Magic Songs of the West Finns, Vol. 2, by John Abercromby, , at sacred-texts.com
I crave from the Creator leave, assistance from the Lord I beg, from heaven's ruler (haltia), breaker of the earth's surface, this I wish. Tell the divining-gear (arpa), O God, divining-gear, declare to me whence the calamity arrived. Begin, divining-gear, to move.
If from a burial-place the plague has come, move with the sun, divining-gear; if it proceed from village-spells, then move thyself against the sun; if from the water come the harm, then seawards quickly turn thyself; if from the earth the fellow rose, then northwards veer without delay. If thou bring true intelligence, trustworthy and from falsehood free, then steady as a wall stand still, as firm as a fence, divining-gear!
Now is the time for gear (arpa) to move, for a man to ask for presages; Creator's presage! tell the truth, divining-gear of God, report, bring hither true intelligence, divulge the appointed destiny at this hour's end, at this day's close. The real truth tell, divining gear! not what would please a man, not according to a man's desires. Announce the truth and do not lie. If the divining-gear tells lies, its reputation diminishes, into the fire the gear is cast, flung there in order to be burnt. If the divining-gear speaks truth, its reputation is enhanced, the divining-gear is raised aloft to the knees of the holy God.
If to divining-gear I turn, start seeking human auguries, I demand a precise reply, I demand the truth and not a lie, exactly I make it speak, according to the facts—divine whence the calamity arrived, the grievous trouble was produced.
Hiisi, bring now thy linen cap, Lempo, thy broad-brimmed hat, in which I'll set my divining-gear, I'll cast my slips of alder wood. Old mother Kave, Nature's daughter, O golden Kave, the beautiful, come hither, when required, to arrange the divining-gear, with thy hands to turn the gear, with thy fingers set the gear aright.
Into a pipe with a puppy's bite, into a pestle a woman's blow, into the sand with a horse's bite, into the heath with a 'bone-hoofs' bite!
Thou horse that hast been brought, been placed below a wheel, 1 with thee ’tis needful there should be two attendants purposely, invisible and visible, who will press down thy head and will tire out thy strength. Stand still thou must, thou must not fidget any more, stand still like a castle-wall, like a stone church's tower, like the wall of Jerusalem.
A scrap in a mouse's teeth, a straw in a gnawer's throat. Bite a hair, 2 gulp another down, but of the third beware,
for if thou touch the third, like a cockroach thou shalt die forthwith. If thou shouldst feel the wish, shouldst have a mind to eat, on the field's edge lies a boulder-stone, allowed thee as a morning meal, as a delightful early meal. Bite that, accursed one, thou villain, nibble that, for this long period, for the duration of my days, don't meddle with my stack.
Shrivelled, wizened, shaggy spider, Jesus’ ball of reddish worsted, the Creator's golden flower, if thou evil hast committed, come to recognise thine action, else I'll flay thee with my fingers, with my thumbs will make incision, I shall take thy hide to Viborg, to the German town convey it, where I'll get a hundred shillings, shall receive in piles a thousand, five at a time in Viborg money, six at a time in golden pennies.
Strike now, thou birchen bow, pray give a blow, thou fir-backed bow, spring, hempen bowstring, hastily discharge forthwith and powerfully. If my hand shall point too low, just so much may the arrow rise; if my hand shall point too high, just so much may the arrow fall.
A careful man is needed then, a steady fellow is required, when a man is about to wed a girl, a man is led to be betrothed, when trouble comes at a wedding-feast, shedding of blood at the drinking-bout.
Smith Ilmarinen did himself shoe me a horse in summertime, a stall-fed nag in winter-time, that I might go to woo the girls in Hiisi's fort, the Rakko-vuori cousins. If that is not enough, from Hiisi I shall take a horse, from the mountain a splendid foal, ay, Hiisi's brownest nag, whose hoofs will never slip, whose hoofs will ne’er rebound on the ice-like path of the atmosphere, on the slippery road of death.
On a previous day from a stone I shore off wool, from a rock broke off the hair and made of it a defensive coat, with which I'll hide the little maids, and cover the budding heroes round.
On a previous day my Ukko's fiery sword dropt on its handle from the sky, fell on its point from out the clouds into my right hand; with it I'll thresh the hounds, I'll chase away the ghostly crew (kalmalaiset), from the space in front of me, from my rear and both my flanks.
If that is not enough, if I am not the proper man to give away a maiden's hand, to lead a man to be betrothed, I'll go to seek help from a rock, to seek strength from the stone of a hill; in the hill there is help, in Hiisi's castle are supplies, to let me give this girl away, to let me aid the stalwart youth, to lead the man to be betrothed.
O grub of Tuoni, worm of earth, thou grim root-worm, may salt destroy, may iron injure thee, that thou sha’n’t take my shooting corn, not pilfer from my growing crops, not visit my food-supplies, not vent thy malice on my crops.
If salt should not destroy, nor iron injure thee, begin,
unbidden guest, to move, thou evil one to flee away. Depart, where I command, to rustling grassy fields, to boundless fields, to mossless swamps. There there is swamp for thee to eat, and roots for thee to gnaw, to go among head first, to grub at with thy teeth, for a repulsive snail to eat, without its touching human food. A wretched man performs his work for nought, exerts his strength amiss, when an adder drinks his ale, a worm draws off his wort, when a snail devours his aliment.
O corpulent and bloated grub, thou rag of Tuoni, snail of earth, humming thou Gamest from withered grass, with clanging noise from grassy tufts to my food-producing plants, to my life-preserving herbs, to take my shooting corn, to play havoc with my kail. Now this I do not know at all whence thou thy 'scissors' hast obtained, and whence thy bony jaws, to eat this excellent, to gnaw this lovely corn. Come, villain, let thy gnawing cease, into the earth press, worm, thy head, into concealment poke thy pate and hide thy nimble tongue. Into the forest, snail, depart, into the thicket glide, O worm, to cut the alder roots, to hack the aspen roots; rub in thy sand the nose, into the heath dig in thy head! There there is room for thee, bottoms of ditches to frequent and banks on which to dwell; may thy teeth in sandy soil grate harshly upon stones, and scrunch against a bit of slag. If it should not be pleasant there, into the sea depart, thou worm, attack the herbage of the sea, settle thyself beneath the waves. There it is nice for thee to live, sea-sand is there for thee to eat, sea-water too for thee to drink, sea-gravel in thy mouth to put, sand—in the clefts between thy teeth. If thou shouldst pay no heed
thereto, I'll draw a fiery sword from a fiery sheath, with which I fasten up thy throat and shall disperse thy teeth. If that is not enough, there is Ukko in the sky. May Ukko smash thy head, may he crush it to a mash with a copper wagon, an iron cart!
I arrange my snares, attach these flaxen threads of mine, on the snow I attach my flaxen threads, I drop my nooses on its crust. O crouching leveret, with cross-shaped mouth, with ragged jaw, along the bends of the valley run, along its depressions press thy way, like a golden cuckoo run, like a little silver knob, against this gin of mine, straight at my golden snares. Approach without anxiety, without precaution play about, strike on the threshold with thy nail, with thy paw the front of the trap; don't choose out one of the trigger-pins, bite the nearest trigger-pin, with forest-honey it is smeared, with woodland-sweetness is bedaubed.
On no account approach near other people's trigger-pins: there death would seize thee in its mouth, a dreadful death encounter thee. All other triggers are malign, which thou shouldst be on thy guard against, but this is a honeyed trigger-pin, which has been set with its upper end, placed with its upper end in snow, with its lower end to the sky inclined; the top end holds a pair of tongs, the lower end tight strains a bow.
O crouching hare, O 'crooked neck,' run now against these snares of mine; speed, 'bandy-legs,' to the noose-hung
tree; 1 'bent-legged of Hiisi' 2 to the trap; thou, 'madcap,' to the gin; thou 'ball-eyed,' to the snare; to the trap, thou 'swivel-eyed.' Come like the ruddy fire, like summer water roll from ’neath a tree, from ’neath a fir, from under a fir with branching head, from under a lovely juniper, past other people's snares, under the other people's gins, behind the other people's traps, head-foremost to this trap of mine, to my golden loop, to my wide sweep-net, before the shining of the sun, the releasing of the moon, the rising of the sun, the dawning of the god of dawn.
