Kalevala : the Epic Poem of Finland — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 494 pages of information about Kalevala .
It will find no sure foundation. 
Build my home upon the billows? 
Surely would the waves destroy it.” 
Comes a bird from far Pohyola,
From the occident, an eagle,
Is not classed among the largest,
Nor belongs he to the smallest;
One wing touches on the waters,
While the other sweeps the heavens;
O’er the waves he wings his body,
Strikes his beak upon the sea-cliffs,
Flies about, then safely perches,
Looks before him, looks behind him,
There beholds brave Wainamoinen,
On the blue-back of the ocean,
And the eagle thus accosts him: 
“Wherefore art thou, ancient hero,
Swimming in the deep-sea billows? 
Thus the water-minstrel answered: 
“I am ancient Wainamoinen,
Friend and fellow of the waters
I, the famous wisdom-singer;
Went to woo a Northland maiden,
Maiden from the dismal Darkland,
Quickly galloped on my journey,
Riding on the plain of ocean. 
I arrived one morning early,
At the breaking of the day-dawn. 
At the bay of Luotola,
Near Youkola’s foaming river,
Where the evil Youkahainen
Slew my steed with bow and arrow,
Tried to slay me with his weapons. 
On the waters fell I headlong,
Plunged beneath the salt-sea’s surface,
From the saddle of the courser,
From my dappled steed of magic. 
“Then arose a mighty storm-wind,
From the East and West a whirlwind,
Washed me seaward on the surges,
Seaward, seaward, further, further,
Where for many days I wandered,
Swam and rocked upon the billows,
Where as many nights I struggled,
In the dashing waves and sea-foam,
With the angry winds and waters. 
“Woe is me, my life hard-fated! 
Cannot solve this heavy problem,
How to live nor how to perish
In this cruel salt-sea water. 
Build I in the winds my dwelling? 
It will find no sure foundation. 
Build my home upon the waters? 
Surely will the waves destroy it. 
Must I swim the sea forever,
Must I live, or must I perish? 
What will happen if I perish,
If I sink below the billows,
Perish here from cold and hunger?”
Thus the bird of Ether answered
“Be not in the least disheartened,
Place thyself between my shoulders,
On my back be firmly seated,
I will lift thee from the waters,
Bear thee with my pinions upward,
Bear thee wheresoe’er thou willest. 
Well do I the day remember
Where thou didst the eagle service,
When thou didst the birds a favor. 
Thou didst leave the birch-tree standing,
When were cleared the Osmo-forests,
From the lands of Kalevala,
As a home for weary song-birds,
As a resting-place for eagles.” 
Then arises Wainamoinen,
Lifts his head above the waters,
Boldly rises from the sea-waves,
Lifts his body from the billows,
Seats himself upon the eagle,
On the eagle’s feathered shoulders. 
Quick aloft the huge bird bears him,
Bears the ancient Wainamoinen,
Project Gutenberg
Kalevala : the Epic Poem of Finland — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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