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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/38

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30
Magic Songs of the Finns.

performance, which it attempted in a hurry. It bit Christ’s horse, killed the Almighty’s foal right through the floor of a bony stall, through a copper-bottomed manger.


(f.)

Even old Väinämöinen[1] [v. Kullervo], the old son of Kaleva, when he went to wage war formerly, used to sharpen his spears, used to feather his arrows near women in a cattle-shed. His spear was sharpened to a point, his arrows were feathered. He brandished his spear and threw it at a clay-bottomed field. The spear broke in two, the ‘borer’ fell upon the field, a tin nail fell suddenly, a copper ring slipped off and plumped into the muck, into the litter of a shed. From that, then, a cunning one was born, a ‘nimble bird’ was bred, the very best snow-coloured gliding animal grew up.


XLII.—The Origin of Fire.

(a.)

The Old man (Ukko) of the air struck fire, produced a sudden flash with his fiery-pointed sword, his scintillating blade, in the sky above, behind the starry firmament [v. in its third story]. With the blow he obtained fire, conceals the spark in a golden bag, in a silver box, and gave it to be rocked by a girl, swung to-and-fro by an air-maiden.

A girl upon a long cloud, an air-maiden on the margin of the air, rocks the fire in a golden cradle suspended by silver thongs. The silver thongs creaked as they swang, the golden cradle rattled, the clouds moved, the sky squeaked, the vaults of the sky listed to one side while fire was being rocked, while the flame was being swung.

  1. In Loitsurunoja, p. 135, the cowhouse snake is called the clasp of old Väinämöinen, the belt buckle of the son of Kaleva.