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



AT the home of Ilmarinen
Long had they been watching, waiting,
For the coming of the blacksmith,
With his bride from Sariola.
Weary were the eyes of watchers,
Waiting from the father's portals,
Looking from the mother's windows;
Weary were the young knees standing
At the gates of the magician;
Weary grew the feet of children,
Tramping to the walls and watching;
Worn and torn, the shoes of heroes,
Running on the shore to meet him.

Now at last upon a morning
Of a lovely day in winter,
Heard they from the woods the rumble
Of a snow-sledge swiftly bounding.
Lakko, hostess of Wainola,
She the lovely Kalew-daughter,
Spake these words in great excitement:
"'Tis the sledge of the magician,
Comes at last the metal-worker
From the dismal Sariola,
By his side the Bride of Beauty!
Welcome, welcome, to this hamlet,
Welcome to thy mother's hearth-stone,
To the dwelling of thy father,
By thine ancestors erected!"

Straightway came great Ilmarinen
To his cottage drove the blacksmith,
To the fireside of his father,
To his mother's ancient dwelling.
Hazel-birds were sweetly singing
On the newly-bended collar;
Sweetly called the sacred cuckoos
From the summit of the break-board;
Merry, jumped the graceful squirrel
On the oaken shafts and cross-bar.

Lakko, Kalew's fairest hostess,
Beauteous daughter of Wainola,
Spake these words of hearty welcome:
"For the new moon hopes the village,
For the sun, the happy maidens,
For the boat, the swelling water;
I have not the moon expected,
For the sun have not been waiting,
I have waited for my hero,
Waited for the Bride of Beauty;
Watched at morning, watched at evening,
Did not know but some misfortune,
Some sad fate had overtaken
Bride and bridegroom on their journey;
Thought the maiden growing weary,
Weary of my son's attentions,
Since he faithfully had promised
To return to Kalevala,
Ere his foot-prints had departed
From the snow-fields of his father.
Every morn I looked and listened,
Constantly I thought and wondered
When his sledge would rumble homeward,
When it would return triumphant
To his home, renowned and ancient.
Had a blind and beggared straw-horse
Hobbled to these shores awaiting,
With a sledge of but two pieces,
Well the steed would have been lauded,
Had it brought my son beloved,
Had it brought the Bride of Beauty.
Thus I waited long, impatient,
Looking out from morn till even,
Watching with my head extended,
With my tresses streaming southward,
With my eyelids widely opened,
Waiting for my son's returning
To this modest home of heroes,
To this narrow place of resting.
Finally am I rewarded,
For the sledge has come triumphant,
Bringing home my son and hero,
By his side the Rainbow maiden,
Red her cheeks, her visage winsome,
Pride and joy of Sariola.

"Wizard-bridegroom of Wainola,
Take thy-courser to the stable,
Lead him to the well-filled manger,
To the best of grain and clover;
Give to us thy friendly greetings,
Greetings send to all thy people.
When thy greetings thou hast ended,
Then relate what has befallen
To our hero in his absence.
Hast thou gone without adventure
To the dark fields of Pohyola,
Searching for the Maid of Beauty?
Didst thou scale the hostile ramparts,
Didst thou take the virgin's mansion,
Passing o'er her mother's threshold,
Visiting the halls of Louhi?

"But I know without the asking,
See the answer to my question:
Comest from the North a victor,
On thy journey well contented;
Thou hast brought the Northland daughter,
Thou hast razed the hostile portals,
Thou hast stormed the forts of Louhi,
Stormed the mighty walls opposing,
On thy journey to Pohyola,
To the village of the father.
In thy care the bride is sitting,
In thine arms, the Rainbow-maiden,
At thy side, the pride of Northland,
Mated to the highly-gifted.
Who has told the cruel story,
Who the worst of news has scattered,
That thy suit was unsuccessful,
That in vain thy steed had journeyed?
Not in vain has been thy wooing,
Not in vain thy steed has travelled
To the dismal homes of Lapland;
He has journeyed heavy laden,
Shaken mane, and tail, and forelock,
Dripping foam from lips and nostrils,
Through the bringing of the maiden,
With the burden of the husband.

