The Kalevala/Rune XVII
Rune XVII. Wainamoinen Finds the Lost-word.
WAINAMOINEN, old and truthful,
Did not learn the words of magic
In Tuoni's gloomy regions,
In the kingdom of Manala.
Thereupon he long debated,
Well considered, long reflected,
Where to find the magic sayings;
When a shepherd came to meet him,
Speaking thus to Wainamoinen:
"Thou canst find of words a hundred,
Find a thousand wisdom-sayings,
In the mouth of wise Wipunen,
In the body of the hero;
To the spot I know the foot-path,
To his tomb the magic highway,
Trodden by a host of heroes;
Long the distance thou must travel,
On the sharpened points of needles;
Then a long way thou must journey
On the edges of the broadswords;
Thirdly thou must travel farther
On the edges of the hatchets."
Wainamoinen, old and trustful,
Well considered all these journeys,
Travelled to the forge and smithy,
Thus addressed the metal-worker:
"Ilmarinen, worthy blacksmith,
Make a shoe for me of iron,
Forge me gloves of burnished copper,
Mold a staff of strongest metal,
Lay the steel upon the inside,
Forge within the might of magic;
I am going on a journey
To procure the magic sayings,
Find the lost-words of the Master,
From the mouth of the magician,
From the tongue of wise Wipunen."
Spake the artist, Ilmarinen:
"Long ago died wise Wipunen,
Disappeared these many ages,
Lays no more his snares of copper,
Sets no longer traps of iron,
Cannot learn from him the wisdom,
Cannot find in him the lost-words."
Wainamoinen, old and hopeful,
Little heeding, not discouraged,
In his metal shoes and armor,
Hastens forward on his journey,
Runs the first day fleetly onward,
On the sharpened points of needles;
'Wearily he strides the second,
On the edges of the broadswords
Swings himself the third day forward,
On the edges of the hatchets.
Wise Wipunen, wisdom-singer,
Ancient bard, and great magician,
With his magic songs lay yonder,
Stretched beside him, lay his sayings,
On his shoulder grew the aspen,
On each temple grew the birch-tree,
On his mighty chin the alder,
From his beard grew willow-bushes,
From his mouth the dark green fir-tree,
And the oak-tree from his forehead.
Wainamoinen, coming closer,
Draws his sword, lays bare his hatchet
From his magic leathern scabbard,
Fells the aspen from his shoulder,
Fells the birch-tree from his temples,
From his chin he fells the alder,
From his beard, the branching willows,
From his mouth the dark-green fir-tree,
Fells the oak-tree from his forehead.
Now he thrusts his staff of iron
Through the mouth of wise Wipunen,
Pries his mighty jaws asunder,
Speaks these words of master-magic:
"Rise, thou master of magicians,
From the sleep of Tuonela,
From thine everlasting slumber!"
Wise Wipunen, ancient singer,
Quickly wakens from his sleeping,
Keenly feels the pangs of torture,
From the cruel staff of iron;
Bites with mighty force the metal,
Bites in twain the softer iron,
Cannot bite the steel asunder,
Opens wide his mouth in anguish.
Wainamoinen of Wainola,
In his iron-shoes and armor,
Careless walking, headlong stumbles
In the spacious mouth and fauces
Of the magic bard, Wipunen.
Wise Wipunen, full of song-charms,
Opens wide his mouth and swallows
Wainamoinen and his magic,
Shoes, and staff, and iron armor.
Then outspeaks the wise Wipunen:
"Many things before I've eaten,
Dined on goat, and sheep, and reindeer,
Bear, and ox, and wolf, and wild-boar,
Never in my recollection,
Have I tasted sweeter morsels!"
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
"Now I see the evil symbols,
See misfortune hanging o'er me,
In the darksome Hisi-hurdles,
In the catacombs of Kalma."
Wainamoinen long considered
How to live and how to prosper,
How to conquer this condition.
