tenant, Every stable's filled with horses, With their backs like water shining; Lakes of fat upon their haunches."
Then the youthful Joukahainen, In the swamp he sang yet deeper.
Said the youthful Joukahainen, "O thou aged Vainamoinen, Speak thy words of magic backwards, And reverse thy songs of magic. 410 I will give a golden helmet, And a hat filled up with silver, Which my father won in warfare, Which he won in battle-struggle."
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "No, I do not want your silver, And for gold, I only scorn it. I myself have both in plenty. Every storeroom crammed with treasure. Every chest is overflowing. 420 Gold as ancient as the moonlight, Silver with the sun coeval."
Then the youthful Joukahainen In the swamp he sang yet deeper.
Said the youthful Joukahainen, "O thou aged Vainamoinen, Loose me from this place of terror, And release me from my torment. All my stacks at home I'll give thee, And my fields I likewise promise, 430 All to save my life I offer, If you will accept my ransom."
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "No, your barns I do not covet, And your fields are 'neath my notice, I myself have plenty of them. Fields are mine in all directions, Stocks are reared on every fallow, And my own fields please me better, And my stacks of corn are finest." 440
Then the youthful Joukahainen In the swamp he sang yet deeper.
Then the youthful Joukahainen, Felt at length the greatest anguish, Chin-deep in the swamp while sinking, In the mud his beard was draggled, In the moss his mouth was sunken, And his teeth among the tree-roots.
Said the youthful Joukahainen, "O thou wisest Vainamoinen, 450 O thou oldest of magicians, Sing once more thy songs of magic, Grant the life of one so wretched, And release me from my prison. In the stream my feet are sunken, With the sand my eyes are smarting.
"Speak thy words of magic backwards, Break the spell that overwhelms me! You shall have my sister Aino, I will give my mother's daughter. 460 She shall dust your chamber for you, Sweep the flooring with her besom, Keep the milk-pots all in order; And shall wash your garments for you. Golden fabrics she shall weave you, And shall bake you cakes of honey."
Then the aged Vainamoinen, Heard his words, and grew full joyful, Since to tend his age was promised Joukahainen's lovely sister. 470
On the stone of joy he sat him, On the stone of song he rested, Sang an hour, and sang a second, And again he sang a third time: Thus reversed his words of magic, And dissolved the spell completely.
Then the youthful Joukahainen From the mud his chin uplifted, And his beard he disentangled, From the rock his steed led forward, 480 Drew his sledge from out the bushes, From the reeds his whip unloosing.
Then upon his sledge he mounted, And upon the seat he sat him, And with gloomy thoughts he hastened, With a heart all sad and doleful, Homeward to his dearest mother, Unto her, the aged woman.
On he drove with noise and tumult, Home he drove in consternation, 490 And he broke the sledge to pieces, At the door the shafts were broken.
Then the noise alarmed his mother, And his father came and asked him, "Recklessly the sledge was broken; Did you break the shafts on purpose? Wherefore do you drive so rashly, And arrive at home so madly?"
Then the youthful Joukahainen Could not keep his tears from flowing; 500 Sad he bowed his head in sorrow, And his cap awry he shifted, And his lips were dry and stiffened, O'er his mouth his nose was drooping.
Then his mother came and asked him Wherefore was he sunk in sorrow. "O my son, why weep so sadly? O my darling, why so troubled, With thy lips so dry and stiffened, O'er thy mouth thy nose thus drooping?" 510
Said the youthful Joukahainen, "O my mother, who hast borne me, There is cause for what has happened, For the sorcerer has o'ercome me. Cause enough have I for weeping, And the sorcerer's brought me sorrow. I myself must weep for ever, And must pass my life in mourning, For my very sister Aino, She, my dearest mother's daughter, 520 I have pledged to Vainamoinen, As the consort of the minstrel, To support his feeble footsteps, And to wait upon him always."
Joyous clapped her hands his mother, Both her hands she rubbed together, And she spoke the words which follow: "Do not weep, my son, my dearest, For thy tears are quite uncalled for. Little cause have we to sorrow, 530 For the hope I long have cherished. All my lifetime I have wished it, And have hoped this high-born hero Might akin to us be reckoned, And the minstrel Vainamoinen Might become my daughter's husband."
