Then the aged Vainamoinen, Answered in the words which follow: "All the truth I now will tell you, Though at first I lied a little. Forth I fare to woo a maiden, Seek the favour of a maiden, In the gloomy land of Pohja, Sariola, for ever misty, In the land where men are eaten, Where they even drown the heroes." 200
Annikki, the ever-famous, Night's fair daughter, maid of twilight, When she knew the truth for certain, All the truth, without evasion, Down she threw her caps unwashen, And unrinsed she left the clothing, On the bench she left them lying, Where the red bridge has its ending, In her hand her gown she gathered, In her hand the folds collecting, 210 And began from thence to hasten, And with rapid pace she hurried, Till at length she reached the smithy. To the forge at once she hastened.
There she found smith Ilmarinen, He the great primeval craftsman. And he forged a bench of iron, And adorned it all with silver. Cubit-high his head was sooted, On his shoulders ash by fathoms. 220
Annikki the door then entered, And she spoke the words which follow: "Smith and brother Ilmarinen, Thou the great primeval craftsman, Forge me now a weaver's shuttle, Pretty rings to deck my fingers, Golden earrings, two or three pairs, Five or six linked girdles make me, For most weighty truth I'll tell you, All the truth without evasion." 230
Said the smith, said Ilmarinen, "If you tell me news important, Then a shuttle will I forge you, Pretty rings to deck your fingers, And a cross upon your bosom, And the finest head-dress forge you. If the words you speak are evil, All your ornaments I'll shatter, Tear them off to feed the furnace, And beneath the forge will thrust them." 240
Annikki, the ever-famous, Answered in the words which follow: "O thou smith, O Ilmarinen, Do you still propose to marry Her, the bride who once was promised, And as wife was pledged unto you?
"While you weld and hammer always, Ever working with your hammer, Making horseshoes in the summer, Iron horseshoes for the winter, 250 Working at your sledge at night-time, And its frame in daytime shaping, Forth to journey to your wooing, And to Pohjola to travel, One more cunning goes before you, And another speeds beyond you, And your own will capture from you, And your love will ravish from you, Whom two years ago thou sawest, Whom two years agone thou wooed'st. 260 Know that Vainamoinen journeys O'er the blue waves of the ocean, In a boat with prow all golden, Steering with his copper rudder, To the gloomy land of Pohja, Sariola, for ever misty."
To the smith came grievous trouble. To the iron-worker sorrow. From his grasp the tongs slid downward, From his hand he dropped the hammer. 270
Said the smith, said Ilmarinen, "Annikki, my little sister, I will forge you now a shuttle. Pretty rings to deck your fingers, Golden earrings, two or three pairs, Five or six linked girdles make you. Warm for me the pleasant bathroom, Fill the room with fragrant vapour, Let the logs you burn be small ones, And the fire with chips be kindled, 280 And prepare me too some ashes, And some soap in haste provide me, That I wash my head and cleanse it, And I may make white my body From the coal-dust of the autumn, From the forge throughout the winter."
Annikki, whose name was famous, Heated secretly the bathroom, With the boughs the wind had broken, And the thunderbolt had shattered. 290 Stones she gathered from the river, Heated them till they were ready, Cheerfully she fetched the water, From the holy well she brought it, Broke some bath-whisks from the bushes, Charming bath-whisks from the thickets, And she warmed the honeyed bath-whisks, On the honeyed stones she warmed them, Then with milk she mixed the ashes, And she made him soap of marrow, 300 And she worked the soap to lather, Kneaded then the soap to lather, That his head might cleanse the bridegroom, And might cleanse himself completely.
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, He the great primeval craftsman, Wrought the maiden what she wished for, And he wrought a splendid head-dress, While she made the bathroom ready, And she put the bath in order. 310 In her hands he placed the trinkets, And the maiden thus addressed him: "Now the bathroom's filled with vapour, And the vapour-bath I've heated, And have steeped the bath-whisks nicely, Choosing out the best among them. Bathe, O brother, at your pleasures, Pouring water as you need it, Wash your head to flaxen colour, Till your eyes shine out like snowflakes." 320
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, Went to take the bath he needed, There he bathed himself at pleasure, And he washed himself to whiteness, Washed his eyes until they sparkled, And his temples till they glistened, And his neck to hen's-egg whiteness, And his body all was shining. From the bath the room he entered, Changed so much they scarcely knew him, 330 For his face it shone with beauty, And his cheeks were cleansed and rosy.
Then he spoke the words which follow: "Annikki, my little sister, Bring me now a shirt of linen, And the best of raiment bring me, That I robe myself completely, And may deck me like a bridegroom."
Annikki, the ever-famous, Brought him then a shirt of linen, 340 For his limbs no longer sweating, For his body all uncovered. Then she brought well-fitting trousers, Which his mother had been sewing, For his hips, no longer sooty, And his legs were fully covered.
Then she brought him finest stockings, Which, as maid, had wove his mother, And with these his shins he covered, And his calves were hidden by them. 350 Then she brought him shoes that fitted, Best of Saxon boots she brought him, And with these the stockings covered Which his mother sewed as maiden; Then a coat of blue she chose him, With a liver-coloured lining, Covering thus the shirt of linen, Which of finest flax was fashioned, Then an overcoat of woollen, Of four kinds of cloth constructed, 360 O'er the coat of bluish colour, Of the very latest fashion, And a new fur, thousand-buttoned, And a hundredfold more splendid, O'er the overcoat of woollen, And the cloth completely hiding; Round his waist a belt she fastened, And the belt was gold-embroidered, Which his mother wrought as maiden, Wrought it when a fair-haired maiden, 370 Brightly-coloured gloves she brought him, Gold-embroidered, for his fingers, Which the Lapland children fashioned; On his handsome hands he drew them, Then a high-crowned hat she brought him (On his golden locks she placed it) Which his father once had purchased, When as bridegroom he adorned him.
Thus the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, Clothed himself, and made him ready, 380 Robed himself, and made him handsome, And his servant he commanded: "Yoke me now a rapid courser, In the sledge adorned so finely, That I start upon my journey, And to Pohjola may travel."
Thereupon the servant answered, "Horses six are in the stable, Horses six, on oats that fatten; Which among them shall I yoke you?" 390
Said the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, "Take the best of all the stallions, Put the foal into the harness, Yoke before the sledge the chestnut, Then provide me with six cuckoos, Seven blue birds at once provide me, That upon the frame they perch them, And may sing their cheerful music, That the fair ones may behold them, And the maidens be delighted. 400 Then provide me with a bearskin, That I seat myself upon it, And a second hide of walrus, That the bright-hued sledge is covered."
Thereupon the skilful servant, He the servant paid with wages, Put the colt into the harness, Yoked before the sledge the chestnut, And provided six fine cuckoos, Seven blue birds at once provided, 410 That upon the frame should perch them, And should sing their cheerful music; And a bearskin next provided, That his lord should sit upon it, And another hide of walrus, And with this the sledge he covered.
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, He the great primeval craftsman, Sent aloft his prayer to Ukko, And he thus besought the Thunderer: 420 "Scatter forth thy snow, O Ukko, Let the snowflakes soft be drifted, That the sledge may glide o'er snowfields, O'er the snow-drifts gliding swiftly."
Then the snow did Ukko scatter, And the snowflakes soft were drifted, Till the heath-stems all were covered, On the ground the berry-bushes.
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, In his sledge of iron sat him, 430 And he spoke the words which follow, And in words like these expressed him: "On my reins attend good fortune, Jumala my sledge protecting, That my reins good fortune fail not, Nor my sledge may break, O Jumala!"
In one hand the reins he gathered, And the whip he grasped with other, O'er the horse the whip he brandished, And he spoke the words which follow: 440 "Whitebrow, speed thou quickly onward, Haste away, O flaxen-maned one."
On the way the horse sprang forward, On the water's sandy margin, By the shores of Sound of Sima, Past the hills with alders covered. On the shore the sledge went rattling, On the beach the shingle clattered. In his eyes the sand was flying, To his breast splashed up the water. 450 Thus he drove one day, a second, Drove upon the third day likewise, And at length upon the third day, Overtook old Vainamoinen, And he spoke the words which follow, And in words like these expressed him: "O thou aged Vainamoinen, Let us make a friendly compact, That although we both are seeking, And we both would woo the maiden, 460 Yet by force we will not seize her, Nor against her will shall wed her."
Said the aged Vainamoinen, "I will make a friendly compact, That we will not seize the maiden, Nor against her will shall wed her. Let the maiden now be given To the husband whom she chooses, That we nurse not long vexation, Nor a lasting feud be fostered." 470
Further on their way they travelled, On the path that each had chosen; Sped the boat, the shore re-echoed, Ran the horse, the earth resounded.
But a short time passed thereafter, Very short the time elapsing, Ere the grey-brown dog was barking, And the house-dog loudly baying, In the gloomy land of Pohja, Sariola, for ever cloudy, 480 Sooner still the dog was growling, But with less-continued growling, By the borders of the cornfield, 'Gainst the ground his tail was wagging.
Then exclaimed the Lord of Pohja, "Go, my daughter, to discover Why the grey-brown dog is barking, And the long-eared dog is baying."
But the daughter made him answer: "I have not the time, my father, 490 I must clean the largest cowshed, Tend our herd of many cattle, Grind the corn between the millstones, Through the sieve must sift the flour, Grind the corn to finest flour, And the grinder is but feeble."
Gently barked the castle's Hiisi, And again the dog was growling, And again said Pohja's Master: "Go, old dame, and look about you, 500 See why barks the grey-brown house-dog, Why the castle-dog is growling."
