Kalevala: Väinämöinen and Aino (end)

This story is part of the Kalevala unit. Story source: Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot, translated by W. F. Kirby (1907).



Runo 4: Väinämöinen and Aino (end)
(see previous page for audio)

With the rock, the maiden Aino
Sank beneath the water's surface;
There the dove for ever vanished,
Thus the luckless maiden perished,
She herself exclaimed in dying,
When she felt that she was sinking:
"To the lake I went to bathe me
And to swim upon its surface,
But, like tender dove, I vanished,
Like a bird by death o'ertaken:
Never may my dearest father,
Never while his life endureth,
Cast his net amid the waters,
In these waves, so wide extending.
    To the shore I went to wash me,
To the lake I went to bathe me,
But, like tender dove, I vanished,
Like a bird by death overtaken.
Never may my dearest mother,
Never while her life endureth,
Fetch the water for her baking,
From the wide bay near her dwelling.
    To the shore I went to wash me,
To the lake I went to bathe me,
But, like tender dove, I vanished,
Like a bird by death o'ertaken:
Never may my dearest brother,
Never while his life endureth,
Water here his prancing courser,
Here upon the broad lake's margin.
    To the shore I went to wash me,
To the lake I went to bathe me,
But, like tender dove, I vanished,
Like a bird by death overtaken:
Never may my dearest sister,
Never while her life endureth,
Hither stay to wash her eyebrows,
On the bridge so near her dwelling.
    In the lake the very water
Is as blood that leaves my veinlets;
Every fish that swims this water,
Is as flesh from off my body;
All the bushes on the margin
Are as ribs of me unhappy,
And the grass upon the margin
As my soiled and tangled tresses."

Thus the youthful maiden perished,
And the dove so lovely vanished.

Who shall now the tidings carry.
And repeat the mournful story,
At the dwelling of the maiden,
At the homestead of the fair one?
First the bear would take the tidings,
And repeat the mournful story,
But the bear conveyed no tidings,
For he strayed among the cattle.

Who shall now the tidings carry,
And repeat the mournful story,
At the dwelling of the maiden,
At the homestead of the fair one?
Then the wolf would take the message,
And repeat the mournful story,
But the wolf conveyed no tidings,
For among the sheep he wandered.

Who shall now the tidings carry,
And repeat the mournful story,
At the dwelling of the maiden,
At the homestead of the fair one?
Then the fox would take the message,
And repeat the mournful story,
But the fox conveyed no tidings,
For among the geese he wandered.

Who shall now the tidings carry,
And repeat the mournful story,
At the dwelling of the maiden,
At the homestead of the fair one?
'Twas the hare who took the tidings,
And conveyed the mournful story,
For the hare replied discreetly,
"I will not forget the message."

Then the hare sprang quickly onward,
Sped the Long-ear with his story,
On his crooked legs he hastened,
With his cross-like mouth he hurried,
To the dwelling of the maiden,
To the homestead of the fair one;
Thus he hastened to the bath-house
And he crouched upon the threshold.

Full of maidens is the bath-house,
In their hands the bath-whisks holding.
"Scamp, come here; and shall we boil you,
Or, O Broad-eye, shall we roast you,
Either for the master's supper,
Or perchance the mistress' breakfast,
For the luncheon of the daughter,
Or perchance the son to dine on?"

Thereupon the hare responded,
And the Round-eye answered boldly,
"Would that Lempo might come hither
For the cooking in the kettle!
I am come to give you tidings,
And to bring a message to you.
Vanished from you is the fair one,
Perished has the tin-adorned one.
Sunken with her silver buckle,
Drowning with her belt of copper,
Diving in the muddy water,
To the depths below the billows,
There to be the powan's sister,
And companion of the fishes."

Then her mother fell to weeping,
And her bitter tears flowed freely,
And she loud lamented, speaking
In her grief the words which follow:
"Never, O unhappy mothers,
Never while your life endureth,
Never may you urge your daughters,
Or attempt to force your children
To a marriage that repels them,
Like myself, O wretched mother,
Urging vainly thus my daughter,
Thus my little dove I fostered."

Thus the mother wept, lamenting,
And her bitter tears flowed freely
From her blue eyes in her sadness,
O'er her cheeks, so pale with sorrow.
    After one tear flowed another,
And her bitter tears flowed freely
From her cheeks, so pale with sorrow,
To her breast, so sadly heaving.
    After one tear flowed another,
And her bitter tears flowed freely
From her breast, so sadly heaving,
On the borders of her garments.
    After one tear flowed another,
And her bitter tears flowed freely
From the borders of her garments
Down upon her scarlet stockings.
    After one tear flowed another,
And her bitter tears flowed freely
Down from off her scarlet stockings
To her shoes, all gold-embroidered.
    After one tear flowed another,
And her bitter tears flowed freely
From her shoes, all gold-embroidered,
On the ground where she was standing.

As they flowed, the ground they moistened.
And they swelled to streams of water;
On the ground the streams were flowing,
And became the source of rivers:
Thence arose three mighty rivers
From the tears of bitter weeping,
Which were ever ceaseless flowing
From the weeping mother's eyelids.
From each stream that thus was fashioned,
Rushed three waterfalls in fury,
And amid each cataract's flowing
Three great rocks arose together,
And on every rocky summit
There arose a golden mountain,
And on every mountain summit
Up there sprang three beauteous birch-trees,
In the crown of every birch-tree,
Golden cuckoos three were perching.

All at once they called together,
And the first cried, "Sweetheart, sweetheart!"
And the second, "Lover, lover!"
And the third cried, "Gladness, gladness!"
    He who cried out, "Sweetheart, sweetheart!"
Sang his song for three months running,
For the young and loveless maiden,
Resting now beneath the water.
    He who cried out, "Lover, lover!"
Sang his song for six months running,
Sang to the unhappy suitor,
Who must sorrow through his lifetime.
    He who cried out, "Gladness, gladness!"
Sang his song for all a lifetime;
Sang to the unhappy mother,
Who must daily weep for ever.

And the mother spoke as follows
As she listened to the cuckoo:
"Never may a hapless mother
Listen to the cuckoo crying!
When I hear the cuckoo calling,
Heavy beats my heart within me.
From my eyes the tears are falling
O'er my cheeks are waters rolling.
And the drops like peas are swelling.
Than the largest broad-beans larger.
By an ell my life is shortened,
By a span-length I am older,
And my strength has wholly failed me,
Since I heard the cuckoo calling."


(1200 words)






No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments for Google accounts; you can also contact me at laura-gibbs@ou.edu.