"Come, thou beauty, from the snow-sledge,
Come, descend thou from the cross-bench,
Do not linger for assistance,
Do not tarry to be carried;
If too young the one that lifts thee,
If too proud the one in waiting,
Rise thou, graceful, like a young bird,
Hither glide along the pathway,
On the tan-bark scarlet- colored,
That the herds of kine have evened,
That the gentle lambs have trodden,
Smoothened by the tails of horses.
Haste thou here with gentle footsteps,
Through the pathway smooth and tidy,
On the tiles of even surface,
On thy second father's court-yard,
To thy second mother's dwelling,
To thy brother's place of resting,
To thy sister's silent chambers.
Place thy foot within these portals,
Step across this waiting threshold,
Enter thou these halls of joyance,
Underneath these painted rafters,
Underneath this roof of ages.
During all the winter evenings,
Through the summer gone forever,
Sang the tiling made of ivory,
Wishing thou wouldst walk upon it;
Often sang the golden ceiling,
Hoping thou wouldst walk beneath it,
And the windows often whistled,
Asking thee to sit beside them;
Even on this merry morning,
Even on the recent evening,
Sat the aged at their windows,
On the sea-shore ran the children,
Near the walls the maidens waited,
Ran the boys upon the highway,
There to watch the young bride's coming,
Coming with her hero-husband.

"Hail, ye courtiers of Wainola,
With the heroes of the fathers,
Hail to thee, Wainola's hamlet,
Hail, ye halls with heroes peopled,
Hail, ye rooms with all your inmates,
Hail to thee, sweet golden moonlight,
Hail to thee, benignant Ukko,
Hail companions of the bridegroom!
Never has there been in Northland
Such a wedding-train of honor,
Never such a bride of beauty.

"Bridegroom, thou beloved hero,
Now untie the scarlet ribbons,
And remove the silken muffler,
Let us see the honey-maiden,
See the Daughter of the Rainbow.
Seven years hast thou been wooing,
Hast thou brought the maid affianced,
Wainamoinen's Wedding-Songs.
Hast thou sought a sweeter cuckoo,
Sought one fairer than the moonlight,
Sought a mermaid from the ocean?
But I know without the asking,
See the answer to my question:
Thou hast brought the sweet-voiced cuckoo,
Thou hast found the swan of beauty
Plucked the sweetest flower of Northland,
Culled the fairest of the jewels,
Gathered Pohya's sweetest berry!"

Sat a babe upon the matting,
And the young child spake as follows:
"Brother, what is this thou bringest,
Aspen-log or trunk of willow,
Slender as the mountain-linden?
Bridegroom, well dost thou remember,
Thou hast hoped it all thy life-time,
Hoped to bring the Maid of Beauty,
Thou a thousand times hast said it,
Better far than any other,
Not one like the croaking raven,
Nor the magpie from the border,
Nor the scarecrow from the corn-fields,
Nor the vulture from the desert.
What has this one done of credit,
In the summer that has ended?
Where the gloves that she has knitted,
Where the mittens she has woven?
Thou hast brought her empty-handed,
Not a gift she brings thy father;
In thy chests the nice are nesting,
Long-tails feeding on thy vestments,
And thy bride, cannot repair them."

Lakko hostess of Wainola,
She the faithful Kalew-daughter,
Hears the young child's speech in wonder,
Speaks these words of disapproval:
Silly prattler, cease thy talking,
Thou Last spoken in dishonor;
Let all others be astonished,
Reap thy malice on thy kindred,
must not harm the Bride of Beauty,
Rainbow-daughter of the Northland.
False indeed is this thy Prattle,
All thy words are full or evil,
Fallen from thy tongue of mischief
From the lips of one unworthy.
Excellent the hero 's young bride,
Best of all in Sariola,
Like the, strawberry in summer,
Like the daisy from the meadow,
Like the cuckoo from the forest,
Like the bluebird from the aspen,
Like the redbreast from the heather,
Like the martin. from the linden;
Never couldst thou find in Ehstland
Such a virgin as this daughter,
Such a graceful beauteous maiden,
With such dignity of Carriage,
With such arms of pearly whiteness,
With. a neck so fair and lovely.
Neither is she empty-handed,
She has brought us furs abundant,
Brought us many silken garments,
Richest weavings of Pohyola.
Many beauteous things the maiden,
With the spindle has accomplished,
Spun and woven with her fingers
Dresses of the finest texture
She in winter has upfolded,
Bleached them in the days of spring-time,
Dried them at the hour of noon-day,
For our couches finest linen,
For our heads the softest pillows,
For our comfort woollen blankets,
For our necks the silken ribbons."
To the bride speaks gracious Lakko:
"Goodly wife, thou Maid of Beauty,
Highly wert thou praised as daughter,
In thy father's distant country;
Here thou shalt be praised forever
By the kindred of thy husband;
Thou shalt never suffer sorrow,
Never give thy heart to grieving;
In the swamps thou wert not nurtured,
Wert not fed beside the brooklets;
Thou wert born 'neath stars auspicious,
Nurtured from the richest garners,
Thou wert taken to the brewing
Of the sweetest beer in Northland.

