Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/46

This page has been validated.
Magic Songs of the Finns.

and large. Thus she carried a wame full of suffering for two summers, for three, she carried it for seven summers, for eight years at any rate, for nine years altogether, less nine nights. So in the ninth year she is seized with pains of travail, is struck down by woman's throes, is pierced with a young woman's anguish.

To find rest she started off to an iron rock, a steelly mountain at the centre of the Hill of Pain, the summit of Pain Mountain. She could not find rest there. She shifted her position, tried to ease her on the top of a silver mountain, the summit of a golden mountain. The deliverance is not effected, the pains are not reduced.

She tried to reduce her wame, to lighten it by a half in the interval between two rocks, the recess between three boulders, inside the fiery walls of a stone oven, inside an oaken barrel with iron hoops, at the brink of 'fiery' rapids, in the eddy of a 'holy' river. In none of these does her wame reduce, does the wretch's wame become lighter.

She dashed aside into the sea, into the den of a water Hiisi, the pen of a hidden bugbear, the huts of the nixies. She ran knee-deep into the sea, up to her garter into the wet, up to her belt-clasp into the wave. There she shouted and holloed to the perch, the roach, to all the fishes of the water: "O little ruff, bring thy slaver, dear burbot, thy slime to me that am in 'Hiisi's sultry heat' [v. 'in hell fire'], in the 'fire' of the evil power."

She begat nine sons in the vicinity of one rapid, the proximity of one sound, on one stone surrounded by water, all at one birth from one impletion of the womb.

She sought for some one to christen, to baptise them, carried them to the best of priests, took them to sacristans. The priests refuse, the sacristans will not consent to give them names. The priests solemnly replied, the sacristans spoke firmly: "For this we have not been ordained, we have not been assigned to christen the iniquitous, to baptise the horrible."