In his belt he wore a poniard,
With a handle hewn from birch-wood,
From the handle builds a vessel,
Builds a boat through magic science;
In this vessel rows he swiftly
Through the entrails of the hero,
Rows through every gland and vessel
Of the wisest of magicians.
Old Wipunen, master-singer,
Barely feels the hero's presence,
Gives no heed to Wainamoinen.
Then the artist of Wainola
Straightway sets himself to forging,
Sets at work to hammer metals;
Makes a smithy from his armor,
Of his sleeves he makes the bellows,
Makes the air-valve from his fur-coat,
From his stockings, makes the muzzle,
Uses knees instead of anvil,
Makes a hammer of his fore-arm;
Like the storm-wind roars the bellows,
Like the thunder rings the anvil;
Forges one day, then a second,
Forges till the third day closes,
In the body of Wipunen,
In the sorcerer's abdomen.
Old Wipunen, full of magic,
Speaks these words in wonder, guessing:
"Who art thou of ancient heroes,
Who of all the host of heroes?
Many heroes I have eaten,
And of men a countless number,
Have not eaten such as thou art;
Smoke arises from my nostrils,
From my mouth the fire is streaming,
In my throat are iron-clinkers.
"Go, thou monster, hence to wander,
Flee this place, thou plague of Northland,
Ere I go to seek thy mother,
Tell the ancient dame thy mischief;
She shall bear thine evil conduct,
Great the burden she shall carry;
Great a mother's pain and anguish,
When her child runs wild and lawless;
Cannot comprehend the meaning,
Nor this mystery unravel,
Why thou camest here, O monster,
Camest here to give me torture.
Art thou Hisi sent from heaven,
Some calamity from Ukko?
Art, perchance, some new creation,
Ordered here to do me evil?
If thou art some evil genius,
Some calamity from Ukko,
Sent to me by my Creator,
Then am I resigned to suffer
God does not forsake the worthy,
Does not ruin those that trust him,
Never are the good forsaken.
If by man thou wert created,
If some hero sent thee hither,
I shall learn thy race of evil,
Shall destroy thy wicked tribe-folk.
"Thence arose the violation,
Thence arose the first destruction,
Thence came all the evil-doings:
From the neighborhood of wizards,
From the homes of the magicians,
From the eaves of vicious spirits,
From the haunts of fortune-tellers,
From the cabins of the witches,
From the castles of Tuoni,
From the bottom of Manala,
From the ground with envy swollen,
From Ingratitude's dominions,
From the rocky shoals and quicksands,
From the marshes filled with danger,
From the cataract's commotion,
From the bear-caves in the mountains,
From the wolves within the thickets,
From the roarings of the pine-tree,
From the burrows of the fox-dog,
From the woodlands of the reindeer,
From the eaves and Hisi-hurdles,
From the battles of the giants,
From uncultivated pastures,
From the billows of the oceans,
From the streams of boiling waters,
From the waterfalls of Rutya,
From the limits of the storm-clouds,
From the pathways of the thunders,
From the flashings of the lightnings,
From the distant plains of Pohya,
From the fatal stream and whirlpool,
From the birthplace of Tuoni.
"Art thou coming from these places?
Hast thou, evil, hastened hither,
To the heart of sinless hero,
To devour my guiltless body,
To destroy this wisdom-singer?
Get thee hence, thou dog of Lempo,
Leave, thou monster from Manala,
Flee from mine immortal body,
Leave my liver, thing of evil,
In my body cease thy forging,
Cease this torture of my vitals,
Let me rest in peace and slumber.
"Should I want in means efficient,
Should I lack the magic power
To outroot thine evil genius,
I shall call a better hero,
Call upon a higher power,
To remove this dire misfortune,
To annihilate this monster.
I shall call the will of woman,
From the fields, the old-time heroes?
Mounted heroes from the sand-hills,
Thus to rescue me from danger,
From these pains and ceaseless tortures.
