The Kalevala - Rune XLIX

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Thus has Fire returned to Northland
But the gold Moon is not shining,
Neither gleams the silver sunlight
In the chambers of Wainola,
On the plains of Kalevala.
On the crops the white-frost settled,
And the cattle died of hunger,
Even birds grew sick and perished.
Men and maidens, faint and famished,
Perished in the cold and darkness,
From the absence of the sunshine,
From the absence of the moonlight.
Knew the pike his holes and hollows,
And the eagle knew his highway,
Knew the winds the times for sailing;
But the wise men of the Northland
Could not know the dawn of morning,
On the fog-point in the ocean,
On the islands forest-covered.
Young and aged talked and wondered,
Well reflected, long debated,
How to live without the moonlight,
Live without the silver sunshine,
In the cold and cheerless Northland,
In the homes of Kalevala.
Long conjectured all the maidens,
Orphans asked the wise for counsel.
Spake a maid to Ilmarinen,
Running to the blacksmith's furnace:
"Rise, O artist, from thy slumbers,
Hasten from thy couch unworthy;
Forge from gold the Moon for Northland,
Forge anew the Sun from silver
Cannot live without the moonlight,
Nor without the silver sunshine!"
From his couch arose the artist,
From his couch of stone, the blacksmith,
And began his work of forging,
Forging Sun and Moon for Northland.
Came the ancient Wainamoinen,
In the doorway sat and lingered,
Spake, these Words to Ilmarinen:
"Blacksmith, my beloved brother,
Thou the only metal-worker,
Tell me why thy magic hammer
Falls so heavy on thine anvil?"
Spake the youthful Ilmarinen:
"Moon of gold and Sun of silver,
I am forging for Wainola;
I shall swing them into ether,
Plant them in the starry heavens."
Spake the wise, old Wainamoinen:
"Senseless blacksmith of the ages,
Vainly dost thou swing thy hammer,
Vainly rings thy mighty anvil;
Silver will not gleam as sunshine,
Not of gold is born the moonlight!"
Ilmarinen, little heeding,
Ceases not to ply his hammer,
Sun and Moon the artist forges,
Wings the Moon of Magic upward,
Hurls it to the pine-tree branches;
Does not shine without her master.
Then the silver Sun he stations
In an elm-tree on the mountain.
From his forehead drip the sweat-drops,
Perspiration from his fingers,
Through his labors at the anvil
While the Sun and Moon were forging;
But the Sun shone not at morning
From his station in the elm-tree;
And the Moon shone not at evening
From the pine-tree's topmost branches.
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
"Let the Fates be now consulted,
And the oracles examined;
Only thus may we discover
Where the Sun and Moon lie hidden."
Thereupon old Wainamoinen,
Only wise and true magician,
Cut three chips from trunks of alder,
Laid the chips in magic order,
Touched and turned them with his fingers,
Spake these words of master-magic:
"Of my Maker seek I knowledge,
Ask in hope and faith the answer
From the great magician, Ukko:
Tongue of alder, tell me truly,
Symbol of the great Creator,
Where the Sun and Moon are sleeping;
For the Moon shines not in season,
Nor appears the Sun at midday,
From their stations in the sky-vault.
Speak the truth, O magic alder,
Speak not words of man, nor hero,
Hither bring but truthful measures.
Let us form a sacred compact:
If thou speakest me a falsehood,
I will hurl thee to Manala,
Let the nether fires consume thee,
That thine evil signs may perish."
Thereupon the alder answered,
Spake these words of truthful import:
"Verily the Sun lies hidden
And the golden Moon is sleeping
In the stone-berg of Pohyola,
In the copper-bearing mountain."
These the words of Wainamoinen:
"I shall go at once to Northland,
To the cold and dark Pohyola,
Bring the Sun and Moon to gladden
All Wainola's fields and forests."
Forth he hastens on his journey,
To the dismal Sariola,
To the Northland cold and dreary;
Travels one day, then a second,
So the third from morn till evening,
When appear the gates of Pohya,
With her snow-clad hills and mountains.
Wainamoinen, the magician,
At the river of Pohyola,
Loudly calls the ferry-maiden:
Bring a boat, O Pohya-daughter,
Bring a strong and trusty vessel,
Row me o'er these chilling waters,
O'er this rough and rapid river! "
But the Ferry-maiden heard not,
Did not listen to his calling.
Thereupon old Wainamoinen,
Laid a pile of well-dried brush-wood,
Knots and needles of the fir-tree,
Made a fire beside the river,
Sent the black smoke into heaven
Curling to the home of Ukko.
Louhi, hostess of the Northland,
Hastened to her chamber window,
Looked upon the bay and river,
Spake these words to her attendants:
"Why the fire across the river
Where the current meets the deep-sea,
Smaller than the fires of foemen,
Larger than the flames of hunters?"
Thereupon a Pohyalander
Hastened from the court of Louhi
That the cause he might discover,'
Bring the sought-for information
To the hostess of Pohyola;
Saw upon the river-border
Some great hero from Wainola.