But the old dame made him answer: "This is not a time for talking, For my household cares are heavy, And I must prepare the dinner, And must bake a loaf enormous, And for this the dough be kneading, Bake the loaf of finest flour, And the baker is but feeble." 510
Thereupon said Pohja's Master: "Women they are always hurried, And the maidens always busy, When before the stove they roast them, When they in their beds are lying; Son, go you, and look around you."
Thereupon the son made answer: "I've no time to look about me; I must grind the blunted hatchet, Chop a log of wood to pieces, 520 Chop to bits the largest wood-pile, And to faggots small reduce it. Large the pile, and small the faggots, And the workman of the weakest."
Still the castle-dog was barking, And the yard-dog still was barking, And the furious whelp was baying, And the island watch-dog howling, Sitting by the furthest cornfield, And his tail was briskly wagging. 530
Then again said Pohja's Master, "Not for nought the dog is barking, Never has he barked for nothing, Never growls he at the fir-trees."
So he went to reconnoitre, And he walked across the courtyard, To the cornfield's furthest borders, To the path beyond the ploughed land. Gazed he where the dog's snout pointed, Where he saw his muzzle pointing, 540 To the hill where storms are raging, To the hills where grow the alders, Then he saw the truth most clearly, Why the grey-brown dog was barking, And the pride of earth was baying, And the woolly-tailed one howling, For he saw a red boat sailing Out amid the Bay of Lempi, And a handsome sledge was driving On the shore of Sound of Sima. 550
After this the Lord of Pohja To the house returned directly, And beneath the roof he hastened, And he spoke the words which follow: "There are strangers swiftly sailing O'er the blue lake's watery surface, And a gaudy sledge is gliding On the shore of Sound of Sima; And a large boat is approaching To the shore of Bay of Lempi." 560
Then said Pohjola's old Mistress, "Whence shall we obtain an omen Why these strangers here are coming? O my little waiting-maiden, On the fire lay rowan-faggots. And the best log in its glowing. If the log with blood is flowing, Then the strangers come for battle, If the log exudes clear water, Then is peace abiding with us." 570
Then the little maid of Pohja, She, the modest waiting-maiden, On the fire laid rowan-faggots, Placed the best log in its glowing. From the log no blood was trickling, Nor did water trickle from it; From the log there oozed forth honey, From the log dripped down the nectar.
From the corner spoke Suovakko, Spoke the old dame 'neath the blankets: 580 "From the log if oozes honey, From the log if drips the nectar, Then the strangers who are coming, May be ranked as noble suitors."
Then did Pohja's aged Mistress, Pohja's old dame, Pohja's daughter, To the courtyard fencing hasten, Hurry quick across the courtyard, And they gazed across the water, To the south their heads then turning, 590 And they saw from thence approaching, Swift a ship of novel fashion, Of a hundred planks constructed, Out upon the Bay of Lempi. Underneath the boat looked bluish, But the sails of crimson colour. In the stern there sat a hero, At the copper rudder's handle, And they saw a stallion trotting With a red sledge strange of aspect, 600 And the gaudy sledge was speeding On the shore of Sound of Sima, And they saw six golden cuckoos, Perching on the frame, and calling, Seven blue birds were likewise perching On the reins, and these were singing; And a stalwart hero, sitting In the sledge, the reins was holding.
Then said Pohjola's old Mistress, And she spoke the words which follow: 610 "Whom will you accept as husband, If they really come to woo you, As a life-companion woo you, Dove-like in his arms to nestle?
"He who in the boat is sailing, In the red boat fast approaching, Out upon the Bay of Lempi, Is the aged Vainamoinen. In the boat he brings provisions, And of treasures brings a cargo. 620
"He who in the sledge is driving, In the gaudy sledge is speeding, On the shore of Sound of Sima, Is the smith named Ilmarinen. He with empty hands is coming; Filled his sledge with spells of magic.
"Therefore if the room they enter, Bring them then the mead in tankard, In the two-eared tankard bring it, And in his hands place the tankard 630 Whom thou dost desire to follow; Choose thou Vainola's great hero, He whose boat with wealth is loaded, And of treasures brings a cargo."
But the lovely maid of Pohja, Thus made answer to her mother: "O my mother who hast borne me, O my mother who hast reared me, Nothing do I care for riches, Nor a man profound in wisdom, 640 But a man of lofty forehead, One whose every limb is handsome. Never once in former ages, Gave a maid her life in thiswise. I, a maid undowered, will follow Ilmarinen, skilful craftsman, He it was who forged the Sampo, And the coloured cover welded."
Then said Pohja's aged Mistress, "O indeed, my child, my lambkin, 650 If you go with Ilmarinen, From whose brow the sweat falls freely, You must wash the blacksmith's aprons, And the blacksmith's head wash likewise."
But the daughter gave her answer, In the very words which follow: "Him from Vainola I choose not, Nor an aged man will care for, For an old man is a nuisance, And an aged man would vex me." 660
Then did aged Vainamoinen Reach his journey's end the soonest, And he steered his crimson vessel, Brought his boat of bluish colour To the rollers steel-constructed, To the landing-stage of copper. After this the house he entered, Underneath the roof he hastened, And upon the floor spoke loudly, Near the door beneath the rafters, 670 And he spoke the words which follow, And expressed himself in thiswise: "Wilt thou come with me, O maiden, Evermore as my companion, Wife-like on my knees to seat thee, In my arms as dove to nestle?"
Then the lovely maid of Pohja, Answered in the words which follow: "Have you then the boat constructed, Built the large and handsome vessel, 680 From the splinters of my spindle, From the fragments of my shuttle?"
Then the aged Vainamoinen Answered in the words which follow: "I have built a noble vessel And a splendid boat constructed, Strongly built to face the tempests, And the winds its course opposing, As It cleaves the tossing billows, O'er the surface of the water, 690 Bladder-like amid the surges, As a leaf, by current drifted, Over Pohjola's wide waters, And across the foaming billows."
Then the lovely maid of Pohja, Answered in the words which follow: "Nothing do I reck of seamen, Heroes boasting of the billows! Drives the wind their minds to ocean, And their thoughts the east wind saddens: 700 Therefore thee I cannot follow, Never pledge myself unto thee, Evermore as thy companion, In thy arms as dove to nestle, Spread the couch whereon thou sleepest, For thy head arrange the pillows."
RUNO XIX.—THE EXPLOITS AND BETROTHAL OF ILMARINEN
Ilmarinen arrives at the homestead of Pohjola, woos the daughter of the house, and perilous tasks are assigned to him (1-32). Aided by the advice of the Maiden of Pohja he succeeds in performing the tasks successfully. Firstly, he ploughs a field of serpent, secondly, he captures the Bear of Tuoni and the Wolf of Manala, and thirdly, he captures a large and terrible pike in the river of Tuonela (33-344). The Mistress of Pohjola promises and betroths her daughter to Ilmarinen (345-498). Vainamoinen returns from Pohjola in low spirits, and warns every one against going wooing in company with a younger man (499-518).
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, He the great primeval craftsman, Came himself into the chamber, And beneath the roof he hastened.
Brought the maid of mead a beaker, Placed a can of drink of honey In the hands of Ilmarinen, And the smith spoke out as follows: "Never while my life is left me, Long as shines the golden moonlight, 10 Will I taste the drink before me, Till my own is granted to me, She for whom so long I waited, She for whom so long I pined for."
Then said Pohjola's old Mistress, In the very words which follow: "Trouble great befalls the suitor, Comes to her for whom he waiteth; One shoe still remains unfitted, And unfitted is the other; 20 But the bride is waiting for you, And you may indeed receive her, If you plough the field of vipers, Where the writhing snakes are swarming, But without a plough employing, And without a ploughshare guiding. Once the field was ploughed by Hiisi, Lempo seamed it next with furrows, With the ploughshare formed of copper, With the plough in furnace smelted; 30 But my own son, most unhappy, Left the half untilled behind him."
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, Sought the maiden in her chamber, And he spoke the words which follow: "Night's own daughter, twilight maiden, Do you not the time remember, When I forged the Sampo for you, And the brilliant cover welded, And a binding oath thou sweared'st, 40 By the God whom all men worship, 'Fore the face of Him Almighty, And you gave a certain promise Unto me, the mighty hero, You would be my friend for ever, Dove-like in my arms to nestle? Nothing will your mother grant me, Nor will she her daughter give me, Till I plough the field of vipers, Where the writhing snakes are swarming." 50
Then his bride assistance lent him, And advice the maiden gave him: "O thou smith, O Ilmarinen, Thou the great primeval craftsman! Forge thyself a plough all golden, Cunningly bedecked with silver, Then go plough the field of serpents, Where the writhing snakes are swarming."
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, Laid the gold upon the anvil, 60 Worked the bellows on the silver, And he forged the plough he needed, And he forged him shoes of iron; Greaves of steel he next constructed, And with these his feet he covered, Those upon his shins he fastened; And he donned an iron mail-coat, With a belt of steel he girt him, Took a pair of iron gauntlets, Gauntlets like to stone for hardness; 70 Then he chose a horse of mettle, And he yoked the steed so noble, And he went to plough the acre, And the open field to furrow. There he saw the heads all rearing, Saw the heads that hissed unceasing, And he spoke the words which follow: "O thou snake, whom God created, You who lift your head so proudly, Who is friendly and will hearken, 80 Rearing up your head so proudly, And your neck so proudly lifting; From my path at once remove you, Creep, thou wretch, among the stubble, Creeping down among the bushes, Or where greenest grass is growing! If you lift your head from out it, Ukko then your head shall shatter, With his sharp and steel-tipped arrows, With a mighty hail of iron." 90
Then he ploughed the field of vipers, Furrowed all the land of serpents, From the furrows raised the vipers, Drove the serpents all before him, And he said, returning homeward: "I have ploughed the field of vipers, Furrowed all the land of serpents, Driven before me all the serpents: Will you give me now your daughter, And unite me with my darling?" 100
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress, Answer in the words which follow: "I will only give the maiden, And unite you with my daughter, If you catch the Bear of Tuoni, Bridle, too, the Wolf of Mana, Far in Tuonela's great forest, In the distant realms of Mana. Hundreds have gone forth to yoke them; Never one returned in safety." 110
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, Sought the maiden in her chamber, And he spoke the words which follow: "Now the task is laid upon me, Manala's fierce wolves to bridle, And to hunt the bears of Tuoni, Far in Tuonela's great forest, In the distant realms of Mana."