"If this force prove inefficient,
Should not drive thee from my body,
Come, thou forest, with thy heroes,
Come, ye junipers and pine-trees,
With your messengers of power,
Come, ye mountains, with your wood-nymphs,
Come, ye lakes, with all your mermaids,
Come, ye hundred ocean-spearmen,
Come, torment this son of Hisi,
Come and kill this evil monster.
"If this call is inefficient,
Does not drive thee from my vitals,
Rise, thou ancient water-mother,
With thy blue-cap from the ocean,
From the seas, the lakes, the rivers,
Bring protection to thy hero,
Comfort bring and full assistance,
That I guiltless may not suffer,
May not perish prematurely.
"Shouldst thou brave this invocation,
Kapè, daughter of Creation,
Come, thou beauteous, golden maiden,
Oldest of the race of women,
Come and witness my misfortunes,
Come and turn away this evil,
Come, remove this biting torment,
Take away this plague of Piru.
"If this call be disregarded,
If thou wilt not leave me guiltless,
Ukko, on the arch of heaven,
In the thunder-cloud dominions,
Come thou quickly, thou art needed,
Come, protect thy tortured hero,
Drive away this magic demon,
Banish ever his enchantment,
With his sword and flaming furnace,
With his fire-enkindling bellows.
"Go, thou demon, hence to wander,
Flee, thou plague of Northland heroes;
Never come again for shelter,
Nevermore build thou thy dwelling
In the body of Wipunen;
Take at once thy habitation
To the regions of thy kindred,
To thy distant fields and firesides;
When thy journey thou hast ended,
Gained the borders of thy country,
Gained the meads of thy Creator,
Give a signal of thy coming,
Rumble like the peals of thunder,
Glisten like the gleam of lightning,
Knock upon the outer portals,
Enter through the open windows,
Glide about the many chambers,
Seize the host and seize the hostess,
Knock their evil beads together,
Wring their necks and hurl their bodies
To the black-dogs of the forest.
"Should this prove of little value,
Hover like the bird of battle,
O'er the dwellings of the master,
Scare the horses from the mangers,
From the troughs affright the cattle,
Twist their tails, and horns, and forelocks,
Hurl their carcasses to Lempo.
"If some scourge the winds have sent me,
Sent me on the air of spring-tide,
Brought me by the frosts of winter,
Quickly journey whence thou camest,
On the air-path of the heavens,
Perching not upon some aspen,
Resting not upon the birch-tree;
Fly away to copper mountains,
That the copper-winds may nurse thee,
Waves of ether, thy protection.
"Didst those come from high Jumala,
From the hems of ragged snow-clouds,
Quick ascend beyond the cloud-space,
Quickly journey whence thou camest,
To the snow-clouds, crystal-sprinkled,
To the twinkling stars of heaven
There thy fire may burn forever,
There may flash thy forked lightnings,
In the Sun's undying furnace.
"Wert thou sent here by the spring-floods,
Driven here by river-torrents?
Quickly journey whence thou camest,
Quickly hasten to the waters,
To the borders of the rivers,
To the ancient water-mountain,
That the floods again may rock thee,
And thy water-mother nurse thee.
"Didst thou come from Kalma's kingdom,
From the castles of the death-land?
Haste thou back to thine own country,
To the Kalma-halls and castles,
To the fields with envy swollen,
Where contending armies perish.
"Art thou from the Hisi-woodlands,
From ravines in Lempo's forest,
From the thickets of the pine-wood,
From the dwellings of the fir-glen?
Quick retrace thine evil footsteps
To the dwellings of thy master,
To the thickets of thy kindred;
There thou mayest dwell at pleasure,
Till thy house decays about thee,
Till thy walls shall mould and crumble.
Evil genius, thee I banish,
Got thee hence, thou horrid monster,
To the caverns of the white-bear,
To the deep abysm of serpents,
To the vales, and swamps, and fenlands,
To the ever-silent waters,
To the hot-springs of the mountains,
To the dead-seas of the Northland,
To the lifeless lakes and rivers,
To the sacred stream and whirlpool.
