Kalevala : the Epic Poem of Finland — Volume 01 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 285 pages of information about Kalevala .
Till at length the fish exhausted
Falls a victim to the angler,
Safely landed in the bottom
Of the hero’s boat of copper. 
Wainamoinen, proudly viewing,
Speaks these words in wonder guessing: 
“This the fairest of all sea-fish,
Never have I seen its equal,
Smoother surely than the salmon,
Brighter-spotted than the trout is,
Grayer than the pike of Suomi,
Has less fins than any female,
Not the fins of any male fish,
Not the stripes of sea-born maidens,
Not the belt of any mermaid,
Not the ears of any song-bird,
Somewhat like our Northland salmon
From the blue-sea’s deepest caverns.” 
In his belt the ancient hero
Wore a knife insheathed with silver;
From its case he drew the fish-knife,
Thus to carve the fish in pieces,
Dress the nameless fish for roasting,
Make of it a dainty breakfast,
Make of it a meal at noon-day,
Make for him a toothsome supper,
Make the later meal at evening. 
Straightway as the fish he touches,
Touches with his knife of silver,
Quick it leaps upon the waters,
Dives beneath the sea’s smooth surface,
From the boat with copper bottom,
From the skiff of Wainamoinen. 
In the waves at goodly distance,
Quickly from the sea it rises
On the sixth and seventh billows,
Lifts its head above the waters,
Out of reach of fishing-tackle,
Then addresses Wainamoinen,
Chiding thus the ancient hero: 
“Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Do not think that I came hither
To be fished for as a salmon,
Only to be chopped in pieces,
Dressed and eaten like a whiting
Make for thee a dainty breakfast,
Make for thee a meal at midday,
Make for thee a toothsome supper,
Make the fourth meal of the Northland.” 
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen: 
“Wherefore didst thou then come hither,
If it be not for my dinner?”
Thus the nameless fish made answer: 
“Hither have I come, O minstrel,
In thine arms to rest and linger,
And thyself to love and cherish,
At thy side a life-companion,
And thy wife to be forever;
Deck thy couch with snowy linen,
Smooth thy head upon the pillow,
Sweep thy rooms and make them cheery,
Keep thy dwelling-place in order,
Build a fire for thee when needed,
Bake for thee the honey-biscuit,
Fill thy cup with barley-water,
Do for thee whatever pleases. 
“I am not a scaly sea-fish,
Not a trout of Northland rivers,
Not a whiting from the waters,
Not a salmon of the North-seas,
I, a young and merry maiden,
Friend and sister of the fishes,
Youkahainen’s youngest sister,
I, the one that thou dost fish for,
I am Aino whom thou lovest. 
“Once thou wert the wise-tongued hero,
Now the foolish Wainamoinen,
Scant of insight, scant of judgment,
Didst not know enough to keep me,
Cruel-hearted, bloody-handed,
Tried to kill me with thy fish-knife,
So to roast me for thy dinner;
Project Gutenberg
Kalevala : the Epic Poem of Finland — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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