The Kalevala - Rune XXIV

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Osmotar, the bride-instructor,
Gives the wedding-guests this counsel,
Speaks these measures to the bridegroom:
"Ilmarinen, artist-brother,
Best of all my hero-brothers,
Of my mother's sons the dearest,
Gentlest, truest, bravest, grandest,
Listen well to what I tell thee
Of the Maiden of the Rainbow,
Of thy beauteous life-companion
Bridegroom, praise thy fate hereafter,
Praise forever thy good fortune;
If thou praisest, praise sincerely,
Good the maiden thou hast wedded,
Good the bride that Ukko gives thee,
Graciously has God bestowed her.
Sound her praises to thy father,
Praise her virtues to thy mother,
Let thy heart rejoice in secret,
That thou hast the Bride of Beauty,
Lovely Maiden of the Rainbow!
"Brilliant near thee stands the maiden,
At thy shoulder thy companion,
Happy under thy protection,
Beautiful as golden moonlight,
Beautiful upon thy bosom,
Strong to do thy kindly bidding,
Labor with thee as thou wishest,
Rake the hay upon thy meadows,
Keep thy home in full perfection,
Spin for thee the finest linen,
Weave for thee the richest fabrics,
Make for thee the softest raiment,
Make thy weaver's loom as merry
As the cuckoo of the forest;
Make the shuttle glide in beauty
Like the ermine of the woodlands;
Make the spindle twirl as deftly
As the squirrel spins the acorn;
Village-maidens will not slumber
While thy young bride's loom is humming,
While she plies the graceful shuttle.
"Bridegroom of the Bride of Beauty,
Noblest of the Northland heroes,
Forge thyself a scythe for mowing,
Furnish it with oaken handle,
Carve it in thine ancient smithy,
Hammer it upon thine anvil,
Have it ready for the summer,
For the merry days of sunshine;
Take thy bride then to the lowlands,
Mow the grass upon thy meadows,
Rake the hay when it is ready,
Make the reeds and grasses rustle,
Toss the fragrant heads of clover,
Make thy hay in Kalevala
When the silver sun is shining.
"When the time has come for weaving,
To the loom attract the weaver,
Give to her the spools and shuttles,
Let the willing loom be worthy,
Beautiful the frame and settle;
Give to her what may be needed,
That the weaver's song may echo,
That the lathe may swing and rattle,
Ma y be heard within the village,
That the aged may remark it,
And the village-maidens question:
'Who is she that now is weaving,
What new power now plies the shuttle?'
"Make this answer to the question:
'It is my beloved weaving,
My young bride that plies the shuttle.'
"Shall the weaver's weft be loosened,
Shall the young bride's loom be tightened?
Do not let the weft be loosened,
Nor the weaver's loom be tightened;
Such the weaving of the daughters
Of the Moon beyond the cloudlets;
Such the spinning of the maidens
Of the Sun in high Jumala,
Of the daughters of the Great Bear,
Of the daughters of the Evening.
Bridegroom, thou beloved hero,
Brave descendant of thy fathers,
When thou goest on a journey,
When thou drivest on the highway,
Driving with the Rainbow-daughter,
Fairest bride of Sariola,
Do not lead her as a titmouse,
As a cuckoo of the forest,
Into unfrequented places,
Into copses of the borders,
Into brier-fields and brambles,
Into unproductive marshes;
Let her wander not, nor stumble
On opposing rocks and rubbish.
Never in her father's dwelling,
Never in her mother's court-yard,
Has she fallen into ditches,
Stumbled hard against the fences,
Run through brier-fields, nor brambles,
Fallen over rocks, nor rubbish.
"Magic bridegroom of Wainola,
Wise descendant of the heroes,
Never let thy young wife suffer,
Never let her be neglected,
Never let her sit in darkness,
Never leave her unattended.
Never in her father's mansion,
In the chambers of her mother,
Has she sat alone in darkness,
Has she suffered for attention;
Sat she by the crystal window,
Sat and rocked, in peace and plenty,
Evenings for her father's pleasure,
Mornings for her mother's sunshine.
Never mayest thou, O bridegroom,
Lead the Maiden of the Rainbow
To the mortar filled with sea-grass,
There to grind the bark for cooking,
There to bake her bread from stubble,
There to knead her dough from tan-bark
Never in her father's dwelling,
Never in her mother's mansion,
Was she taken to the mortar,
There to bake her bread from sea-grass.
