Acknowledgment is hereby made to the following sources of information used in the preparation of this work: to E. Lenquist’s De Superstitione veterum Fennorum theoretica et practica; to Chr. Ganander’s Mythologia Fennica; to Becker’s De Vainamoine; to Max Müller’s Oxford Essays; to Prof. John A. Porter’s Selections from the Kalevala; to the writings of the two Grimms; to Latham’s Native Races of the Russian Empire; to the translations of the Kalevala by Alex. Castren, Anton Schieffier, L. LeDuc and Ferdinand Barna; and especially to the excellent treatises on the Kalevala, and on the Mythology of the Finns, by Mace Da Charda and Alex. Castren; to Prof. Helena Klingner, of Cincinnati, a linguist of high rank, and who has compared very conscientiously the manuscript of the following pages with the German translation of the Kalevala by Anton Schiefner; to Dr. Emil Reich, a native Hungarian, a close student of the Ugrian tongues, who, in a most thorough manner, has compared this translation with the Hungarian by Ferdinand Barna, and who, familiar with the habits, customs, and religious notions of the Finns, has furnished much valuable material used in the preparation of this preface; and, finally, to Prof. Thomas C. Porter, D.D., LL.D., of Lafayette College, who has become an authority on the Kalevala through his own researches for many years, aided by a long and intimate acquaintance with Prof. A. F. Soldan, a Finn by birth, an enthusiastic lover of his country, a scholar of great attainments, acquainted with many languages, and once at the head of the Imperial Mint at Helsingfors, the capital of Finland. Prof. Porter has very kindly placed in the hands of the author of these pages, all the literature on this subject at his command, including his own writings; he has watched the growth of this translation with unusual interest; and, with the eye of a gifted poet and scholar, he has made two careful and critical examinations of the entire manuscript, making annotations, emendations, and corrections, by which this work has been greatly improved.
With this prolonged introduction, this, the first English translation of the Kalevala, with its many imperfections, is hesitatingly given to the public.
John Martin Crawford.
October 1, 1887.
Mastered by desire impulsive,
By a mighty inward urging,
I am ready now for singing,
Ready to begin the chanting
Of our nation’s ancient folk-song
Handed down from by-gone ages.
In my mouth the words are melting,
From my lips the tones are gliding,
From my tongue they wish to hasten;
When my willing teeth are parted,
When my ready mouth is opened,
Songs of ancient wit and wisdom
Hasten from me not unwilling.
Golden friend, and dearest brother,
Brother dear of mine in childhood,