These the boastful words be uttered:
“Nevermore, old Wainamoinen,
Nevermore in all thy life-time,
While the golden moonlight glistens,
Nevermore wilt fix thy vision
On the meadows of Wainola,
On the plains of Kalevala;
Full six years must swim the ocean,
Tread the waves for seven summers,
Eight years ride the foamy billows,
In the broad expanse of water;
Six long autumns as a fir-tree,
Seven winters as a pebble;
Eight long summers as an aspen.”
Thereupon the Lapland minstrel
Hastened to his room delighting,
When his mother thus addressed him
“Hast thou slain good Wainamoinen,
Slain the son of Kalevala?”
Youkahainen thus made answer:
“I have slain old Wainamoinen,
Slain the son of Kalevala,
That he now may plow the ocean,
That he now may sweep the waters,
On the billows rock and slumber.
In the salt-sea plunged he headlong,
In the deep sank the magician,
Sidewise turned he to the sea-shore
On his back to rock forever,
Thus the boundless sea to travel,
Thus to ride the rolling billows.”
This the answer of the mother:
“Woe to earth for this thine action,
Gone forever, joy and singing,
Vanished is the wit of ages!
Thou hast slain good Wainamoinen.
Slain the ancient wisdom-singer,
Slain the pride of Suwantala,
Slain the hero of Wainola,
Slain the joy of Kalevala.”
Wainamoinen, old and truthful,
Swam through all the deep-sea waters,
Floating like a branch of aspen,
Like a withered twig of willow;
Swam six days in summer weather,
Swam six nights in golden moonlight;
Still before him rose the billows,
And behind him sky and ocean.
Two days more he swam undaunted,
Two long nights be struggled onward.
On the evening of the eighth day,
Wainamoinen grew disheartened,
Felt a very great discomfort,
For his feet had lost their toe-nails,
And his fingers dead and dying.
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Sad and weary, spake as follows:
“Woe is me, my old life fated!
Woe is me, misfortune’s offspring!
Fool was I when fortune, favored,
To forsake my home and kindred,
For a maiden fair and lovely,
Here beneath the starry heavens,
In this cruel waste of waters,
Days and nights to swim and wander,
Here to struggle with the storm-winds,
To be tossed by heaving billows,
In this broad sea’s great expanses,
In this ocean vast and boundless.
“Cold my life and sad and dreary,
Painful too for me to linger
Evermore within these waters,
Thus to struggle for existence!
Cannot know how I can prosper,
How to find me food and shelter,
In these cold and lifeless waters,
In these days of dire misfortune.
Build I in the winds my dwelling?