Then his bride assistance lent him, And advice the maiden gave him. 120 "O thou smith, O Ilmarinen, Thou the great primeval craftsman! Forge thee bits, of steel the hardest, Forge thee muzzles wrought of iron, Sitting on a rock in water, Where the cataracts fall all foaming. Hunt thou then the Bears of Tuoni, And the Wolves of Mana bridle."
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, He the great primeval craftsman, 130 Forged him bits, of steel the hardest, Forged him muzzles wrought of iron, Sitting on a rock in water, Where the cataracts fall all foaming.
Then he went the beasts to fetter, And he spoke the words which follow: "Terhenetar, Cloudland's daughter! With the cloud-sieve sift thou quickly, And disperse thy mists around me, Where the beasts I seek are lurking, 140 That they may not hear me moving, That they may not flee before me."
Then the Wolf's great jaws he muzzled, And with iron the Bear he fettered, On the barren heaths of Tuoni, In the blue depths of the forest. And he said, returning homeward: "Give me now your daughter, old one. Here I bring the Bear of Tuoni, And the Wolf of Mana muzzled." 150
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress Answer in the words which follow: "I will give you first the duckling, And the blue-winged duck will give you, When the pike, so huge and scaly, He the fish so plump and floundering. You shall bring from Tuoni's river, And from Manala's abysses; But without a net to lift it, Using not a hand to grasp it. 160 Hundreds have gone forth to seek it, Never one returned in safety."
Then there came distress upon him, And affliction overwhelmed him, As he sought the maiden's chamber, And he spoke the words which follow: "Now a task is laid upon me, Greater still than all the former; For the pike, so huge and scaly, He the fish so plump and floundering, 170 I must bring from Tuoni's river, From the eternal stream of Mana, But with neither snare nor drag-net, Nor with help of other tackle."
Then his bride assistance lent him, And advice the maiden gave him. "O thou smith, O Ilmarinen, Do thou not be so despondent! Forge thee now a fiery eagle. Forge a bird of fire all flaming! 180 This the mighty pike shall capture, Drag the fish so plump and floundering, From the murky stream of Tuoni, And from Manala's abysses."
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, Deathless artist of the smithy, Forged himself a fiery eagle, Forged a bird of fire all flaming, And of iron he forged the talons, Forged the claws of steel the hardest, 190 Wings like sides of boat constructed; Then upon the wings he mounted, On the eagle's back he sat him, On the wing-bones of the eagle.
Then he spoke unto the eagle, And the mighty bird instructed: "O my eagle, bird I fashioned, Fly thou forth, where I shall order, To the turbid stream of Tuoni, And to Manala's abysses: 200 Seize the pike, so huge and scaly, He the fish so plump and floundering."
Then the bird, that noble eagle, Took his flight, and upward soarings, Forth he flew the pike to capture, Fish with teeth of size terrific, In the river-depths of Tuoni, Down in Manala's abysses: To the water stretched a pinion, And the other touched the heavens; 210 In the sea he dipped his talons, On the cliffs his beak he whetted.
Thus the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, Journeyed forth to seek his booty In the depths of Tuoni's river, While the eagle watched beside him. From the water rose a kelpie And it clutched at Ilmarinen, By the neck the eagle seized it, And the kelpie's head he twisted. 220 To the bottom down he forced it, To the black mud at the bottom.
Then came forth the pike of Tuoni, And the water-dog came onward. Not a small pike of the smallest, Nor a large pike of the largest; Long his tongue as twain of axe-shafts, Long his teeth as rake-shaft measures, Wide his gorge as three great rivers, Seven boats' length his back extended, 230 And the smith he sought to seize on, And to swallow Ilmarinen.
But the eagle rushed against him, And the bird of air attacked him; Not an eagle of the small ones, Nor an eagle of the large ones. Long his beak as hundred fathoms, Wide his gorge as six great rivers, Six spears' length his tongue extended, Five scythes' length his talons measured 240 And he saw the pike so scaly, Saw the fish so plump and floundering. Fiercely on the fish he darted, Rushed against the fish so scaly.
Then the pike so large and scaly, He the fish so plump and floundering, Tried to drag the eagle's pinions Underneath the sparkling waters, But the eagle swift ascended, Up into the air he raised him, 250 From the grimy ooze he raised him, To the sparkling water o'er it.
Back and forth the eagle hovered, And again he made an effort, And he struck one talon fiercely In the pike's terrific shoulders, In the water-dog's great backbone, And he fixed the other talon Firmly in the steel-hard mountain, In the rocks as hard as iron. 260 From the stone slipped off the talon, Slipped from off the rocky mountain, And the pike again dived downward, In the water slid the monster, Slipped from off the eagle's talons, From the great bird's claws terrific, But his sides were scored most deeply, And his shoulders cleft asunder.
Once again, with iron talons, 270 Swooped again the furious eagle, With his wings all fiery glowing, And his eyes like flame that sparkled, Seized the pike with mighty talons, Grasped the water-dog securely, Dragged the huge and scaly monster, Raised him from the tossing water, From the depths beneath the billows, To the water's sparkling surface.
Then the bird with claws of iron Made a third and final effort, 280 Brought the mighty pike of Tuoni, He the fish so plump and floundering, From the river dark of Tuoni, And from Manala's abysses. Scarce like water flowed the water From the great pike's scales stupendous; Nor like air the air extended When the great bird flapped his pinions.
Thus the iron-taloned eagle Bore the pike so huge and scaly, 290 To the branches of an oak-tree, To a pine-tree's crown, wide spreading. There he feasted on the booty, Open ripped the fish's belly, Tore away the fish's breastbone, And the head and neck he sundered.
Said the smith, said Ilmarinen, "O thou wicked, wicked eagle, What a faithless bird I find you, You have seized upon the quarry, 300 And you have feasted on the booty, Open ripped the fish's belly, Torn away the fish's breastbone, And the head and neck have sundered."
But the iron-taloned eagle Rose and soared away in fury, High aloft in air he raised him, To the borders of the cloudland. Fled the clouds, the heavens were thundering, And the props of air bowed downward: 310 Ukko's bow in twain was broken, In the moon the horns sharp-pointed.
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, Took the pike's head, which he carried, To the old crone as a present, And he spoke the words which follow: "Make of this a chair for ever, In the halls of lofty Pohja."
Then he spoke the words which follow, And in words like these expressed him: 320 "I have ploughed the field of serpents, Furrowed all the land of serpents; Bridled, too, the wolves of Mana, And have chained the bears of Tuoni; Brought the pike so huge and scaly, He the fish so plump and floundering, From the river deep of Tuoni, And from Manala's abysses. Will you give me now the maiden, And bestow your daughter on me?" 330
Then said Pohjola's old Mistress, "Badly have you done your errand, Thus the head in twain to sever, Open rip the fish's belly, Tear away the fish's breastbone, Feasting thus upon the booty."
Then the smith, e'en Ilmarinen, Answered in the words that follow: "Never can you bring, undamaged, Quarry from the best of regions. 340 This is brought from Tuoni's river, And from Manala's abysses. Is not yet the maiden ready, She for whom I longed and laboured?"
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress Answer in the words which follow: "Yes, the maiden now is ready. She for whom you longed and laboured. I will give my tender duckling, And prepare the duck I cherished, 350 For the smith, for Ilmarinen, At his side to sit for ever, On his knee as wife to seat her, Dove-like in his arms to nestle."
On the floor a child was sitting, On the floor a child was singing: "To our room there came already, Came a bird into our castle; From the north-east flew an eagle, Through the sky a hawk came flying, 360 In the air one wing was flapping, On the sea the other rested, With his tail he swept the ocean, And to heaven his head he lifted; And he gazed around, and turned him, Back and forth the eagle hovered, Perched upon the heroes' castle, And his beak he whetted on it, But the roof was formed of iron, And he could not pierce within it. 370
"So he gazed around and turned him, Back and forth the eagle hovered, Perched upon the women's castle, And his beak he whetted on it, But the roof was formed of copper, And he could not pierce within it.
"So he gazed around and turned him, Back and forth the eagle hovered, Perched upon the maidens' castle, And his beak he whetted on it, 380 And the roof was formed of linen, And he forced his way within it.
"Then he perched upon the chimney, Then upon the floor descended, Pushed aside the castle's shutter, Sat him at the castle window, Near the wall, all green his feathers, In the room, his plumes a hundred.
"Then he scanned the braidless maidens, Gazing on the long-haired maiden, 390 On the best of all the maidens, Fairest maid with hair unbraided, And her head with beads was shining, And her head with beauteous blossoms.
"In his claws the eagle seized her, And the hawk with talons grasped her, Seized the best of all the party, Of the flock of ducks the fairest, She the sweetest-voiced and tenderest, She the rosiest and the whitest, 400 She the bird of air selected, In his talons far he bore her, She who held her head the highest, And her form of all the shapeliest, And her feathers of the finest, And her plumage of the softest."
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress Answer in the words that follow: "Wherefore dost thou know, my darling, Or hast heard, my golden apple, 410 How the maiden grew amongst us, And her flaxen hair waved round her? Perhaps the maiden shone with silver, Or the maiden's gold was famous. Has our sun been shining on you, Or the moon afar been shining?"