O perch, belovèd little fish, and thou, O pike with scanty teeth, come here to take the hook, to twist the barbèd iron, to bend the crooked hook, to tug the line, to jerk the rod. Now is the time to take the hook, the time for bending crooked hooks, the time for twisting barbèd iron, the time for tugging fishing-lines. Approach with a wider open mouth, with widest jaws, with fewer teeth; come hither, and still quicker come past other people's hooks, past other people's lines, straight to this hook of mine. Then take the hook, gulp down the 'nail,' snatch at the bent-up iron, tug straight my line and bend with a sudden jerk the rod. Of virgin-honey are my lines, my hooks of honey; my bait is sweet, the lines of other people are of dung; their hooks are barbed, the bait of others is of tar.
My 'wee broad forehead'! my beloved, my lovely 'honey-paws,' commit no ravages nor confound thyself with shame, don't eat a creature's (kave) hide, and don't drink guiltless blood all this great summer-time, the Creator's fervid summer-time. Permit a 'crumpled horn' to walk, a 'cloven hoof' to roam about, a 'giver of milk' to wander round, a 'mushroom-eater' to move about, and do not touch it in the least, in thy bad humour seize it not. Remember thine ancient oath at the river of Tuonela, at the furious cataract, in front of the Creator's knees. Permission then was given thee to roam within the sound of bells, on ground where jingling bells are heard, but it was not permitted thee, permission was not granted thee, to perpetrate unlovely deeds and to confound thyself with shame.
O forest beauty, 'forest gold'! thou splendid creature of the woods, go circling round the cattle grounds, steal past the pasturage of cows, avoid the clanging of the bells and flee from the shepherd's voice. If thou the sound of copper hear, or the clanging of a bell, the jingling of a horse's bell, the husky sound of rusty iron, or the lowing of a calf, or the prattle of a herding lad,—if thou hear that upon a hill, then to the foot of the hill descend; if the cattle should be on a sandy heath, trot off to a morass; if the cattle plunge into a swamp, then strive to reach the wooded wilds; when the cattle wander on a hill, along the hill-foot make thy way; when the cattle at the hill-foot move, along the hill-top make thy way; when they across a clearing
pass, to a copse-wood turn thy steps; when they to a copse-wood turn their steps, do thou across a clearing pass.
Like a flax-bundle move along, roll like the wool on a distaff bound; thy father was a woolly one, thy mother was a woolly one, thyself art a woolly beast, thy mouth is wool, thy head is wool, the tall hat on thy head is wool; on thy hands are woollen gloves, on thy feet are woollen socks, and thy five claws are wool; of wool are thy teeth, thy malice is of wool. In thy fur conceal thy claws, like a distaff bound with flax; in thy gums conceal thy teeth, like a lump in a mess of pap; turn down thy copper nose under thy golden paunch, at the cattle do not look, but look at thy hairy feet, so that the cattle sha’n’t take fright, the 'crumpled horns' sha’n’t start with fear, the little herd sha’n’t be alarmed, the housewife's herd sha’n’t suffer harm.
'Black bullock of the woods'! ball-like with lovely hair, let us eternal treaties make, let us conclude eternal peace, that we may live in harmony and pleasantly all summertime, e’en though in winter we go to war, in the hard season make a din. In common we possess the land, but our subsistence privately: the leaves on trees, the grass on earth, the ants in a mound,—in these thou hast thy provender from summer night to winter night, whatever clump of firs or heap of stones on a heath thou mayst be in, when passing the ground where cattle graze. If that is not enough, eat rather thy heart's core, cook rather thine own lungs, thy liver rather taste than touch my property. If thou shouldst get enraged, thy teeth shouldst feel a crave, may thine anger melt away, thy bitterness evaporate, into thy wool may it roll away and disappear among thy fur. If
that is not enough, into a copse thine anger fling, to heather thy bitterness, to the firs thy bad desires, to softwood trees thy virulence. Go grub at a grassy knoll, keep shaking a rotten tree, upset a weathered birchen stump, fling from a mountain stones, twist bushes which in water grow, thereby thy claws will get matured, thy forearms gain in strength.
My 'wee broad forehead,' my beloved, my 'little bundle,' 'honey-paws'! just listen when I speak, when I pipe with a golden tongue: if I were a bear, if I went about as a 'honey-paws,' I should not live in such a way, always at the 'old women's' 1 feet. A fur coat here gets spoilt, fine downy hair gets rubbed on these field banks, these narrow lanes. There's land elsewhere, hard, grassy plains lie further off, for an idle fellow to run upon, a leisured one to speed along, to walk till his heels are cracked, till the calf of his leg is split, in the blue backwoods, in the famous wilderness, where men drink honey, imbibe sweet mead; a bed is ever there arranged, a bed is there prepared of old, in the honeyed, wooded wilds, in the liver-coloured woods.
From the pile I take my pike, from the rack my pointed spear, I, leaving men, start forth to hunt, leave men and start for out-door work. With my three dogs, with my five bushy tails I go to the door of Bruin's room, to the 'bashful fellow's' house, to the yard of 'tiny eyes,' to the trampled ground of 'level nose,' where fat is found abundantly, fat that has lain a winter long, at the root of stunted pines,
under a bushy-headed fir. O roving forest-king, flat-nosed and corpulent, if thou shouldst hear me come, the approach of a doughty man, get up and away from thy sooty lair, from the bed of fir-wood boughs; in thy fur conceal thy claws, in thy gums thy teeth, on linen lay thy head, bind silk across thine eyes, lie down to sleep on a grassy knoll or a lovely rock, where firs are swaying overhead, where pines are murmuring above; Broad forehead! there keep turning round, keep wriggling there, thou 'honey-paws,' like a wood-grouse on its nest, like a goose on its hatching-place.
I thought a cuckoo had 'cuckoo' cried, that the darling bird had sung; it was no cuckoo dear at all, it was my splendid dog at the door of Bruin's room, before the bashful fellow's house. O 'wee broad forehead,' my beloved, my little beauty, 'honey-paws'! Don't take it quite amiss, if anything befall us now, cracking of bones and thuds on heads, or a time when the teeth get smashed. Surrender thy head-ornament, insert thy teeth in it, cast thy scanty teeth away and fasten up thy nimble jaw.
When Jesus makes it summer-time, when God the summer season forms, the marshes melt, the firm land melts, the waterpools get likewise warm, shall I disperse my cows as yet, send out my beasts to pasturage, to the copse drive forth my kine, to the bushy scrub my little calves; shall I, poor fellow, loose my sheep, entirely free my 'drooping ears,' for my sheep to go to a water-pool, my
horses to a grassy spot, to the famous forest-home, to the slopes of the forest-fort; shall I send my swine to the wilds, my 'down-bent snouts' to abandoned fields, to a strand that faces the sea, that faces a sandy sea?
When pleasant summer has arrived, when the water-pools have warmed, others send shepherds out, get herds, but whom shall I, poor wretch, a mistress quite devoid of means, whom shall I as my shepherd send, procure as my cattle-herd? whom shall I make into godfather, make into guardian of the 'bells'? 1 Shall I send a willow-tree as herd, an alder as guardian of the cows, a rowan-tree as manager, a wild bird-cherry to drive them home, without the mistress's seeking them, without the housewife's bothering, without the herd-lass watching them, without the shepherd's driving them? Pray be my shepherd, willow-tree! be my cow-watcher, alder-tree! pray be my manager, rowan-tree! be drover, wild bird-cherry tree! If thou won't shepherd, willow-tree, won't herd the cows, thou alder-tree, won't manage well, thou rowan-tree, won't drive them home, bird-cherry tree, I'll cast the willow into a stream, cut into two the alder-tree, stick into the fire the rowan-tree, plunge into flames bird-cherry tree. As a shepherd the willow's bad, as a cattle-watcher the alder-tree, as a manager the rowan-tree, as a drover the bird-cherry tree.