But when Joukahainen's sister Heard, she wept in deepest sorrow, Wept one day, and wept a second, At the threshold ever weeping, 540 Wept in overwhelming sorrow, In the sadness of her spirit.
Then her mother said consoling, "Wherefore weep, my little Aino? You have gained a valiant bridegroom, And the home of one most noble, Where you'll look from out the window, Sitting on the bench and talking."
But her daughter heard and answered, "O my mother who hast borne me, 550 Therefore have I cause for weeping, Weeping for the beauteous tresses, Now my youthful head adorning, And my hair so soft and glossy, Which must now be wholly hidden, While I still am young and blooming.
"Then must I through lifetime sorrow For the splendour of the sunlight, And the moonbeam's charming lustre And the glory of the heavens, 560 Which I leave, while still so youthful, And as child must quite abandon, I must leave my brother's work-room, Just beyond my father's window."
Said the mother to the daughter, To the girl the crone made answer, "Cast away this foolish sorrow, Cease your weeping, all uncalled for, Little cause have you for sorrow, Little cause for lamentation. 570 God's bright sun is ever shining On the world in other regions, Shines on other doors and windows Than your father's or your brother's; Berries grow on every mountain, Strawberries on the plains are growing, You can pluck them in your sorrow Wheresoe'er your steps may lead you; Not alone on father's acres, Or upon your brother's clearings." 580
RUNO IV.—THE FATE OF AINO
Vainamoinen meets Aino in the wood and addresses her (1-20). Aino hurries home weeping, and informs her mother (21-116). Her mother forbids her to weep, and tells her to rejoice, and to adorn herself handsomely (117-188). Aino continues to weep, and declares that she will never take a very old man as her husband (189-254). She wanders sorrowfully into the wild woods, and reaches the banks of a strange unknown lake, where she goes to bathe, and is lost in the water (255-370). The animals commission the hare to carry the tidings of Aino's death to her home (371-434). Her mother weeps for her night and day (435-518).
Then the little maiden Aino, Youthful Joukahainen's sister, Went for besoms to the greenwood, Sought for bath-whisks in the bushes; One she gathered for her father, And a second for her mother, And she gathered yet another, For her young and ruddy brother.
As she turned her footsteps homeward, Pushing through the alder-bushes, 10 Came the aged Vainamoinen, And he saw her in the thicket, Finely clad among the herbage, And he spoke the words which follow. "Maiden, do not wear for others, But for me alone, O maiden, Round thy neck a beaded necklace, And a cross upon thy bosom. Plait for me thy beauteous tresses, Bind thy hair with silken ribands." 20
But the young maid gave him answer, "Not for thee, and not for others, Rests the cross upon my bosom, And my hair is bound with ribands. Nought I care for sea-borne raiment; Wheaten bread I do not value. I will walk in home-spun garments, And with crusts will still my hunger, In my dearest father's dwelling, And beside my much-loved mother." 30
From her breast she took the crosslet, Drew the rings from off her fingers, From her neck the beaded necklace, From her head the scarlet ribands. Down upon the ground she threw them, Scattered them among the bushes; Then she hastened, ever weeping, Loud lamenting, to the homestead.
At the window sat her father, While he carved a hatchet-handle. 40 "Wherefore weepest thou, my daughter, Young, and yet so full of sadness?"
"Cause enough have I for weeping, Cause for weeping and lamenting. Therefore weep I, dearest father, Weep, and feel so full of sorrow. From my breast I lost the crosslet, From my belt I dropped the buckle, From my breast my silver crosslet, From my waist the copper girdle." 50
At the gate, her brother sitting, For the sledge was shaping runners. "Wherefore weepest thou, my sister, Young, and yet so full of sorrow?"
"Cause enough have I for weeping, Cause for weeping and lamenting. Therefore do I weep, poor brother, Weep, and feel so full of sorrow. Rings I lost from off my fingers, From my neck my beaded necklace, 60 And my finger-rings were golden, And my necklace-beads were silver."
At the window sat her sister, As she wove a golden girdle "Wherefore weepest thou, poor sister, Young, and yet so full of sorrow?"
"Cause enough have I for weeping, Cause for weeping and lamenting. Therefore do I weep, poor sister, Weep and feel so full of sorrow. 70 From my brow the gold has fallen, From my hair I lost the silver, Tore the blue bands from my temples, From my head the scarlet braiding."