From the floor the child made answer, And the growing child responded: "Therefore did your darling know it, And your fostling learned to know it. 420 In the far-famed maidens' dwelling, In the home where dwells the fair one; Good report rejoiced the father, When he launched his largest vessel; But rejoices more the mother, When the largest loaf is baking, And the wheaten bread is baking, That the guests may feast profusely.
"Thus it was your darling knew it, Far around the strangers knew it, 430 How the young maid grew in stature, And how tall grew up the maiden. Once I went into the courtyard, And I wandered to the storehouse, Very early in the morning, In the earliest morning hours, And the soot in streaks ascended, And the smoke in clouds rose upward, From the far-famed maiden's dwelling, From the blooming maiden's homestead, 440 And the maid herself was grinding, Busy working at the handmill; Rung the mill like call of cuckoo, And the pestle quacked like wild geese, And the sieve like bird was singing, And the stones like beads were rattling.
"Forth a second time I wandered, And into the field I wandered, In the meadow was the maiden, Stooping o'er the yellow heather; 450 Working at the red-stained dye-pots, Boiling up the yellow kettles.
"When I wandered forth a third time Sat the maid beneath the window, There I heard the maiden weaving, In her hands the comb was sounding, And I heard the shuttle flying, As in cleft of rock the ermine, And the comb-teeth heard I sounding, As the wooden shaft was moving, 460 And the weaver's beam was turning, Like a squirrel in the tree-tops."
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress Answer in the words which follow: "Bravo, bravo, dearest maiden, Have I not for ever told thee, Not to sing among the pine-trees, Not to sing amid the valleys, Not to arch thy neck too proudly, Nor thy white arms leave uncovered, 470 Nor thy young and beauteous bosom, Nor thy shape so round and graceful?
"I have warned thee all the autumn, And besought thee all the summer, Likewise in the spring have cautioned, At the second springtide sowing, To construct a secret dwelling, With the windows small and hidden, Where the maids may do their weaving, And may work their looms in safety, 480 All unheard by Suomi's gallants, Suomi's gallants, country lovers."
From the floor the child made answer, And the fortnight-old responded: "Easily a horse is hidden In the stall, with fine-tailed horses; Hard it is to hide a maiden, And to keep her long locks hidden. Though you build of stone a castle, And amid the sea shall rear it, 490 Though you keep your maidens in it, And should rear your darlings in it, Still the girls cannot be hidden, Nor attain their perfect stature, Undisturbed by lusty gallants, Lusty gallants, country lovers. Mighty men, with lofty helmets, Men who shoe with steel their horses."
Then the aged Vainamoinen Head bowed down, and deeply grieving: 500 Wandered on his journey homeward, And he spoke the words which follow: "Woe is me, a wretched creature, That I did not learn it sooner, That In youthful days one weddeth, And must choose a life-companion. All thing else a man may grieve for, Save indeed an early marriage, When in youth already children, And a household he must care for." 510
Thus did warn old Vainamoinen, Cautioned thus Suvantolainen, That old men against the younger, Should not struggle for a fair one: Warned them not to swim too proudly, Neither try to race in rowing, Nor to seek to woo a maiden, With a younger man contending.
RUNO XX.—THE GREAT OX, AND THE BREWING OF THE ALE
An enormous ox is slaughtered in Pohjola (1-118). They brew ale and prepare a feast (119-516). They dispatch messengers to invite the heroes to the wedding, but Lemminkainen is expressly passed over (517-614).
How shall we our song continue, And what legends shall we tell you? Thus will we pursue our story; These the legends we will tell you; How in Pohjola they feasted, And the drinking-bout was Godlike.
Long prepared they for the wedding, For the feast provided all things, In the household famed of Pohja, Halls of Sariola the misty. 10
What provisions were provided, What did they collect together, For a lengthy feast at Pohja, For the multitude of drinkers, For the feasting of the people, For the multitude of feasters?
In Carelia grew a bullock, Fat the ox they reared in Suomi, Not a large one, not a small one, But a calf of middle stature. 20 While he switched his tail in Hame Stooped his head to Kemi's river, Long his horns one hundred fathoms, Muzzle broad as half a hundred, For a week there ran an ermine All along the yoke he carried, All day long there flew a swallow 'Twixt the mighty ox's horn-tips, Striving through the space to hasten, Nor found resting-place between them; 30 Month-long ran a summer-squirrel From his neck unto his tail-end, Nor did he attain the tail-tip, Till a month had quite passed over.
'Twas this calf of size stupendous, 'Twas this mighty bull of Suomi, Whom they led forth from Carelia Till they reached the fields of Pohja. By his horns, a hundred led him, And a thousand dragged his muzzle, 40 And they led the ox still further, Till to Pohjola they brought him.
On his road the ox proceeded By the Sound of Sariola strayed; Browsed the grass in marshy places, While his back the clouds were touching; But they could not find a butcher, Who could fell the country's marvel On the list of Suomi's children, 'Mid the mighty host of people, 50 Not among the youthful people, Nor among the very aged.
From afar an old man journeyed Virokannas from Carelia; And he spoke the words which follow: "Wait thous wait, thou ox unhappy, While I go and fetch my mallet. If I strike you with my mallet On the skull, unhappy creature, Never in another summer, 60 Would you turn about your muzzle, Or your tail would jerk around you, Here among the fields of Pohja, By the Sound of Sariola stray."
Then the old man went to strike him, Virokannas moved against him, Went to slay the ox unhappy; But his head the ox was turning, And his black eyes he was blinking. To a pine-tree sprang the old man, 70 Virokannas in the bushes, In the scrubby willow-thicket.
After this they sought a butcher, Who the mighty ox could slaughter, From Carelia's lovely country, From the vast expanse of Suomi, From the peaceful land of Russia, From the hardy land of Sweden, From the regions wide of Lapland, From the mighty land of Turja, 80 And they sought through Tuoni's regions, In the depths of Mana's kingdom, And they sought, but no one found they, Long they searched; but vainly searched they.
Yet again they sought a butcher, Sought again to find a slaughterer, On the ocean's shining surface, On the wide-extending billows. From the dark sea rose a hero, Rose a hero from the sea-swell, 90 From the shining surface rising, From the wide expanse of water. He was not among the greatest, But in nowise of the smallest. In a bowl would he lie sleeping, And beneath a sieve stand upright.
'Twas an old man, iron-fisted, Iron-coloured, too, to gaze on; On his head a stony helmet; Shoes of stone his feet protected; 100 In his hand a knife, gold-bladed, And the haft o'erlaid with copper.
Thus the people found a butcher, And at length they found a slaughterer, Who should fell the bull of Suomi, And should fell the country's marvel. Scarce had he beheld the quarry, Than at once his neck he shattered, On his knees he forced the bullock, And upon his side he threw him. 110 Did he yield them much provisions? Not so very much he yielded. Of his flesh a hundred barrels, And a hundred fathoms sausage; Seven boat-loads of blood they gathered, Six large casks with fat were loaded, All for Pohjola's great banquet, Feast of Sariola the misty.
Then they built a house in Pohja, Built a house with hall enormous, 120 Fathoms nine its sides extended, And the breadth thereof was seven. If a cock crowed at the smoke-hole, Underneath they could not hear it, If a dog at end was barking, At the door they did not hear it.
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress Walk across the flooring's planking, To the middle of the chamber, And she pondered and reflected: 130 "How shall I get ale sufficient, And shall brew the beer most wisely, To prepare it for the wedding, When the beer will much be needed? How to brew the beer I know not, Nor how ale was first concocted."
By the stove there sat an old man, From the stove spoke up the old man: "Ale of barley is concocted, And the drink with hops is flavoured, 140 Yet they brew not save with water, And the aid of furious fire.
"Hop is called the son of Revel; Planted in the ground when little, With a plough they ploughed the region, Like an ant, away they cast him Close to Kaleva's great well-spring, There where Osmo's field is sloping; There the tender plant sprang upward, And the green shoot mounted quickly. 150 Up a little tree it mounted, Rising to the leafy summit.
"Sowed, by chance, an old man barley, In the fresh-ploughed field of Osmo, And the barley sprouted bravely, And It grew and flourished greatly, On the new-ploughed field of Osmo, Kaleva's descendant's cornland.
"But a little time passed over, When the hops exclaimed from tree-top, 160 And upon the field the barley, And in Kaleva's well-water, 'When shall we be yoked together, Each with other be united? Life in solitude is weary; Better two or three together.'
"Osmotar, the ale-constructer She, the maid who beer concocted, Took, on this, the grains of barley, Gathered six of grains of barley, 170 Seven hop-tassels next she gathered, And eight ladles took of water, Then upon the fire she placed it, And allowed it there to simmer, And she boiled the ale of barley Through the fleeting days of summer, Out upon the cloudy headland, Cape upon the shady island; Poured it then in wooden barrels, And in tubs of birchwood stored it. 180
"Thus she brewed the ale and stored it, But the ale was not fermented, And she pondered and reflected, And she spoke the words which follow: 'What must now be added to it, What is needful to provide for, That the ale may be fermented, And the beer be brought to foaming?'
"Kalevatar, beauteous maiden, She the maid with slender fingers, 190 Which she ever moves so deftly, She whose feet are shod so lightly, Felt about the seams of staving, Groping all about the bottom, Trying one and then the other, In the midst of both the kettles; Found a splinter at the bottom, From the bottom took a splinter.
"Then she turned it and reflected: 'What might perhaps be fashioned from it, 200 In the hands of lovely maiden, In the noble damsel's fingers, Brought into the hands of maiden, To the noble damsel's fingers?'
