KALEVALA
The selected poems of Kalevala
Калевала'99

"Kalevala".


Runo 38

ILMARINEN'S SECOND WIFE

Ilmarinen, smith eternal,
Cast aside his golden image,
Threw away his silver bride.
Then he harnessed up his colt,
Hitched up Browny to the sleigh;
He himself sits in the sleigh,
Mounts up in his basket sleigh.
He decided to set out,
And as he went he contemplated
Begging for another daughter, 10
A second wife from Pohjola.

13 He had driven for a day,
Then continued for a second;
On the third day he arrived,1
Reached the yard of Pohjola.

17 Louhi came out to the yard
And immediately addressed him,
Asking him about her daughter,
How her dear one there was faring,
Living as a daughter-in-law 20
In the homestead of her husband,
Household of her mother-in-law.

25 Said the craftsman, low in spirit,
Head bowed down and hat all crooked:
"Do not now, dear mother-in-law,
Ask me that about your daughter,
Where she lives or how she prospers.
Death has swallowed her already,
Ill fate suddenly befallen.
In the earth my berry lies, 30
In the heath my beauty's buried;
There my black-browed beauty lies
Beneath the winter-withered grasses,
Under the turf my silver sweet.
Now I've come here for the other,
For the second, the younger daughter.
Give her to me, mother-in-law,
Let me have the second daughter
In the place of her who's gone,
In the stead of her dear sister." 40

45 Said the dame of Pohjola:
"Wretched me, unlucky mother!
I did badly, very badly,
To have given any daughter,
Even when I sent the first one,
There to fall asleep so^young,
Fade and wither in full flower-
Gave her to a wolfish mouth,
To the maw of growling bear.

55 "No, I will not give another, 50
Will not send a second daughter
As a scraper of your soot,
As a cleaner of your crud.
Sooner would I cast my daughter,
Sooner hurl my faithful child
Down a roaring cataract
Or a fiery, whirling maelstrom,
To the mouth of Mana's turbot,
To the teeth of Tuoni's pike."

65 Ilmarinen curled his lip, 60
Looked askance and tore his beard
Madly shook his curly head;
Pushed his way into the house,
Forced his way beneath the roof.
"Come on, girl, with me!" he ordered,
"Come to take your sister's place
In the stead of her who's gone,
Baker of my honey bread
And the brewer of my beer."

77 Sang a child from the floor: 70
"Out, you odd one, from our castle,
Hence, you stranger, from these doors!
Once you overcame our castle.
And despoiled a portion of.it
When you came here once before,
Having forced your way indoors.

85 "Do not, maiden, you my sister,
Fall in love with such a suitor,
For the sweet talk of his tongue
Or his noble turn of leg. 80
By his gums he is a wolf,
In his pockets foxy tricks;
Hiding bear claws in his armpits,
At his belt blood-drinker's knife
To chop a head or slash a spine."

95 Then the girl herself spoke up:
"No, I will not go with you
Nor respect such trifling suitors.
You have killed the maid you married,
Even murdered my own sister: 90
You might do away with me,
Even murder me as well,
But in this girl there is something
Worthy of a better husband,
Match for a finer-figured man,
Meant to grace a finer sleigh,
Better homesteads, higher stations
Than a blacksmith's charcoal sheds,
Hearthfires of a dullard husband."

111 Ilmarinen, smith eternal, 100
Curls his lip, skews his head,
Tearing at his long black whiskers
As he snatched the girl up to him,
Grasped her in his mighty paws.
Like a snowstorm mshed outdoors,
Dashing to his waiting sleigh;
Tossed the girl into it quickly,
Slung her in his basket sleigh
As he sped off on his journey,
Ready to travel fast and far, 110
One hand on the stallion's reins,
The other on the maiden's nipples.

125 There the maiden wept and wailed:
"Must I eat the famine bread,
Sour cranberries from the swamp,
Water arum from the ditches?
There this chicken will be lost,
I, this birdling, die untimely!

131 "Listen, hear me, Ilmarinen:
If you do not let me go, 120
I will kick your sleigh to pieces,
Break it into slats and slivers,
Kick it apart with my knees,
Break it all up with my legs."

137 Said Ilmarinen: "That is why
A blacksmith's sled is iron-sided,
So that it can stand the kicking,
Thrashing of a good young maiden."

143 Then the little maiden whimpers,
Copper-belted one complains, 130
Twists her fingers, wrings her hands:
"If you do not let me go,
I will chant me to a sea fish,
Whitefish in a deeper billow."

151 Calmly Ilmarinen answered:
"But of course you won't get there:
As a pikefish I will catch you."

155 Then the little maiden whimpers,
Copper-belted one complains,
Twists her fingers, wrings her hands: 140
"If you do not let me go,
I will run into the forest
As a weasel in a rock-hole."