"Beauteous bride from Sariola,
Shouldst thou see me bringing hither
Casks of corn, or wheat, or barley;
Bringing rye in great abundance,
They belong to this thy household;
Good the plowing of thy husband.
Good his sowing and his reaping.

"Bride of Beauty from the Northland,
Thou wilt learn this home to manage,
Learn to labor with thy kindred;
Good the home for thee to dwell in,
Good enough for bride and daughter.
At thy hand will rest the milk-pail,
And the churn awaits thine order;
It is well here for the maiden,
Happy will the young bride labor,
Easy are the resting-benches;
Here the host is like thy father,
Like thy mother is the hostess,
All the sons are like thy brothers,
Like thy sisters are the daughters.

"Shouldst thou ever have a longing
For the whiting of the ocean,
For thy, father's Northland salmon,
For thy brother's hazel-chickens,
Ask them only of thy husband,
Let thy hero-husband bring them.
There is not in all of Northland,
Not a creature of the forest,
Not a bird beneath the ether,
Not a fish within the waters,
Not the largest, nor the smallests
That thy husband cannot capture.
It is well here for the maiden,
Here the bride may live in freedom,
Need not turn the heavy millstone,
Need not move the iron pestle;
Here the wheat is ground by water,
For the rye, the swifter current,
While the billows wash the vessels
And the surging waters rinse them.
Thou hast here a lovely village,
Finest spot in all of Northland,
In the lowlands sweet the verdure,
in the uplands, fields of beauty,
With the lake-shore near the hamlet,
Near thy home the running water,
Where the goslings swim and frolic,
Water-birds disport in numbers."

Thereupon the bride and bridegroom
Were refreshed with richest viands,
Given food and drink abundant,
Fed on choicest bits of reindeer,
On the sweetest loaves of barley,
On the best of wheaten biscuits,
On the richest beer of Northland.
Many things were on the table,
Many dainties of Wainola,
In the bowls of scarlet color,
In the platters deftly painted,
Many cakes with honey sweetened,
To each guest was butter given,
Many bits of trout and whiting,
Larger salmon carved in slices,
With the knives of molten silver,
Rimmed with gold the silver handles,
Beer of barley ceaseless flowing,
Honey-drink that was not purchased,
In the cellar flows profusely,
Beer for all, the tongues to quicken,
Mead and beer the minds to freshen.
Who is there to lead the singing,
Lead the songs of Kalevala?

Wainamoinen, old and truthful,
The eternal, wise enchanter,
Quick begins his incantations,
Straightway sings the songs that follow.
"Golden brethren, dearest kindred,
Ye, my loved ones, wise and worthy
Ye companions, highly-gifted,
Listen to my simple sayings:
Rarely stand the geese together,
Sisters do not mate each other,
Not together stand the brothers,
Nor the children of one mother,
In the countries of the Northland.

"Shall we now begin the singing,
Sing the songs of old tradition?
Singers can but sing their wisdom,
And the cuckoo call the spring-time,
And the goddess of the heavens
Only dyes the earth in beauty;
So the goddesses of weaving
Can but weave from dawn till twilight,
Ever sing the youth of Lapland
In their straw-shoes full of gladness,
When the coarse-meat of the roebuck,
Or of blue-moose they have eaten.
Wherefore should I not be singing,
And the children not be chanting
Of the biscuits of Wainola,
Of the bread of Kalew-waters?
Even Sing the lads of Lapland
In their straw-shoes filled with joyance,
Drinking but a cup of water,
Eating but the bitter tan-bark.
Wherefore should I not be singing,
And the children not be chanting
Of the beer of Kalevala,
Brewed from barley in perfection,
Dressed in quaint and homely costume,
As they sit beside their hearth-stones.
Wherefore should I not be singing,
And the children too be chanting
Underneath these painted rafters,
In these halls renowned and ancient?
This the place for men to linger,
This the court-room for the maidens,
Near the foaming beer of barley,
Honey-brewed in great abundance,
Very near, the salmon-waters,
Near, the nets for trout and whiting,
Here where food is never wanting,
Where the beer is ever brewing.
Here Wainola's sons assemble,
Here Wainola's daughters gather,
Here they never eat in trouble,
Here they live without regretting,
In the life-time of the landlord,
While the hostess lives and prospers.