"In her hands the maiden took it, In the noble damsel's fingers, And she clapped her hands together, Both her hands she rubbed together, Rubbed them on her thighs together, And a squirrel white created. 210
"Then she gave her son directions, And instructed thus the squirrel: 'O thou squirrel, gold of woodlands, Flower of woodlands, charm of country, Speed then forth where I shall bid thee, Where I bid thee and direct thee, Forth to Metsola's bright regions, And to Tapiola's great wisdom. There a little tree upclimbing, Heedful to the leafy summit, 220 That the eagle may not seize thee, Nor the bird of air may grasp thee. From the pine-tree bring me pine-cones, From the fir bring shoots of fir-tree, Bring them to the hands of maiden, For the beer of Osmo's daughter.'
"Knew the squirrel now his pathway, Trailed his bushy tail behind him, And his journey soon accomplished, Quickly through the open spaces, 230 Past one wood, and then a second, And a third he crossed obliquely, Into Metsola's bright regions, And to Tapiola's great wisdom.
"There he saw three lofty pine-trees, There he saw four slender fir-trees, Climbed a pine-tree in the valley, On the heath he climbed a fir-tree, And the eagle did not seize him, Nor the bird of air did grasp him. 240
"From the pine he broke the pine-cones, From the fir the leafy tassels, In his claws he hid the pine-cones, And within his paws he rolled them, To the maiden's hands he brought them, To the noble damsel's fingers.
"In the beer the maiden laid them, In the ale she placed them likewise, But the ale was not fermented, Nor the fresh drink yet was working. 250
"Osmotar, the ale-preparer, She, the maid who beer concocted, Pondered yet again the matter. 'What must now be added to it, That the ale shall be fermented, And the beer be brought to foaming?'
"Kalevatar, beauteous maiden, She, the maid with slender fingers, Which she ever moves so deftly, She whose feet are shod so lightly, 260 Felt about the seams of staving, Groping all about the bottom, Trying one, and then the other, In the midst of both the kettles, Found a chip upon the bottom, Took the chip from off the bottom.
"Then she turned it and reflected, 'What might perhaps be fashioned from it, In the hands of lovely maiden, In the noble damsel's fingers, 270 Brought into the hands of maiden, To the noble damsel's fingers?'
"In her hands the maiden took it In the noble damsel's fingers, And she clapped her hands together, Both her hands she rubbed together, Rubbed them on her thighs together, And she made a gold-breast marten.
"Thus the marten she instructed, Thus the orphan child directed: 280 'O my marten, O my birdling, O my fair one, beauteous-hided! Thither go, where I shall bid thee, Where I bid thee, and direct thee, To the Bear's own rocky cavern, Where the forest bears are prowling, Where the bears are always fighting, Where they lurk in all their fierceness. With thy hands scrape foam together, In thy paws the foam then carry, 290 To the maiden's hands convey it, And to Osmo's daughter's shoulders.'
"Understood the way the marten, Forth the golden-breasted hastened, And his journey soon accomplished, Quickly through the open spaces, Past one wood, and then a second, And a third he crossed obliquely, To the Bear's own rocky cavern, To the caverns bear-frequented, 300 Where the bears are always fighting, Where they lurk In all their fierceness, In the rocks as hard as iron, And among the steel-hard mountains.
"From the bears' mouths foam was dropping, From their furious jaws exuding; In his hands the foam he gathered, With his paws the foam collected, To the maiden's hands he brought it, To the noble damsel's fingers. 310
"In the ale the maiden poured it, In the beer she poured it likewise, But the ale was not fermented, Nor the drink of men foamed over.
"Osmotar, the ale-preparer, She the maid who beer concocted, Pondered yet again the matter, 'What must now be added to it, That the ale shall be fermented, And the beer be brought to foaming?' 320
"Kalevatar, beauteous maiden, She the maid with slender fingers, Which she ever moves so deftly, She whose feet are shod so lightly Felt about the seams of staving, Groping all about the bottom, Trying one and then the other, Then the space between the kettles, And a mustard-pod she saw there; From the ground the pod she lifted. 330
"Then she turned It, and surveyed it, 'What might perhaps be fashioned from it, In the hands of lovely maiden, In the noble damsel's fingers, Brought into the hands of maiden, To the noble damsel's fingers?'
"In her hands the maiden took it, In the noble damsel's fingers, And she clapped her hands together, Both her hands she rubbed together, 340 Rubbed them on her thighs together, And a bee she thus created.
"And the bee she thus instructed, And the bee she thus directed: 'O thou bee, thou bird so nimble, King of all the flowery meadows, Thither fly, where I shall bid thee, Where I bid thee and direct thee, To an isle on ocean's surface, Where the reefs arise from ocean. 350 There a maiden lies in slumber, With her belt of copper loosened; By her side springs sweetest herbage, On her lap rest honey grasses, On thy wings bring sweetest honey, Bring thou honey on thy clothing, From the fairest of the herbage, From the bloom of golden flowerets, To the maiden's hands convey it, And to Osmo's daughter's shoulders.' 360
"Then the bee, that bird so nimble, Flew away, and hastened onward, And his journey soon accomplished, Speeding o'er the open spaces, First across the sea, along it, Then in an oblique direction, To an isle on ocean's surface, Where the reefs arise from ocean. There he saw the maiden sleeping, With a tin brooch on her bosom, 370 Resting in an unmowed meadow, All among the fields of honey; By her side grew golden grasses, At her belt sprang silver grasses.
"Then he soaked his wings with honey, Plunged his plumes in liquid honey, From the brightest of the herbage, From the tips of golden flowerets; To the maiden's hands he brought it, To the noble damsel's fingers. 380
"In the ale the maiden cast it, In the beer she poured it likewise, And the beer at length fermented, And the fresh drink now foamed upward, From within the new-made barrels, From within the tubs of birchwood, Foaming upward to the handles, Rushing over all the edges; To the ground it wished to trickle, And upon the floor ran downward. 390
"But a little time passed over, Very little time passed over, When the heroes flocked to drink it, Chief among them Lemminkainen. Drunk was Ahti, drunk was Kauko, Drunken was the ruddy rascal, With the ale of Osmo's daughter, And the beer of Kalevatar.
"Osmotar, the ale-preparer, She, the maid who beer concocted, 400 Uttered then the words which follow: 'Woe is me, my day is wretched, For I brewed the ale so badly And the beer so ill concocted, That from out the tubs 'tis flowing, And upon the floor is gushing.'
"From a tree there sang a bullfinch. From the roof-tree sang a throstle, 'No, the ale is not so worthless; 'Tis the best of ale for drinking; 410 If into the casks you pour it, And should store it in the cellar, Store it in the casks of oakwood, And within the hoops of copper.'
"Thus was ale at first created, Beer of Kaleva concocted, Therefore is it praised so highly, Therefore held in greatest honour, For the ale is of the finest, Best of drinks for prudent people; 420 Women soon it brings to laughter, Men it warms into good humour, And it makes the prudent merry, But it brings the fools to raving."
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress, When she heard how ale was fashioned, Water pour in tubs the largest, Half she filled the new-made barrels, Adding barley as 'twas needed, Shoots of hop enough she added, 430 And the ale began she brewing, And the beer began its working, In the new tubs that contained it, And within the tubs of birch wood.
'Twas for months the stones were glowing, And for summers water boiling, Trees were burning on the islands, Water from the wells was carried. Bare of trees they left the islands, And the lakes were greatly shrunken, 440 For the ale was in the barrels, And the beer was stored securely For the mighty feast of Pohja, For carousing at the mansion.
From the island smoke was rising, On the headland fire was glowing; Thick the clouds of smoke were rising, In the air there rose the vapour. For the fire was burning fiercely, And the fire was brightly glowing, 450 Half it filled the land of Pohja, Over all Carelia spreading.
All the people gazed upon it, Gazed, and then they asked each other, "Wherefore is the smoke arising, In the air the vapour rising? 'Tis too small for smoke of battle, 'Tis too large for herdsman's bonfire."
Then rose Lemminkainen's mother, At the earliest dawn of morning, 460 And she went to fetch some water. Clouds of smoke she saw arising, Up from Pohjola's dominions, And she spoke the words which follow: "Perhaps it is the smoke of combat, Perhaps it is the fire of battle."
Ahti, dweller on the island, He the handsome Kaukomieli, Wandered round and gazed about him, And he pondered and reflected, 470 "I must go and look upon it, From a nearer spot examine, Whence the smoke is thus ascending Filling all the air with vapour, If it be the smoke of combat, If it be the fire of battle."
Kauko went to gaze about him, And to learn whence smoke was rising, But it was not fire of battle, Neither was it fire of combat, 480 But 'twas fire where ale was brewing, Likewise where the beer was brewing, Near where Sound of Sariola spreads, Out upon the jutting headland.
Then did Kauko gaze around him, And one eye he rolled obliquely, And he squinted with the other, And his mouth he pursed up slowly, And at last he spoke, while gazing, And across the sound he shouted, 490 "O my dearest foster-mother, Pohjola's most gracious Mistress! Brew thou ale of extra goodness, Brew thou beer the best of any, For carousing at the mansion, Specially for Lemminkainen, At my wedding, now preparing, With thy young and lovely daughter."
Now the ale was quite fermented, And the drink of men was ripened, 500 And the red ale stored they safely, And the good beer stored securely. Underneath the ground they stored it, Stored it in the rocky cellars, In the casks of oak constructed, And behind the taps of copper.
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress All the food provide for feasting, And the kettles all were singing, And the stewpans all were hissing, 510 And large loaves of bread were baking, And she stirred great pots of porridge, Thus to feed the crowds of people, At the banquet at the mansion, At the mighty feast of Pohja, The carouse at Sariola dim.
Now the bread they baked was ready, And were stirred the pots of porridges, And a little time passed over, Very little time passed over, 520 When the ale worked in the barrels, And the beer foamed in the cellars, "Now must some one come to drink me, Now must some one come to taste me, That my fame may be reported, And that they may sing my praises."
