KALEVALA
The selected poems of Kalevala
Калевала'99

"Kalevala".


Runo 37

ILMARINEN'S GOLD AND SILVER BRIDE

Craftsman Ilmarinen wept
Every evening for his woman,
Weeping sleepless through the nights
And fasting through the days;
In the early hours complaining,
Every morning sighing for her,
Lamenting for his lovely lost one,
For his dear one in the grave.
For a month he swung no hammer,
Did not touch the copper handle, 10
And the clinking forge was silent.

13 Said the craftsman Ilmarinen:
"I, poor fellow, do not know
How to live or how survive;
Sitting up or lying down
Nights are long and time is tedious.
I am troubled, low in spirit.

19 "Lonely are the nights now, lonely
And the mornings dreary, dreary.
In my sleeping I am troubled, 20
But the waking is the saddest.
It's not for evening that I'm lonely,
Not for morning that I'm dreary,
Not for olden times lamenting,
But I'm lonely for my loved one,
Dreary for the missing of her,
Lamenting for my dark-browed lovely.

29 "Often in these days it happens,
Happens in my midnight dreaming
That I stretch my hand out touching, 30
Touching something that is nothing,
Some impalpable revival,
Odd illusion of her loins."

35 For a time he lives on wifeless,
Growing old without a woman.
After mourning two months, three months,
On the fourth he went to work.
From the sea he gathered gold,
From the billows gathered silver
And collected stacks of firewood, 40
Thirty sledge loads altogether;
Burned the firewood down to charcoal,
With the charcoal fueled his furnace.

45 Then he took those golden coins
And he chose those silver pieces,
Just the weight of autumn ewe
Or the heft of winter hare.
Put the silver and the gold
Into the furnace of his smithy;
Set the slaves to fan the fire 50
And the hirelings pumping on.

53 So the slaves then worked the bellows
With the hirelings pumping on,
With no mittens on their hands
And stripped naked to the waist,
While smith Ilmarinen himself
Was attending to the forging,
Trying to form a golden image,
To create a silver bride.

61 But the slaves are not performing 60
And the hirelings not producing.
So smith Ilmari himself
Now began to work the bellows.
He pumped once, he pumped twice;
After pumping for the third time
He looked down into his furnace,
Peering down beside the bellows-
What was coming from the forge,
What emerging from the fireplace?

71 From the forge a ewe is thrusting, 70
Forced out by the blowing bellows,
One hair gold, one hair copper
And each third one made of silver.
Others are well pleased with that,
But smith Ilmari himself
Is not pleased at all and says:

77 "You are what the wolf was wanting.
I myself am hoping for a
Golden sweetheart, bride of silver."

81 Then he shoved it in the fire, so
Added gold and added silver;
Set the slaves to work the bellows
With the hirelings pumping on.

87 So the slaves then worked the bellows
With the hirelings pumping on,
With no mittens on their hands
And stripped naked to their waist,
While smith Ilmarinen himself
Was attending to the forging,
Trying to form a golden image, 90
To create a silver bride.

95 But the slaves are not performing
And the hirelings not producing.
So smith Ilmari himself
Now began to work the bellows.
He pumped once, he pumped twice;
After pumping for the third time
He looked down into his furnace,
Peering down beside the bellows -
What was coming from the forge, 100
What emerging from the fireplace?

105 From the forge a colt was thrusting,
Forced out by the blowing bellows,
Mane of gold and head of silver,
While its hoofs were all of copper.
Others were well-pleased with it,
But smith Ilmari himself
Is not pleased at all and says:
111 "You are what the wolf was wanting.
I myself am hoping for a 110
Golden sweetheart, bride of silver."

115 Then he shoved it in the fire,
Added gold and added silver,
Set the slaves to work the bellows
With the hirelings pumping on.

121 So the slaves then worked the bellows
With the hirelings pumping on,
With no mittens on their hands
And stripped naked to the waist,
While smith Ilmarinen himself 120
Was attending to the forging,
Trying to form a golden image,
To create a silver bride.

129 But the slaves are not performing
And the hirelings not producing.
So smith Ilmari himself
Now began to work the bellows.
He pumped once, he pumped twice;
After pumping for the third time
He looked down into his furnace, 130
Peering down beside the bellows-
What was coming from the forge,
What emerging from the fireplace?

139 From the forge a girl is thmsting,
Girl with gold braids from the bellows,
Silver head with golden hair-
And a form so beautiful!
Others are frightened by the figure,
But the craftsman is not frightened.

145 Then he hammered without ceasing 140
To create the golden image,
Working all night without resting,
All the daytime without pausing;
Legs and arms he fashioned for her-
But the legs, they cannot walk,
And the hands cannot caress him.

153 Then the ears he molded for her-
But the ears, they do not hear him.
When he made a sweet mouth for her
It could speak no welcome to him; 150
When he made those bright eyes for her
They could not look sweetly at him.

159 Looking at her he considered:
"That would be one lovely girl
If she only could converse,
Had a mind, a speaking tongue."

163 But he took her to the tent bed
Underneath a gauzy netting,
Set her on the downy pillows
In the silken bridal bed. 160

167 Then he heated up the sauna,
Made it hot and vaporous,
Prepared the soap and leafy slappers,
Carried in three tubs of water
For the washing of the chaffinch,
For the cleansing of the bunting
From the gold dust of his labor.

175 There he bathed himself with pleasure,
Splashing to his satisfaction.
Then he stretched out by his bride 170
Within a sheer mosquito net,
Underneath a steely tent
Supported by an iron framework.

l8l On that first night, Ilmarinen
Feels the cold and wants more covers,
So he gets himself more covers,
Puts on two or three more bearskins,
Five or six more woolen blankets
To warm himself beside his wife,
By the side of that gold image. 180

189 Now, his side against the blankets-
That was warm enough for comfort,
But the side against the maiden,
Toward his precious golden image -
That was cold and freezing with hoarfrost
And was freezing into sea ice,
Stiffening into stony hardness.

197 Said the craftsman Ilmarinen:
"This is not so good for me;
I will take it to Vainola, 190
Take it to old Vainamoinen
As an ever faithful helpmate,
As a birdie for his bosom.

203 So he took it to him there.
"Here, old Vainamoinen," he said.
"Here's a virgin made for you,
Beautiful for you to look at -
And she is no big mouth either,
No chin-wagging chatterbox."

211 Old reliable Vainamoinen 200
Took but one look at the figure,
Cast a glance upon the gold:
"Why did you bring that to me,
That queer looking lump of gold?"

217 "For your good," said Ilmarinen,
"As an ever faithful helpmate,
As a birdie for your bosom."

221 Said old Vainamoinen shrugging:
"O you smith, my little brother!
Shove your girl into the fire. 210
Forge it into useful tools
Or then take it off to Russia
Or send it into Germany
For the rich to haggle over
Or great warriors to fight for.
It would not befit my kindred
And it would not suit me either
To go courting after gold
Or go chasing after silver."

233 Then he cautioned and he warned them, 220
He, the man of Quiet Water,
Now forbade the younger people,
All the growing generation
To debase themselves for gold
Or to scrape and fawn for silver,
And he said it in these words,
Pronounced it in these sentences:
"You poor boys, you growing men,
Whether you are rich or poor
Do not ever, ever at all 230
While the golden moonlight glimmers,
Ever woo a woman of gold
Or succumb to lures of silver.
'Frozen is the gleam of gold,
Icy is the shine of silver.'"

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