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Lemminkainen's Resurrection
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Lemminkainen's Resurrection



Into the forest went Lemminkainen. As he went he chanted his Magic Song, "O Tapio, Lord of the Forest, aid me: lead me where I may take my quarry! Nyyrikki, O thou son of the Forest's Lord, red-capped one, mighty hero, make a path for me through your father's domain; clear the ground for me and keep me on the proper roadway"' Lemminkainen, the handsome, the light-stepping one, chanted Magic Songs to win the forest divinities as he went seeking the Elk of Hiisi.

Another Magic Song he chanted: "O Mielikki, Mistress of the Forest, fair-faced, bountiful lady, send the game towards me; turn it into the pathway of the hunter; open the thickets; unlock Tapio's storehouse; make wide the door of his castle in the forest! Do this during this hunting-trip of mine!" Other Magic Songs Lemminkainen chanted as he went through the forest seeking the Elk of Hiisi. "If thou wilt not trouble thyself about me, Mistress of the Forest, charge thy little serving-girls to help me! And thou, Tapio's girl, little maiden of the forest, put the flute to your mouth of honey, whistle through thy pipe so that the Lady of the Forest may rouse herself and harken to my Magic Songs!"

So he went through the forest; but the quarry he sought was not turned towards him. Through the trackless forest he went, across the marshes, over the heaths. At last he went up a mountain; he climbed a knoll; he turned his eyes to the north-west; he turned his eyes to the north; there, across the marshes, he saw Tapio's mansions with their doors and windows all golden.

Then once more the quick-moving, light-stepping Lemminkainen went onward. He dashed through all that lay across his path. Under the very windows of the mansions of the Lord of the Forest he came. Through the windows he saw those whose business it was to dispense the game to the hunters. They were resting; they were lolling; their worst wear they had on them. Under the windows Lemminkainen chanted his Magic Songs:

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"Mistress of the Forest, wherefore do you sit here and do you let the others sit here in such shabbiness? You are loathsome to behold! Yet when I went through the forest I saw three castles--one a wooden one, one a bone one, one a stone one; they had six windows, all bright, all golden; they who were within had rustling, golden garments on! Re-array as before thyself and thy household! Put away now your birch-bark shoes, your old garments, your disgusting shabbiness! Mistress of the Forest, put on thy garments of good fortune! Put thy golden bracelets on thy wrists, thy golden rings on thy fingers, a head. dress of gold put on! Put gold coins in thy hair, gold rings in thine ears, gold beads around thy neck! Long and wearily have I wandered hereabouts; I wander for nothing; the quarry I seek is not to be seen by me!

"Greybeard with the pine-leaf hat," he chanted, "with the cloak of moss! Re-array the woods; give the aspens their greyness, give the alders a robe of beauty, clothe the pine-trees in silver, Adorn the fir-trees with gold, and the birch-trees with golden blossoms. Make it as in the former years when days were better, when the waste-places flowed with honey. O daughter of Tapio, Tuulikki, gracious virgin, drive the game this way! Take a switch; strike the game on their haunches; drive the game towards the one who seeks for it and waits for it! Master of Tapio's mansions, mistress of Tapio's mansions, make wide the doors, send forth the game that has been shut in!"

So Lemminkainen chanted; for a week he ranged through the forest. His Magic Songs appeased the Lord of the Forest, delighted the Mistress of the Forest, and made glad the hearts of all the Forest Maidens. To where the Elk of Hiisi had his lair they went; they drove forth the Elk; they turned it in the direction of the one who waited for it.

Over the Elk Lemminkainen threw his lasso. And when he held the Elk he chanted his Magic Song once more, "Lord of the Forest, Tapio; Mistress of the Forest, Mielikki, come now and take your reward for the good you have done me! Come now and take the gold and silver I scatter on the ground of the forest!" So he chanted; then to the north, to Pohjola, he journeyed with the Elk he had captured. "I have caught the Elk of Hiisi! Come forth now, ancient one of Pohjola; give me your daughter; give me the bride I have come for!"

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Louhi, the Mistress of Pohjola, came out of her dwelling, and she looked upon Lemminkainen and the Elk he had captured. "I will give you my daughter, I will give you the bride you have come for, when you capture the Steed of Hiisi, and bring it to me here."

Then Lemminkainen took a golden bridle and a halter of silver; he went through the green and open meadows; he went out upon the plains. No sign he saw of the Steed of Hiisi. He called upon Ukko, the God of the Sky, and he chanted a Magic Song:

"Open the clefts of the Heavens; cast the hail upon the back of Hiisi's Steed; fling ice-blocks upon him that he may race from where he is, that he may come to where I am!" Ukko rent the air; he scattered ice-blocks; they were smaller than a horse's head, but they were bigger than a man's head. They struck the back of Hiisi's Steed. It raced forward. Then Lemminkainen chanted, "Steed of Hiisi, stretch forth thy silver head; push it into this golden bridle! I will never drive thee harshly; with a rope's end I will never smite thee. No, with silver cords I will lead thee, and with a piece of cloth I will drive thee!" So he chanted, and the Steed of Hiisi put forward his head; the golden bridle with the bit of silver went across his head and into his mouth.

Then to the north went Lemminkainen bringing the chestnut steed with the foam-flecked mane. He called to the Mistress of Pohjola, "I have captured the Steed of Hiisi and the Elk of Hiisi. Now give thy daughter to me, give me the bride that I have come for."