Then they went to seek a minstrel, Went to seek a famous singer, One whose voice was of the strongest, One who knew the finest legends. 530 First to sing they tried a salmon, If the voice of trout was strongest; Singing is not work for salmon, And the pike recites no legends. Crooked are the jaws of salmon, And the teeth of pike spread widely.
Yet again they sought a singer, Went to seek a famous singer, One whose voice was of the strongest, One who knew the finest legends, 540 And they took a child for singer, Thought a boy might sing the strongest. Singing is not work for children. Nor are splutterers fit for shouting. Crooked are the tongues of children, And the roots thereof are crooked.
Then the red ale grew indignant, And the fresh drink fell to cursing, Pent within the oaken barrels, And behind the taps of copper. 550 "If you do not find a minstrel, Do not find a famous singer, One whose voice is of the strongest, One who knows the finest legends, Then the hoops I'll burst asunder, And among the dust will trickle."
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress Send the guests their invitations, Sent her messengers to journey, And she spoke the words which follow: 560 "O my maid, of all the smallest, O my waiting-maid obedient, Call the people all together, To the great carouse invite them, Call the poor, and call the needy, Call the blind, and call the wretched, Call the lame, and call the cripples; In the boat row thou the blind men; Bring the lame ones here on horseback, And in sledges bring the cripples. 570
"Ask thou all the folk of Pohja, And of Kaleva the people: Ask the aged Vainamoinen, Greatest he of all the minstrels, Only ask not Lemminkainen, Ask not Ahti Saarelainen."
Then the maid, of all the smallest, Answered In the words which follow: "Wherefore ask not Lemminkainen, Only Ahti Saarelainen?" 580
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress, In these very words make answer: "Therefore ask not Kaukomieli, Not the reckless Lemminkainen. He is always quick to quarrel, And to fight is always ready. And at weddings works he mischief, And at banquets grievous scandal, Brings to shame the modest maidens, Clad in all their festive garments." 590
Then the maid, of all the smallest, Answered in the words which follow: "How shall I know Kaukomieli That I leave him uninvited? For I know not Ahti's dwelling, Nor the house of Kaukomieli."
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress, Answer in the words which follow: "Easy may you hear of Kauko, Learn of Ahti Saarelainen. 600 Ahti dwells upon an island, Dwells the rascal near the water, Where the bay outspreads the broadest, At the curve of Kauko's headland."
Then the maid, of all the smallest, She the handmaid hired for money, Bid the guests from six directions, And in eight the news she carried; All she asked of Pohja's people, And of Kaleva the people, 610 Of the householders the poorest, And the poorest clad amongst them, Only not the youth named Ahti, For she left him uninvited.
RUNO XXI.—THE WEDDING FEAST AT POHJOLA
The bridegroom and his party are received at Pohjola (1-226). The guests are hospitably entertained with abundance of food and drink (227-252). Vainamoinen sings and praises the people of the house (253-438).
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress, Crone of Sariola the misty, Sometimes out of doors employ her, Sometimes in the house was busied; And she heard how whips were cracking, On the shore heard sledges rattling, And her eyes she turned to northward, Towards the sun her head then turning, And she pondered and reflected, "Wherefore are these people coming 10 On my shore, to me unhappy? Is it perhaps a hostile army?"
So she went to gaze around her, And observe the portent nearer; It was not a hostile army, But of guests a great assembly, And her son-in-law amid them, With a mighty host of people.
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress, Crone of Sariola the misty, 20 When she saw the bridegroom's party, Speak aloud the words which follow: "As I thought, the wind was blowing And a faggot-stack overthrowing, On the beach the billows breaking, On the strand the shingle rattling. So I went to gaze around me, And observe the portent nearer; But I found no wind was blowing, Nor the faggot-stack was falling, 30 On the beach no waves were breaking, On the strand no shingle rattling. 'Twas my son-in-law's assemblage, Twice a hundred men in number.
"How shall I detect the bridegroom In the concourse of the people? He is known among the people, As in clumps of trees the cherry, Like an oak-tree in the thickets, Or the moon, 'mid stars in heaven. 40
"Black the steed that he is driving; Which a ravenous wolf resembles; Or a raven, keen for quarry, Or a lark, with fluttering pinions. Six there are of golden song-birds, On his shafts all sweetly singing, And of blue birds, seven are singing Sitting on the sledge's traces."
From the road was heard a clatter, Past the well the runners rattled, 50 In the court arrived the bridegroom, In the yard the people with him, In the midst appeared the bridegroom, With the greatest of the party. He was not the first among them, But by no means last among them.
"Off, ye youths, and out ye heroes, To the court, O ye who loiter, That ye may remove the breastbands, And the traces ye may loosen, 60 That the shafts may quick be lowered: Lead into the house the bridegroom."
Then the bridegroom's horse sped onward, And the bright-hued sledge drew forward Through the courtyard of the Master, When said Pohjola's old Mistress: "O my man, whom I have hired, Best among the village servants, Take the horse that brought the bridegroom, With the white mark on his frontlet, 70 From the copper-plated harness, From the tin-decked breastband likewise, From the best of reins of leather, And from harness of the finest, Lead the courser of the bridegroom, And with greatest care conduct him By the reins, of silken fabric, By the bridle, decked with silver, To the softest place for rolling, Where the meadow is the smoothest, 80 Where the drifted snow is finest, And the land of milky whiteness.
"Lead the bridegroom's horse to water, To the spring that flows the nearest, Where the water all unfrozen, Gushes forth; like milk the sweetest, 'Neath the roots of golden pine-trees, Underneath the bushy fir-trees.
"Fodder thou the bridegroom's courser, From the golden bowl of fodder, 90 From the bow! adorned with copper, With the choicest meal of barley, And with well-boiled wheat of summer, And with pounded rye of summer.
"Then conduct the bridegroom's courser To the best of all the stables, To the best of resting-places, To the hindmost of the stables. Tether there the bridegroom's courser, To the ring of gold constructed, 100 To the smaller ring of iron, To the post of curving birchwood, Place before the bridegroom's courser, Next a tray with oats overloaded, And with softest hay another, And a third with chaff the finest.
"Curry then the bridegroom's courser, With the comb of bones of walrus, That the hair remain uninjured, Nor his handsome tail be twisted; 110 Cover then the bridegroom's courser With a cloth of silver fabric, And a mat of golden texture, And a horse-wrap decked with copper.
"Now my little village laddies, To the house conduct the bridegroom, Gently lift his hat from off him, From his hands his gloves take likewise.
"I would fain see if the bridegroom Presently the house can enter, 120 Ere the doors are lifted from it, And they have removed the doorposts, And have lifted up the crossbars, And the threshold has been sunken, And the nearer walls are broken, And the floor-planks have been shifted.
"But the house suits not the bridegroom, Nor the great gift suits the dwelling, Till the doors are lifted from it, And they have removed the doorposts, 130 And have lifted up the crossbars, And the threshold has been sunken, And the nearer walls been broken, And the flooring-planks been shifted, For the bridegroom's head is longer, And the bridegroom's ears are higher.
"Let the crossbars then be lifted, That his head the roof may touch not, Let the threshold now be sunken, That his footsoles may not touch it, 140 Let them now set back the doorposts, That the doors may open widely, When at length the bridegroom enters, When the noble youth approaches.
"Praise, O Jumala most gracious, For the bridegroom now has entered. I would now the house examine, Cast my gaze around within it, See that washed are all the tables, And the benches swabbed with water, 150 Scoured the smooth planks of the boarding, And the flooring swept and polished.
"Now that I the house examine, 'Tis so changed I scarcely know it, From what wood the room was fashioned, How the roof has been constructed, And the walls have been erected, And the flooring been constructed.
"Side-walls are of bones of hedgehog, Hinder-walls of bones of reindeer, 160 Front-walls of the bones of glutton, And of bones of lamb the crossbar. All the beams are wood of apple, And the posts of curving birchwood, Round the stove rest water-lilies, Scales of bream compose the ceiling.
"And one bench is formed of iron, Others made from Saxon timber, Gold-inlaid are all the tables; Floor o'erspread with silken carpets. 170
"And the stove is bright with copper, And the stove-bench stone-constructed, And the hearth composed of boulders, And with Kaleva's tree is boarded."
Then the house the bridegroom entered, Hastened on beneath the roof-tree, And he spoke the words which follow: "Grant, O Jumala, thy blessing Underneath this noble roof-tree, Underneath this roof so splendid." 180
Then said Pohjola's old Mistress, "Hail, all hail, to thee, who enters In this room of small dimensions, In this very lowly cottage, In this wretched house of firwood, In this house of pine constructed.
"O my little waiting-maiden, Thou the village maid I hired, Bring a piece of lighted birchbark, To a tarry torch apply it, 190 That I may behold the bridegroom, And the bridegroom's eyes examine, Whether they are blue or reddish; Whether they are white as linen."
Then the little waiting-maiden, She, the little village maiden, Brought a piece of lighted birchbark, To a tarry torch applied it. "From the bark the flame springs spluttering, From the tar black smoke's ascending, 200 So his eyes might perhaps be sooted, And his handsome face be blackened, Therefore bring a torch all flaming, Of the whitest wax constructed."
Then the little waiting-maiden, She the little village maiden, Lit a torch, and brought it flaming, Of the whitest wax constructed.
White like wax the smoke was rising, And the flame ascended brightly, 210 And the bridegroom's eyes were shining, And his face was all illumined. "Now the bridegroom's eyes I gaze on! They are neither blue nor reddish, Neither are they white like linen, But his eyes they shine like lake-foam, Like the lake-reed are they brownish, And as lovely as the bulrush.
