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Sweet as milk of human kindness,
From the roots of silvery birches,
Underneath the shade of aspens.
“ Feed the courser of the suitor,
With the sweetest corn and barley,
With the summer-wheat and clover,
In the caldron steeped in sweetness;
Feed him at the golden manger,
In the boxes lined with copper,
At my manger richly furnished,
In the warmest of the hurdles;
Tie him with a silk-like halter,
To the golden rings and staples,
To the hooks of purest silver,
Set in beams of birch and oak-wood;
Feed him on the hay the sweetest,
Feed him on the grains nutritious,
Give the best my barns can furnish.
“Curry well the suitor's courser
With the curry-comb of fish-bone,
Brush his hair with silken brushes,
Put his mane and tail in order,
Cover well with silken blankets,
Blankets wrought in gold and silver,
Buckles forged from shining copper.
“Come, ye small lads of the village,
Lead the suitor to my chambers,
With your auburn locks uncovered,
From your hands remove your mittens,
See if ye can lead the hero
Through the door without his stooping,
Lifting not the upper cross-bar,
Sinking not the oaken threshold,
Moving not the oaken casings,
Great the hero who must enter.
“ Ilmarinen is too stately, Cannot enter through the portals, Not the son-in-law and bridegroom, Till the portals have been lengthened ; Taller by a head the suitor Than the doorways of the mansion." Quick the servants of Pohyola Tore away the upper cross-bar, That his cap might not be lifted ; Made the oaken threshold lower That the hero might not stumble; Made the birch-wood portals wider, Opened full the door of welcome, Easy entrance for the suitor.
Speaks the hostess of the Northland
As the bridegroom freely passes
Through the doorway of her dwelling:
" Thanks are due to thee, O Ukko,
That my son-in-law has entered !
Let me now my halls examine;
Make the bridal chambers ready,
Finest linen on my tables,
Softest furs upon my benches,
Birchen flooring scrubbed to whiteness,
All my rooms in perfect order."
Then the hostess of Pohyola
Visited her spacious dwelling,
Did not recognize her chambers;
Every room had been remodelled,
Changed by force of mighty magic;
All the halls were newly burnished,
Hedgehog bones were used for ceilings,
Bones of reindeer for foundations,
Bones of wolverine for door-sills,
For the cross-bars bones of roebuck,
Apple-wood were all the rafters,
Alder-wood, the window casings,
Scales of trout adorned the windows,
And the fires were set in flowers.
All the seats were made of silver,
All the floors of copper-tiling,
Gold-adorned were all the tables,
On the floor were silken mattings,
Every fire-place set in copper,
Every hearth-stone cut from marble,
On each shelf were colored sea-shells,
Kalew's tree was their protection.
To the court-room came the hero,
Chosen suitor from Wainola,
These the words of Ilmarinen :
Send, o Ukko, health and pleasure
To this ancient home and dwelling,
To this mansion richly fashioned !”
Spake the hostess of Pohyola :
“Let thy coming be auspicious
To these halls of thee unworthy,
To the home of thy affianced,
To this dwelling lowly fashioned,
Mid the lindens and the aspens.
“ Come, ye maidens that should serve me,
Come, ye fellows from the village,
Bring me fire upon the birch-bark,
Light the fagots of the fir-tree,
That I may behold the bridegroom,
Chosen suitor of my daughter,
Fairy Maiden of the Rainbow,
See the color of his eyeballs,
Whether they are blue or sable,
See if they are warm and faithful.”
Quick the young lads from the village
Brought the fire upon the birch-bark,
Brought it on the tips of pine-wood;
And the fire and smoke commingled
Roll and roar about the hero,
Blackening the suitor's visage,
And the hostess speaks as follows:
“ Bring the fire upon a taper, On the waxen tapers bring it!”
Then the maidens did as bidden, Quickly brought the lighted tapers, Made the suitor's eyeballs glisten, Made his cheeks look fresh and ruddy; Eyes were neither blue nor sable, Sparkled like the foam of waters, Like the reed-grass on the margin, Colored as the ocean-jewels, Iridescent as the rainbow.