"Who shall first be sung and lauded?
Shall it be the bride or bridegroom?
Let us praise the bridegroom's father,
Let the hero-host be chanted,
Him whose home is in the forest,
Him who built upon the mountains,
Him who brought the trunks of lindens,
With their tops and slender branches,
Brought them to the best of places,
Joined them skilfully together,
For the mansion of the nation,
For this famous hero-dwelling,
Walls procured upon the lowlands,
Rafters from the pine and fir-tree,
From the woodlands beams of oak-wood,
From the berry-plains the studding,
Bark was furnished by the aspen,
And the mosses from the fenlands.
Trimly builded is this mansion,
In a haven warmly sheltered;
Here a hundred men have labored,
On the roof have stood a thousand,
As this spacious house was building,
As this roof was tightly jointed.
Here the ancient mansion-builder,
When these rafters were erected,
Lost in storms his locks of sable,
Scattered by the winds of heaven.
Often has the hero-landlord
On the rocks his gloves forgotten,
Left his hat upon the willows,
Lost his mittens in the marshes;
Oftentimes the mansion-builder,
In the early hours of morning,
Ere his workmen had awakened,
Unperceived by all the village,
Has arisen from his slumber,
Left his cabin the snow-fields,
Combed his locks among the branches,
Bathed his eyes in dews of morning.

"Thus obtained the pleasant landlord
Friends to fill his spacious dwelling,
Fill his benches with magicians,
Fill his windows with enchanters,
Fill his halls with wizard-singers,
Fill his floors with ancient speakers,
Fill his ancient court with strangers,
Fill his hurdles with the needy;
Thus the Kalew-host is lauded.

"Now I praise the genial hostess,
Who prepares the toothsome dinner,
Fills with plenty all her tables,
Bakes the honeyed loaves of barley,
Kneads the dough with magic fingers,
With her arms of strength and beauty,
Bakes her bread in copper ovens,
Feeds her guests and bids them welcome,
Feeds them on the toothsome bacon,
On the trout, and pike, and whiting,
On the rarest fish in ocean,
On the dainties of Wainola.

"Often has the faithful hostess
Risen from her couch in silence,
Ere the crowing of the watcher,
To prepare the wedding-banquet,
Make her tables look attractive.
Brew the honey-beer of wedlock.
Excellently has the housewife,
Has the hostess filled with wisdom,
Brewed the beer from hops and barley,
From the corn of Kalevala,
From the wheat-malt honey-seasoned,
Stirred the beer with graceful fingers,
At the oven in the penthouse,
In the chamber swept and polished.
Neither did the prudent hostess,
Beautiful, and full of wisdom,
Let the barley sprout too freely,
Lest the beer should taste of black-earth,
Be too bitter in the brewing,
Often went she to the garners,
Went alone at hour of midnight,
Was not frightened by the black-wolf,
Did not fear the beasts of woodlands.

"Now the hostess I have lauded,
Let me praise the favored suitor,
Now the honored hero-bridegroom,
Best of all the village-masters.
Clothed in purple is the hero,
Raiment brought from distant nations,
Tightly fitting to his body;
Snugly sets his coat of ermine,
To the floor it hangs in beauty,
Trailing from his neck and shoulders,
Little of his vest appearing,
Peeping through his outer raiment,
Woven by the Moon's fair daughters,
And his vestment silver-tinselled.
Dressed in neatness is the suitor,
Round his waist a belt of copper,
Hammered by the Sun's sweet maidens,
Ere the early fires were lighted,
Ere the fire had been discovered.
Dressed in richness is the bridegroom,
On his feet are silken stockings,
Silken ribbons on his ankles,
Gold and silver interwoven.
Dressed in beauty is the bridegroom,
On his feet are shoes of deer-skin,
Like the swans upon the water,
Like the blue-duck on the sea-waves,
Like the thrush among the willows,
Like the water-birds of Northland.
Well adorned the hero-suitor,
With his locks of golden color,
With his gold-beard finely braided,
Hero-hat upon his forehead,
Piercing through the forest branches,
Reaching to the clouds of heaven,
Bought with countless gold and silver,
Priceless is the suitor's head-gear.

