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p. 61


WHEN the Kalevide awoke, he followed the traces of his horse till he found the remains; and he secured the skin as a relic, cursing the wolves, and then drew his sword, and rushed into the wood in pursuit of them, breaking down the trees and bushes in his way, and destroying all the wild beasts he met with, while those who could fled to distant swamps and thickets. He would have utterly exterminated all the wolves and bears, if the increasing darkness of night had not compelled him at length to desist from further pursuit. He retired to the open country, and being wearied out, lay down to sleep on the skin of the horse. But he had scarcely closed his eyes before a messenger arrived from the elders of Esthonia, announcing that war had broken out, and that a hostile army was ravaging the country.

p. 62

 The Kalevide heard the long and woful story to an end, and then threw himself down again to sleep off his weariness, when another messenger arrived, whom he sharply upbraided for disturbing him.

 The second messenger was a venerable old man with a white beard. He saluted the king, and apologised for disturbing him, but reminded him that when he was young the birds had sung to him that a ruler could know no rest:

Heavy cares oppress the monarch,
And a weighty load the ruler;
Heavier yet a hero’s burden:
Thousand duties wait the strongest;
More await the Kalevide!

He then spoke encouragingly to the king, assuring him that much would result from all his labours for the good of his people. The Kalevide answered that he would not shun toil and weariness, and would do his best. The old man assured him that nothing could prosper without the aid of the gods; and now the Kalevide recognised that Ukko himself spoke with him. Then the god exhorted him not to quarrel with destiny, and warned him to beware of his sword, for murder p. 63 could only be atoned for by murder, and he who had murdered an innocent man was never secure.

 His voice died away in the wind, and the Kalevide sank into slumber till dawn; and when he awoke he could only recall vague fragments of the long discourse he had heard in his vision. He then gave the Esthonian messenger directions for the conduct of the war, and especially the defence of the coasts, asking to be particularly informed if the war should spread farther and the need grow greater, and then he himself would come at once; but he was compelled to rest a little from his fatigues before he could take part in the war in person.

 Here is inserted the grand ballad of the Herald of War, from Neus, Ehstnische Volkslieder, p. 305. It is out of place in the Kalevipoeg, but will be included in a later section of our work.