Wainamoinen saw the stranger,
Called again in tones of thunder:
"Bring a skiff; thou son of Northland,
For the minstrel, Wainamoinen!
Thus the Pohyalander answered:
"Here no skiffs are lying idle,
Row thyself across the waters,
Use thine arms, and feet, and fingers,
To propel thee o'er the river,
O'er the sacred stream of Pohya."
Wainamoinen, long reflecting,
Bravely thus soliloquizes:
"I will change my form and features,
Will assume a second body,
Neither man, nor ancient minstrel,
Master of the Northland waters!"
Then the singer, Wainamoinen,
Leaped, a pike, upon the waters,
Quickly swam the rapid river,
Gained the frigid Pohya-border.
There his native form resuming,
Walked he as a mighty hero,
On the dismal isle of Louhi,
Spake the wicked sons of Northland:
Come thou to Pohyola's court-room."
To Pohyola's, court he hastened.
Spake again the sons of evil:
Come thou to the halls of Louhi!"
To Pohyola's halls he hastened.
On the latch he laid his fingers,
Set his foot within the fore-hall,
Hastened to the inner chamber,
Underneath the painted rafters,
Where the Northland-heroes gather.
There he found the Pohya-masters
Girded with their swords of battle,
With their spears and battle-axes,
With their fatal bows and arrows,
For the death of Wainamoinen,
Ancient bard, Suwantolainen.
Thus they asked the hero-stranger.
"Magic swimmer of the Northland,
Son of evil, what the message
That thou bringest from thy people,
What thy mission to Pohyola?"
Wainamoinen, old and truthful,
Thus addressed the hosts of Louhi:
"For the Sun I come to Northland,
Come to seek the Moon in Pohya;
Tell me where the Sun lies hidden,
Where the golden Moon is sleeping."
Spake the evil sons of Pohya:
"Both the Sun and Moon are hidden
In the rock of many colors,
In the copper-bearing mountain,
In a cavern iron-banded,
In the stone-berg of Pohyola,
Nevermore to gain their freedom,
Nevermore to shine in Northland!"
Spake the hero, Wainamoinen:
"If the Sun be not uncovered,
If the Moon leave not her dungeon,
I will challenge all Pohyola
To the test of spear or broadsword,
Let us now our weapons measure!"
Quick the hero of Wainola
Drew his mighty sword of magic;
On its border shone the moonlight,
On its hilt the Sun was shining,
On its back, a neighing stallion,
On its face a cat was mewing,
Beautiful his magic weapon.
Quick the hero-swords are tested,
And the blades are rightly measured
Wainamoinen's sword is longest
By a single grain of barley,
By a blade of straw, the widest.
To the court-yard rushed the heroes,
Hastened to the deadly combat,
On the plains of Sariola.
Wainamoinen, the magician,
Strikes one blow, and then a second,
Strikes a third time, cuts and conquers.
As the house-maids slice the turnips,
As they lop the heads of cabbage,
As the stalks of flax are broken,
So the heads of Louhi's heroes
Fall before the magic broadsword
Of the ancient Wainamoinen.
Then victor from Wainola,
Ancient bard and great magician,
Went to find the Sun in slumber,
And the golden Moon discover,
In, the copper-bearing Mountains,
In the cavern iron-banded,
In the stone-berg of Pohyola.
He had gone but little distance,
When he found a sea-green island;
On the island stood a birch-tree,
Near the birch-tree stood a pillar
Carved in stone of many colors;
In the pillar, nine large portals
Bolted in a hundred places;
In the rock he found a crevice
Sending forth a gleam of sunlight.
Quick he drew his mighty broadsword,
From the pillar struck three colors,
From the magic of his weapon;
And the pillar fell asunder,
Three the number of the fragments.
Wainamoinen, old and faithful,
Through the crevice looked and wondered.
In the center of the pillar,
From a scarlet-colored basin,
Noxious serpents beer were drinking,
And the adders eating spices.
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
"Therefore has Pohyola's hostess
Little drink to give to strangers,
Since her beer is drank by serpents,
And her spices given to adders."
Quick he draws his magic fire-blade,
Cuts the vipers green in pieces,
Lops the heads off all the adders,
Speaks these words of master-magic:
Thus, hereafter, let the serpent
Drink the famous beer of barley,
Feed upon the Northland-spices!"
Wainamoinen, the magician,
The eternal wizard-singer,
Sought to open wide the portals
With the hands and words of magic;
But his hands had lost their cunning,
And his magic gone to others.
Thereupon the ancient minstrel
Quick returning, heavy-hearted,
To his native halls and hamlets,
Thus addressed his brother-heroes:
"Woman, he without his weapons,
With no implements, a weakling!
Sun and Moon have I discovered,
But I could not force the Portals
Leading to their rocky cavern
In the copper bearing mountain.
Spake the reckless Lemminkainen
"O thou ancient Wainamoinen,
Why was I not taken with thee
To become, thy war-companion?
