Ties it well with thongs of willow.
Straightway ancient Wainamoinen
Called the maidens to the fish-net,
And the sisters came as bidden.
With the netting rowed they onward,
Rowed they to the hundred islands,
To the grottoes of the salmon,
To the caverns of the whiting,
To the reeds of sable color,
Where the gray-pike rests and watches.
On they hasten to the fishing,
Drag the net in all directions,
Drag it lengthwise, sidewise, crosswise,
And diagonally zigzag;
But they did not catch the Fire-fish.
Then the brothers went a-fishing,
Dragged the net in all directions,
Backwards, forwards, lengthwise, sidewise,
Through the homes of ocean-dwellers,
Through the grottoes of the salmon,
Through the dwellings of the whiting,
Through the reed-beds of the lake-trout,
Where the gray-pike lies in ambush;
But the fated Fire-fish came not,
Came not from the lake’s abysses,
Came not from the Alue-waters.
Little fish could not be captured
In the large nets of the masters;
Murmured then the deep-sea-dwellers,
Spake the salmon to the lake-trout,
And the lake-trout to the whiting,
And the whiting to the gray-pike:
Have the heroes of Wainola
Died, or have they all departed
From these fertile shores and waters?
Where then are the ancient weavers,
Weavers of the nets of flax-thread,
Those that frighten us with fish-poles,
Drag us from our homes unwilling?”
Hearing this wise Wainamoinen
Answered thus the deep-sea-dwellers:
“Neither have Wainola’s heroes
Died, nor have they all departed
From these fertile shores and waters,
Two are born where one has perished;
Longer poles and finer fish-nets
Have the sons of Kalevala!”
CAPTURE OF THE FIRE-FISH.
Wainamoinen, the enchanter,
The eternal wisdom-singer,
Long reflected, well considered,
How to weave the net of flax-yarn,
Weave the fish-net of the fathers.
Spake the minstrel of Wainola:
“Who will plow the field and fallow,
Sow the flax, and spin the flax-threads,
That I may prepare the fish-net,
Wherewith I may catch the Fire-pike,
May secure the thing of evil?”
Soon they found a fertile island,
Found the fallow soil befitting,
On the border of the heather,
And between two stately oak-trees.
They prepared the soil for sowing.
Searching everywhere for flax-seed,
Found it in Tuoni’s kingdom,
In the keeping of an insect.
Then they found a pile of ashes,
Where the fire had burned a vessel;
In the ashes sowed the seedlings
Near the Alue-lake and border,
In the rich and loamy fallow.
There the seed took root and flourished,
Quickly grew to great proportions,
In a single night in summer.
Thus the flax was sowed at evening,