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The Kalevala - Rune Xxxvi - Poem by Elias Lönnrot


Kullerwionen, wicked wizard,
In his purple-colored stockings,
Now prepares himself for battle;
Grinds a long time on his broadsword,
Sharpens well his trusty weapon,
And his mother speaks as follows:
'Do not go, my son beloved,
Go not to the wars, my hero,
Struggle not with hostile spearsmen.
Whoso goes to war for nothing,
Undertakes a fearful combat,
Undertakes a fatal issue;
Those that war without a reason
Will be slaughtered for their folly,
Easy prey to bows and arrows.
Go thou with a goat to battle,
Shouldst thou go to fight the roebuck,
'Tis the goat that will be vanquished,
And the roebuck will be slaughtered;
With a frog thou'lt journey homeward,
Victor, with but little honor!'
These the words of Kullerwoinen:
'Shall not journey through the marshes,
Shall not sink upon the heather,
On the home-land of the raven,
Where the eagles scream at day-break.
When I yield my life forever,
Bravely will I fall in battle,
Fall upon the field of glory,
Beautiful to die in armor,
And the clang and clash of armies,
Beautiful the strife for conquest!
Thus Kullervo soon will hasten
To the kingdom of Tuoni,
To the realm of the departed,
Undeformed by wasting sickness.'
This the answer of the mother:
'If thou diest in the conflict,
Who will stay to guard thy father,
Who will give thy sire protection?'
These the words of Kullerwoinen:
'Let him die upon the court-yard,
Sleeping out his life of sorrow!'
'Who then will protect thy mother,
Be her shield in times of danger?'
'Let her die within the stable,
Or the cabin where she lingers!'
'Who then will defend thy brother,
Give him aid in times of trouble?'
'Let him die within the forest,
Sleep his life away unheeded!'
'Who will comfort then thy sister,
Who will aid her in affliction?'
'Let her sink beneath the waters,
Perish in the crystal fountain,
Where the brook flows on in beauty,
Like a silver serpent winding
Through the valley to the ocean!'
Thereupon the wild Kullervo
Hastens from his home to battle,
To his father speaks, departing:
'Fare thou well, my aged father!
Wilt thou weep for me, thy hero,
When thou hearest I have perished,
Fallen from thy tribe forever,
Perished on the field of glory?'
Thus the father speaks in answer:
'I shall never mourn the downfall
Of my evil son, Kullervo;
Shall not weep when thou hast perished;
Shall beget a second hero
That will do me better service,
That will think and act in wisdom.'
Kullerwoinen gives this answer:
'Neither shall I mourn thy downfall,
Shall not weep when thou hast perished;
I shall make a second father,
Make the head from loam and sandstone,
Make the eyes from swamp-land berries,
Make the beard from withered sea-grass,
Make the feet from roots of willow,
Make the form from birch-wood fungus.'
Thereupon the youth, Kullervo,
To his brother speaks as follows:
'Fare thou well, beloved brother!
Wilt thou weep for me departed,
Shouldst thou hear that I have perished,
Fallen on the field of battle?'
This the answer of the brother:
'I shall never mourn the downfall
Of my brother, Kullerwoinen,
Shall not weep when thou hast perished;
I shall find a second brother '
Find one worthier and wiser!'
This is Kullerwoinen's answer:
'Neither shall I mourn thy downfall,
Shall not weep when thou hast perished;
I shall form a second brother,
Make the head from dust and ashes,
Make the eyes from pearls of ocean,
Make the beard from withered verdure,
Make the form from pulp of birch-wood.'
To his sister speaks Kullervo:
'Fare thou well, beloved sister!
Surely thou wilt mourn my downfall,
Weep for me when I have perished,
When thou hearest I have fallen
In the heat and din of battle,
Fallen from thy race forever!'
But the sister makes this answer:
'Never shall I mourn thy downfall,
Shall not weep when thou hast perished;
I shall seek a second brother,
Seek a brother, purer, better,
One that will not shame his sister!'
Kullerwoinen thus makes answer:
'Neither shall I mourn thee fallen,
Shall not weep when thou hast perished;
I shall form a second sister,
Make the head from whitened marble,
Make the eyes from golden moonbeams,
Make the tresses from the rainbow,
Make the ears from ocean-flowers,
And her form from gold and silver.
'Fare thou well, beloved mother,
Mother, beautiful and faithful!
Wilt thou weep when I have perished,
Fallen on the field of glory,
Fallen from thy race forever?'
Thus the mother speaks in answer:
'Canst not fathom love maternal,
Canst not smother her affection;
Bitterly I'll mourn thy downfall,
I would weep if thou shouldst perish,
Shouldst thou leave my race forever;
I would weep in court or cabin,
Sprinkle all these fields with tear-drops,
Weep great rivers to the ocean,
Weep to melt the snows of Northland,
Make the hillocks green with weeping,
Weep at morning, weep at evening,
Weep three years in bitter sorrow
O'er the death of Kullerwoinen!'
Thereupon the wicked wizard
Went rejoicing to the combat;
In delight to war he hastened
O'er the fields, and fens, and fallows,
Shouting loudly on the heather,
Singing o'er the hills and mountains,
Rushing through the glens and forests,
Blowing war upon his bugle.
Time had gone but little distance,
When a messenger appearing,
Spake these words to Kullerwoinen:
'Lo! thine aged sire has perished,
Fallen from thy race forever;
Hasten home and do him honor,
Lay him in the lap of Kalma.'
Kullerwoinen inade this answer:
'Has my aged father perished,
There is home a sable stallion
That will take him to his slumber,
Lay him in the lap of Kalma.'
