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Eino Leino


The corncrake's song rings in my ears,
above the rye a full moon sails;
this summer night all sorrow clears
and woodsmoke drifts along the dales,
I do not laugh or grieve, or sigh;
the forest's darkness breathes nearby,
the red of clouds where day sinks deep,
the blue of windy hills asleep,
the twinflower's scent, the water's shade-
of these my heart's own song is made.
You, girl as sweet as summer hay,
my heart's great peace, I sing to you,
O my devotion, tune and play
a wreath of oak twigs, green and new.
I have stopped chasing Jack-o'-Lantern,
I hold gold from the Demon's mountain;
around me life tightens its ring,
time stops, the vane has ceased to swing;
the road before me through the gloom
is leading to the unknown room.


We’re all on a boat and a voyage we share,
we plough the great sea together.
In labour our mothers pain doesn’t spare
at death pain attends us moreover.
But between birth-pangs and our sad demise –
oh, may life with kindness and warmth surprise!
See, when in a storm we’re together as one –
more easily journey’s done.

"The Song of the Sage Väinämöinen

There aren't many joys given to a human child:

One the joy of spring

and another of summer

and third of high, clear autumn's joy.

Plough, saw,


rest at last in peace from labour.

There aren't many sorrows given to a human child:

One a sorrow of one's heart,

another worry of living,

and third of high, strict death's sorrow.

A friend betrays,

life leaves you,

magic is hero's only work and enthusiasm.

Why would sing I, to whom kantele was given,

other joys

and other sorrows?

I cannot count the stars of the sky,

neither the fishes of the sea,

not the flowers of the grasses.

So I sing of what a human is given to sing about.

Men should not sing knowledge, skills,

not bring forth them.

A hero is allowed

to sing only, how years change and weeks,

how sparks get lighted

and dimmen away again

and how goes the law of death and life.

All else is just glimmering of the sky,


splash of the waves.

A hero ought to sing like the sea,

as great, holy,

something to be afraid of,

tender like the resting night over the lands.

There are many songs, also many men of songs.

There is one song

above the others:

humans' ideal's, spirit's strict song.

Peoples disappear,

what does not disappear

is the might sung by a great one

knowing the soul of one's people.