On the threshold of the storehouse, Skimming milk, she found her mother. "Wherefore weepest thou, my daughter, Young, and yet so full of sorrow?"
"O my mother, who hast borne me, O my mother, who hast nursed me, 80 Cause enough have I for anguish, Cause enough for bitter sorrow. Therefore do I weep, poor mother, Therefore grieve I, O my mother, To the wood I went for besoms, Gathered bath-whisks from the bushes; One I gathered for my father, One I gathered for my mother, And I gathered yet another, For my young and ruddy brother. 90 As I turned my footsteps homeward, And across the heath was tripping, From the dell there called Osmoinen, From the field cried Kalevainen,
"Do not wear, fair maid, for others, But for me alone, poor maiden, Round thy neck a beaded necklace, And a cross upon thy bosom. Plait for me thy beauteous tresses, Braid thy hair with silken ribands." 100
"From my breast I took the crosslet, From my neck the beaded necklace, Tore the blue bands from my temples, From my head the scarlet ribands, Then upon the ground I threw them, Scattered them among the bushes, And I answered him in this wise: 'Not for thee, and not for others, Rests my cross upon my bosom, And my hair is bound with ribands. 110 Nought I care for sea-borne raiment, Wheaten bread I do not value. I will walk in home-spun garments, And with crusts will still my hunger, In my dearest father's dwelling, And beside my much-loved mother.'"
And her mother answered thus wise, Said the old crone to the maiden, "Do not weep, my dearest daughter, Do not grieve (and thou so youthful); 120 Eat a whole year long fresh butter, That your form may grow more rounded, Eat thou pork the second season, That your form may grow more charming, And the third year eat thou cream-cakes, That you may become more lovely. Seek the storehouse on the mountain, There the finest chamber open. There are coffers piled on coffers, Chests in heaps on chests are loaded, 130 Open then the finest coffer, Raise the painted lid with clangour, There you'll find six golden girdles, Seven blue robes of finest texture, Woven by the Moon's own daughter, By the Sun's own daughter fashioned.
"In the days when I was youthful, In my youthful days of girlhood, In the wood I sought for berries, Gathered raspberries on the mountain, 140 Heard the moonlight's daughter weaving, And the sunlight's daughter spinning, There beside the wooded island, On the borders of the greenwood.
"Thereupon I softly neared them, And beside them took my station, And began to ask them gently, In the words that I repeat you: 'Give you of your gold, O Kuutar, And your silver give, Paivatar, 150 To the maiden poorly dowered, To the child who now implores you!'
"Then her gold did Kuutar give me. And her silver gave Paivatar. With the gold I decked my temples, And adorned my head with silver, Homeward like a flower I hastened, Joyful, to my father's dwelling.
"These I wore one day, a second. Then upon the third day after 160 Took the gold from off my temples. From my head removed the silver, Took them to the mountain storehouse; In the chest with care I laid them, There until this day I left them, And since then I have not seen them.
"On thy brows bind silken ribands On thy temples gold adornments, Round thy neck a beaded necklace, On thy breast a golden crosslet. 170 Put thou on a shift of linen, Of the finest flax that's woven, Lay thou on a robe of woollen, Bind it with a silken girdle, Then the finest silken stockings, And of shoes the very finest, Then In plaits thy hair arranging, Bind it up with silken ribands, Slip the gold rings on thy fingers, Deck thy wrists with golden bracelets. 180 After this return thou homewards From thy visit to the storehouse, As the joy of all thy kindred, And of all thy race the fairest, Like a floweret by the wayside, Like a raspberry on the mountain; Far more lovely than aforetime, Fairer than in former seasons."
Thus the mother urged her counsel, Thus she spoke unto her daughter, 190 But the daughter did not heed her, Heeded not her mother's counsel. From the house she wandered weeping, From the homestead went in sorrow, And she said the words which follow, And expressed herself in this wise: 'What may be the joyous feelings, And the thoughts of one rejoicing? Such may be the joyous feelings, And the thoughts of one rejoicing; 200 Like the dancing of the water On the waves when gently swelling. What do mournful thoughts resemble? What the long-tailed duck may ponder? Such may mournful thoughts resemble, Thus the long-tailed duck may ponder, As 'neath frozen snow embedded, Water deep in well imprisoned.