O 'maid of rapids,' maid of foam! that art the briskest of my girls, the best of my hired serving-girls, as a shepherd thee I send, I make thee into godmother, I make thee guardian of the 'bells.' But if thou do not manage well, I
still have other ones. The distinguished woman Suvetar, wood's daughter-in-law, the Mielikki, the kindly mistress Hongatar, Pihlajatar the little lass, Katajatar the lovely girl, and Tapio's daughter Tuometar, as my shepherds I shall send and make them into godmothers.
If that is not enough to watch my kine, the Creator I shall send as herd, as a watcher the Omnipotent; the Creator is the best of herds, of watchers the Omnipotent; to the fire he brings them all, to the smoke 1 conducts them all, while the sun is shining still, while the Lord's 'whorl' is shining hot, while the cattle of God are all in file, the kine of the Lord come swinging home.
A wolf was running o’er a swamp, a bear was hurrying o’er a heath, with a shout the wolf cried out:
'In the swamp I have found a spear.'
The bear spoke out from the sandy heath: 'Is the spear of the larger size?'
The wolf made answer from the swamp: 'None of the largest is the spear, none of the smallest is the spear, the spear is of medium size.'
It happened that Hiisi overheard, the evil man was noticing; he snatched away the pointed spear, seized the copper-headed lance, to perpetrate vile deeds, to do acts of violence: he made the end vibrate, caused a quivering of the shaft, and hurled it into a human skin, the body of a mother's son.
Hiisi's Hilli, Hiisi's Halli! Hiisi's dark-grey Hawk! Hiisi's dog with crooked jaw! Bloody Nixie [Näkki], Tuoni's Jackdaw! close thy mouth, conceal thy head, while a fellow passes by. If thou shouldst much desire to bark—go, Jackdaw, bark at the feet of battle-horses, on the sandy heath of nags, but don't thou bark at me.
I know thine origin, thy lineage and thine origin; eyeless was thy father born, eyeless was thy mother too, eyeless thou art thyself. May honey stop thy mouth, honey press down thy head, that thou canst not give tongue until a man has passed. May thy jawbones be as tightly closed as a flax-break lid is tightly closed, may thy teeth be as soft as (the husks) in my fist are soft.
If that is not enough, may Hiisi close thy mouth, Lempo distend thy jaw, that thou canst not conclude thy speech, canst not become great-mouthed. May the bloody cloak of Hiitola, may Lempo's gory rug envelop thy meagre skull, and both thine ears; may silk be bound across thine eyes, that thou cannot hear a passer-by nor see a passing traveller.
What has come o’er my dog, perplexes my barking hound, as the dog won't give tongue suitably, the puppy won't point properly? Who has been trying to hurt my dog, done injury to my grey dog? has he been seen by a jealous eye, by a skew-eyed person been observed, as he barks at boughs of fir, keeps yelping at leafy boughs? I don't bow down to firs, don't fawn on trees with branching tops,
[paragraph continues] I make my bow to a fir-tree's 'flowers,' 1 I flatter 'luxuriant' trees.
O pure and whitish 'tube,' furred beauty of winter-time, 'dear little hen' of fields run wild, 'flower dwelling at the root of firs,' run hither hastily, speed hurriedly, immediately, this very night, slip noiseless as fresh-fallen snow, past other people's fields, ’neath the fences of other men, right into these gins of mine, right into my ermine-traps, to taste my honey, to reach my hook, to eat the honeyed food of the honeyed 'knoll,' 2 in the little golden 'cup,' 2 in the little copper 'box.' 2 The bait is made with cunning skill, made to taste salty in the mouth, to be virgin honey to the eye and honey to the mind.
Rise, Yeast, when being raised, work, Barm, when being made to work, before thy raiser rise, ferment in thy fermenter's hand, rise without being raised by ropes, without being hauled by tarry cords. The moon and sun have risen both, yet thou hast not begun to rise.
It needs a careful man, it requires a reliable man, when a viper trails along the hand, a snake on the fingers glides, a 'worm' upon the hands doth crawl, when 'Tuoni's
maggot' creeps along. Thus may one speak and thus express oneself:
My sweet heart, my wee bird, my beauty, my wee duck [F. hen]! glide through the withered grass like gold, like silver through the grassy tufts; don't stray on a fir-tree bough, don't hurry to get on a stone, and into the water do not roll. If thou stray on a fir-tree bough thou’lt snap in half like an alder staff; if thou hurry to get on a stone, thou’lt break in twain, if into water thou shouldst roll, to the bottom thou wilt fall. Now bar thy mouth, conceal thy head, bite thy teeth through, hide away thy nimble tongue, and under thy copper navel thrust thy golden nose. That thy mouth may go, thy head may go, that thy poisoned teeth may go, that thy mind may go, turn round on these my palms, upon these fingers prepare to turn. When the command is given, then straighten out thyself, stretch thyself straight, turn round and quit my hand to crawl upon the earth, to creep among the shrubs.
May the advocate be smothered, may the jurymen be mollified, may the judge be suffocated, may the law fall prostrate to the ground, and the law-books tumble on the floor. Let justice stand before the door upon my entering the room, while I am standing by the wall, while I remain behind the door, while I am walking to the court; let the magistrate become a child, the jurymen become as sheep, but myself become a ravening wolf or a destructive bear. Though bitter is the gall of bears, yet mine is twofold bitterer; may any word that I shall speak have the effect of a hundred words, so that I sha’n’t incur a fine, nor find myself compelled by force.
Go to Finland to be bred, to Karelia to grow up, to Esthonia to put on wool, and home to be shorn. Take wool from time to time from humid turf, from a honeyed knoll, from a lass light-footed as a cloud.
I wash my little child, I souse my little innocent.
Begin to move, thou needless pain,—depart, thou evil Suffering,—while I scrub with the bathing-switch, remove with its leaves the pain, ere the rising of the moon, or the rising of the sun, into stony rocks, into hills of steel. The stones are shouting loud for pains, flat stones for accidents, the crags lament, the hills are whimpering. There is nought for the steam to find, for the water to demand, 1 so the steam may enter the furnace stones, the smoke the moss between the logs, the water begin to trickle down, my little beauty begin to thrive.
Lull the child to sleep, O God; cause it to slumber, Mary dear! So Sleep outside the door inquires, Sleep's son, who is in the porch, who is waiting behind the door:
'Is there an infant in the crib, in the blankets a little child, under the clothes an innocent?'
Into the cradle come, dear Sleep, enter, dear Sleep, the cot, ’neath blankets of a little child, the covering of the innocent; permit the little child to sleep, the feeble bairnie
to repose; I should get repose myself, the infant's slave would be disengaged.
Who played this prank, who effected a wondrous thing, that this our girl, this lovely chick, wasn't wed in the wedding-year, not taken in the taking-year, affianced in the wooer's-year, last summer was not carried of? What whore of Hiisi here, what lunatic of Lempo was't, that repressed the girl's love-god, 1 destroyed the girl's renown, and made him sleep below the earth, repose in a leafy grove? Does the reason lie in harlot's gibes, in the words of whorish womankind, of a youth, of a man of years, or of one of middle age, as the young men do not fall in love, nor suitors let themselves be pleased?
I raise the girl's Love-god, I exalt the girl's Renown from sleeping underneath the ground, reposing in a leafy grove, I raise up Love 1 to hover round, Renown to blossom forth, above the renown of other girls, beyond the loves of other girls, to rollick in the streets, to whirl about beside the gates, I make betrothal gifts spring forth, make silver give a jingling sound, I open the gate and make a way, I send the suitors in. In future never again, if not this summertide, will lovers be allured by thee, will young men fall in love with thee. Pure is the snowfinch on the snow, but purer still art thou; bright is a star in the sky, but brighter thy betrothal gifts; white is the foam upon the sea, thy body is whiter still.
What has stung my lass, has hit my girl, as young men will not come for her, of wooers nought is heard at all? E’en flat-nosed women husbands find, the wrinkly-visaged are led away, so why not this young girl, the swamp-grown flower, a flower of earth, the flower of all the town, that has red clover's tenderness, the beauty too of horse-tail grass? Why wasn't she wed in the wedding-year, affianced in the year of love, in the ale-summer 1 not ta’en away? If the girl's Love-god, the girl's Renown into a cave has been conveyed, to a wayside post, to a wayside ditch, or the tiny nest of a woodpecker, there we shall find the God of Love, we'll raise again Renown, to cause the minds of men to veer, to cause their hearts to burn like fire, that procession-leaders shall arrive, that bridal heralds shall drive up, messengers come from Åbo town and other lads from Tornio.
