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The Kalevala, by John Martin Crawford, [1888], at



WAINAMOINEN, old and faithful,
Spake these words to Ilmarinen:
"O thou wonder-working brother,
Let us go to Sariola,
There to gain the magic Sampo,
There to see the lid in colors."
Ilmarinen gave this answer:
"Hard indeed to seize the Sampo,
Neither can the lid be captured
From the never-pleasant Northland,
From the dismal Sariola.
Louhi took away the Sampo,
Carried off the lid in colors
To the stone-mount of Pohyola;
Hid it in the copper mountain,
Where nine locks secure the treasure.
Many young roots sprout around it,
Grow nine fathoms deep in sand-earth,
One great root beneath the mountain,
In the cataract a second,
And a third beneath the castle
Built upon the mount of ages."
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
"Brother mine, and wonder-worker,
Let us go to Sariola,
That we may secure the Sampo;
Let us build a goodly vessel,
Bring the Sampo to Wainola,
Bring away the lid in colors,
From the stone-berg of Pohyola,
From the copper-bearing mountain.
Where the miracle lies anchored."
Ilmarinen thus made answer:
"By the land the way is safer,
Lempo travels on the ocean,
Ghastly Death upon his shoulder;
On the sea the waves will drift us,
And the storm-winds wreck our vessel;
Then our bands must do the rowing,
And our feet must steer us homeward."
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
"Safe indeed by land to journey,
But the way is rough and trying,
Long the road and full of turnings;
Lovely is the ship on ocean,
Beautiful to ride the billows,
Journey easy o'er the waters,
Sailing in a trusty vessel;
Should the West-wind cross our pathway,
Will the South-wind drive us northward.
Be that as it may, my brother,
Since thou dost not love the water,
By the land then let us journey.
Forge me now the sword of battle,
Forge for me the mighty fire-sword,
That I may destroy the wild-beasts,
Frighten all the Northland people,
As we journey for the Sampo
To the cold and dismal village,
To the never-pleasant Northland,
To the dismal Sariola."

Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
The eternal forger-artist,
Laid the metals in the furnace,
In the fire laid steel and iron,
In the hot-coals, gold and silver,
Rightful measure of the metals;
Set the workmen at the furnace,
Lustily they plied the bellows.
Like the wax the iron melted,
Like the dough the hard steel softened,
Like the water ran the silver,
And the liquid gold flowed after.

Then the minstrel, Ilmarinen,
The eternal wonder-forger,
Looks within his magic furnace,
On the border of his oven,
There beholds the fire-sword forming,
Sees the blade with golden handle;
Takes the weapon from the furnace,
Lays it on his heavy anvil
For the falling of the hammer;
Forges well the blade of magic,
Well the heavy sword be tempers,
Ornaments the hero-weapon
With the finest gold and silver.

Wainamoinen, the magician,
Comes to view the blade of conquest,
Lifts admiringly the fire-sword,
Then these words the hero utters:
"Does the weapon match the soldier,
Does the handle suit the bearer?
Yea, the blade and hilt are molded
To the wishes of the minstrel."

On the sword-point gleams the moonlight,
On the blade the sun is shining,
On the hilt the bright stars twinkle,
On the edge a horse is neighing,
On the handle plays a kitten,
On the sheath a dog is barking.

Wainamoinen wields his fire-sword,
Tests it on the iron-mountain,
And these words the hero utters:
"With this broadsword I could quickly
Cleave in twain the mount of Pohya,
Cut the flinty rocks asunder."
Spake the blacksmith, Ilmarinen:
"Wherewith shall I guard from danger,
How protect myself from evil,
From the ills by land and water?
Shall I wear an iron armor,
Belt of steel around my body?
Stronger is a man in armor,
Safer in a mail of copper."

Now the time has come to journey
To the never-pleasant Northland;
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
And his brother, Ilmarinen,
Hasten to the field and forest,
Searching for their fiery coursers,
In each shining belt a bridle,
With a harness on their shoulders.
In the woods they find a race;
In the glen a steed of battle,
Ready for his master's service.
Wainamoinen, old and trusty,
And the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Throw the harness on the courser,
Hitch him to the sledge of conquest,
Hasten on their journey Northward;
Drive along the broad-sea's margin
Till they bear some one lamenting
On the strand hear something wailing
Near the landing-place of vessels.

Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Speaks these words in wonder, guessing,
"This must be some maiden weeping,
Some fair daughter thus lamenting;
Let us journey somewhat nearer,
To discover whence this wailing."

