The Kalevala - Rune XXIII

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Now the bride must be instructed,
Who will teach the Maid of Beauty,
Who instruct the Rainbow-daughter?
Osmotar, the wisdom-maiden,
Kalew's fair and lovely virgin,
Osmotar will give instructions
To the bride of Ilmarinen,
To the orphaned bride of Pohya,
Teach her how to live in pleasure,
How to live and reign in glory,
Win her second mother's praises,
Joyful in her husband's dwelling.
Osmotar in modest accents
Thus the anxious bride addresses;
"Maid of Beauty, lovely sister,
Tender plant of Louhi's gardens,
Hear thou what thy sister teaches,
Listen to her sage instructions:
Go thou hence, my much beloved,
Wander far away, my flower,
Travel on enwrapped in colors,
Glide away in silks and ribbons,
From this house renowned and ancient,
From thy father's halls and court-yards
Haste thee to thy husband's village,
Hasten to his mother's household;
Strange, the rooms in other dwellings,
Strange, the modes in other hamlets.
"Full of thought must be thy going,
And thy work be well considered,
Quite unlike thy home in Northland,
On the meadows of thy father,
On the high-lands of thy brother,
Singing through thy mother's fenlands,
Culling daisies with thy sister.
"When thou goest from thy father
Thou canst take whatever pleases,
Only three things leave behind thee:
Leave thy day-dreams to thy sister,
Leave thou kindness for thy mother,
To thy brother leave thy labors,
Take all else that thou desirest.
Throw away thine incantations,
Cast thy sighing to the pine-trees,
And thy maidenhood to zephyrs,
Thy rejoicings to the couches,
Cast thy trinkets to the children,
And thy leisure to the gray-beards,
Cast all pleasures to thy playmates,
Let them take them to the woodlands,
Bury them beneath the mountain.
"Thou must hence acquire new habits,
Must forget thy former customs,
Mother-love must be forsaken,
Thou must love thy husband's mother,
Lower must thy head be bended,
Kind words only must thou utter.
"Thou must hence acquire new habits,
Must forget thy former customs,
Father-love must be forsaken,
Thou must love thy husband's father,
Lower must thy head be bended,
Kind words only must thou utter.
"Thou must hence acquire new habits,
Must forget thy former customs,
Brother-love must be forsaken,
Thou must love thy husband's brother,
Lower must thy head be bended,
Kind words only must thou utter.
"Thou must hence acquire new habits
Must forget thy former customs,
Sister-love must be forsaken,
Thou must love thy husband's sister,
Lower must thy head be bended,
Kind words only must thou utter.
"Never in the course of ages,
Never while the moonlight glimmers,
Wickedly approach thy household,
Nor unworthily, thy servants,
Nor thy courts with indiscretion;
Let thy dwellings sing good manners,
And thy walls re-echo virtue.
After mind the hero searches.
And the best of men seek honor,
Seek for honesty and wisdom;
If thy home should be immoral,
If thine inmates fail in virtue,
Then thy gray-beards would be black-dogs
In sheep's clothing at thy firesides;
All thy women would be witches,
Wicked witches in thy chambers,
And thy brothers be as serpents
Crawling through thy husband's mansion;
All thy sisters would be famous
For their evil thoughts and conduct.
"Equal honors must be given
To thy husband's friends and kindred;
Lower must thy head be bended,
Than within thy mother's dwelling,
Than within thy father's guest-room,
When thou didst thy kindred honor.
Ever strive to give good counsel,
Wear a countenance of sunshine,
Bear a head upon thy shoulders
Filled with wise and ancient sayings;
Open bright thine eyes at morning
To behold the silver sunrise,
Sharpen well thine ears at evening,
Thus to hear the rooster crowing;
When he makes his second calling,
Straightway thou must rise from slumber,
Let the aged sleep in quiet;
Should the rooster fail to call thee,
Let the moonbeams touch thine eyelids,
Let the Great Bear be thy keeper
Often go thou and consult them,
Call upon the Moon for counsel,
Ask the Bear for ancient wisdom,
From the stars divine thy future;
When the Great Bear faces southward,
When his tail is pointing northward,
This is time to break with slumber,
Seek for fire within the ashes,
Place a spark upon the tinder,
Blow the fire through all the fuel.