My little mother, old old-wife, wise woman, old old-wife, that art by birth a Swede, a Russian though by creed, just tell me in a word why no one marries me. In pairs are all the fairest things, in pairs the trees, in pairs the pines, in pairs the fishes in the sea, in pairs the birdies of the air, in pairs the shoes beneath the bench, in pairs the fence's stakes, why am not I, poor thing, in pairs? Is my skin all over hair, do my surroundings smell of tar, or is my Love-god in a grove, quite buried under boughs of fir, concealed beneath a bench, since young men do not come for me, bridegrooms won't let themselves be pleased?
My little girl, my younger one, for this cause no one marries thee, for this cause, Michael's daughters too, and Seppo's daughters for a long time did remain unwed and were not to betrothal led, because their eyes were full of dust, their heads were full of husks of flax, their eyes were cleanly as a pig's, their ears were cleanly as a dog's, on their necks was a fathom of soot, on the rest of the body a span, an ell of ashes was on their heads, of soot a full quarter ell. Divest thee of thy filthy rags, fling away thy disgraceful shift, cast evil prattle from thy head, from thy socks all witchery; attire thee in thy best, put on thy lovely shift, thou’lt go to church to become its flower, wilt be as a golden statue there, as a tinkling sound to attract the lords, as an audible sound to attract the kings; thee will the congregation praise, the community extol, each one of the married men will one and all regard the girl, each full grown married man will be quite, struck with wonder at the maid.
I too was black in days gone by, among the women especially, I waited long, he never came who to betrothal me would lead. In a grove I broke a bathing-switch, whisked off a lovely bathing-switch, from a ditch's water I took some wood, I gathered unsullied wood, I heated a vapour-bath with these soft bits of wood. I stripped off my old working-rags, the clothes I wear when felling wood, I washed my head both morn and eve, at midnight rubbed it dry, precisely on Johannes’ eve, the time between St. Peter's day. My Love-god I appeased with that, for no long period elapsed ere wooers came from Savolax and other lads from Bothnia in order to behold my face, to view with beaming eyes my form.
O god of Love begin to move away, from the maiden get thee gone, to take thy rest beneath the earth, to take repose in a leafy grove. Let her skin perspire a lathery sweat, let her surroundings smell of tar, o’er her eyes may the skin of a pig be bound, and Lempo's filth upon her ears, on her head let evil gossip fall, let nothing good be said of her, so that no suitors fancy her, no young men come to fetch her off.
Fly, redstart, fly, that thy wings may point where my bird whistles to allure; fly west and east, dart towards the north, keep speeding to the south.
Fly, fly, poor bird! fly hither to these parts, to the little trees, to low-lying spots; pray stretch thyself upon a branch, upon a bough extend thyself. Wait here, my little bird, wait at the branch's root, stir not, O bird of air, don't spread thy wings for flight, unless the flaxen string should move, the wretched wood produce a bang. If thou shouldst stir, poor bird, shouldst spread thy wings to fly, the aspen trees are full of hawks, of speckled eagles the wilderness; while moving they will eat thy flesh, while fluttering will bite thy bones.
Fly, wood-grouse, from thy worthless perch, from dreary places, wood-grouse hen! light-footed blackcock! fly, fly
round-necked hazel grouse! to my gold decoy, to mine iron carrion. In the morning early fly, when mid-day comes, in front of him that seeketh thee, to a shooter's steps, to coo to my decoy, to sing on a tree with branching head. And when I hiss at thee, lie on the ground with helpless wings.
I to a churchyard hurry off, from a grave I gather sand, procure a magpie's nest, snatch birch-bark shoes from off the road, and shape them into a bird. Then I make up a steady fire and thither carry my decoy, I procure a bathing-switch, I cut one off of alder twigs, give my decoy a rubbing down and wash it with water pure. My decoy-bird then I carry home, without being pecked at by a witch or discovered by a 'squinting eye.'
O Bug, the son of Flat, 'red breeches,' 'wheel-shaped whelp'! thou little roundish flower of fir, into the wall retire from me, with thy head to it and thy back to me; I have a tarry back, of fat is the crevice in the wall. If thou shouldst pay not heed to that I'll burn the biter's castle down, in a mortar pound his lips, his head with the pestle's point, with a stone I'll grind his teeth.
O round and plumpish cow-house snake, snow-coloured, corpulent, both somewhat round and somewhat long, and in the middle globular, hast thou already great become?
[paragraph continues] Thou wast not great in former days when thou wast an apron round the waist, when rustling on women's legs, when thou wast Väinämöinen's clasp, the son of Kaleva's belt-clasp. Thou wast not great in former days, thou didst not hold thy head erect when thou didst tumble in the muck, among the sweepings of the byre, doctor thyself in mud, mingle thyself with muck, in cattle-urine long didst lie, for a month in horses’ stale.
White creature wholly white, thou winter-coloured imp, tongue-shaped and slippery, 'wall-streak' and 'rubbish of the floor,' that livest ’neath timbers of a house, that dawdlest underneath the nook, the mistress's 'first cuckoo dear,' the women's 'golden purse,' that countest the girdle clasps, that reckonest up the keys, that layest a winter in the dung, a long time weltered in the cold, why hast thou tasted of my milk, why touched my pans of cream, and entered a house of pine, a habitation built of fir? Thy place is in the grass, ’neath withered herbage in the shed, ’mong sweepings of the shed for months, in winter ’neath the stable floor. Roll down thy malice there, roll there thyself as well.
Yonder the gods above, the earth-mothers down below, have baths that are heated up, new rooms that give forth whirls of smoke; may water on the fire be thrown, may vapour here be given off, a steam from the furnace-stones, hot steam from the bath-house moss, as ointment for the injuries, as embrocation for the wounds.
Welcome! O Vapour, welcome! Warmth, welcome to him that welcometh. Vapour is Auterinen's son, is Auteretar's child. Enter the steam, O God, to heat it, father of the world, to bring about a state of health, and to establish peace; excess of vapour mitigate, O send away excess of heat through a hole by an auger bored, through a drill-made aperture.
O welcome, welcome, my dear Steam! my darling Steam, my darling Warmth, thou steam of wood, dear water's warmth, old Väinämöinen's sweat! The wood was made by God, by Maatar the shoot was made to grow, from a hill dear water originates, fire from the sky originates; there is nought for steam to find, there is nought for heat to shun, for the wind to blow away, for intemperate weather to touch, for water to roll away, for a jealous person to see, for a squinting eye to spy, for an evil-wisher to hurt, when I with mine eyes have seen, when I have handled with my hands, when I have spoken with holy lips, when I with my breath have sighed.
O Hikitukka, Hiisi's girl, why hast thou hid the gift of cows, to Mana conveyed my milk, my quite fresh milk to Tuonela? To Mana milk ought not to go, nor the gift of cows to Tuonela. May milk flow here in streams, may sweet milk journey here, may milky holes discharge themselves, may milky rapids froth from the cup of every flower,
from the husk of every grass, from verdant sloping tracts, from honeyed grassy knolls, from sappy turf; from horsetail-grass; the rapids then must froth, the milky holes discharge themselves into a little golden cup, into a vat with copper sides.
I, the unlucky wife, don't know, in these unlucky days of mine, where the 'gift of cows' has remained, where my fresh milk has disappeared from swollen udders, distended teats; if it has stuck upon the trees, has perished in the woods, got scattered in the leafy groves, has disappeared on sandy heaths, or to stranger folk been carried off, been tethered fast in village yards, in the bosoms of village whores, in the laps of the jealous ones. To a village milk ought not to go, the gift of cows to stranger folk, to the bosoms of village whores, to the laps of the jealous ones, it should not stick upon the trees, ought not to perish in the woods, get scattered in the leafy groves, nor get upset on sandy heaths; the milk is needed in the home, at every moment is wanted there, the mistress waits for it at home, holding a pail of juniper.
