Friday, July 18, 2014

Kalevala: Väinämöinen and Aino

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
Then the little maiden Aino,
Youthful Joukahainen's sister,
Went for besoms to the greenwood,
Sought for bath-whisks in the bushes;
One she gathered for her father,
And a second for her mother,
And she gathered yet another,
For her young and ruddy brother.

As she turned her footsteps homeward,
Pushing through the alder-bushes,
Came the aged Väinämöinen,
And he saw her in the thicket,
Finely clad among the herbage,
And he spoke the words which follow:
"Maiden, do not wear for others,
But for me alone, O maiden,
Round thy neck a beaded necklace,
And a cross upon thy bosom;
Plait for me thy beauteous tresses,
Bind thy hair with silken ribands."

But the young maid gave him answer,
"Not for thee, and not for others,
Rests the cross upon my bosom,
And my hair is bound with ribands;
Nought I care for sea-borne raiment;
Wheaten bread I do not value.
I will walk in home-spun garments,
And with crusts will still my hunger,
In my dearest father's dwelling,
And beside my much-loved mother."

From her breast she took the crosslet,
Drew the rings from off her fingers,
From her neck the beaded necklace,
From her head the scarlet ribands;
Down upon the ground she threw them,
Scattered them among the bushes;
Then she hastened, ever weeping,
Loud lamenting, to the homestead.

At the window sat her father,
While he carved a hatchet-handle.
"Wherefore weepest thou, my daughter,
Young, and yet so full of sadness?"

"Cause enough have I for weeping,
Cause for weeping and lamenting.
Therefore weep I, dearest father,
Weep, and feel so full of sorrow:
From my breast I lost the crosslet,
From my belt I dropped the buckle,
From my breast my silver crosslet,
From my waist the copper girdle."

At the gate, her brother sitting,
For the sledge was shaping runners.
"Wherefore weepest thou, my sister,
Young, and yet so full of sorrow?"

"Cause enough have I for weeping,
Cause for weeping and lamenting.
Therefore do I weep, poor brother,
Weep, and feel so full of sorrow.
Rings I lost from off my fingers,
From my neck my beaded necklace,
And my finger-rings were golden,
And my necklace-beads were silver."

At the window sat her sister,
As she wove a golden girdle.
"Wherefore weepest thou, poor sister,
Young, and yet so full of sorrow?"

"Cause enough have I for weeping,
Cause for weeping and lamenting.
Therefore do I weep, poor sister,
Weep and feel so full of sorrow:
From my brow the gold has fallen,
From my hair I lost the silver,
Tore the blue bands from my temples,
From my head the scarlet braiding."

On the threshold of the storehouse,
Skimming milk, she found her mother.
"Wherefore weepest thou, my daughter,
Young, and yet so full of sorrow?"

"O my mother, who hast borne me,
O my mother, who hast nursed me,
Cause enough have I for anguish,
Cause enough for bitter sorrow;
Therefore do I weep, poor mother,
Therefore grieve I, O my mother.
To the wood I went for besoms,
Gathered bath-whisks from the bushes:
One I gathered for my father,
One I gathered for my mother,
And I gathered yet another,
For my young and ruddy brother.
As I turned my footsteps homeward,
And across the heath was tripping,
From the dell there called Osmoinen,
From the field cried Kalevainen,
'Do not wear, fair maid, for others,
But for me alone, poor maiden,
Round thy neck a beaded necklace,
And a cross upon thy bosom;
Plait for me thy beauteous tresses,
Braid thy hair with silken ribands.'
From my breast I took the crosslet,
From my neck the beaded necklace,
Tore the blue bands from my temples,
From my head the scarlet ribands,
Then upon the ground I threw them,
Scattered them among the bushes,
And I answered him in this wise:
'Not for thee, and not for others,
Rests my cross upon my bosom,
And my hair is bound with ribands.
Nought I care for sea-borne raiment,
Wheaten bread I do not value.
I will walk in home-spun garments,
And with crusts will still my hunger,
In my dearest father's dwelling,
And beside my much-loved mother.'"

And her mother answered thus wise,
Said the old crone to the maiden,
"Do not weep, my dearest daughter,
Do not grieve (and thou so youthful);
Eat a whole year long fresh butter,
That your form may grow more rounded,
Eat thou pork the second season,
That your form may grow more charming,
And the third year eat thou cream-cakes,
That you may become more lovely;
Seek the storehouse on the mountain,
There the finest chamber open.
There are coffers piled on coffers,
Chests in heaps on chests are loaded,
Open then the finest coffer,
Raise the painted lid with clangour,
There you'll find six golden girdles,
Seven blue robes of finest texture,
Woven by the Moon's own daughter,
By the Sun's own daughter fashioned."



(900 words)







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