If no spark is in the ashes,
Then go wake thy hero-husband,
Speak these words to him on waking:
'Give me fire, O my beloved,
Give a single spark, my husband,
Strike a little fire from flintstone,
Let it fall upon my tinder.'
"From the spark, O Bride of Beauty,
Light thy fires, and heat thine ovens,
In the holder, place the torch-light,
Find thy pathway to the stables,
There to fill the empty mangers;
If thy husband's cows be lowing,
If thy brother's steeds be neighing,
Then the cows await thy coming,
And the steeds for thee are calling,
Hasten, stooping through the hurdles,
Hasten through the yards and stables,
Feed thy husband's cows with pleasure,
Feed with care the gentle lambkins,
Give the cows the best of clover,
Hay, and barley, to the horses,
Feed the calves of lowing mothers,
Feed the fowl that fly to meet thee.
"Never rest upon the haymow,
Never sleep within the hurdles,
When the kine are fed and tended,
When the flocks have all been watered;
Hasten thence, my pretty matron,
Like the snow-flakes to thy dwelling,
There a crying babe awaits thee,
Weeping in his couch neglected,
Cannot speak and tell his troubles,
Speechless babe, and weeping infant,
Cannot say that he is hungry,
Whether pain or cold distresses,
Greets with joy his mother's footsteps.
Afterward repair in silence
To thy husband's rooms and presence,
Early visit thou his chambers,
In thy hand a golden pitcher,
On thine arm a broom of birch-wood,
In thy teeth a lighted taper,
And thyself the fourth in order.
Sweep thou then thy hero's dwelling,
Dust his benches and his tables,
Wash the flooring well with water.
"If the baby of thy sister
Play alone within his corner,
Show the little child attention,
Bathe his eyes and smoothe his ringlets,
Give the infant needed comforts;
Shouldst thou have no bread of barley,
In his hand adjust some trinket.
"Lastly, when the week has ended,
Give thy house a thorough cleansing,
Benches, tables, walls, and ceilings;
What of dust is on the windows,
Sweep away with broom of birch-twigs,
All thy rooms must first be sprinkled,
at the dust may not be scattered,
May not fill the halls and chambers.
Sweep the dust from every crevice,
Leave thou not a single atom;
Also sweep the chimney-corners,
Do not then forget the rafters,
Lest thy home should seem untidy,
Lest thy dwelling seem neglected.
"Hear, O maiden, what I tell thee,
Learn the tenor of my teaching:
Never dress in scanty raiment,
Let thy robes be plain and comely,
Ever wear the whitest linen,
On thy feet wear tidy fur-shoes,
For the glory of thy husband,
For the honor of thy hero.
Tend thou well the sacred sorb-tree,
Guard the mountain-ashes planted
In the court-yard, widely branching;
Beautiful the mountain-ashes,
Beautiful their leaves and flowers,
Still more beautiful the berries.
Thus the exiled one demonstrates
That she lives to please her husband,
Tries to make her hero happy.
"Like the mouse, have ears for hearing,
Like the hare, have feet for running,
Bend thy neck and turn thy visage
Like the juniper and aspen,
Thus to watch with care thy goings,
Thus to guard thy feet from stumbling,
That thou mayest walk in safety.
"When thy brother comes from plowing,
And thy father from his garners,
And thy husband from the woodlands,
From his chopping, thy beloved,
Give to each a water-basin,
Give to each a linen-towel,
Speak to each some pleasant greeting.
"When thy second mother hastens
To thy husband's home and kindred,
In her hand a corn-meal measure,
Haste thou to the court to meet her,
Happy-hearted, bow before her,
Take the measure from her fingers,
Happy, bear it to thy husband.