How at such time is one to speak, in verity to investigate, when a cow has been bewitched, has been bewitched and has been eyed, the milk to Mana has been brought, the gift of cows to Tuonela? Many there are and evil ones that unto Mana carry milk, the gift of cows to somewhere else, but few they are and good ones who from Mana bring again the milk, the quite new milk from Tuonela. My mother did not formerly ask counsel of
the villagers, advice from another farm, from Mana she obtained her milk, from the detainer her thick milk, from other parts the gift of cows, from jealous persons of the earth, from sorcerers of the waterside, from imprecations of village hags, from malice of the district folk.
And I am like my mother, I don't ask advice of villagers, I let milk come from further off, arrive from a place still further on, I make milk come from Tuonela, from Manala, from ’neath the earth, come in the night-time by itself, in the darkness stealthily, along the valleys following, and shooting past the fields run wild, unheard by any miscreant, by a worthless fellow unperceived, unenvied by the envious, unhurt by any bearing hate. To the sky I thrust my herding-horn, to the clouds direct my pipe, from that land do I bring the milk, from the villagers’ grasp—my curdled milk.
I have a mind, a thought occurs, a mind to go to Metsola, to the foot of Brushwood Town (Havu-linna), to the side of the forest girls, to courtyards of the woodland maids, to drink the forest mead, to taste the honey of the woods in delightful Metsola, in very watchful Tapiola. I doff my tattered working-clothes, dash down my working birch-bark shoes, put on my winter shoes, my stockings kept for autumn wear; I afterwards equip my limbs, my body I protect with a jacket shaggy at the edge, with a shirt of palish blue, I brush my head with twigs of fir, I comb it out with juniper, in order that no smell escape, no human breath exhale; I put my bow in order and
detach my spear, my snow-skates I anoint with grease, snow-skating-shoes with fat of swine, I take my handsome dog, most eager of any barking dogs, I push the left skate o’er the snow, I shove the right skate o’er the heath, I carry my two staves on either side of my right skate. Then I quietly skate away, push on at an easy pace, skate towards the forest's edge, and into the hazy wooded wilds, at the head of a copse I sing a song, in the inner depths of the forest—two, to amuse the forest girls, to delight the maidens of the woods.
Ukko has rained fresh snow, fine snow has Palvonen cast down, as white as an autumn ewe, as white as a winter hare; I, leaving men, start forth to hunt, quit full-grown men for outdoor work, on Ukko's newly-fallen snow, on Palvonen's fine snow, without the footprint of a hare, unbroken by a fox's track. First I make ready with my bow, unloose my spear, address my snow-skates with my lips:
A skate is of the family of foot, a spear is of the axe's race, a bow has kinship with a hand; grand is a bow of hardened pine, a spear-shaft made of a tree's hard side, grand is a snow-skate fitting well, neat is the right skate's upper part.
I then when going to the woods, when I am leaving home, take my three dogs, five dogs of mine with bushy tails, my splendid dogs, my useful animals. My dogs have eyes as large as a bridle-ring, my dogs have ears as large as a water-lily on a lake, my dogs have teeth as sharp as an Esthonian scythe, my dogs have tails as thick as the most lovely forest fir,
What temper and what change has come o’er the delightful hunting-ground (Metsola)? While tramping, a maiden 1 formerly made rich my tract of wood, she made my beat abound with game, my district full of ruddy ones. But now-a-days it is not so, the days when I go forth to hunt; in vain my gold is spent, is my silver growing less, for long the forest is irate, the wilderness is upside down, for my silver it does not care, for my gold it does not ask. Why was the great Creator wroth, the giver of game enraged, that he never gives at all, and never renders an account? He fed the tribe, gave the race to drink, he nourished the first ancestor, so why does he not feed me too, not nourish me, a wretched man, with the great morsels of the tribe, or with the tit-bits of the race? If I have a swarthy look, a swarthy look, a narrow face, with eating comeliness would come, with cherishing—a pleasant look.
Kauko bewailed his want of luck, another brother his want of nets, the third the smallness of his share, I with the deepest reason weep, over the worst do I lament when I bewail my want of luck. Gift-giving Maker, why not give, why promise not, thou faithful God, when I with chosen words beseech, propitiate, conciliate? I do not laud a stone, I do not worship boulder-stones, I do not hunt on holy days, exert myself on Sabbath days, I always hunt on a working day, I remain for a week away. In nowise better are the rest, nor other hunters holier; others will take by knavery, will take by fraud, I would not take by
knavery, I would not take by fraud, I'd take with excessive work, I'd take with the sweat of my brow. The gold of other men indeed is not more glistening, their silver not more glittering, their lumps of tin more shimmering, when walking to the hunting-grounds; if they offer an offering, or if they say a prayer, I bring more solid offerings, I say the best of prayers to the donors that are best.
My power is insignificant, my run of luck is short; with other men hick does the work, their guardian spirit (haltia) fetches coin, my luck is lying down, my guardian spirit is confused, with gloves on his hands beneath a stone, with a hat on his head beneath a bough. Others have better breakfasts too, more ample are their morning meals and wider are their haversacks, more voluminous their butter-box, it is not so with me, poor wretch. Mourning (suru) I have for a morning meal (suurus), and sorrow for an early bite, annoyance for an evening meal. The other hunters are holier, more agreeable the other men, clinking they walk in gold attire, they sway about in a silver dress, it is not so with me, poor wretch, with a jacket shaggy at the edge, with a cap all clouted at the brim, a coat of which the fur is frayed. Others recount what they have caught, confess what they've brought back, but I relate that I've caught nought, I shake my head o’er nought brought back, at coming empty to the fire, with illusions to the flame.
When I went hunting formerly on my days for catching game, in the season for seeking game, three forts in the forest
lay, the one of wood, the other bone, the third was a fort of stone. I took a glance at them inside as I stood at the foot of the wall; there the givers of gifts abode, the mistresses lived there. As for the wooden fort, the forest lassies dwelt in it, the mistresses in the one of bone, but in the fort of stone the forest's master dwelt himself. The master of Tapio's house, the mistress of Tapio's house and Tapio's maiden Tellervo all tinkled in their gold attire, swayed to and fro in silver dress; on his head the Sun's son had a hat, three branches were in the hat. The arms of the forest's mistress, of the kindly mistress Mielikki had golden bracelets on, on her fingers golden rings, on her head were plates of gold, on her hair wee flowers of gold, in golden ringlets were her locks, pendants of gold were in her ears, her skirts were hung with golden tags, around her neck were goodly pearls. The kindly mistress then, the pleasant mistress of the woods was well disposed to give her gifts, indulgent with her largesses.
’Twas different then and yesterday, ’tis different now-a-days: Halli was barking along the swamp, myself was walking along the hill, I skated towards the forest's edge and Tapio's farm was visible, the golden doors were shining bright across the northern swamp, from the bushy grove at the mountain foot. I approached quite close, came near and crouched to look through the sixth window-hole. The givers of gifts were living there and the old wives that give game lay just in their working dress, in their dirty ragged clothes. Even the forest's mistress too, the cruel mistress Kuurikki was very black in countenance, in appearance terrible; bracelets of withes were on her arms, on her fingers withy rings, with withy ribbons her head was bound, in withy ringlets were her
locks, and withy pendants in her ears, around her neck were evil pearls. The evil mistress then, the cruel mistress Kuurikki was not disposed to give away, or inclined to helpfulness.
How at such time is one to sing and how lament, when fire is committing ravages, flame causing injury, when swamp and land are in a blaze, the sandy heaths are all aflame, deserted clearings are in a steam, hills in the clutches of a fire? Thus at such time is one to speak, in truth to investigate:
Fire! formed by God, O Flame, by the Creator made, to the depths thou wentest causelessly, quite far for amusement's sake, when thou didst rise in the woods just now and attack a clump of junipers; better thou dost if thou returnest to an oven of stone, confinest thyself among thy sparks, concealest thyself among thy coals, to be used by day with the kitchen's birchen logs, to be hid by night in the hollow of a golden hearth. If thou payest no heed thereto, then turn away, return elsewhere, to fishless tarns and don't come hither any more. Two rivers flow, two waters stream around my home, on both sides of my dwelling-house, frost-covered ducks keep paddling by the frosty river-bank, ice-covered swans float slowly down by the margin of the icy tarn, rime-covered hares skip here and there, ice-covered bears trot round my home, on both sides of my dwelling-house, they will destroy thee out and out, will altogether ruin thee.