"Now my little village laddies, Hasten to conduct the bridegroom 220 To a seat among the highest, To a place the most distinguished, With his back towards the blue wall, With his face towards the red board, There among the guests invited, Facing all the shouting people."
Then did Pohjola's old Mistress, Feast her guests in noble fashion, Feast them on the best of butter, And with cream-cakes in abundance; 230 Thus she served the guests invited, And among them first the bridegroom.
On the plates was placed the salmon, At the sides the pork was stationed, Dishes filled to overflowing, Laden to the very utmost, Thus to feast the guests invited; And among them first the bridegroom.
Then said Pohjola's old Mistress, "O my little waiting-maiden, 240 Bring me now the ale in measures, Bring it in the jugs two-handled, For the guests we have invited, And the bridegroom chief among them."
Then the little waiting-maiden, She, the servant hired for money, Brought the measures as directed, Handed round the five-hooped tankards, Till, with ale from hops concocted, All the beards with foam were whitened; 250 All the beards of guests invited; And among them most the bridegroom's.
What about the ale was spoken, Of the ale in five-hooped tankards, When at length it reached the minstrel, Reached the greatest of the singers, He the aged Vainamoinen, First and oldest of the singers, He the minstrel most illustrious, He the greatest of the Sages? 260
First of all the ale he lifted, Then he spoke the words which follow: "O thou ale, thou drink delicious, Let the drinkers not be moody! Urge the people on to singing, Let them shout, with mouth all golden, Till our lords shall wonder at it, And our ladies ponder o'er it, For the songs already falter, And the joyous tongues are silenced. 270 When the ale is ill-concocted, And bad drink is set before us, Then the minstrels fail in singing, And the best of songs they sing not, And our cherished guests are silent, And the cuckoos call no longer.
"Therefore who shall chant unto us, And whose tongue shall sing unto us, At the wedding feast of Pohja, This carouse at Sariola held? 280 Benches will not sing unto us, Save when people sit upon them, Nor will floors hold cheerful converse, Save when people walk upon them, Neither are the windows joyful, If the lords should gaze not from them, Nor resound the table's edges, If men sit not round the tables, Neither do the smoke-holes echo, If men sit not 'neath the smoke-holes." 290
On the floor a child was sitting, On the stove-bench sat a milkbeard, From the floor exclaimed the infant, And the boy spoke from the stove-bench: "I am not in years a father, Undeveloped yet my body, But however small I may be, If the other big ones sing not, And the stouter men will shout not, And the rosier cheeked will sing not, 300 Then I'll sing, although a lean boy, Though a thin boy, I will whistle, I will sing, though weak and meagre, Though my stomach is not rounded, That the evening may be cheerful, And the day may be more honoured."
By the stove there sat an old man, And he spoke the words which follow: "That the children sing befits not, Nor these feeble folk should carol. 310 Children's songs are only falsehoods, And the songs of girls are foolish. Let the wisest sing among us, Who upon the bench is seated."
Then the aged Vainamoinen, Answered in the words which follow: "Are there any who are youthful, Of the noblest of the people, Who will clasp their hands together, Hook their hands in one another, 320 And begin to speak unto us, Swaying back and forth in singing, That the day may be more joyful, And the evening be more blessed?"
From the stove there spoke the old man, "Never was it heard among us, Never heard or seen among us, Nor so long as time existed, That there lived a better minstrel, One more skilled in all enchantment, 330 Than myself when I was warbling, As a child when I was singing, Singing sweetly by the water, Making all the heath re-echo, Chanting loudly in the firwood, Talking likewise In the forest.
"Then my voice was loud and tuneful, And its tones were most melodious, Like the flowing of a river, Or the murmur of a streamlet, 340 Gliding as o'er snow the snowshoes, Like a yacht across the billows; But 'tis hard for me to tell you How my wisdom has departed, How my voice so strong has failed me, And its sweetness has departed. Now it flows no more like river, Rising like the tossing billows, But it halts like rake in stubble, Like the hoe among the pine-roots, 350 Like a sledge in sand embedded, Or a boat on rocks when stranded."
Then the aged Vainamoinen In such words as these expressed him: "If no other bard comes forward To accompany my singing, Then alone my songs I'll carol, And will now commence my singing, For to sing was I created, As an orator was fashioned; 360 How, I ask not in the village, Nor I learn my songs from strangers."
Then the aged Vainamoinen Of the song the lifelong pillar, Set him to the pleasant labour, Girt him for the toil of singing, Loud he sang his songs so pleasing, Loud he spoke his words of wisdom.
Sang the aged Vainamoinen, Sang by turns, and spoke his wisdom, 370 Nor did words that suited fall him, Neither were his songs exhausted, Sooner stones in rocks were missing, Or a pond lacked water-lilies.
Therefore thus sang Vainamoinen Through the evening for their pleasure, And the women all were laughing, And the men in high good-humour, While they listened and they wondered At the chants of Vainamoinen, 380 For amazement filled the hearers, Wonder those who heard him singing.
Said the aged Vainamoinen, When at length his song he ended, "This is what I have accomplished As a singer and magician, Little can I thus accomplish, And my efforts lead me nowhere: But, If sang the great Creator, Speaking with his mouth of sweetness, 390 He would sing his songs unto you, As a singer and magician.
"He would sing the sea to honey, And to peas would sing the gravel, And to malt would sing the seasand, And to salt would sing the gravel, Forest broad would sing to cornland, And the wastes would sing to wheatfields, Into cakes would sing the mountains, And to hens' eggs change the mountains. 400
"As a singer and magician, He would speak, and he would order, And would sing unto this homestead, Cowsheds ever filled with cattle, Lanes o'erfilled with beauteous blossoms, And the plains o'erfilled with milch-kine, Full a hundred horned cattle, And with udders full, a thousand.
"As a singer and magician, He would speak and he would order 410 For our host a coat of lynxskin, For our mistress cloth-wrought dresses, For her daughters boots with laces, And her sons with red shirts furnish.
"Grant, O Jumala, thy blessing, Evermore, O great Creator, Unto those we see around us, And again in all their doings, Here, at Pohjola's great banquet, This carouse at Sariola held, 420 That the ale may stream in rivers, And the mead may flow in torrents, Here in Pohjola's great household, In the halls at Sariola built, That by day we may be singing, And may still rejoice at evening Long as our good host is living, In the lifetime of our hostess.
"Jumala, do thou grant thy blessing, O Creator, shed thy blessing, 430 On our host at head of table, On our hostess in her storehouse, On their sons, the nets when casting, On their daughters at their weaving. May they have no cause for trouble, Nor lament the year that follows, After their protracted banquet, This carousal at the mansion!"
RUNO XXII.—THE TORMENTING OF THE BRIDE
The bride is prepared for her journey and is reminded of her past life and of the altered life that now lies before her (1-124). She becomes very sorrowful (125-184). They bring her to weeping (185-382). She weeps (383-448). They comfort her (449-522).
When the drinking-bout was ended, And the feast at length was over, At the festival at Pohja, Bridal feast held at Pimentola, Then said Pohjola's old Mistress, To the bridegroom, Ilmarinen, "Wherefore sit'st thou, highly-born one, Waitest thou, O pride of country? Sit'st thou here to please the father, Or for love of mother waitest, 10 Or our dwelling to illumine, Or the wedding guests to honour?
"Not for father's pleasure wait'st thou, Nor for love thou bear'st the mother, Nor the dwelling to illumine, Nor the wedding guests to honour; Here thou sit'st for maiden's pleasure, For a young girl's love delaying, For the fair one whom thou long'st for, Fair one with unbraided tresses. 20
"Bridegroom, dearest of my brothers, Wait a week, and yet another; For thy loved one is not ready, And her toilet is not finished. Only half her hair is plaited, And a half is still unplaited.
"Bridegroom, dearest of my brothers, Wait a week, and yet another, For thy loved one is not ready, And her toilet is not finished; 30 One sleeve only is adjusted, And unfitted still the other.
"Bridegroom, dearest of my brothers, Wait a week, and yet another, For thy loved one is not ready, And her toilet is not finished. For one foot is shod already, But unshod remains the other.
"Bridegroom, dearest of my brothers, Wait a week, and yet another, 40 For thy loved one is not ready, And her toilet is not finished. For one hand is gloved already, And ungloved is still the other.
"Bridegroom, dearest of my brothers, Thou hast waited long unwearied; For thy love at length is ready, And thy duck has made her toilet.
"Go thou forth. O plighted maiden, Follow thou, O dove new-purchased! 50 Near to thee is now thy union, Nearer still is thy departure, He who leads thee forth is with thee, At the door is thy conductor, And his horse the bit is champing, And his sledge awaits the maiden.
"Thou wast fond of bridegroom's money Reaching forth thy hands most greedy Glad to take the chain he offered, And to fit the rings upon thee. 60 Now the longed-for sledge is ready, Eager mount the sledge so gaudy, Travel quickly to the village, Quickly speeding on thy journey.
"Hast thou never, youthful maiden, On both sides surveyed the question, Looked beyond the present moment, When the bargain was concluded? All thy life must thou be weeping, And for many years lamenting, 70 How thou left'st thy father's household, And thy native land abandoned, From beside thy tender mother, From the home of she who bore thee.
"O the happy life thou leddest, In this household of thy father! Like a wayside flower thou grewest, Or upon the heath a strawberry, Waking up to feast on butter, Milk, when from thy bed arising, 80 Wheaten-bread, from couch upstanding, From thy straw, the fresh-made butter, Or, if thou could eat no butter, Strips of pork thou then could'st cut thee.
"Never yet wast thou in trouble, Never hadst thou cause to worry, To the fir-trees tossed thou trouble, Worry to the stumps abandoned, Care to pine-trees in the marshlands, And upon the heaths the birch-trees. 90 Like a leaflet thou wast fluttering, As a butterfly wast fluttering, Berry-like in native soil, Or on open ground a raspberry.