Thou shouldst lead the Bride of Beauty
To the garner's rich abundance,
There to draw the till of barley,
Grind the flour and knead for baking,
There to brew the beer for drinking,
Wheaten flour for honey-biscuits.
"Hero-bridegroom of Wainola,
Never cause thy Bride of Beauty
To regret her day of marriage;
Never make her shed a tear-drop,
Never fill her cup with sorrow.
Should there ever come an evening
When thy wife shall feel unhappy,
Put the harness on thy racer,
Hitch the fleet-foot to the snow-sled;
Take her to her father's dwelling,
To the household of her mother;
Never in thy hero-lifetime,
Never while the moonbeams glimmer,
Give thy fair spouse evil treatment,
Never treat her as thy servant;
Do not bar her from the cellar,
Do not lock thy best provisions
Never in her father's mansion,
Never by her faithful mother
Was she treated as a hireling.
Honored bridegroom of the Northland,
Proud descendant of the fathers,
If thou treatest well thy young wife,
Worthily wilt thou be treated;
When thou goest to her homestead,
When thou visitest her father,
Thou shalt meet a cordial welcome.
"Censure not the Bride of Beauty,
Never grieve thy Rainbow-maiden,
Never say in tones reproachful,
She was born in lowly station,
That her father was unworthy;
Honored are thy bride's relations,
From an old-time tribe, her kindred;
When of corn they sowed a measure,
Each one's portion was a kernel;
When they sowed a cask of flax-seed,
Each received a thread of linen.
Never, never, magic husband,
Treat thy beauty-bride unkindly,
Teach her not with lash of servants,
Strike her not with thongs of leather;
Never has she wept in anguish
From the birch-whip of her mother.
Stand before her like a rampart,
Be to her a strong protection,
Do not let thy mother chide her,
Let thy father not upbraid her,
Never let thy guests offend her;
Should thy servants bring annoyance,
They may need the master's censure;
Do not harm the Bride of Beauty,
Never injure her thou lovest;
Three long years hast thou been wooing,
Hoping every mouth to win her.
"Counsel with the bride of heaven,
To thy young wife give instruction,
Kindly teach thy bride in secret,
In the long and dreary evenings,
When thou sittest at the fireside;
Teach one year, in words of kindness,
Teach with eyes of love a second,
In the third year teach with firmness.
If she should not heed thy teaching,
Should not hear thy kindly counsel
After three long years of effort,
Cut a reed upon the lowlands,
Cut a nettle from the border,
Teach thy wife with harder measures.
In the fourth year, if she heed not,
Threaten her with sterner treatment,
With the stalks of rougher edges,
Use not yet the thongs of leather,
Do not touch her with the birch-whip.
If she does not heed this warning,
Should she pay thee no attention,
Cut a rod upon the mountains,
Or a willow in the valleys,
Hide it underneath thy mantle,
That the stranger may not see it,
Show it to thy wife in secret,
Shame her thus to do her duty,
Strike not yet, though disobeying.
Should she disregard this warning,
Still refuse to heed thy wishes,
Then instruct her with the willow,
Use the birch-rod from the mountains
In the closet of thy dwelling,
In the attic of thy mansion;
Strike, her not upon the common,
Do not conquer her in public,
Lest the villagers should see thee,
Lest the neighbors hear her weeping,
And the forests learn thy troubles.
Touch thy wife upon the shoulders,
Let her stiffened back be softened.
Do not touch her on the forehead,
Nor upon the ears, nor visage;
If a ridge be on her forehead,
Or a blue mark on her eyelids,
Then her mother would perceive it,
And her father would take notice,
All the village-workmen see it,
And the village-women ask her
'Hast thou been in heat of battle,
Hast thou struggled in a conflict,
Or perchance the wolves have torn thee,
Or the forest-bears embraced thee,
Or the black-wolf be thy husband,
And the bear be thy protector?'"