A tiny cloud appears, a distant rainbow comes in sight, in the cloud is a water-drop, in the water-drop is a little pond, in the pond is a little boat, in the little boat—three men. Saint Andrew pulls the oars, and little Peter is in the stern, in the boat's centre Jesus sits. What are they doing there? They are combing Hiisi's elks, are washing his runaway deer. 1 The elks got combed, the runaway deer 1 got washed. O elk of Hiisi, hither run, O runaway reindeer amble here, where adders are drinking ale, where snakes are drawing off the wort. For a wretched mistress gets less ale, when adders drink her ale, when snakes are drawing off her wort.
My little squirrel, my wagtail, my foster-brother beautiful, in fives withdraw from the bushy copse, in sixes from the forest dells, in sevens from the fir-branch's back, in eights from clumps of juniper, towards these my dogs, my bushy-tails. O squirrel, where art thou, where rovest, 'biter of cones?' Now hie thee to this wooded knoll, move to this higher ground in front of him that seeks, round him that waits. O don't be frightened at the dogs, my blunted arrows don't mistrust, our 'barkers' are but puppy dogs, our archers—half-grown men, with bows of splinterwood, with arrows blunt that will not carry far.
Wee squirrel! 'blossom of the knoll,' 'knoll's blossom,' 'beauty of the earth,' thou 'golden apple of the fir,' thou 'furious forest-cat,' that art a dweller upon boughs, that lightly movest among the firs, bite at a tree, devour a cone, cry cukoo on a branch of fir, like a hazel-grouse upon its nest, a heath-cock in a budding birch; stretch out thyself upon a branch, extend thyself upon a bough, while I in haste prepare my bow, make ready my blunt-headed bolts, or wait to be captured with a staff, to be laid hold of with the hands.
Sharp Frost, the son of Puhuri, hard-freezing wintry lad, when he of his mother first was born, in summer he was rocked in pools, on the greatest reach of swamp, in winter he on fences rode, he froze morasses, froze dry land, froze clearings run to waste and dells, nipped willows by the water-side, he frost-bit knobs on aspen trees, he barked a birch's roots, and nipped the sapling firs; he froze with ice a river's banks, made the shore of the sea congeal, he froze the springs, he froze the lakes, and great he afterwards became, he froze an iron bar in the forge of Ilmari the smith, exactly under his furnace fire, upon the margin of his hearth. He meant to freeze the smith as well, Ilmarinen himself, so thus the smith broke forth in words:
'Sharp Frost, the son of Puhuri, hard-freezing winter's son, pray don't come here at all, for here thy nails will burn, thy paws get scorched.'
Into the fire he plunged Sharp Frost, into an oven built
of stone; Sharp Frost, the son of Puhuri, already felt the approaching harm and swore his solemn oath:
'O leave me still my feeble life. If thou shouldst hear I've caused a frost, have come again incautiously, then plunge me into a fiery place, and sink me down among the flames.'
With that he saved his skull, he rescued his feeble life. The idle wretch began to move, a mother's surly son to reel towards gloomy Pohjola, towards strong Sarentola. On the ice his tracks are visible, his foot-prints clearly to be seen. Northwards the idle wretch moved off, to the level country of the Lapp, he came in a reindeer's covering, in a bear's blanket he went about.
Sharp Frost of evil race, a son of evil habits too, into rooms first forced himself, against the doorposts of a hut. ’Twas oppressive in the room, unpleasant in the heat; on the fences he began to dwell, to swirl about upon the gates, he screeched in winter among the pines, moved noisily through the dried-up boughs, he raised a din in the clumps of fir, kept rattling in the clumps of birch; his head is seen above the trees, his breath is sounding through the boughs. He froze both trees and stalks of hay, he levelled pasture-grounds, from the trees he bit off all the leaves, from the heather all its flowers, from fir trees he shook off the bark, from the pines he threw down chips.
A little time elapsed, two, three nights slipt away and off he went to freeze the sea, to tranquillise the waves on the shore of the northern sea, on the boundless sea's steep side. On the first night immediately he made the shores congeal with ice, but still he could not freeze the sea, he did not still the open sea; a little bullfinch on the main,
a wagtail on the waves had its claws untouched by cold, its little head unnipt by frost. ’Twas only on the second night he grew in strength enormously, he entered on a shameless course, he became exceeding terrible; then did he freeze with thorough cold, he nipt with all the power of frost, he froze the ice an ell in depth, rained snow as deep as a staff is high. A little thing remained unnipt on the clear surface of the sea—the boat of Ahti on the sea, the war-ship on the waves. 1 He threatened to freeze him too. Sternly the god forbade the act. He threatened to freeze the god, but the god knew a trick or two; from a stone he shore the moss, the fluff from a stone that had lain a winter there, he made this into socks, he quickly worked it into gloves, then in his hands he held Sharp Frost, he held Hard Weather in his grip, so that he cannot act by night, he cannot get away by day.
Sharp Frost, the son of Näräppä! thou rigid wintry lad, don't freeze my nails, nor my hands, thou dolt. Rather than freezing me, freeze other things more wonderful, nip willow roots, pain roots of birch, shake alder roots, smash aspen roots; freeze swamps, freeze fields, freeze Kalma's rocks, freeze up mere water, freeze the raging cataracts, in Sweden the rapids of Homari, in Tavastland the Hällä [v. Härkä] swirl. If thou dost pay no heed thereto but still continuest to harm, the great woman from the swamp I'll raise, the stout 2 old mother from the mire, who will destroy thy path, will bring on thy journey evil things.
Sharp Frost of evil family! a son of evil habits too, thou intendest to freeze up me, to cause my ears to swell, to beg for my feet below, to ask for my nails above. But me thou wilt not freeze, nor badly nip at all, Hoar Frost will not belabour me, Sharp Frost won't nip, nor Hard Weather cause my death. Not one in all our family, among our wide-extending kin can be belaboured by Hoar Frost or by Sharp Frost be nipt or by Hard Weather can be touched. Of Sharp Frost I'm the injurer, Hard Weather's slaughterer am I, from Sharp Frost I obtain a shirt, from the Hard Weather a linen vest, from Frost I procure a petticoat, I take from Blowy Weather furs, with which I shelter me, poor wretch, lest Sharp Frost nip, Hard Weather injure me.
If that is not enough, from a fire of coals I take the coals and put them in my copper gloves, the fine coals in my skirts, the fire ’neath laces of my shoes, into my socks I'll force the fire, into my shoes the glowing brands, that the frigid lad can't freeze me up, nor Sharp Frost bite. Into a sleigh I put Sharp Frost, Hard Weather in a sledge, Sharp Frost on the front cross-bar, Winter upon the rear support, Summer in middle of the sleigh, in Summer's middle I shall sit, unbitten by Sharp Frost, by the Hard Weather quite untouched.
Don't thou, O rascally raven, rascally raven, Lempo's bird, don't tear away my snares, my nooses don't unloose from the resplendent head of grass, from the back of the golden withered grass. O bird of Lempo, thither fly, fly
far away with flapping wings to murky Pohjola, to Lapland's gloomy forest depths. There an elk is hung upon a spar, a noble reindeer has been killed and boneless flesh is there, calves of the leg quite sinewless for a hungry man to eat, for a voracious one to gulp.
O Rust, thou screaming boy, thou screaming, squealing one, a brat both fatherless and motherless, a mouthless, eyeless progeny, why didst thou, toad, from the earth arise, why camest from the mossy swamp upon my food-producing herbs, into my field, thou heathen brat? Rust! quit my vegetables now, O Enemy, my crops, depart, wretch, whither I command, the further off the better too.
