Kalevala : the Epic Poem of Finland — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 393 pages of information about Kalevala .
Cut in splints for candle-lighters;
And the juniper is often
Peeled for fence-posts for the pastures. 
Go a birch-tree to the valleys,
Or an elm-tree to the glenwood? 
Even then may trouble find thee,
Misery may overtake thee;
Often is the lowland birch-tree
Cut to pieces in the ware-house;
Often is the elm-wood forest
Cleared away for other plantings. 
Be a berry on the highlands,
Cranberry upon the heather,
Strawberry upon the mountains,
Blackberry along the fences? 
Even there will trouble find thee,
There misfortune overtake thee,
For the berry-maids would pluck thee,
Silver-tinselled girls would get thee. 
Be a pike then in the ocean,
Or a troutlet in the rivers? 
Then would trouble overtake thee,
Would become thy life-companion;
Then the fisherman would catch thee,
Catch thee in his net of flax-thread,
Catch thee with his cruel fish-hook. 
Be a wolf then in the forest,
Or a black-bear in the thickets? 
Even then would trouble find thee,
And disaster cross thy pathway;
Sable hunters of the Northland
Have their spears and cross-bows ready
To destroy the wolf and black-bear.” 
Spake the reckless Lemminkainen: 
“Know I well the worst of places,
Know where Death will surely follow,
Where misfortune’s eye would find me;
Since thou gavest me existence,
Gavest nourishment in childhood,
Whither shall I flee for safety,
Whither hide from death and danger? 
In my view is fell destruction,
Dire misfortune ’hovers o’er me;
On the morrow come the spearmen,
Countless warriors from Pohya,
Ahti’s head their satisfaction.” 
This the answer of the mother: 
“I can name a goodly refuge,
Name a land of small dimensions,
Name a distant ocean-island,
Where my son may live in safety. 
Thither archers never wander,
There thy head cannot be severed;
But an oath as strong as heaven,
Thou must swear before thy mother;
Thou wilt not for sixty summers
Join in war or deadly combat,
Even though thou wishest silver,
Wishest gold and silver treasures.” 
Spake the grateful Lemminkainen: 
“I will swear an oath of honor,
That I’ll not in sixty summers
Draw my sword in the arena,
Test the warrior in battle;
I have wounds upon my shoulders,
On my breast two scars of broadsword,
Of my former battles, relies,
Relies of my last encounters,
On the battle-fields of Northland,
In the wars with men and heroes.” 
Lemminkainen’s mother answered: 
“Go thou, take thy father’s vessel,
Go and bide thyself in safety,
Travel far across nine oceans;
In the tenth, sail to the centre,
To the island, forest-covered,
To the cliffs above the waters,
Where thy father went before thee,
Where he hid from his pursuers,
In the times of summer conquests,
In the darksome days of battle;
Good the isle for thee to dwell in,
Goodly place to live and linger;
Hide one year, and then a second,
In the third return in safety
To thy mother’s island dwelling,
To thy father’s ancient mansion,
To my hero’s place of resting.”

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Project Gutenberg
Kalevala : the Epic Poem of Finland — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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