"If thou shouldst not see distinctly
What demands thy next attention,
Ask at once thy hero's mother:
'Second mother, my beloved,
Name the task to be accomplished
By thy willing second daughter,
Tell me how to best perform it.'
"This should be the mother's answer:
'This the manner of thy workings,
Thus thy daily work accomplish:
Stamp with diligence and courage,
Grind with will and great endurance,
Set the millstones well in order,
Fill the barley-pans with water,
Knead with strength the dough for baking,
Place the fagots on the fire-place,
That thy ovens may be heated,
Bake in love the honey-biscuit,
Bake the larger loaves of barley,
Rinse to cleanliness thy platters,
Polish well thy drinking-vessels.
"If thou hearest from the mother,
From the mother of thy husband,
That the cask for meal is empty,
Take the barley from the garners,
Hasten to the rooms for grinding.
When thou grindest in the chambers,
Do not sing in glee and joyance,
Turn the grinding-stones in silence,
To the mill give up thy singing,
Let the side-holes furnish music;
Do not sigh as if unhappy,
Do not groan as if in trouble,
Lest the father think thee weary,
Lest thy husband's mother fancy
That thy groans mean discontentment,
That thy sighing means displeasure.
Quickly sift the flour thou grindest,
Take it to the casks in buckets,
Bake thy hero's bread with pleasure,
Knead the dough with care and patience,
That thy biscuits may be worthy,
That the dough be light and airy.
"Shouldst thou see a bucket empty,
Take the bucket on thy shoulder,
On thine arm a silver-dipper,
Hasten off to fill with water
From the crystal river flowing;
Gracefully thy bucket carry,
Bear it firmly by the handles,
Hasten houseward like the zephyrs,
Hasten like the air of autumn;
Do not tarry near the streamlet,
At the waters do not linger,
That the father may not fancy,
Nor the ancient dame imagine,
That thou hast beheld thine image,
Hast admired thy form and features,
Hast admired thy grace and beauty
In the mirror of the fountain,
In the crystal streamlet's eddies.
"Shouldst thou journey to the woodlands,
There to gather aspen-fagots,
Do not go with noise and bustle,
Gather all thy sticks in silence,
Gather quietly the birch-wood,
That the father may not fancy,
And the mother not imagine,
That thy calling came from anger,
And thy noise from discontentment.
"If thou goest to the store-house
To obtain the flour of barley,
Do not tarry on thy journey,
On the threshold do not linger,
That the father may not fancy,
And the mother not imagine,
That the meal thou hast divided
With the women of the village.
"If thou goest to the river,
There to wash thy birchen platters,
There to cleanse thy pans and buckets,
Lest thy work be done in neatness,
Rinse the sides, and rinse the handles,
Rinse thy pitchers to perfection,
Spoons, and forks, and knives, and goblets,
Rinse with care thy cooking-vessels,
Closely watch the food-utensils,
That the dogs may not deface them,
That the kittens may not mar them,
That the eagles may not steal them,
That the children may not break them;
Many children in the village,
Many little heads and fingers,
That will need thy careful watching,
Lest they steal the things of value.
"When thou goest to thy bathing,
Have the brushes ready lying
In the bath-room clean and smokeless;
Do not, linger in the water,
At thy bathing do not tarry,
That the father may not fancy,
And the mother not imagine,
Thou art sleeping on the benches,
Rolling in the laps of comfort.
"From thy bath, when thou returnest,
To his bathing tempt the father,
Speak to him the words that follow:
'Father of my hero-husband,
Clean are all the bath-room benches,
Everything in perfect order;
Go and bathe for thine enjoyment,
Pour the water all-sufficient,
I will lend thee needed service.'
"When the time has come for spinning,
When the hours arrive for weaving,
Do not ask the help of others,
Look not in the stream for knowledge,
For advice ask not the servants,
Nor the spindle from the sisters,
Nor the weaving-comb from strangers.