Then Kullervo journeyed onward,
Calling war upon his bugle,
Till a messenger appearing,
Brought this word to Kullerwoinen:
'Lo! thy brother too has perished,
Dead he lies within the forest,
Manalainen's trumpet called him;
Home return and do him honor,
Lay him in the lap of Kalma.'
Kullerwoinen thus replying:
'Has my hero-brother perished,
There is home a sable stallion
That will take him' to his slumber,
Lay him in the lap of Kalma.'
Young Kullervo journeyed onward
Over vale and over mountain,
Playing on his reed of battle,
Till a messenger appearing
Brought the warrior these tidings:
'Lo! thy sister too has perished,
Perished in the crystal fountain,
Where the waters flow in beauty,
Like a silver serpent winding
Through the valley to the ocean;
Home return and do her honor,
Lay her in the lap of Kalma.'
These the words of Kullerwoinen:
'Has my beauteous sister perished,
Fallen from my race forever,
There is home a sable filly
That will take her to her resting,
Lay her in the lap of Kalma.'
Still Kullervo journeyed onward,
Through the fens he went rejoicing,
Sounding war upon his bugle,
Till a messenger appearing
Brought to him these words of sorrow:
'Lo! thy mother too has perished,
Died in anguish, broken-hearted;
Home return and do her honor,
Lay her in the lap of Kalma.'
These the measures of Kullervo:
'Woe is me, my life hard-fated,
That my mother too has perished,
She that nursed me in my cradle,
Made my couch a golden cover,
Twirled for me the spool and spindle!
Lo! Kullervo was not present
When his mother's life departed;
May have died upon the mountains,
Perished there from cold and hunger.
Lave the dead form of my mother
In the crystal waters flowing;
Wrap her in the robes of ermine,
Tie her hands with silken ribbon,
Take her to the grave of ages,
Lay her in the lap of Kalma.
Bury her with songs of mourning,
Let the singers chant my sorrow;
Cannot leave the fields of battle
While Untamo goes unpunished,
Fell destroyer of my people.'
Kullerwoinen journeyed onward,
Still rejoicing, to the combat,
Sang these songs in supplication:
'Ukko, mightiest of rulers,
Loan to me thy sword of battle,
Grant to me thy matchless weapon,
And against a thousand armies
I will war and ever conquer.'
Ukko, gave the youth his broadsword,
Gave his blade of magic powers
To the wizard, Kullerwoinen.
Thus equipped, the mighty hero
Slew the people of Untamo,
Burned their villages to ashes;
Only left the stones and ovens,
And the chimneys of their hamlets.
Then the conqueror, Kullervo,
Turned his footsteps to his home-land,
To the cabin of his father '
To his ancient fields and forests.
Empty did he find the cabin,
And the forests were deserted;
No one came to give him greeting,
None to give the hand of welcome;
Laid his fingers on the oven,
But he found it cold and lifeless;
Then he knew to satisfaction
That his mother lived no longer;
Laid his hand upon the fire-place,
Cold and lifeless were the hearth-stones;
Then he knew to satisfaction
That his sister too had perished;
Then he sought the landing-places,
Found no boats upon the rollers;
Then he knew to satisfaction
That his brother too had perished;
Then he looked upon the fish-nets,
And he found them torn and tangled;
And he knew to satisfaction
That his father too had perished.
Bitterly he wept and murmured,
Wept one day, and then a second,
On the third day spake as follows:
'Faithful mother, fond and tender,
Why hast left me here to sorrow
In this wilderness of trouble?
But thou dost not hear my calling,
Though I sing in magic accents,
Though my tear-drops speak lamenting,
Though my heart bemoans thine absence.
From her grave awakes the mother,
To Kullervo speaks these measures:
'Thou has still the dog remaining,
He will lead thee to the forest;
Follow thou the faithful watcher,
Let him lead thee to the woodlands,
To the farthest woodland border,
To the caverns of the wood-nymphs;
Kullerwoinen's Victory and Death
There the forest maidens linger,
They will give thee food and shelter,
Give my hero joyful greetings.'
Kullerwoinen, with his watch-dog,
Hastens onward through the forest,
Journeys on through fields and fallows;
Journeys but a little distance,
Till be comes upon the summit
Where he met his long-lost sister;
Finds the turf itself is weeping,
Finds the glen-wood filled with sorrow,
Finds the heather shedding tear-drops,
Weeping are the meadow-flowers,
O'er the ruin of his sister.
Kullerwoinen, wicked wizard,
Grasps the handle of his broadsword,
Asks the blade this simple question:
'Tell me, O my blade of honor,
Dost thou wish to drink my life-blood,
Drink the blood of Kullerwoinen?'
Thus his trusty sword makes answer,
Well divining his intentions:
Why should I not drink thy life-blood,
Blood of guilty Kullerwoinen,
Since I feast upon the worthy,
Drink the life-blood of the righteous?'
Thereupon the youth, Kullervo,
Wicked wizard of the Northland,
Lifts the mighty sword of Ukko,
Bids adieu to earth and heaven;
Firmly thrusts the hilt in heather,
To his heart he points the weapon,
Throws his weight upon his broadsword,
Pouring out his wicked life-blood,
Ere be journeys to Manala.
Thus the wizard finds destruction,
This the end of Kullerwoinen,
Born in sin, and nursed in folly.
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
As he hears the joyful tidings,
Learns the death of fell Kullervo,
Speaks these words of ancient wisdom:
'O, ye many unborn nations,
Never evil nurse your children,
Never give them out to strangers,
Never trust them to the foolish!
If the child is not well nurtured,
Is not rocked and led uprightly,
Though he grow to years of manhood,
Bear a strong and shapely body,
He will never know discretion,
Never eat. the bread of honor,
Never drink the cup of wisdom.'

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