"Often now my life is clouded. Often is my childhood troubled, 210 And my thoughts like withered herbage. As I wander through the bushes, Wandering on through grassy meadows, Pushing through the tangled thickets, And my thoughts are pitch for blackness And my heart than soot not brighter.
"Better fortune had befel me, And it would have been more happy. Had I not been born and nurtured, And had never grown in stature, 220 Till I saw these days of sorrow, And this joyless time o'ertook me, Had I died in six nights only, Or upon the eighth had perished. Much I should not then have needed, But a shroud a span-long only, And of earth a tiny corner. Little then had wept my mother, Fewer tears had shed my father, And my brother not a tearlet." 230
Thus she wept a day, a second. And again her mother asked her, "Wherefore dost thou weep, poor maiden. Wherefore thus lament and sorrow?"
"Therefore weep I, hapless maiden, Therefore do I weep for ever, That yourself have pledged me, hapless. And your daughter you have promised Thus to be an old man's comfort, As a solace to the old man, 240 To support his feeble footsteps, And to wait upon him always. Better were it had you sent me Deeply down beneath the billows, There to be the powan's sister, And companion of the fishes. In the lake 'tis surely better There beneath the waves to sojourn, There to be the powan's sister. And companion of the fishes, 250 Than to be an old man's comfort. To support his aged footsteps, So that I can mend his stockings, And may be a staff to prop him."
Then she sought the mountain storehouse, And the inner room she entered; And the finest chest she opened, Raised the painted lid with clangour, And she found six golden girdles, Seven blue robes of finest textures, 260 And she robed her in the finest, And completed her adornment. Set the gold upon her temples, On her hair the shining silver, On her brow the sky-blue ribands, On her head the bands of scarlet.
Then she wandered from the storehouses, And across the fields she wandered, Past the marshes, and the heathlands, Through the shady, gloomy forests. 270 Thus she sang, as on she hastened, Thus she spoke, as on she wandered: "All my heart is filled with trouble; On my head a stone is loaded. But my trouble would not vex me, And the weight would less oppress me, If I perished, hapless maiden, Ending thus my life of sorrow, In the burden of my trouble, In the sadness of my sorrow. 280
"Now my time perchance approaches, From this weary world to hasten, Time to seek the world of Mana, Time to Tuonela to hasten, For my father will not mourn me, Nor my mother will lament me, Nor my sister's cheeks be moistened, Nor my brother's eyes be tearful, If I sank beneath the waters, Sinking where the fish are sporting, 290 To the depths beneath the billows, Down amid the oozy blackness."
On she went, one day, a second, And at length, upon the third day, Came she to a lake's broad margin, To the bank, o'ergrown with rushes. And she reached it in the night-time, And she halted in the darkness.
In the evening wept the maiden, Through the darksome night lamented, 300 On the rocks that fringed the margin, Where a bay spread wide before her. At the earliest dawn of morning, As she gazed from off a headland, Just beyond she saw three maidens, Bathing there amid the waters, Aino made the fourth among then, And the fifth a slender sapling.
Then her shift she cast on willows, And her dress upon the aspens, 310 On the open ground her stockings, Threw her shoes upon the boulders, On the sand her beads she scattered, And her rings upon the shingle.
In the waves a rock was standing, Brightly hued and golden shining; And she swam and sought to reach it, As a refuge in her trouble.
When at length she stood upon it, And would rest upon the summit, 320 On the stone of many colours, On the rock so smooth and shining, In the waves it sank beneath her, Sinking to the very bottom. With the rock, the maiden Aino Sank beneath the water's surface.
There the dove for ever vanished, Thus the luckless maiden perished, She herself exclaimed in dying, When she felt that she was sinking: 330 "To the lake I went to bathe me, And to swim upon its surface, But, like tender dove, I vanished, Like a bird by death o'ertaken. Never may my dearest father, Never while his life endureth, Cast his net amid the waters, In these waves, so wide extending.
"To the shore I went to wash me, To the lake I went to bathe me, 340 But, like tender dove, I vanished, Like a bird by death overtaken. Never may my dearest mother, Never while her life endureth, Fetch the water for her baking, From the wide bay near her dwelling.