But Louhi, the Mistress of Pohjola, answered him, "I will give thee my daughter, I will give thee the bride thou hast come for when thou hast shot with an arrow, and using one arrow only, the white Swan on Tuonela's dark water." Then Lemminkainen took his bow. He went down into Manala's abysses. He went to where Tuoni's murky river flowed. He went to where the waters made a dread whirlpool.

There the cowherd Märkähattu lurked; there the blind man waited for Lemminkainen. When Lemminkainen had come first to Pohjola he had chanted his Magic Songs; he had chanted them against the swordsmen and the young heroes who were there, and he had driven them all away, banning them with his Magic Songs. One old man he had not banned--Märkähattu the cowherd who sat there, his eyes closed in blindness. Lemminkainen had scorned him. "I have not banned

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thee," he cried, "because thou art so wretched a creature. The worst of cowherds, thou hast destroyed thy mother's children, thou hast disgraced thy sister, thou hast crippled all the horses, thou hast wearied to death the foals." Märkähattu, greatly angered, left the place where Lemminkainen had scorned him; ever since he had waited by the whirlpool for the coming of Lemminkainen.

The white Swan was on the dark river of Tuonela. Lemminkainen drew his bow. As he did, Märkähattu grasped a water-snake; he hurled it; he pierced Lemminkainen with the serpent. Lemminkainen knew no Magic Songs to relieve himself from the wounds made by water-snakes. He sank into the murky river; he was tossed about in the worst of whirlpools; he was dashed down the cataract; the stream brought him into Tuonela.

There Tuoni's bloodstained son, drawing his sword, hewed him into pieces. He hewed him into eight pieces and he flung the pieces into the dark river. "Be tossed about for ever with thy bow and thy arrows, thou who camest to shoot the sacred Swan upon our sacred River!"

Only through his mother could help come to Lemminkainen. She had bided at home, troubled by his long delay in returning. One day she looked up the comb and the hair-brush he had left behind: she saw blood trickling from the comb, blood dripping from the hair-brush. She knew that blood was coming from the body of her son. She gathered up her skirt and she went off to find him.

Valleys were lifted up as Lemminkainen's mother went on; hills were levelled; the high ground sank before her and the low ground was lifted up. She hastened to Pohjola. She came to the door and she questioned the Mistress of Pohjola.

"Whither hast thou sent my son, Lemminkainen?" "I know no tidings of your son. I yoked a steed for him; I fixed a sledge for him, and he started off from my dwelling; perhaps in driving over a frozen lake he sank into it." "Shameless are the lies thou tellst me. Tell me whither thou hast sent him or I will break down the doors of Pohjola." "I fed him; I gave him meat and drink, and I placed him in his boat; he went to shoot the rapids, but what has befallen him I do not know." "Shameless are the lies thou tellst. Tell me whither thou hast sent him or this instant death will come to thee." "Now I will tell thee, now

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[paragraph continues] I will tell thee truly. Lemminkainen went to shoot the sacred bird, the Swan on Tuonela's River."

Then his mother went in quest of him; she questioned the trees, she questioned the pathway, she questioned the golden moon in the sky. But the trees, the pathway, the golden moon in the sky, all had their own troubles, and they would take no trouble for any woman's son. She questioned the sun in the heavens, and the sun told her that her son was in Tuonela's River.

Then to the smith Ilmarinen went Lemminkainen's mother. For her Ilmarinen fashioned a rake, a rake with a copper handle and with teeth of steel--a hundred fathoms was the length of the teeth, five hundred fathoms was the length of the handle. To Tuonela's River she went: there she chanted a Magic Song.

She prayed the sun to shine with such strength that the watchers in Manala would sleep and that the powers of Tuonela would be worn out. And the sun stooped upon a crooked birch-tree and shone in his strength so that the watchers of Manala were worn out--the young men slept upon their sword-hilts; the old men slept resting upon their staffs; the middle-aged men, the spearmen, slept resting upon the hafts of their spears. Then Lemminkainen's mother took her rake; she raked the river against the current; once she raked it, and she raked it again. The third time she raked the river she brought up the hat and stockings of her son Lemminkainen. She went into the river, and she waded in its deepest water. She drew up the body with her rake of iron.

Many fragments were wanting to make up the body of Lemminkainen--half of his head, a hand, many little fragments. Life was wanting in the body. But still his mother would not cast it back into the river. Once again she raked Tuonela's deep river, first along it and then across it; his hand she found, half of his head she found, fragments of his backbone she found, and pieces of his ribs.

She pieced all together; the bones fitted, the joints went together. She chanted a Magic Song, praying that Suonetar would weave the veins together, and stitch with her finest needle and her most silken thread the flesh and the sinews that were broken. She sang a Magic Song, praying that Jumala would fix together the bones. Then the veins were knit together, the bones were fastened together, but still the man remained lifeless and speechless.

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Then Lemminkainen's mother sang a Magic Song. She bade the bee go forth and find the honey-salve that would give final healing. The bee flew across the moon in the heavens; he flew past the borders of Orion; he flew across the Great Bear's shoulders, and into the dwelling of Jumala the Creator. In pots of silver, in golden kettles was the salve that would give final healing. The bee gathered it and brought it back to Lemminkainen's mother.

With the salve she rubbed him. She called upon her son to rise out of his slumbers, to awaken out of his dreams of evil. Up he rose; out of his dreams he wakened, and speech came back to him. Even then he would have slain the Swan so that he might win a bride in Pohjola. But his mother persuaded him, and his mother drew him back with her to his home. There the bride awaited him whom he had won in another place and on another day, Kyllikki, the Flower of Saari.

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