"Now the bridegroom has been lauded,
I will praise the young bride's playmate,
Day-companion in her childhood,
In the maiden's magic mansion.
Whence was brought the merry maiden,
From the village of Tanikka?
Thence was never brought the playmate,
Playmate of the bride in childhood.
Has she come from distant nations,
From the waters of the Dwina,
O'er the ocean far-outstretching?
Not from Dwina came the maiden,
Did not sail across the waters;
Grew as berry in the mountains,
As a strawberry of sweetness,
On the fields the child of beauty,
In the glens the golden flower.
Thence has come the young bride's playmate,
Thence arose her fair companion.
Tiny are her feet and fingers,
Small her lips of scarlet color,
Like the maiden's loom of Suomi;
Eyes that shine in kindly beauty
Like the twinkling stars of heaven;
Beam the playmate's throbbing temples
Like the moonlight on the waters.
Trinkets has the bride's companion,
On her neck a golden necklace,
In her tresses, silken ribbons,
On her arms are golden bracelets,
Golden rings upon her fingers,
Pearls are set in golden ear-rings,
Loops of gold upon her temples,
And with pearls her brow is studded.
Northland thought the Moon was shining
When her jeweled ear-ringsglistened;
Thought the Sun had left his station
When her girdle shone in beauty;
Thought a ship was homeward sailing
When her colored head-gear fluttered.
Thus is praised the bride's companion,
Playmate of the Rainbow-maiden.

"Now I praise the friends assembled,
All appear in graceful manners;
If the old are wise and silent,
All the youth are free and merry,
All the guests are fair and worthy.
Never was there in Wainola,
Never will there be in Northland,
Such a company assembled;
All the children speak in joyance,
All the aged move sedately;
Dressed in white are all the maidens,
Like the hoar-frost of the morning,
Like the welcome dawn of spring-time,
Like the rising of the daylight.
Silver then was more abundant,
Gold among the guests in plenty,
On the hills were money, pockets,
Money-bags along the valleys,
For the friends that were invited,
For the guests in joy assembled.
All the friends have now been lauded,
Each has gained his meed of honor."

Wainamoinen, old and truthful,
Song-deliverer of Northland,
Swung himself upon the fur-bench
Or his magic sledge of copper,
Straightway hastened to his hamlet,
Singing as he journeyed onward,
Singing charms and incantations,
Singing one day, then a second,
All the third day chanting legends.
On the rocks the runners rattled,
Hung the sledge upon a birch-stump,
Broke it into many pieces,
With the magic of his singing;
Double were the runners bended,
All the parts were torn asunder,
And his magic sledge was ruined.

Then the good, old Wainamoinen
Spake these words in meditation:
"Is there one among this number,
In this rising generation,
Or perchance among the aged,
In the passing generation,
That will go to Mana's kingdom,
To the empire of Tuoni,
There to get the magic auger
From the master of Manala,
That I may repair my snow-sledge,
Or a second sledge may fashion?"

What the younger people answered
Was the answer of the aged:
"Not among the youth of Northland,
Nor among the aged heroes,
Is there one of ample courage,
That has bravery sufficient,
To attempt the reckless journey
To the kingdom of Tuoni,
To Manala's fields and castles,
Thence to bring Tuoni's auger,
Wherewithal to mend thy snow-sledge,
Build anew thy sledge of magic."

Thereupon old Wainamoinen,
The eternal wisdom-singer,
Went again to Mana's empire,
To the kingdom of Tuoni,
Crossed the sable stream of Deathland,
To the castles of Manala,
Found the auger of Tuoni,
Brought the instrument in safety.
Straightway sings old Wainamoinen,
Sings to life a purple forest,
In the forest, slender birches,
And beside them, mighty oak-trees,
Shapes them into shafts and runners,
Moulds them by his will and power,
Makes anew his sledge of magic.

On his steed he lays the harness,
Binds him to his sledge securely,
Seats himself upon the cross-bench,
And the racer gallops homeward,
To the manger filled and waiting,
To the stable of his master;
Brings the ancient Wainamoinen,
Famous bard and wise enchanter,
To the threshold of his dwelling,
To his home in Kalevala.

Next: Rune XXVI. Origin of the Serpent.