"To the shore I went to wash me, To the lake I went to bathe me, But, like tender dove, I vanished, Like a bird by death o'ertaken. 350 Never may my dearest brother, Never while his life endureth, Water here his prancing courser, Here upon the broad lake's margin
"To the shore I went to wash me, To the lake I went to bathe me, But, like tender dove, I vanished, Like a bird by death overtaken. Never may my dearest sister, Never while her life endureth, 360 Hither stay to wash her eyebrows, On the bridge so near her dwelling. In the lake the very water Is as blood that leaves my veinlets; Every fish that swims this water, Is as flesh from off my body; All the bushes on the margin Are as ribs of me unhappy; And the grass upon the margin As my soiled and tangled tresses." 370
Thus the youthful maiden perished, And the dove so lovely vanished.
Who shall now the tidings carry. And repeat the mournful story, At the dwelling of the maiden, At the homestead of the fair one?
First the bear would take the tidings, And repeat the mournful story; But the bear conveyed no tidings, For he strayed among the cattle. 380 Who shall now the tidings carry, And repeat the mournful story. At the dwelling of the maiden. At the homestead of the fair one?
Then the wolf would take the message, And repeat the mournful story; But the wolf conveyed no tidings, For among the sheep he wandered.
Who shall now the tidings carry, And repeat the mournful story, 390 At the dwelling of the maiden, At the homestead of the fair one?
Then the fox would take the message, And repeat the mournful story; But the fox conveyed no tidings, For among the geese he wandered.
Who shall now the tidings carry, And repeat the mournful story, At the dwelling of the maiden, At the homestead of the fair one? 400
'Twas the hare who took the tidings, And conveyed the mournful story; For the hare replied discreetly, "I will not forget the message."
Then the hare sprang quickly onward, Sped the Long-ear with his story, On his crooked legs he hastened, With his cross-like mouth he hurried, To the dwelling of the maiden, To the homestead of the fair one. 410
Thus he hastened to the bath-house And he crouched upon the threshold. Full of maidens is the bath-house, In their hands the bath-whisks holding. "Scamp, come here; and shall we boil you, Or, O Broad-eye, shall we roast you, Either for the master's supper, Or perchance the mistress' breakfast, For the luncheon of the daughter, Or perchance the son to dine on?" 420
Thereupon the hare responded, And the Round-eye answered boldly, "Would that Lempo might come hither For the cooking in the kettle! I am come to give you tidings, And to bring a message to you. Vanished from you is the fair one, Perished has the tin-adorned one. Sunken with her silver buckle, Drowning with her belt of copper, 430 Diving in the muddy water, To the depths below the billows, There to be the powan's sister, And companion of the fishes."
Then her mother fell to weeping, And her bitter tears flowed freely, And she loud lamented, speaking In her grief the words which follow: "Never, O unhappy mothers, Never while your life endureth, 440 Never may you urge your daughters, Or attempt to force your children To a marriage that repels them, Like myself, O wretched mother, Urging vainly thus my daughter, Thus my little dove I fostered."
Thus the mother wept, lamenting, And her bitter tears flowed freely From her blue eyes in her sadness, O'er her cheeks, so pale with sorrow. 450
After one tear flowed another, And her bitter tears flowed freely From her cheeks, so pale with sorrow, To her breast, so sadly heaving.
After one tear flowed another, And her bitter tears flowed freely From her breast, so sadly heaving, On the borders of her garments.
After one tear flowed another, And her bitter tears flowed freely 460 From the borders of her garments Down upon her scarlet stockings.
After one tear flowed another, And her bitter tears flowed freely Down from off her scarlet stockings To her shoes, all gold-embroidered.
After one tear flowed another, And her bitter tears flowed freely From her shoes, all gold-embroidered, On the ground where she was standing. 470 As they flowed, the ground they moistened. And they swelled to streams of water.
On the ground the streams were flowing, And became the source of rivers; Thence arose three mighty rivers From the tears of bitter weeping, Which were ever ceaseless flowing From the weeping mother's eyelids.
From each stream that thus was fashioned, Rushed three waterfalls in fury, 480 And amid each cataract's flowing. Three great rocks arose together. And on every rocky summit There arose a golden mountain. And on every mountain summit Up there sprang three beauteous birch-trees, In the crown of every birch-tree, Golden cuckoos three were perching.
All at once they called together, And the first cried, "Sweetheart, sweetheart!" 490 And the second, "Lover, lover!" And the third cried, "Gladness, gladness!"