Thou thyself must do the spinning,
With thine own hand ply the shuttle,
Loosely wind the skeins of wool-yarn,
Tightly wind the balls of flax-thread,
Wind them deftly in the shuttle
Fit the warp upon the rollers,
Beat the woof and warp together,
Swiftly ply the weaver's shuttle,
Weave good cloth for all thy vestments,
Weave of woolen, webs for dresses
From the finest wool of lambkins,
One thread only in thy weaving.
"Hear thou what I now advise thee:
Brew thy beer from early barley,
From the barley's new-grown kernels,
Brew it with the magic virtues,
Malt it with the sweets of honey,
Do not stir it with the birch-rod,
Stir it with thy skilful fingers;
When thou goest to the garners,
Do not let the seed bring evil,
Keep the dogs outside the brew-house,
Have no fear of wolves in hunger,
Nor the wild-beasts of the mountains,
When thou goest to thy brewing,
Shouldst thou wander forth at midnight.
"Should some stranger come to see thee,
Do not worry for his comfort;
Ever does the worthy household
Have provisions for the stranger,
Bits of meat, and bread, and biscuit,
Ample for the dinner-table;
Seat the stranger in thy dwelling,
Speak with him in friendly accents,
Entertain the guest with kindness,
While his dinner is preparing.
When the stranger leaves thy threshold,
When his farewell has been spoken,
Lead him only to the portals,
Do not step without the doorway,
That thy husband may not fancy,
And the mother not imagine,
Thou hast interest in strangers.
"Shouldst thou ever make a journey
To the centre of the village,
There to gain some needed object,
While thou speakest in the hamlet,
Let thy words be full of wisdom,
That thou shamest not thy kindred,
Nor disgrace thy husband's household.
"Village-maidens oft will ask thee,
Mothers of the hamlet question:
'Does thy husband's mother greet thee
As in childhood thou wert greeted,
In thy happy home in Pohya?'
Do not answer in negation,
Say that she has always given
Thee the best of her provisions,
Given thee the kindest greetings,
Though it be but once a season.
"Listen well to what I tell thee:
As thou goest from thy father
To thy husband's distant dwelling,
Thou must not forget thy mother,
Her that gave thee life and beauty,
Her that nurtured thee in childhood,
Many sleepless nights she nursed thee;
Often were her wants neglected,
Numberless the times she rocked thee;
Tender, true, and ever faithful,
Is the mother to her daughter.
She that can forget her mother,
Can neglect the one that nursed her,
Should not visit Mana's castle,
In the kingdom of Tuoni;
In Manala she would suffer,
Suffer frightful retribution,
Should her mother be forgotten;
Should her dear one be neglected,
Mana's daughters will torment her,
And Tuoni's sons revile her,
They will ask her much as follows:
'How couldst thou forget thy mother,
How neglect the one that nursed thee?
Great the pain thy mother suffered,
Great the trouble that thou gavest
When thy loving mother brought thee
Into life for good or evil,
When she gave thee earth-existence,
When she nursed thee but an infant,
When she fed thee in thy childhood,
When she taught thee what thou knowest,
Mana's punishments upon thee,
Since thy mother is forgotten!'"
On the floor a witch was sitting,
Near the fire a beggar-woman,
One that knew the ways of people,
These the words the woman uttered:
"Thus the crow calls in the winter:
'Would that I could be a singer,
And my voice be full of sweetness,
But, alas! my songs are worthless,
Cannot charm the weakest creature;
I must live without the singing
Leave the songs to the musicians,
Those that live in golden houses,
In the homes of the beloved;
Homeless therefore I must wander,
Like a beggar in the corn-fields,
And with none to do me honor.'
"Hear now, sister, what I tell thee,
Enter thou thy husband's dwelling,
Follow not his mind, nor fancies,
As my husband's mind I followed;
As a flower was I when budding,
Sprouting like a rose in spring-time,
Growing like a slender maiden,
Like the honey-gem of glory,
Like the playmates of my childhood,
Like the goslings of my father,
Like the blue-ducks of my mother,
Like my brother's water-younglings,
Like the bullfinch of my sister;
Grew I like the heather-flower,
Like the berry of the meadow,
Played upon the sandy sea-shore,
Rocked upon the fragrant upland,
Sang all day adown the valley,
Thrilled with song the hill and mountain,
Filled with mirth the glen and forest,
Lived and frolicked in the woodlands.