"Shouldst thou find no place of resting,
I will banish thee still farther,
To the Northland's distant borders,
To the broad expanse of Lapland,
To the ever-lifeless deserts,
To the unproductive prairies,
Sunless, moonless, starless, lifeless,
In the dark abyss of Northland;
This for thee, a place befitting,
Pitch thy tents and feast forever
On the dead plains of Pohyola.
"Shouldst thou find no means of living,
I will banish thee still farther,
To the cataract of Rutya,
To the fire-emitting whirlpool,
Where the firs are ever falling,
To the windfalls of the forest;
Swim hereafter in the waters
Of the fire-emitting whirlpool,
Whirl thou ever in the current
Of the cataract's commotion,
In its foam and boiling waters.
Should this place be unbefitting,
I will drive thee farther onward,
To Tuoni's coal-black river,
To the endless stream of Mana,
Where thou shalt forever linger;
Thou canst never leave Manala,
Should I not thy head deliver,
Should I never pay thy ransom;
Thou canst never safely journey
Through nine brother-rams abutting,
Through nine brother-bulls opposing
Through nine brother-stallions thwarting,
Thou canst not re-cross Death-river
Thickly set with iron netting,
Interlaced with threads of copper.
"Shouldst thou ask for steeds for saddle,
Shouldst thou need a fleet-foot courser,
I will give thee worthy racers,
I will give thee saddle-horses;
Evil Hisi has a charger,
Crimson mane, and tail, and foretop,
Fire emitting from his nostrils,
As he prances through his pastures;
Hoofs are made of strongest iron,
Legs are made of steel and copper,
Quickly scales the highest mountains,
Darts like lightning through the valleys,
When a skilful master rides him.
"Should this steed be insufficient,
I will give thee Lempo's snow-shoes,
Give thee Hisi's shoes of elm-wood,
Give to thee the staff of Piru,
That with these thou mayest journey
Into Hisi's courts and castles,
To the woods and fields of Juutas;
If the rocks should rise before thee,
Dash the flinty rocks in pieces,
Hurl the fragments to the heavens;
If the branches cross thy pathway,
Make them turn aside in greeting;
If some mighty hero hail thee,
Hurl him headlong to the woodlands.
"Hasten hence, thou thing of evil,
Heinous monster, leave my body,
Ere the breaking of the morning
Ere the Sun awakes from slumber,
Ere the sinning of the cuckoo;
Haste away, thou plague of Northland,
Haste along the track of' moonbeams,
Wander hence, forever wander,
To the darksome fields or Pohya.
"If at once thou dost not leave me,
I will send the eagle's talons,
Send to thee the beaks of vultures,
To devour thine evil body,
Hurl thy skeleton to Hisi.
Much more quickly cruel Lempo
Left my vitals when commanded,
When I called the aid of Ukko,
Called the help of my Creator.
Flee, thou motherless offendant,
Flee, thou fiend of Sariola,
Flee, thou hound without a master,
Ere the morning sun arises,
Ere the Moon withdraws to slumber!"
Wainamoinen, ancient hero,
Speaks at last to old Wipunen:
"Satisfied am I to linger
In these old and spacious caverns,
Pleasant here my home and dwelling;
For my meat I have thy tissues,
Have thy heart, and spleen, and liver,
For my drink the blood of ages,
Goodly home for Wainamoinen.
"I shall set my forge and bellows
Deeper, deeper in thy vitals;
I shall swing my heavy hammer,
Swing it with a greater power
On thy heart, and lungs, and liver;
I shall never, never leave thee
Till I learn thine incantations,
Learn thy many wisdom-sayings,
Learn the lost-words of the Master;
Never must these words be bidden,
Earth must never lose this wisdom,
Though the wisdom-singers perish."