If from the earth thou hast risen, toad! then into the earth retire, O toad; if from a mossy swamp thou art, into the mossy swamp depart; if by the wind's path thou hast come, from the clouds hast been rained down, wretch, by the wind's path make thy way, up to the clouds attempt to flee.
Go into a tuft of grass, O Rust, inside the clay, thou frog. If thou shouldst raise thy head from there, Ukko will split thy head with a silver knife, with a golden club.
Thus do the gelders speak, quacksalvers utter words, castraters speak with buzzing sound. If I a gelder should be called, if a quacksalver I be termed, as a castrater am
abused, am as a wizard dragged away, at all events in any case the stallion must be seized, the 'precious hide' must be upset upon the honeyed grass, upon the liver-coloured earth. When 1 let my lasso fall on the neck of the 'camel' colt, when I throw the noble horse, press to the ground the splendid-tailed, come some one from the clouds to hold, and hold the unruly horse, lest it should kick my knee, should smash my shins. Stand now on a cleared-out spot, remain on a bed of luck, here thou must stay a little while, for a short space must be engaged; don't wince, don't knock about, do not in all directions kick at the light clink of 'honeyed grass,' at the scratching of a honeyed knife. I do not touch with heavy hand, I touch with a water-lily leaf, I shall with river-horsetail scrape, I shall with chickweed gently stroke. What I cut with an iron knife I plaster up with silk, I term it 'blown away by wind,' 'removed by a chilly blast.' Now of this Jordan water drink, of Mary's washing-water sip. O don't begin to suppurate, O do not trickle down with pus outside or from within, from the breathing of the Lord's own breath.
On the shore a good-for-nothing lives, a 'slaver mouth' on melting swamps, a 'wide jaw' in a leafy grove, a 'dirty face' in miry pools, it jumped about the finger-points, it splashed in a water spring, on the end of a borer moves about, 1 it rages in filthy pools. The Lord created life for it, God with a blessing gave it eyes. Though others call thee frog, report that thou art goggle-eyed, I picture thee
to be a toad, I name thee 'dirty face.' Who from the swamp raised up the toad, from the swamp the toad, from the earth the man, from the mire 'the dirty face' from inside clay the frog, who let it go to trample heads, to overthrow the stacks of corn? Depart, escape from here, O toad that livest at roots of firs, thou 'slaver mouth,' thou 'wide of jaw,' thither depart where I command, to the waters, toad, of sorcerers, into the muddy clay, thou frog, into the dirty miry pools, into the mossless swamps. If thou raise thy head from there, may thy shins be smashed, thy thighs be rent, may thy marrow be withdrawn from which an ointment will be cooked, and unguents be prepared.
Go, Cloud, to Pietula, they have a need for water there, there everything indeed is dry, the wells have dried, the water-springs are parched, the bottoms of the brooks are void. Old men are burning on the stove, old women on the bath-house seats, the children on the bench's end, the ancient crones upon the stove, on the threshold they that raise the steam, the boys between the entrance steps, at the doorposts—girls. The ale has not been foaming there, unchristened are the children still, all of them wholly unbaptized.
The bows of the smith's boat were built of iron on this account, lest any rock should touch, a bank of sand should split it through. So a man who goes to the wars, a careful
fighting-man equips himself in coats of mail, invests himself in iron shirts, lest lead should strike the man, an iron ball should give a blow. On this account I too, a man, a full-grown, valiant fighting-man with my father's fiery furs, with my mother's shirt of flame, array myself, I put them on to protect myself, when going to the battle-fields, to the slaughter-grounds of men.
But if that is not enough, not quite sufficient for my needs, may old Väinämöinen's cloak, the mantle of the distant Lapp, for my protection here be brought, may I be clothed with it on the battle-fields, on the edge of the bloody field.
Arise O Earth, awake, Dry Land, to shelter me on the battle-field; let a big stone grow, let a solid slab swell out, a stone as high as a church, a slab as thick as a hill, with a hole in the centre of the stone, with a snake around the hole, shielded by which I'd war, behind which I should fight, lest evil befall my head, a slender hair should fall.
A wolf was running along a swamp, a 'bushy tail' along the ground, in hearing range of the golden herd, close up to the little flock.
I exorcise thee hence from the spots where the cattle range, run thither, 'hairy snout,' hurry along, 'Esthonian cur,' to the distant limits of the north, to the level country of the Lapp, where cattle never wend their way, where a mare's foal wanders not. Run, 'hairy snout,' hurry along, 'Esthonian cur,' so long as thou hast on thy toes
a claw, in thy gums a tooth. Thither I exorcise thee forth, to the deeply-wooded mountain tops, to the home of the forest dog, to the place of the pagan of the earth, so that thou wilt not know the way, wilt not have power to come this way, to the bushy cattle-grounds, to the sloping ground where the cattle feed. To other lands, 'projecting eyes,' thither, hither, ye 'bushy tails,' to foreign lands, ye howling ones, to spots where wolves are put to death! Here let the hares remain, here let the birdies fly.
I speak with unsullied mouth, with the Lord's good breath, with his fervid breath I pant. A bee some honey brought, fetched virgin honey on its wings from behind nine seas and stroked, as with a honeyed plume, this beneficial salt.
Welcome, O Earth! welcome, Dry Land! welcome, Earth's Haltia I welcome, the Temple of the Lord! welcome, to him that welcometh! Here that poor wretch is sick, a tormented man is lying here in a room of fir, in a nest of pine, suffering from nameless sicknesses, unknown by name, the planks are rotting underneath, the roof is mouldering above. 1 May help from the gods arrive, from the nourishing mother's aid, when I have seen him with mine eyes, when I have spoken with my mouth. The breath that I exhale, that breath is the breath of the Lord, the warmth that I send forth, that warmth is the Creator's
warmth. Whom I with water wash, I wash with Jesus’ blood, I souse with the gore of the Lord, I foment with 'the water of grief,' for him to become quite well at night, to recover his health by day. Rise now from lying down, awake from a state of sleep, from the clutches of a cruel luck, from the evil pagan's grip, abide in the favour of God, under the true Creator's guard.
O little golden burbot, come from a copper burbot's mouth, to give health and to bring repose, to seize the pains, to make the torments cease, in the bluish flesh, in the liver-coloured gash, so that the sick shall get to sleep, the weak man easily repose.
Black bloated boy, six-footed ball-shaped thing! how hither didst thou know the way, couldst thou, a stranger, journey here? No one has seen thee here before, has seen, has heard of thee in these poor frontier lands, these wretched regions of the north. At night thou wanderest round the stoves, by day invadest timber joints, dost gently creep o’er lumps of dough, dost clamber up the jugs of milk. If, evil one, thou wilt not flee, depart not, worthless fellow, home to thy former mother's place, to thy ancestral parent's house, post horses I shall find for thee, surely I'll give thee a driving-horse.
Welcome, Moon! and welcome, Sun! welcome, Weather! welcome, Winds! the northern and the southern wind, the
east wind and the west wind too, wind of the Lapp, the north-west wind, south wind and south-west wind, the sunrise and the sunset wind and all the intermediate winds! Become quite mild and gentle, Wind, abate to a calm, O Storm, bright Moon, begin to gleam, hot Sun, begin to shine; may the winds blow past, may the rain be past, may the moons gleam suitably, may the suns shine properly.
Thy name is Whirling wind, thy flight like that of a bird of air; depart from here where I command, whither I order and exorcise, to the end of a lake's projecting cape and rattle on the farther shore. If no dwelling-place is there, depart still further off, to the utmost limits of the north, to the top of Lapland's treeless heights.
Water the oldest is of salves, the rapid's foam—of magic cures, of spell-reciters—God, of wizards—the Creator's self. This has been brought from Jordan's stream wherein was christened Christ, the Almighty was baptized. Water, preserve thy power, perform the best of offices, as liquid honey enter in, as honey spread upon the wound.
How then is one to sing and how compose a song, when water will not lead the boat, wind will not cause the sloop to sway? Thus then my father sang, my parent knew the
way to sing: 'Good Water! draw a traveller, on a journey bent; Wind! cause the sloop to sway; Wave! drive along the ship; Wind! blow upon the sail, cold vernal wind!—upon my boat, to the oars give help, ease the work of the steering oars, that they may row without the use of hands, without the water being disturbed, on the wide waters of the sea, upon the wide and open main.'