163 Calmly Ilmarinen answered:
"But of course you won't get there:
As an otter I will catch you."

167 Then the little maiden whimpers,
Copper-belted one complains,
Twists her fingers, wrings her hands:
"If you do not let me go, 150
I will fly, a singing lark
Hidden far behind a cloud."

175 Calmly Ilmarinen answered:
"But of course you won't get there:
As an eagle I will catch you."

179 On he traveled for a while,
Drove along the road a stretch
When his horse pricks up its ears
And the long-ear shies at shadows.

183 When the maiden raised her head, 160
She saw footprints in the snow
And inquired curiously:
"What has run across the road here?"
Calmly Ilmarinen answered:
"Only a hare has run across here."

189 Then the poor girl breathed a sigh,
Sighed and panted, and she said:
"Oh, alas for me, poor creature!
Better would it be for me,
Better were I running yonder 170
In the footsteps of the hare,
On the pathway of the crook-leg
Than in the sleigh of such a suitor,
Under the robe of such a scarface,
For the fur of hare is finer
And the harelip is far prettier."

201 Ilmarinen bit his lip,
Tossed his head and traveled on,
Drives along a little distance.
Again his horse pricks up its ears 180
And the long-ear shies at shadows.

207 When the maiden raised her head,
She saw footprints in the snow
And inquired curiously:
"What has run across the road here?"
Calmly Ilmarinen answered:
"Only a fox has run across here."

213 Then the poor girl breathed a sigh,
Sighed and panted, and she said:
"Oh, alas for me, poor creature! 190
Better would it be for me,
Better were I riding yonder
In a yapping fox's sled,
Even in a wretched dog sled
Than in the sleigh of such a suitor,
Under the robe of such a scarface,
For the fur of fox is finer
And his mouth is more becoming."

225 Ilmarinen bit his lip,
Tossed his head and traveled on, 200
Drove along a little distance.
Again his horse pricks up its ears
And the long-ear shies at shadows.

231 When the maiden raised her head,
She saw footprints in the snow
And inquired curiously:
"What has run across the road here?"
Calmly Ilmarinen answered:
"Only a wolf has run across here."

237 Then the poor girl breathed a sigh, 210
Sighed and panted, and she said:
"Oh, alas for me, poor creature!
Better would it be for me,
Better were I running yonder
On the trail of a hungry wolf
Sniffing with his lowered muzzle
Than in the sleigh of such a scarface,
For the wolf pelt is far finer
And his mouth is more becoming."

249 Then the craftsman Ilmarinen 220
Bit his lip and tossed his head,
Drove on to the nearest village
Where they rested overnight.

253 There, exhausted by the journey,
Ilmarinen slumbers deeply-
While another man is laughing,
Laughing with the sleeper's woman.

257 In the morning when he wakened
And perceived the situation,
Ilmarinen curled his lip, 230
Tossed his head and tore his beard,
Angrily soliloquizing:
"Shall I start my incantation,
What to do with such a sweetheart-
Sing her to a forest creature
Or some creature of the water?

267 "I won't chant her to the forest:
All the woodland would be woeful.
I won't sing her to the water:
All the fish would shy away. 240
Sooner would I cut her down,
Dispatch her quickly with my sword."

273 And the sword understood him,
Understood the deadly words,
And it answered Ilmarinen:
"Maybe I was not created
For the massacre of women
Or to slay unhappy maidens."

279 Then the smith began his chanting,
Maddened to a trance of magic: 250
Sang his woman to a sea mew
To scream about the barren skerries,
Echoing over rock and reef,
Mewing on the point of headlands,
Tossed about on every headwind.

287 Then he leaped into his sleigh,
Coasted on in deep dejection
Till he reached his own dear country,
Reached those dear familiar acres.

293 On the road there he encountered 260
Old reliable Vainamoinen
Who immediately addressed him:
"Well, my brother, Ilmarinen,
What has made you look so gloomy,
With your peaked hat doubly crooked
Coming back from Pohjola?
How's the life up there in Northland?"

301 Reluctantly the smith replied:
"How's the living there in Pohjola?
There they have the Sampo grinding, 270
Many-colored cover spinning:
One day grinding things to eat,
On the second things to barter,
Third day things to keep at home.

309 "What I say, I say in truth
And repeat what I relate:
How they live in Pohjola
Since they got the Sampo there!
There's the plowing and the planting,
There are crops of every kind, 280
There prosperity unending."

317 Said old Vainamoinen then:
"Smith and brother Ilmarinen!
Where did you leave her, that young woman,
That young sweetheart that we heard of,
Since you come back all alone,
Riding womanless as ever?"

321 Truly Ilmarinen answered:
"I enchanted such a woman
To a sea mew on a skerry 290
Where she screams now as a sea mew,
Crying like a ghostly seagull,
Wailing on the water stones,
Screeching over rock and reef."

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