Old Wipunen, wise magician,
Ancient prophet, filled with power,
Opens fall his store of knowledge,
Lifts the covers from his cases,
Filled with old-time incantations,
Filled with songs of times primeval,
Filled with ancient wit and wisdom;
Sings the very oldest folk-songs,
Sings the origin of witchcraft,
Sings of Earth and its beginning
Sings the first of all creations,
Sings the source of good and evil
Sung alas! by youth no longer,
Only sung in part by heroes
In these days of sin and sorrow.
Evil days our land befallen.
Sings the orders of enchantment.
How, upon the will of Ukko,
By command of the Creator,
How the air was first divided,
How the water came from ether,
How the earth arose from water,
How from earth came vegetation,
Fish, and fowl, and man, and hero.
Sings again the wise Wipunen,
How the Moon was first created,
How the Sun was set in heaven,
Whence the colors of the rainbow,
Whence the ether's crystal pillars,
How the skies with stars were sprinkled.
Then again sings wise Wipunen,
Sings in miracles of concord,
Sings in magic tones of wisdom,
Never was there heard such singing;
Songs he sings in countless numbers,
Swift his notes as tongues of serpents,
All the distant hills re-echo;
Sings one day, and then a second,
Sings a third from dawn till evening,
Sings from evening till the morning;
Listen all the stars of heaven,
And the Moon stands still and listens
Fall the waves upon the deep-sea,
In the bay the tides cease rising,
Stop the rivers in their courses,
Stops the waterfall of Rutya,
Even Jordan ceases flowing,
And the Wuoksen stops and listens.
When the ancient Wainamoinen
Well had learned the magic sayings,
Learned the ancient songs and legends,
Learned the words of ancient wisdom,
Learned the lost-words of the Master,
Well had learned the secret doctrine,
He prepared to leave the body
Of the wisdom-bard, Wipunen,
Leave the bosom of the master,
Leave the wonderful enchanter.
Spake the hero, Wainamoinen:
"O, thou Antero Wipunen,
Open wide thy mouth and fauces,
I have found the magic lost-words,
I will leave thee now forever,
Leave thee and thy wondrous singing,
Will return to Kalevala,
To Wainola's fields and firesides."
Thus Wipunen spake in answer:
"Many are the things I've eaten,
Eaten bear, and elk, and reindeer,
Eaten ox, and wolf, and wild-boar,
Eaten man, and eaten hero,
Never, never have I eaten
Such a thing as Wainamoinen;
Thou hast found what thou desirest,
Found the three words of the Master;
Go in peace, and ne'er returning,
Take my blessing on thy going."
Thereupon the bard Wipunen
Opens wide his mouth, and wider;
And the good, old Wainamoinen
Straightway leaves the wise enchanter,
Leaves Wipunen's great abdomen;
From the mouth he glides and journeys
O'er the hills and vales of Northland,
Swift as red-deer or the forest,
Swift as yellow-breasted marten,
To the firesides of Wainola,
To the plains of Kalevala.
Straightway hastes he to the smithy
Of his brother, Ilmarinen,
Thus the iron-artist greets him:
Hast thou found the long-lost wisdom,
Hast thou heard the secret doctrine,
Hast thou learned the master magic,
How to fasten in the ledges,
How the stern should be completed,
How complete the ship's forecastle?
Wainamoinen thus made answer:
"I have learned of words a hundred,
Learned a thousand incantations,
Hidden deep for many ages,
Learned the words of ancient wisdom,
Found the keys of secret doctrine,
Found the lost-words of the Master."
Straightway journeys to his vessel,
To the spot of magic labor,
Quickly fastens in the ledges,
Firmly binds the stern together
And completes the boat's forecastle.
Thus the ancient Wainamoinen
Built the boat with magic only,
And with magic launched his vessel,
Using not the hand to touch it,
Using not the foot to move it,
Using not the knee to turn it,
Using nothing to propel it.
Thus the third task was completed,
For the hostess of Pohyola,
Dowry for the Maid of Beauty
Sitting on the arch of heaven,
On the bow of many colors.