By the fire-place lay a gray-beard,
On the hearth-stone lay a beggar,
And the old man spake as follows:
"Never, never, hero-husband,
Follow thou thy young wife's wishes,
Follow not her inclinations,
As, alas! I did, regretful;
Bought my bride the bread of barley,
Veal, and beer, and best of butter,
Fish and fowl of all descriptions,
Beer I bought, home-brewed and sparkling,
Wheat from all the distant nations,
All the dainties of the Northland;
All of this was unavailing,
Gave my wife no satisfaction,
Often came she to my chamber,
Tore my sable locks in frenzy,
With a visage fierce and frightful,
With her eyeballs flashing anger,
Scolding on and scolding ever,
Ever speaking words of evil,
Using epithets the vilest,
Thought me but a block for chopping.
Then I sought for other measures,
Used on her my last resources,
Cut a birch-whip in the forest,
And she spake in tones endearing;
Cut a juniper or willow,
And she called me 'hero-darling';
When with lash my wife I threatened,
Hung she on my neck with kisses."
Thus the bridegroom was instructed,
Thus the last advices given.
Then the Maiden of the Rainbow,
Beauteous bride of Ilmarinen,
Sighing heavily and moaning,
Fell to weeping, heavy-hearted,
Spake these words from depths of sorrow:
"Near, indeed, the separation,
Near, alas! the time for parting,
Near the time for my departure;
O the anguish of the parting,
O the pain of separation,
From these walls renowned and ancient,
From this village of the Northland,
From these scenes of peace and plenty,
Where my faithful mother taught me,
Where my father gave instruction
To me in my happy childhood,
When my years were few and tender!
As a child I did not fancy,
Never thought of separation
From the confines of this cottage,
From these dear old hills and mountains,
But, alas! I now must journey,
Since I now cannot escape it;
Empty is the bowl of parting,
All the farewell-beer is taken,
And my husband's sledge is waiting,
With the break-board looking southward,
Looking from my father's dwelling.
"How shall I give compensation,
How repay, on my departure,
All the kindness of my mother,
All the counsel of my father,
All the friendship of my brother,
All my sister's warm affection?
Gratitude to thee, dear father,
For my former-life and blessings,
For the comforts of thy table,
For the pleasures of my childhood!
Gratitude to thee, dear mother,
For thy tender care and guidance,
For my birth and for my culture,
Nurtured by thy purest life-blood!
Gratitude to thee, dear brother,
Gratitude to thee, sweet sister,
To the servants of my childhood,
To my many friends and playmates!
"Never, never, aged father,
Never, thou, beloved mother,
Never, ye, my kindred spirits,
Never harbor care, nor sorrow,
Never fall to bitter weeping,
Since thy child has gone to others,
To the distant home of strangers,
To the meadows of Wainola,
From her father's fields and firesides.
Shines the Sun of the Creator,
Shines the golden Moon of Ukko,
Glitter all the stars of heaven,
In the firmament of ether,
Full as bright on other homesteads;
Not upon my father's uplands,
Not upon my home in childhood,
Shines the Star of Joyance only.
"Now the time has come for parting
From my father's golden firesides,
From my brother's welcome hearth-stone,
From the chambers of my sister,
From my mother's happy dwelling;
Now I leave the swamps and lowlands,
Leave the grassy vales and mountains,
Leave the crystal lakes and rivers,
Leave the shores and sandy shallows,
Leave the white-capped surging billows,
Where the maidens swim and linger,
Where the mermaids sing and frolic;
Leave the swamps to those that wander,
Leave the corn-fields to the plowman,
Leave the forests to the weary,
Leave the heather to the rover,
Leave the copses to the stranger,
Leave the alleys to the beggar,
Leave the court-yards to the rambler,
Leave the portals to the servant,
Leave the matting to the sweeper,
Leave the highways to the roebuck,
Leave the woodland-glens to lynxes,
Leave the lowlands to the wild-geese,
And the birch-tree to the cuckoo.
Now I leave these friends of childhood,
Journey southward with my husband,
To the arms of Night and Winter,
O'er the ice-grown seas of Northland.
"Should I once again, returning,
Pay a visit to my tribe-folk,
Mother would not hear me calling,
Father would not see me weeping,
Calling at my mother's grave-stone,
'Weeping o'er my buried father,
On their graves the fragrant flowers,
Junipers and mournful willows,
Verdure from my mother's tresses,
From the gray-beard of my father.
"Should I visit Sariola,
Visit once again these borders,
No one here would bid me welcome.