Would have been of goodly service,
Would have drawn the bolts or broken,
All the portals to the cavern,
Where the Sun and Moon lie hidden
In the copper-bearing mountain!"
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Thus replied to Lemminkainen:
"Empty Words will break no portals,
Draw no bolts of any moment;
Locks and bolts are never broken.
With the words of little wisdom!
Greater means than thou commandest
Must be used to free the sunshine,
Free the moonlight from her dungeon."
Wainamoinen, not discouraged,
Hastened to the, forge and smithy,
Spake these words to Ilmarinen:
"O thou famous metal-artist,
Forge for me a magic trident,
Forge from steel a dozen stout-rings,
Master-keys, a goodly number,
Iron bars and heavy hammers,
That the Sun we may uncover
In the copper-bearing mountain,
In the stone-berg of Pohyola."
Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
The eternal metal-worker,
Forged the needs of Wainamoinen,
Forged for him the magic trident,
Forged from steel a dozen stout-rings,
Master-keys a goodly number,
Iron bars and heavy hammers,
Not the largest, nor the smallest,
Forged them of the right dimensions.
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Northland's old and toothless wizard,
Fastened wings upon her shoulders,
As an eagle, sailed the heavens,
Over field, and fen, and forest,
Over Pohya's many, waters,
To the hamlets of Wainola,
To the forge of Ilmarinen.
Quick the famous metal-worker
Went to see if winds were blowing;
Found the winds at peace and silent,
Found an eagle, sable-colored,
Perched upon his window-casement.
Spake the artist, Ilmarinen:
"Magic bird, whom art thou seeking,
Why art sitting at my window?"
This the answer of the eagle:
"Art thou blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
The eternal iron-forger,
Master of the magic metals,
Northland's wonder-working artist?"
Ilmarinen gave this answer:
"There is nothing here of wonder,
Since I forged the dome of heaven,
Forged the earth a concave cover!"
Spake again the magic eagle:
Why this ringing of thine anvil,
Why this knocking of thy hammer,
Tell me what thy hands are forging?"
This the answer of the blacksmith:
"'Tis a collar I am forging
For the neck of wicked Louhi,
Toothless witch of Sariola,
Stealer of the silver sunshine,
Stealer of the golden moonlight;
With this collar I shall bind her
To the iron-rock of Ehstland!"
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Saw misfortune fast approaching,
Saw destruction flying over,
Saw the signs of bad-luck lower;
Quickly winged her way through ether
To her native halls and chambers,
To the darksome Sariola,
There unlocked the massive portals
Where the Sun and Moon were hidden,
In the rock of many colors,
In the cavern iron-banded,
In the copper-bearing mountain.
Then again the wicked Louhi
Changed her withered form and features,
And became a dove of good-luck;
Straightway winged the starry heavens,
Over field, and fen, and forest,
To the meadows of Wainola,
To the plains of Kalevala,
To the forge of Ilmarinen.
This the question of the blacksmith
"Wherefore comest, dove of good-luck,
What the tidings that thou bringest?"
Thus the magic bird made answer:
"Wherefore come I to thy smithy?
Come to bring the joyful tidings
That the Sun has left his cavern,
Left the rock of many colors,
Left the stone-berg of Pohyola;
That the Moon no more is hidden
In the copper-bearing mountains,
In the caverns iron-banded."
Straightway hastened Ilmarinen
To the threshold of his smithy,
Quickly scanned the far horizon,
Saw again the silver sunshine,
Saw once more the golden moonlight,
Bringing peace, and joy, and plenty,
To the homes of Kalevala.
Thereupon the blacksmith hastened
To his brother, Wainamoinen,
Spake these words to the magician:
"O thou ancient bard and minstrel,
The eternal wizard-singer
See, the Sun again is shining,
And the golden Moon is beaming
From their long-neglected places,
From their stations in the sky-vault!"
Wainamoinen, old and faithful,
Straightway hastened to the court-yard,
Looked upon the far horizon,
Saw once more the silver sunshine,
Saw again the golden moonlight,
Bringing peace, and joy, and plenty,
To the people of the Northland,
And the minstrel spake these measures:
"Greetings to thee, Sun of fortune,
Greetings to thee, Moon of good-luck,
Welcome sunshine, welcome moonlight,
Golden is the dawn of morning!
Free art thou, O Sun of silver,
Free again, O Moon beloved,
As the sacred cuckoo's singing,
As the ring-dove's liquid cooings.
"Rise, thou silver Sun, each Morning,
Source of light and life hereafter,
Bring us, daily, joyful greetings,
Fill our homes with peace and plenty,
That our sowing, fishing, hunting,
May be prospered by thy coming.
Travel on thy daily journey,
Let the Moon be ever with thee;
Glide along thy way rejoicing,
End thy journeyings in slumber;
Rest at evening in the ocean,
When the daily cares have ended,
To the good of all thy people,
To the pleasure Of Wainoloa,
To the joy of Kalevala!"

© Elias Lönnrot