He who cried out, "Sweetheart, sweetheart!" Sang his song for three months running, For the young and loveless maiden, Resting now beneath the water.
He who cried out, "Lover, lover!" Sang his song for six months running, Sang to the unhappy suitor, Who must sorrow through his lifetime. 500
He who cried out, "Gladness, gladness!" Sang his song for all a lifetime; Sang to the unhappy mother, Who must daily weep for ever.
And the mother spoke as follows! As she listened to the cuckoo: "Never may a hapless mother Listen to the cuckoo crying! When I hear the cuckoo calling. Heavy beats my heart within me. 510 From my eyes the tears are falling O'er my cheeks are waters rolling. And the drops like peas are swelling. Than the largest broad-beans larger. By an ell my life is shortened, By a span-length I am older, And my strength has wholly failed me, Since I heard the cuckoo calling,"
RUNO V.—VaINaMoINEN'S FISHING
Vainamoinen fishes for Joukahainen's sister in the lake, and draws her into his boat in the form of a fish (1-72). He is about to cut her to pieces when she slips from his hand into the lake, and tells him who she is (73-133). Vainamoinen tries to persuade her to return to him, and then fishes for her, but in vain (134-163). He returns home disconsolate, and his dead mother advises him to woo the Maiden of Pohja (164-241).
Now the tidings were repeated, And the news was widely rumoured, How the youthful maid had perished, And the fair one had departed.
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Deeply sorrowed at the tidings; Wept at evening, wept at morning, Spent the livelong night in weeping, For the fair one who had perished, For the maiden who had slumbered, 10 In the muddy lake downsunken To the depths below the billows.
Then he went, in sorrow sighing, While his heart was filled with anguish, To the blue lake's rocky margin, And he spoke the words which follow: "Tell me, Untamo, thou sleeper, Tell me all thy dreams, O idler, Where to find the realm of Ahto, Where dwell Vellamo's fair maidens?" 20
Sleeper Untamo made answer, And his dreams he thus repeated: "There has Ahto fixed his country, There dwell Vellamo's fair maidens, Near the cloud-encompassed headland, Near the ever-misty island, In the depths below the billows, On the black ooze at the bottom.
"There has Ahto fixed his country, There dwell Vellamo's fair maidens, 30 Living in a narrow chamber, In a little room abiding, With the walls of varied marble, In the depths beside the headland."
Then the aged Vainamoinen Hastened to his little vessel, And he scanned his fishing-tackle, And his hooks with care inspected; Put the tackle in his pocket, And the barbed hooks in his wallet. 40 Through the waves his boat he ferried, Making for the jutting headland, To the cape, with clouds encompassed, And the ever-misty island.
Then he set about his fishing, And he watched his angle closely, And he held his hand-net ready, Dropped his angle in the water, And he fished, and tried his fortune, While the rod of copper trembled, 50 And the thread of silver whistled, And the golden line whirred loudly.
And at length one day it happened, Very early in the morning, On his hook a fish was hanging, And a salmon-trout was captured. In the boat he drew it quickly, And upon the planks he cast it.
Then he scanned the fish, and turned it, And he spoke the words which follow; 60 "'Tis a fish, among the fishes, For I never saw its equal, Smoother is it than a powan, Than a salmon-trout more yellow, Greyer than a pike I deem it, For a female fish too finless, For a male 'tis far too scaleless; Has no tresses, like a maiden, Nor, like water-nymphs, 'tis belted; Nor is earless like a pigeon; 70 It resembles most a salmon, Or a perch from deepest water."
In his waistband Vainamoinen Bore a case-knife, silver-hafted, And he drew the knife of sharpness. Drew the case-knife, silver-hafted, And prepared to slit the salmon, And to cut the fish to pieces, Thought to eat it for his breakfast. Or a snack to make his luncheon, 80 To provide him with a dinner, And a plenteous supper likewise.
As he would have slit the salmon. And would cut the fish to pieces, Sprang the salmon in the water, For the beauteous fish jumped sideways From the planking of the red boat, From the boat of Vainamoinen.
Thereupon her head she lifted, Raised her shoulders from the water, 90 On the fifth wave's watery hillock, From the sixth high wave emerging, Then her hands in air uplifted, And displayed her left foot also, When the seventh wave roses upswelling, And upon the ninth wave's summit.