Drew they nearer, nearer, nearer,
Hoping thus to find a maiden
Weeping on the sandy sea-shore.
It was not a maiden weeping,
But a vessel, sad, and lonely,
Waiting on the shore and wailing.
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
"Why art weeping, goodly vessel,
What the cause of thy lamenting?
Art thou mourning for thy row-locks,
Is thy rigging ill-adjusted?
Dost thou weep since thou art anchored
On the shore in times of trouble?"
Thus the war-ship spake in answer:
"To the waters would this vessel
Haste upon the well-tarred rollers,
As a happy maiden journeys
To the cottage of her husband.
I, alas! a goodly vessel,
Weep because I lie at anchor,
Weep and wail because no hero
Sets me free upon the waters,
Free to ride the rolling billows.
It was said when I was fashioned,
Often sung when I was building,
That this bark should be for battle,
Should become a mighty war-ship,
Carry in my hull great treasures,
Priceless goods across the ocean.
Never have I sailed to conquest,
Never have I carried booty;
Other vessels not as worthy
To the wars are ever sailing,
Sailing to the songs of battle.
Three times in the summer season
Come they home with treasures laden,
In their hulls bring gold and silver;
I, alas! a worthy vessel,
Many months have lain at anchor,
I, a war-ship well constructed,
Am decaying in the harbor,
Never having sailed to conquest;
Worms are gnawing at my vitals,
In my hull their dwelling-places,
And ill-omened birds of heaven
Build their nests within my rigging;
Frogs and lizards of the forest
Play about my oars and rudder;
Three times better for this vessel
Were he but a valley birch-tree,
Or an aspen on the heather,
With the squirrels in his branches,
And the dogs beneath them barking!"

Wainamoinen, old and faithfull
Thus addressed the ship at anchor:
"Weep no more, thou goodly vessel,
Man-of-war, no longer murmur;
Thou shalt sail to Sariola,
Sing the war-songs of the Northland,
Sail with us to deadly combat.
Wert thou built by the Creator,
Thou canst sail the roughest waters,
Sidewise journey o'er the ocean;
Dost not need the hand to touch thee,
Dost not need the foot to turn thee,
Needing nothing to propel thee."
Thus the weeping boat made answer:
"Cannot sail without assistance,
Neither can my brother-vessels
Sail unaided o'er the waters,
Sail across the waves undriven."
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
"Should I lead thee to the broad-sea,
Wilt thou journey north unaided,
Sail without the help of rowers,
Sail without the aid of south-winds,
Sail without the b elm to guide thee?
Thus the wailing ship replying:
Cannot sail without assistance,
Neither can my brother-vessels
Sail without the aid of rowers,
Sail without the help of south-winds,
Nor without the helm to guide them."
These the words of Wainamoinen:
"Wilt thou run with aid of oarsmen
When the south-winds give assistance,
Guided by a skillful pilot?"
This the answer of the war-ship:
"Quickly can I course these waters,
When my oars are manned by rowers,
When my sails are filled with south-winds,
All my goodly brother-vessels
Sail the ocean with assistance,
When the master holds the rudder."

Then the ancient Wainamoinen
Left the racer on the sea-side,
Tied him to the sacred birch-tree,
Hung the harness on a willow,
Rolled the vessel to the waters,
Sang the ship upon the broad-sea,
Asked the boat this simple question:
"O thou vessel, well-appearing
From the mighty oak constructed,
Art thou strong to carry treasures
As in view thou art commanding?
Thus the goodly ship made answer:
"Strong am I to carry treasures,
In my hull a golden cargo;
I can bear a hundred oarsmen,
And of warriors a thousand."

Wainamoinen, the magician,
Then began his wondrous singing.
On one side the magic vessel,
Sang he youth with golden virtues,
Bearded youth with strength of heroes,
Sang them into mail of copper.
On the other side the vessel,
Sang he silver-tinselled maidens,
Girded them with belts of copper,
Golden rings upon their fingers.
Sings again the great magician,
Fills the magic ship with heroes,
Ancient heroes, brave and mighty;
Sings them into narrow limits,
Since the young men came before them.

At the helm himself be seated,
Near the last beam of the vessel,
Steered his goodly boat in joyance,
Thus addressed the willing war-ship:
"Glide upon the trackless waters,
Sail away, my ship of magic,
Sail across the waves before thee,
Speed thou like a dancing bubble,
Like a flower upon the billows!"