"Into traps are foxes driven
By the cruel pangs of hunger,
Into traps, the cunning ermine;
Thus are maidens wooed and wedded,
In their hunger for a husband.
Thus created is the virgin,
Thus intended is the daughter,
Subject to her hero-husband,
Subject also to his mother.
"Then to other fields I hastened,
Like a berry from the border,
Like a cranberry for roasting,
Like a strawberry for dinner;
All the elm-trees seemed to wound me,
All the aspens tried to cut me,
All the willows tried to seize me,
All the forest tried to slay me.
Thus I journeyed to my husband,
Thus I travelled to his dwelling,
Was conducted to his mother.
Then there were, as was reported,
Six compartments built of pine-wood,
Twelve the number of the chambers,
And the mansion filled with garrets,
Studding all the forest border,
Every by-way filled with flowers
Streamlets bordered fields of barley,
Filled with wheat and corn, the islands,
Grain in plenty in the garners,
Rye unthrashed in great abundance,
Countless sums of gold and silver,
Other treasures without number.
When my journey I had ended,
When my hand at last was given,
Six supports were in his cabin,
Seven poles as rails for fencing.
Filled with anger were the bushes,
All the glens disfavor showing,
All the walks were lined with trouble,
Evil-tempered were the forests,
Hundred words of evil import,
Hundred others of unkindness.
Did not let this bring me sorrow,
Long I sought to merit praises,
Long I hoped to find some favor,
Strove most earnestly for kindness;
When they led me to the cottage,
There I tried some chips to gather,
Knocked my head against the portals
Of my husband's lowly dwelling.
"At the door were eyes of strangers,
Sable eyes at the partition,
Green with envy in his cabin,
Evil heroes in the back-ground,
From each mouth the fire was streaming,
From each tongue the sparks out-flying,
Flying from my second father,
From his eyeballs of unkindness.
Did not let this bring me trouble,
Tried to live in peace and pleasure,
In the homestead of my husband
In humility I suffered,
Skipped about with feet of rabbit,
Flew along with steps of ermine,
Late I laid my head to slumber,
Early rose as if a servant,
Could not win a touch of kindness,
Could not merit love nor honor,
Though I had dislodged the mountains,
Though the rocks had I torn open.
"Then I turned the heavy millstone,
Ground the flour with care and trouble,
Ground the barley-grains in patience,
That the mother might be nourished,
That her fury-throat might swallow
What might please her taste and fancy,.
From her gold-enamelled platters,
From the corner of her table.
"As for me, the hapless daughter,
All my flour was from the siftings
On the table near the oven,
Ate I from the birchen ladle;
Oftentimes I brought the mosses
Gathered in the lowland meadows,
Baked them into loaves for eating;
Brought the water from the river,
Thirsty, sipped it from the dipper,
Ate of fish the worst in Northland,
Only smelts, and worthless swimmers,
Rocking in my boat of birch-bark
Never ate I fish or biscuit
From my second mother's fingers.
"Blades I gathered in the summers,
Twisted barley-stalks in winter,
Like the laborers of heroes,
Like the servants sold in bondage.
In the thresh-house of my husband,
Evermore to me was given
Flail the heaviest and longest,
And to me the longest lever,
On the shore the strongest beater,
And the largest rake in haying;
No one thought my burden heavy,
No one thought that I could suffer,
Though the best of heroes faltered,
And the strongest women weakened.
"Thus did I, a youthful housewife,
At the right time, all my duties,
Drenched myself in perspiration,
Hoped for better times to follow;
But I only rose to labor,
Knowing neither rest nor pleasure.
I was blamed by all the household,
With ungrateful tongues derided,
Now about my awkward manners,
Now about my reputation,
Censuring my name and station.
