Kirby. Lönnrot's Kalevala

Today's free book is Kalevala, The Land of the Heroes by Elias Lönnrot, translated by W. F. Kirby. You can find out more about this book in the Kalevala unit of the Myth-Folklore UnTextbook.

For the table of contents, check at the bottom of this post below the image.

The translation is in two volumes. The book is available at Project Gutenberg (+ Vol. 2), Internet Archive (+ Vol. 2), Hathi Books, and Google Books (+ Vol. 2). There is also a free audiobook at LibriVox. You can get a free Kindle eBook (+ Vol. 2) from Amazon too!

Table of Contents

Runo I. After a preamble by the bard, he proceeds to relate how the Virgin of the Air descended into the sea, was tossed about by the winds and waves, modelled the earth, and brought forth the culture-hero Väinämöinen, who swims to shore.

Runo II. Väinämöinen clears and plants the country, and sows barley.

Runo III. The Laplander Joukahainen presumes to contend with Väinämöinen in singing, but is plunged by him into a swamp, till he pledges to him his sister Aino; after which he is released, and returns home discomfited. But Aino is much distressed at the idea of being obliged to marry an old man.

Runo IV. Väinämöinen makes love to Aino in the forest; but she returns home in grief and anger, and finally wanders away again, and is drowned while trying to swim out to some water-nymphs in a lake. Her mother weeps for her incessantly.

Runo V. Väinämöinen fishes up Aino in the form of a salmon; but she escapes him, and his mother advises him to seek a bride in Pohjola, the North Country, sometimes identified with Lapland, but apparently still further north.

Runo VI. While Väinämöinen is riding over the water on his magic steed, Joukahainen shoots the horse under him. Väinämöinen falls into the water, and is driven onwards by a tempest, while Joukahainen returns to his mother, who upbraids him for shooting at the minstrel.

Runo VII. Väinämöinen is carried by an eagle to the neighbourhood of the Castle of Pohjola, where the chatelaine, Louhi, receives him hospitably, and offers him her beautiful daughter if he will forge for her the talisman called the Sampo. He replies that he cannot do so himself, but will send his brother Ilmarinen, so Louhi gives him a sledge in which to return home.

Runo VIII. Väinämöinen, on his journey, finds the daughter of Louhi sitting on a rainbow weaving, and makes love to her. In trying to accomplish the tasks she sets him, he wounds himself severely, and drives away till he finds an old man who promises to stanch the blood.

Runo IX. The old man heals Väinämöinen by relating the origin of Iron, and by salving his wounds.

Runo X. Väinämöinen returns home, and as Ilmarinen declines to go to Pohjola to forge the Sampo, he causes a whirlwind to carry him to the castle. Ilmarinen forges the Sampo, but the maiden declines to marry him at present, and he returns home disconsolate.

Runos XI.-XV. These Runos relate the early adventures of Lemminkainen. He carries off and marries the beautiful Kyllikki, but quarrels with her, and starts off to Pohjola to woo the daughter of Louhi. Louhi sets him various tasks, and at length he is slain, cast into the river of Tuoni, the death-god, and is hewed to pieces; but is rescued and resuscitated by his mother.

Runos XVI.-XVII. Väinämöinen regrets having renounced the daughter of Louhi in favour of Ilmarinen, and begins to build a boat, but cannot complete it without three magic words, which he seeks for in vain in Tuonela, the death-kingdom, but afterwards jumps down the throat of the dead giant, Antero Vipunen, and compels him to sing to him all his wisdom.

Runos XVIII.-XIX. Väinämöinen and Ilmarinen travel to Pohjola, one by water and the other by land, and agree that the maiden shall make her choice between them. She prefers Ilmarinen, who is aided by his bride to perform all the tasks set him by Louhi.

Runos XX.-XXV. The wedding is celebrated at Pohjola, an immense ox being slaughtered for the feast; after which ale is brewed by Osmotar, "Kaleva's most beauteous daughter." Every one is invited, except Lemminkainen, who is passed over as too quarrelsome and ill-mannered. Before the bride and bridegroom leave, they have to listen to long lectures about their future conduct.

Runos XXVI.-XXX. Lemminkainen is enraged at not being invited to the wedding, forces his way into the Castle of Pohjola through the magical obstacles in his path, and slays the lord of the castle in a duel. He flies home, and his mother sends him to hide in a distant island where all the warriors are absent, and where he lives with the women till the return of the men, when he is again obliged to fly. He returns home, and finds the whole country laid waste, and only his mother in hiding. Against her advice, he persuades his old comrade Tiera to join him in another expedition against Pohjola, but Louhi sends the Frost against them, and they are driven back in great distress.

Runos XXXI.-XXXVI. A chief named Untamo lays waste the territory of his brother Kalervo, and carries off his wife. She gives birth to Kullervo, who vows vengeance against Untamo in his cradle. Untamo brings Kullervo up as a slave, but as he spoils everything he touches, sells him to Ilmarinen.  Ilmarinen's wife ill-treats him, and he revenges himself by giving her over to be devoured by wolves and bears, and escapes to the forests, where he rejoins his family. One of his sisters has been lost, and meeting her accidentally and without knowing her, he carries her off. She throws herself into a torrent, and he returns home. His mother advises him to go into hiding, but first he makes war on Untamo, destroys him and his clan, and again returns home. Here he finds all his people dead, and everything desolate; so he wanders off into the forest, and falls on his own sword.

Runos XXXVII.-XLIX. Ilmarinen forges himself a new wife of gold and silver, but cannot give her life or warmth, so he carries off another daughter of Louhi; but she angers him so much that he changes her into a seagull. Ilmarinen and Väinämöinen, who are afterwards joined by Lemminkainen, now undertake another expedition to Pohjola to carry off the Sampo. On the way, Väinämöinen constructs a kantele or harp of pikebone, and lulls Louhi and her people to sleep; but she pursues the robbers, and first the kantele is lost overboard, and then the Sampo is broken to pieces and lost in the sea. Väinämöinen saves enough to secure the prosperity of Kalevala, but Louhi only carries home a small and almost useless fragment. Väinämöinen then makes a new kantele of birchwood. Louhi brings pestilence on Kalevala, then sends a bear against the country, and lastly, steals away the sun and moon, hiding them in the stone mountain of Pohjola. Väinämöinen drives away the plagues, kills the bear, and renews fire from a conflagration caused by a spark sent down from heaven by the god Ukko. Ilmarinen then prepares chains for Louhi, and terrifies her into restoring the sun and moon to their original places.

Runo L. The virgin Marjatta swallows a cranberry, and brings forth a son, who is proclaimed King of Carelia. Väinämöinen in great anger quits the country in his boat, but leaves the kantele and his songs behind him for the pleasure of the people.

No comments:

Post a Comment