Then the ancient Wainamoinen
Set the young men to the rowing,
Let the maidens sit in waiting.
Eagerly the youthful heroes
Bend the oars and try the row-locks,
But the distance is not lessened.
Then the minstrel, Wainamoinen,
Set the maidens to the rowing,
Let the young men rest in waiting.
Eagerly the merry maidens
Bend the aspen-oars in rowing,
But the distance is not lessened.
Then the master, Wainamoinen,
Set the old men to the rowing,
Let the youth remain in waiting.
Lustily the aged heroes
Bend and try the oars of aspen,
But the distance is not lessened.

Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Grasped the oars with master-magic,
And the boat leaped o'er the surges,
Swiftly sped across the billows;
Far and wide the oars resounded,
Quickly was the distance lessened.
With a rush and roar of waters
Ilmarinen sped his vessel,
Benches, ribs, and row-locks creaking,
Oars of aspen far resounding;
Flap the sails like wings of moor-cocks,
And the prow dips like a white-swan;
In the rear it croaks like ravens,
Loud the oars and rigging rattle.

Straightway ancient Wainamoinen
Sitting by the bending rudder,
Turns his magic vessel landward,
To a jutting promontory,
Where appears a Northland-village.
On the point stands Lemminkainen,
Kaukomieli, black magician,
Ahti, wizard of Wainola,
Wishing for the fish of Pohya,
Weeping for his fated dwelling,
For his perilous adventures,
Hard at work upon a vessel,
On the sail-yards of a fish-boat,
Near the hunger-point and island,
Near the village-home deserted.
Good the ears of the magician,
Good the wizard's eyes for seeing;
Casts his vision to the South-east,
Turns his eyes upon the sunset,
Sees afar a wondrous rainbow,
Farther on, a cloudlet hanging;
But the bow was a deception,
And the cloudlet a delusion;
'Tis a vessel swiftly sailing,
'Tis a war-ship flying northward,
O'er the blue-back of the broad-sea,
On the far-extending waters,
At the helm the master standing,
At the oars a mighty hero.
Spake the reckless Lemminkainen:
"Do not know this wondrous vessel,
Not this well-constructed war-ship,
Coming from the distant Suomi,
Rowing for the hostile Pohya."

Thereupon wild Lemminkainen
Called aloud in tones of thunder
O'er the waters to the vessel;
Made the distant hills re-echo
With the music of his calling:
"Whence this vessel on the waters,
Whose the war-ship sailing hither?"

Spake the master of the vessel
To the reckless Lemminkainen:
"Who art thou from fen or forest,
Senseless wizard from the woodlands,
That thou dost not know this vessel,
Magic war-ship of Wainola?
Dost not know him at the rudder,
Nor the hero at the row-locks?"
Spake the wizard, Lemminkainen:
"Well I know the helm-director,
And I recognize the rower;
Wainamoinen, old and trusty,
At the helm directs the vessel;
Ilmarinen does the rowing.
Whither is the vessel sailing,
Whither wandering, my heroes?
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
"We are sailing to the Northland,
There to gain the magic Sampo,
There to get the lid in colors,
From the stone-berg of Pohyola,
From the copper-bearing mountain."
Spake the evil Lemminkainen:
"O, thou good, old Wainamoinen,
Take me with thee to Pohyola,
Make me third of magic heroes,
Since thou goest for the Sampo,
Goest for the lid in colors;
I shall prove a valiant soldier,
When thy wisdom calls for fighting;
I am skilled in arts of warfare!"

Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Gave assent to Ahti's wishes;
Thereupon wild Lemminkainen
Hastened to Wainola's war-ship,
Bringing floats of aspen-timber,
To the ships of Wainamoinen.

Thus the hero of the Northland
Speaks to reckless Lemminkainen:
"There is aspen on my vessel,
Aspen-floats in great abundance,
And the boat is heavy-laden.
Wherefore dost thou bring the aspen
To the vessel of Wainola?"
Lemminkainen gave this answer:
"Not through caution sinks a vessel,
Nor a hay-stack by its proppings;
Seas abound in hidden dangers,
Heavy storms arise and threaten
Fell destruction to the sailor
That would brave the angry billows."
Spake the good, old Wainamoinen:
"Therefore is this warlike vessel
Built of trusty steel and copper,
Trimmed and bound in toughest iron,
That the winds may, not destroy it,
May not harm my ship of magic."

Next: Rune XL. Birth of the Harp.