Words unkind were heaped upon me,
Fell like hail on me unhappy,
Like the frightful flash of lightning,
Like the heavy hail of spring-time.
I did not despair entirely,
Would have lived to labor longer
Underneath the tongue of malice,
But the old-one spoiled Lay temper,
Roused my deepest ire and hatred
Then my husband grew a wild-bear,
Grew a savage wolf of Hisi.
"Only then I turned to weeping,
And reflected in my chamber,
Thought of all my former pleasures
Of the happy days of childhood,
Of my father's joyful firesides,
Of my mother's peaceful cottage,
Then began I thus to murmur:
'Well thou knowest, ancient mother,
How to make thy sweet bud blossom,
How to train thy tender shootlet;
Did not know where to ingraft it,
Placed, alas! the little scion
In the very worst of places,
On an unproductive hillock,
In the hardest limb of cherry,
Where it could not grow and flourish,
There to waste its life, in weeping,
Hapless in her lasting sorrow.
Worthier had been my conduct
In the regions that are better,
In the court-yards that are wider,
In compartments that are larger,
Living with a loving husband,
Living with a stronger hero.
Shoe of birch-bark was my suitor,
Shoe of Laplanders, my husband;
Had the body of a raven,
Voice and visage like the jackdaw,
Mouth and claws were from the black-wolf,
The remainder from the wild-bear.
Had I known that mine affianced
Was a fount of pain and evil,
To the hill-side I had wandered,
Been a pine-tree on the highway,
Been a linden on the border,
Like the black-earth made my visage,
Grown a beard of ugly bristles,
Head of loam and eyes of lightning,
For my ears the knots of birches,
For my limbs the trunks of aspens.'
"This the manner of my singing
In the hearing of my husband,
Thus I sang my cares and murmurs
Thus my hero near the portals
Heard the wail of my displeasure,
Then he hastened to my chamber;
Straightway knew I by his footsteps,
Well concluded be was angry,
'Knew it by his steps implanted;
All the winds were still in slumber,
Yet his sable locks stood endwise,
Fluttered round his bead in fury,
While his horrid mouth stood open;
To and fro his eyes were rolling,
In one hand a branch of willow,
In the other, club of alder;
Struck at me with might of malice,
Aimed the cudgel at my forehead.
"When the evening had descended,
When my husband thought of slumber
Took he in his hand a whip-stalk,
With a whip-lash made of deer-skin,
Was not made for any other,
Only made for me unhappy.
"When at last I begged for mercy,
When I sought a place for resting,
By his side I courted slumber,
Merciless, my husband seized me,
Struck me with his arm of envy,
Beat me with the whip of torture,
Deer-skin-lash and stalk of birch-wood.
From his couch I leaped impulsive,
In the coldest night of winter,
But the husband fleetly followed,
Caught me at the outer portals,
Grasped me by my streaming tresses,
Tore my ringlets from my forehead,
Cast in curls upon the night-winds
To the freezing winds of winter.
What the aid that I could ask for,
Who could free me from my torment?
Made I shoes of magic metals,
Made the straps of steel and copper,
Waited long without the dwelling,
Long I listened at the portals,
Hoping he would end his ravings,
Hoping he would sink to slumber,
But he did not seek for resting,
Did not wish to still his fury.
Finally the cold benumbed me;
As an outcast from his cabin,
I was forced to walk and wander,
When I, freezing, well reflected,
This the substance of my thinking:
'I will not endure this torture,
Will not bear this thing forever,
Will not bear this cruel treatment,
Such contempt I will not suffer
In the wicked tribe of Hisi,
In this nest of evil Piru.'
"Then I said, 'Farewell forever!'
To my husband's home and kindred,
To my much-loved home and husband;
Started forth upon a journey
To my father's distant hamlet,
Over swamps and over snow-fields,
Wandered over towering mountains,
Over hills and through the valleys,
To my brother's welcome meadows,
To my sister's home and birthplace.
"There were rustling withered pine-trees.