Nothing in these hills would greet me,
Save perchance a few things only,
By the fence a clump of osiers,
And a land-mark at the corner,
Which in early youth I planted,
When a child of little stature.
"Mother's kine perhaps will know me,
Which so often I have watered,
Which I oft have fed and tended,
Lowing now at my departure,
In the pasture cold and cheerless;
Sure my mother's kine will welcome
Northland's daughter home returning.
Father's steeds may not forget me,
Steeds that I have often ridden,
When a maiden free and happy,
Neighing now for me departing,
In the pasture of my brother,
In the stable of my father;
Sure my father's steeds will know me,
Bid Pohyola's daughter welcome.
Brother's faithful dogs may know me,
That I oft have fed and petted,
Dogs that I have taught to frolic,
That now mourn for me departing,
In their kennels in the court-yard,
In their kennels cold and cheerless;
Sure my brother's dogs will welcome
Pohya's daughter home returning.
But the people will not know me,
When I come these scenes to visit,
Though the fords remain as ever,
Though unchanged remain the rivers,
Though untouched the flaxen fish-nets
On the shores await my coming.
"Fare thou well, my dear old homestead,
Fare ye well, my native bowers;
It would give me joy unceasing
Could I linger here forever.
Now farewell, ye halls and portals,
Leading to my father's mansion;
It would give me joy unceasing
Could I linger here forever.
Fare ye well, familiar gardens
Filled with trees and fragrant flowers;
It would give me joy unceasing,
Could I linger here forever.
Send to all my farewell greetings,
To the fields, and groves, and berries;
Greet the meadows with their daisies,
Greet the borders with their fences,
Greet the lakelets with their islands,
Greet the streams with trout disporting,
Greet the hills with stately pine-trees,
And the valleys with their birches.
Fare ye well, ye streams and lakelets,
Fertile fields, and shores of ocean,
All ye aspens on the mountains,
All ye lindens of the valleys,
All ye beautiful stone-lindens,
All ye shade-trees by the cottage,
All ye junipers and willows,
All ye shrubs with berries laden,
Waving grass and fields of barley,
Arms of elms, and oaks, and alders,
Fare ye well, dear scenes of childhood,
Happiness of days departed!"
Ending thus, Pohyola's daughter
Left her native fields and fallows,
Left the darksome Sariola,
With her husband, Ilmarinen,
Famous son of Kalevala.
But the youth remained for singing,
This the chorus of the children:
"Hither came a bird of evil '
Flew in fleetness from the forest,
Came to steal away our virgin,
Came to win the Maid of Beauty;
Took away our fairest flower,
Took our mermaid from the waters,
Won her with his youth and beauty,
With his keys of ancient wisdom.
Who will lead us to the sea-beach,
Who conduct us to the rivers?
Now the buckets will be idle,
On the hooks will rest the fish-poles,
Now unswept will lie the matting,
And unswept the halls of birch-wood,
Copper goblets be unburnished,
Dark the handles of the pitchers,
Fare thou well, dear Rainbow Maiden."
Ilmarinen, happy bridegroom,
Hastened homeward with the daughter
Of the hostess of Pohyola,
With the beauty of the Northland
Fleetly flew the hero's snow-sledge,
Loudly creaked, and roared, and rattled
Down the banks of Northland waters,
By the side of Honey-inlet,
On the back of Sandy Mountain.
Stones went rolling from the highway,
Like the winds the sledge flew onward,
On the yoke rang hoops of iron,
Loud the spotted wood resounded,
Loudly creaked the bands of willow,
All the birchen cross-bars trembled,
And the copper-bells rang music,
In the racing of the fleet-foot,
In the courser's gallop homeward;
Journeyed one day, then a second,
Journeyed still the third day onward,
In one hand the reins of magic,
While the other grasped the maiden,
One foot resting on the cross-bar,
And the other in the fur-robes.
Merrily the steed flew homeward,
Quickly did the highways shorten,
Till at last upon the third day,
As the sun was fast declining,
There appeared the blacksmith's furnace,
Nearer, Ilmarinen's dwelling,
Smoke arising high in ether,
Clouds of smoke to lofty heaven,
From the village of Wainola,
From the suitor's forge and smithy,
From the chimneys of the hero,
From the home of the successful.

© Elias Lönnrot