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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/51

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43
Magic Songs of the Finns.

fleeting fleecy clouds; then from my boughs it fell upon my leafy twigs and in under my bark."

He gathered branches of the oak, peeled off the bark, plucked goodly herbs, many plants of diverse aspect such as are never seen in these lands, that do not grow in every place. He put a pot upon the fire, brought to boiling-point the brew which was full of oak bark, of herbs of diverse aspect. The pot boiled and crackled for three whole nights, for three summer days. Then he tried the salves to see whether the unguents were efficacious, the charmed remedies reliable. The salves are not efficacious the charmed remedies are not reliable.

He added more herbs, more plants of diverse aspect that had been brought from other parts a hundred stages back, from nine wizards, from eight diviners. He boiled them three nights more, three summer days, then raises the pot from the fire and tries the salves. The unguents are not efficacious, the charmed remedies not reliable.

He put the pot upon the fire to let it simmer anew, and boiled it for three nights more, for nine nights altogether. He scans the salves, scans them, tries them. There was a branchy aspen growing on the headland of a ploughed field; the brutal fellow broke it in two, divided it in twain, then anointed it with the salves, with the charmed remedies. The aspen was made whole again, became better than before. Again he made trial of the salves, again proved the magic remedies, tried them upon the rifts in a stone, upon the splinters of a flagstone. In a trice stones stick to stones, flagstones begin to unite with flagstones.


(b.)

John, the priest of God, gathered herbs, plucked plants by the thousand such as do not grow in these lands, in Lapland's wretched border-lands, in luckless Bothnia, where they do not know or see the growth of every herb.

In summer he prepared unguents, in winter he con-