How then is one to sing and how lament, when water takes the boat along, wind makes the sloop vibrate, with violence dashes against the boat, is like to capsize the wooden sloop and make one's fingers serve as oars, the palms of the hands as steering oars?
Thus then is one to sing, completely to compose a song: 'O Water, interdict thy son, prohibit, Wave, thy child, and make him dwell beneath the wave, not walk upon it deviously, not push a guiltless man along, not carry away a guileless head. O Ahti, tranquillise the waves, O Vellamo—the water's force, lest on the gunwale it should splash, on my bent timbers it should fall. Depart, Wind, further oft; across nine seas to thy relations, to thy stock, to thy folk, to thy family, from the trees blow every leaf, from iron all the rust, from the heather all the bloom, from the grass the husky scales; or to the sky mount up, drive into the clouds above, don't overturn the wooden sloop, don't tilt the pine-built boat; upset the pines on sandy heaths, the firs on hillocks overthrow. Surely I know thy family, thy family, thine origin with all thy bringing up: There wast thou born, O Wind, on a wild treeless mountain top, wast afterwards rocked to and fro, on the wide surface of the sea, upon the wide and open main.
When I am starting on the sea, upon the wide and open main, enter the boat, O God, the ship, thou gracious One, to strengthen a powerless full-grown man, to give a small man manliness, upon these waters flat and wide, on the illimitable waves. O Eagle, come from Turjala, three of thy feathers bring, O Eagle—three, O Raven—two, as a bulwark for a tiny boat, as a gunwale for a little sloop, to hinder waves from topping o’er while traversing the foaming surge, while passing the projecting rocks.
A red boat glides along, a wooden skiff from the northwest, from a great distance comes in sight, three men are in the boat. Which of them pulls the oars? The rower is Ilmarinen. Which plies the steering oar? Old Väinämöinen he himself. Who's in the centre of the boat? Lad Lemminkainen, light of heart. And whither are the fellows bound, whither do the heroes go? Thither indeed the men will go, against the cruel northern land, into the sea's tremendous surge, into the billows capped with foam.
With a comb I comb myself, with honeyed twigs I brush myself when going forth to Metsola, when starting for the forest depths, when making for abandoned fields, when tripping towards the alder groves. I found a tree, met with an oak, I cut a honeyed aspen tree' from a honeyed knoll, from a hillock of gold. Then I addressed my tree, mine oak did I interrogate: 'O honeyed tree in Metsola,
sweet honeyed tree in Tapiola, is any honey on thy boughs, is virgin honey in thy stem, for golden game to eat, for hungry ones to bite? Drop honey from thy head, spill virgin honey from thy wood on my substantial boughs, 1 on my leafy twigs, on my greyish twigs, to bring to my boughs good luck, good fortune to my branching twigs, to my sticks the best of work.
What should be brought and what should be invited here, to serve as ointment for the sores, as embrocation for the wounds, both first of all and as a subsequent material? Jesus’ guiltless blood, Mary's sweet milk came rippling from the sky, came dropping from the clouds; with it I anoint the sick, heal him that is in evil case, through the bone, through joints, through the warmish flesh.
By water Jesus was travelling o’er a red sea, in a red sloop with sails of red; red ointment trickled from the sails, from the yards fat splashed, it hardened into rime, was frozen into ice, to be the best of salves for every kind of hurt.
The Virgin Mary, mother dear, threw herself down to take a nap, fell at once asleep on a sleeping-stone, was slumbering on a turfy knoll. When she awoke from sleep, on the ground she milked her milk, she caused her breasts
to flow in streams, therefrom have ointments been obtained, to be applied upon a sore, to be poured upon a wound.
The Virgin Mary, mother dear, the holy little serving-maid, sits on the surface of the sea, on her hand is a golden ring, on the ring six horns, at the tip of every horn a plume, the horns are full of magic cures, of efficacious liniments with which she salved the Creator once, healed formerly the best of Lords.
Juhannes, priest of God, boiled an unguent for a year in a kettle of smallish size that would fit a fingertip; the wounds of the Lord he stroked with this, while being tortured by Pilatus, tormented by the evil power, it made him well above, quite free from pain in the middle part, without a blemish on his sides, without a feeling in his head, and lovely on either side.
A boy came forth from the Northern Land, a tall man from Pimentola, a hundred horns were on his brow, a thousand other odds and ends; 1 it was a horn of horns indeed that lay on the shoulder of the smith, a feather of feathers it was indeed that lay inside the little horn. O take a feather from the horn, anoint below, anoint above, once lightly stroke the middle part, to make it wholly well below, etc.
A maiden strode along a dell, sped past a deserted clearing's edge, six cups are in her hands, seven are behind her back, they are with ointments filled, brought from a country further off, from nine anointers, from eight men skilled in healing arts, from the box of the son of Vipunen, from Lemminkainen's chest.
Äijö's tiny little girl churned butter on a mountain top, on a stone's point was churning it; grease she prepared from it, to serve as ointment upon sores, as a remedy for wounds.
Hiisi's ox with a hundred horns ascends the Hill of Sicknesses, is clambering the Hill of Pain, a hundred horns are on its brow, a thousand nipples on its breast, these are with ointments filled, are full of goodly grease; now hither may it come to hand and with it I'll anoint the sick, heal him that is in evil case.
From the sky a star shot forth, through the clouds it fell, flew down on the back of a hare; the hare rushed into a stream, into the water it rolled the star, a duck then gobbled up the star, into its belly swallowed it; into eggs it was then transformed, into nine salves, eight magic cures, and with it wounds are salved, bad hurts are healed.
Karehetar was digging earth, with her toe she was grubbing it; from the ground a hornet rose, yonder it flew
to another place, ointments it brought from there, but the ointments were not good, they contained the venom of a snake, the itch-causing fluid of an ant, the hidden evils of a frog, the poison of a dusky worm. A 'honey-wing' came fluttering, a bee some honey brought from a honey-dripping sward, from the edge of a honeyed field and put it into a copper-sided vat, into a little golden cup. I tried it with my tongue, with understanding I tasted it, the ointment was a goodly one, an unusual magic cure to apply upon a sore, to pour upon a wound.
From the earth a black snake rose, from under a stone a hissing snake, from the toad's mouth the slaver poured, saliva from the viper's jaw; the snake milked ruddy milk, the worm discharged white milk into an iron baking-pan, a tin-bottomed pot, in which an ointment was being cooked as a remedy for wounds.
151:1 Preparatory to being castrated.
151:2 Probably the beard of oats or barley is meant.
156:1 A sapling to which a noose is attached is bent down and secured by a trigger-pin. When this is touched the sapling flies back and the animal is hung in the noose.
156:2 Hiisi was believed to assist hunters in their pursuit of game, as he was formerly a Spirit of the Forest.
159:1 i.e. the cows’.
161:1 i.e. the cattle, each of which carries a bell.
162:1 Smoky fires are made in summer at the place where the cattle pass the night to keep away the midges.
164:1 'Flowers' here means small game, such as ermines (§ 73, line 2), squirrels, or game-birds, and 'luxuriant' applies to trees that contain game of some sort.
164:2 These refer to parts of the trap.
166:1 It means the pain or ailment has already disappeared, and there is nothing more for the steam to do or insist on the pain's doing.
167:1 The spirit or god of love.
168:1 A summer when much ale was drunk, when many wedding-feasts took place.
177:1 i.e. a forest maiden, a nymph of the forest.
184:1 A considerable portion of 'b' is found in the 30th canto of the Kalevala, where Ahti Lemminkainen and Tiera are described as starting off in a boat to make war with the people of Pohjola.
184:2 An epithet of Luonnotar, § 185, b, c.
187:1 This line should probably be transposed with the one above it and then 'borer' would be synonymous with 'finger.'
190:1 From the length of time he has been ill.
195:1 The small spars or twigs forming part of the snare or trap.
196:1 Probably bits of dead men's bones, bears’ claws, stones, etc., such as were carried about by wizards and sorcerers.