"But thy home thou now art leaving, To another home thou goest, To another mother's orders, To the household of a stranger. Different there from here thou'lt find it In another house 'tis different; 100 Other tunes the horns are blowing, Other doors thou hearest jarring, Other gates thou hearest creaking, Other voices at the fishlines.
"There the doors thou hardly findest, Strange unto thee are the gateways, Not like household daughter art thou, May not dare to blow the fire, Nor the stove canst rightly heaten, So that thou canst please the master. 110
"Didst thou think, O youthful maiden, Didst thou think, or didst imagine, Only for a night to wander, In the morn again returning? 'Tis not for one night thou goest, Not for one night, not for two nights, For a longer time thou goest. Thou for months and days hast vanished, Lifelong from thy father's dwelling, For the lifetime of thy mother, 120 And the yard will then be longer, And the threshold lifted higher, If again thou ever earnest, To thy former home returning."
Now the hapless girl was sighing, Piteously she sighed and panted, And her heart was filled with trouble, In her eyes the tears were standing, And at length she spoke as follows: "Thus I thought, and thus imagined, 130 And throughout my life imagined, Said throughout my years of childhood, Thou art not as maid a lady In the wardship of thy parents, In the meadows of thy father, In thy aged mother's dwelling. Thou wilt only be a lady When thy husband's home thou seekest, Resting one foot on the threshold, In his sledge the other placing, 140 Then thy head thou liftest higher, And thy ears thou liftest higher.
"This throughout my life I wished for, All my youthful days I hoped for, And throughout the year I wished it, Like the coming of the summer. Now my hope has found fulfilment; Near the time of my departure; One foot resting on the threshold, In my husband's sledge the other, 150 But I do not yet know rightly, If my mind has not been altered. Not with joyful thoughts I wander Nor do I depart with pleasure From the golden home beloved, Where I passed my life in childhood, Where I passed my days of girlhood, Where my father lived before me. Sadly I depart in sorrow, Forth I go, most sadly longing, 160 As into the night of autumn, As on slippery ice in springtime, When on ice no track remaineth, On its smoothness rests no footprint.
"What may be the thoughts of others, And of other brides the feelings? Do not other brides encounter, Bear within their hearts the trouble, Such as I, unhappy, carry? Blackest trouble rests upon me, 170 Black as coal my heart within me, Coal-black trouble weighs upon me.
"Such the feelings of the blessed, Such the feelings of the happy; As the spring day at its dawning, Or the sunny spring-day morning; But what thoughts do now torment me, And what thoughts arise within me? Like unto a pond's flat margin, Or of clouds the murky border; 180 Like the gloomy nights of autumn, Or the dusky day of winter, Or, as I might better say it, Darker than the nights of autumn!"
Then an old crone of the household, In the house for long abiding, Answered in the words which follow: "Quiet, quiet, youthful maiden! Dost remember, how I told thee, And a hundred times repeated, 190 Take no pleasure in a lover, In a lover's mouth rejoice not, Do not let his eyes bewitch thee, Nor his handsome feet admire? Though his mouth speaks charming converse, And his eyes are fair to gaze on, Yet upon his chin is Lempo; In his mouth there lurks destruction.
"Thus I always counsel maidens, And to all their kind I counsel, 200 Though great people come as suitors, Mighty men should come as wooers, Yet return them all this answer; And on thy side speak unto them, In such words as these address them, And in thiswise speak unto them: 'Not the least would it beseem me, Not beseem me, or become me, As a daughter-in-law to yield me, As a slave to yield my freedom. 210 Such a pretty girl as I am, Suits it not to live as slave-girl, To depart consent I never, To submit to rule of others. If another word you utter, I will give you two in answer, If you by my hair would pull me, And you by my locks would drag me, From my hair I'd quickly shake you, From my locks dishevelled drive you.' 220
"But to this thou hast not hearkened, To my words thou hast not listened, Wilfully thou sought'st the fire, In the boiling tar hast cast thee. Now the fox's sledge awaits thee, To the bear's hug art thou going, And the fox's sledge will take thee, Far away the bear convey thee, Ever slave to other masters, Ever slave of husband's mother. 230
"From thy home to school thou goest, From thy father's house to suffering. Hard the school to which thou goest, Long the pain to which thou goest. Reins for thee are bought already, Iron fetters all in order, Not for others are they destined, But alas, for thee, unhappy.
"Shortly wilt thou feel their harshness, Helpless feel, and unprotected, 240 For the father's chin is wagging, And the mother's tongue is stormy; And the brother's words are coldness, And the sister's harsh reproaches.
"Hear, O maiden, what I tell thee, What I speak, and what I tell thee, In thy home thou wast a floweret, And the joy of father's household, And thy father called thee Moonlight, And thy mother called thee Sunshine, 250 And thy brother Sparkling Water, And thy sister called thee Blue-cloth. To another home thou goest, There to find a stranger mother. Never is a stranger mother Like the mother who has borne thee: Seldom does she give good counsel, Seldom gives the right instructions. Sprig the father shouts against thee, Slut the mother calls unto thee, 260 And the brother calls thee Doorstep, And the sister, Nasty Creature.
"Now the best that could await thee, Best the fate that could await thee, If as fog thou wert dispersing, From the house like smoke departing, Blown like leaf away that flutters, As a spark away is drifted.
"But a bird that flies thou art not, Nor a leaf away that flutters, 270 Nor a spark in drafts that's drifting, Nor the smoke from house ascending.
"Lack-a-day, O maid, my sister! Changed hast thou, and what art changing! Thou hast changed thy much-loved father For a father-in-law, a bad one; Thou hast changed thy tender mother For a mother-in-law most stringent; Thou hast changed thy noble brother For a brother-in-law so crook-necked, 280 And exchanged thy gentle sister For a sister-in-law all cross-eyed; And hast changed thy couch of linen For a sooty hearth to rest on; And exchanged the clearest water For the muddy margin-water, And the sandy shore hast bartered For the black mud at the bottom; And thy pleasant meadow bartered For a dreary waste of heathland; 290 And thy hills of berries bartered For the hard stumps of a clearing.
"Didst thou think, O youthful maiden, Think, O dove, full-fledged at present, Care would end and toil be lessened, With the party of this evening, When to rest thou shalt betake thee, And to sleep thou art conducted?
"But to rest they will not lead thee, Nor to sleep will they conduct thee; 300 Nought awaits thee now but watching, Nought awaits thee now save trouble, Heavy thoughts will come upon thee, Saddened thoughts will overwhelm thee.
"Long as thou didst wear no head-dress, Wert thou also free from trouble; When no linen veil waved round thee, Thou wast also free from sorrow. Now the head-dress brings thee trouble, Heavy thoughts the linen fabric, 310 And the linen veil brings sorrow, And the flax brings endless trouble.
"How may live at home a maiden? Maid in father's house abiding; Like a monarch in his palace, Only that the sword is wanting, But a son's wife's fate is dismal! With her husband she is living As a prisoner lives in Russia, Only that the jailor's wanting. 320
"Work she must in working season, And her shoulders stoop with weakness, And her body faints with weakness, And with sweat her face is shining. Then there comes another hour When there's need to make the fire, And to put the hearth in order, She must force her hands to do it.
"Long must seek, this girl unhappy, Long the hapless one must seek for, 330 Salmon's mind, and tongue of perchling, And her thoughts from perch in fishpond, Mouth of bream, of chub the belly, And from water-hen learn wisdom.
"'Tis beyond my comprehension, Nine times can I not imagine, To the mother's much-loved daughters, Best beloved of all her treasures, Whence should come to them the spoiler, Where the greedy one was nurtured, 340 Eating flesh, and bones devouring, To the wind their hair abandoning, And their tresses wildly tossing, To the wind of springtime gives them.
"Weep thou, weep thou, youthful maiden, When thou weepest, weep thou sorely. Weep thyself of tears a handful, Fill thy fists with tears of longing, Drop them in thy father's dwelling, Pools of tears upon the flooring, 350 Till the room itself is flooded, And above the floor in billows! If thou weepest yet not freely Thou shalt weep when thou returnest, When to father's house thou comest, And shalt find thy aged father Suffocated in the bathroom, 'Neath his arm a dried-up bath-whisk.
"Weep thou, weep thou, youthful maiden, When thou weepest, weep thou sorely; 360 If thou weepest not yet freely, Thou shalt weep when thou returnest, When to mother's house thou comest, And thou find'st thy aged mother Suffocated in the cowshed, In her dying lap a straw-sheaf.
"Weep thou, weep thou, youthful maiden, When thou weepest, weep thou sorely. If thou weepest yet not freely, Thou shalt weep when thou returnest, 370 When to this same house thou comest, And thou find'st thy rosy brother Fallen in the porch before it, In the courtyard helpless fallen.
"Weep thou, weep thou, youthful maiden, When thou weepest, weep thou sorely. If thou weepest yet not freely, Thou shalt weep when thou returnest, When to this same house thou comest, And thou find'st thy gentle sister 380 Fallen down upon the pathway, And beneath her arm a mallet."
Then the poor girl broke out sobbing, And awhile she sobbed and panted, And she soon commenced her weeping, Pouring forth her tears in torrents.
Then she wept of tears a handful, Filled her fists with tears of longing, Wet she wept her father's dwelling, Pools of tears upon the flooring, 390 And she spoke the words which follow, And expressed herself in thiswise: "O my sisters, dearest to me, Of my life the dear companions, All companions of my childhood, Listen now to what I tell you. 'Tis beyond my comprehension Why I feel such deep oppression, Making now my life so heavy, Why this trouble weighs upon me, 400 Why this darkness rests upon me; How I should express my sorrow.