Finely-feathered firs were fading,
Countless ravens there were cawing,
All the jackdaws harshly singing,
This the chorus of the ravens:
'Thou hast here a home no longer,
This is not the happy homestead
Of thy merry days of childhood.'
"Heeding not this woodland chorus,
Straight I journeyed to the dwelling
Of my childhood's friend and brother,
Where the portals spake in concord,
And the hills and valleys answered,
This their saddened song and echo:
'Wherefore dost thou journey hither,
Comest thou for joy or sorrow,
To thy father's old dominions?
Here unhappiness awaits thee,
Long departed is thy father,
Dead and gone to visit Ukko,
Dead and gone thy faithful mother,
And thy brother is a stranger,
While his wife is chill and heartless!'
"Heeding not these many warnings,
Straightway to my brother's cottage
Were my weary feet directed,
Laid my hand upon the door-latch
Of my brother's dismal cottage,
But the latch was cold and lifeless.
When I wandered to the chamber,
When I waited at the doorway,
There I saw the heartless hostess,
But she did not give me greeting,
Did not give her hand in welcome;
Proud, alas! was I unhappy,
Did not make the first advances,
Did not offer her my friendship,
And my hand I did not proffer;
Laid my hand upon the oven,
All its former warmth departed!
On the coal I laid my fingers,
All the latent heat had left it.
On the rest-bench lay my brother,
Lay outstretched before the fire-place,
Heaps of soot upon his shoulders,
Heaps of ashes on his forehead.
Thus the brother asked the stranger,
Questioned thus his guest politely:
'Tell me what thy name and station,
Whence thou comest o'er the waters!'
This the answer that I gave him:
Hast thou then forgot thy sister,
Does my brother not remember,
Not recall his mother's daughter
We are children of one mother,
Of one bird were we the fledgelings,
In one nest were hatched and nurtured.'
"Then the brother fell to weeping,
From his eyes great tear-drops flowing,
To his wife the brother whispered,
Whispered thus unto the housewife.
'Bring thou beer to give my sister,
Quench her thirst and cheer her spirits.'
"Full of envy, brought the sister
Only water filled with evil,
Water for the infant's eyelids,
Soap and water from the bath-room.
"To his wife the brother whispered,
Whispered thus unto the housewife:
'Bring thou salmon for my sister,
For my sister so long absent,
Thus to still her pangs of hunger.'
"Thereupon the wife obeying,
Brought, in envy, only cabbage
That the children had been eating,
And the house-dogs had been licking,
Leavings of the black-dog's breakfast.
"Then I left my brother's dwelling,
Hastened to the ancient homestead,
To my mother's home deserted;
Onward, onward did I wander,
Hastened onward by the cold-sea,
Dragged my body on in anguish,
To the cottage-doors of strangers,
To the unfamiliar portals,
For the care of the neglected,
For the needy of the village,
For the children poor and orphaned.
"There are many wicked people,
Many slanderers of women,
Many women evil-minded,
That malign their sex through envy.
Many they with lips of evil,
That belie the best of maidens,
Prove the innocent are guilty
Of the worst of misdemeanors,
Speak aloud in tones unceasing,
Speak, alas! with wicked motives,
Spread the follies of their neighbors
Through the tongues of self-pollution.
Very few, indeed, the people
That will feed the poor and hungry,
That will bid the stranger welcome;
Very few to treat her kindly,
Innocent, and lone, and needy,
Few to offer her a shelter
From the chilling storms of winter,
When her skirts with ice are stiffened,
Coats of ice her only raiment!
"Never in my days of childhood,
Never in my maiden life-time,
Never would believe the story
Though a hundred tongues had told
Though a thousand voices sang it,
That such evil things could happen,
That such misery could follow,
Such misfortune could befall one
Who has tried to do her duty,
Who has tried to live uprightly,
Tried to make her people happy."
Thus the young bride was instructed,
Beauteous Maiden of the Rainbow,
Thus by Osmotar, the teacher.

© Elias Lönnrot