Thereupon the fish addressed him, And it spoke, and thus protested: "O thou aged Vainamoinen, Surely I have not come hither, 100 Like a salmon, to be slaughtered, Or a fish, to cut to pieces, Only to become your breakfast, Or a snack to make your luncheon, To provide you with a dinner. And a plenteous supper likewise."
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "Wherefore didst thou then come hither?"
"Therefore 'tis that I have sought thee, In thine arm like dove to nestle, 110 By thy side to sit for ever, On thy knee, as consort sitting, To prepare the couch to rest thee, And to smooth thy pillow for thee, Keep thy little room in order, And to sweep the flooring for thee, In thy room to light the fire, And to fan the flames up brightly, There large loaves of bread to bake thee, Cakes of honey to prepare thee, 120 And thy jug of beer to fill thee, And thy dinner set before thee.
"I am not a water-salmon, Not a perch from deepest water, But a young and lovely maiden, Youthful Joukahainen's sister, Whom thou all thy life hast longed for, Whom thou hast so long desired.
"O thou pitiful old creature, Vainamoinen, void of wisdom, 130 Thou hadst not the wit to hold me, Vellamo's young water-maiden, Me, the darling child of Ahto!"
Said the aged Vainamoinen, Head bowed down, and deeply grieving, "Sister thou of Joukahainen, Once again return, I pray thee."
But she never more came near him, Ne'er again throughout his lifetime; For she turned away, and, diving, 140 Vanished from the water's surface Down among the rocks so varied, In a liver-coloured crevice.
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Pondered deeply, and reflected, What to do, and what was needful Quick he wove a net all silken, And he drew it straight and crossways, Through the reach, and then across it, Drew it through the quiet waters, 150 Through the depths beloved by salmons And through Vainola's deep waters. And by Kalevala's sharp headlands, Through the deep, dark watery caverns, And the wide expanse of water, And through Joukola's great rivers, And across the bays of Lapland.
Other fish he caught in plenty, All the fishes of the waters, Only not the fish he sought for, 160 Which he kept in mind for ever, Never Vellamo's fair maiden, Not the dearest child of Ahto.
Then the aged Vainamoinen, Bowed his head, lamenting deeply, With his cap adjusted sideways, And he spoke the words which follow: "O how grievous is my folly, Weak am I in manly wisdom, Once indeed was understanding, 170 Insight too conferred upon me, And my heart was great within me; Such in former times my portion. But in days that now are passing. In the evil days upon me, Now my strength with age is failing, All my understanding weakens And my insight has departed, All my judgment is perverted.
"She for whom long years I waited, 180 Whom for half my life I longed for, Vellamo's fair water-maiden, Youngest daughter of the surges. Who should be my friend for ever, And my wife throughout my lifetime, Came and seized the bait I offered, In my boat sprang unresisting, But I knew not how to hold her, To my home I could not take her, But she plunged amid the waters, 190 Diving to the depths profoundest."
Then he wandered on a little, And he walked, in sadness sighing, To his home direct returning, And he spoke the words which follow: "Once indeed the birds were singing, And my joyous cuckoo hailed me, Both at morning and at evening, Likewise, too, in midday hours. What has stilled their lively music, 200 And has hushed their charming voices? Care has stilled their lively music, Sorrow checked their cheerful voices, Therefore do they sing no longer, Neither at the sun's declining, To rejoice me in the evening, Nor to cheer me in the morning.
"Now no more can I consider How to shape my course of action, How upon the earth to sojourn, 210 How throughout the world to travel. Would my mother now were living, And my aged mother waking! She would surely tell me truly How to best support my trouble, That my grief may not o'erwhelm me, And my sorrow may not crush me, In these weary days of evil, In this time of deep depression."
In her grave his mother wakened, 220 Answered from beneath the billows: "Still thy mother lives and hears thee, And thy aged mother wakens, That she plainly may advise thee. How to best support thy trouble. That thy grief may not o'erwhelm thee, And thy sorrow may not crush thee, In these weary days of evil, In these days of deep depression. Seek thou out the maids of Pohja, 230 Where the daughters are more handsome, And the maidens twice as lovely, And are five or six times nimbler, Not like lazy girls of Jouko, Lapland's fat and sluggish daughters.