“Come, ye fellows from the hamlets, Lead my son-in-law and hero To the highest seat at table, To the seat of greatest honor, With his back upon the blue-wall, Looking on my bounteous tables, Facing all the guests of Northland."
Then the hostess of Polyola Served her guests in great abundance, Richest drinks and rarest viands, First of all she served the bridegroom ; On his platters honeyed biscuit, And the sweetest river-salmon, Seasoned butter, roasted bacon, All the dainties of Pohyola. Then the servants served the others, Filled the plates of all invited With the varied food of Northland. Spake the hostess of Pohyola :
“Come, ye maidens from the village, Hither bring the beer in pitchers, In the urns with double handles, To the many guests in-gathered. Ere all others, serve the bridegroom."
Thereupon the merry maidens Brought the beer in silver pitchers From the copper-banded vessels, For the wedding guests assembled ;
And the beer, fermenting, sparkled
On the beard of Ilmarinen,
On the beards of many heroes.
When the guests had all partaken
Of the wondrous beer of barley,
Spake the drink in merry accents
Through the tongues of the magicians,
Through the tongue of many a hero,
Through the tongue of Wainamoinen,
Famed to be the sweetest singer
Of the Northland bards and minstrels.
“Grant, O Ukko, my Creator,
God of love, and truth, and justice,
Grant thy blessing on our feasting,
Bless this company assembled,
For the good of Sariola,
For the happiness of Northland !
May this bread and beer bring joyance,
May they come in rich abundance,
May they carry full contentment
To the people of Pohyola,
To the cabin and the mansion;
May the hours we spend in singing,
In the morning, in the evening,
Fill our hearts with joy and gladness !
Hear us in our supplications,
Grant to us thy needed blessings,
Send enjoyment, health, and comfort,
To the people here assembled,
To the host and to the hostess,
To the bride and to the bridegroom,
To the sons upon the waters,
To the daughters at their weavings,
To the hunters on the mountains,
To the shepherds in the fenlands,
That our lives may end in honor,
That we may recall with pleasure
Ilmarinen's magic marriage
To the Maiden of the Rainbow,
Snow-white virgin of the Northland.”
Crawford's Translation, Rune XXI.
WAINAMOINEN, Ilmarinen, and the wizard Lemminkainen started to the Northland to win back the Sampo forged for Louhi by Ilmarinen. On the way their boat stuck on the
shoulders of a great pike, which was killed by Wainamoinen. The three then landed, ordered the pike to be cooked by the maidens, and seasted until nothing remained of the fish but a heap of bones.
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Looked upon the pile of fragments,
On the fish-bones looked and pondered,
Spake these words in meditation :
“Wondrous things might be constructed
From the relics of this monster,
Were they in the blacksmith's furnace,
In the hands of the magician,
In the hands of Ilmarinen.”
Spake the blacksmith of Wainola:
“Nothing fine can be constructed
From the bones and teeth of fishes
By the skilful forger-artist,
By the hands of the magician.”
These the words of Wainamoinen :
“Something wondrous might be builded
From these jaws, and teeth, and fish-bones;
Might a magic harp be fashioned,
Could an artist be discovered
That could shape them to my wishes.”
But he found no fish-bone artist
That could shape the harp of joyance
From the relics of their feasting,
From the jaw-bones of the monster,
To the will of the magician.
Thereupon wise Wainamoinen
Set himself at work designing ;
Quick became a fish-bone artist,
Made a harp of wondrous beauty,
Lasting joy and pride of Suomi.
Whence the harp's enchanting arches ?
From the jaw-bones of the monster.
Whence the necessary harp-pins ?
From the pike-teeth, firmly fastened.
Whence the sweetly singing harp-strings?
From the tail of Lempo's stallion.
Thus was born the harp of magic
From the mighty pike of Northland,
From the relics from the feasting
Of the heroes of Wainola.
All the young men came to view it,
All the aged with their children,
Mothers with their beauteous daughters,
Maidens with their golden tresses;