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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Passing of Wåinåmoinen

By The Kalevala

  • Translation of John Martin Crawford
  • The previous beautiful lines from the prologue may aptly be followed by the last lines from the rune of Mariatta, which describe the passing of the hero, Wåinåmoinen.
  • Truly, Wåinåmoinen has left his songs and wisdom-sayings in the heart and in the brain of his people, of which the ‘Kalevala’ is the mirror.

  • AS the years passed, Wåinåmoinen

    Recognized his waning powers:

    Empty-handed, heavy-hearted,

    Sang his farewell song to Northland,

    To the people of Wainola;

    Sang himself a boat of copper.

    Beautiful his bark of magic;

    At the helm sat the magician,

    Sat the ancient wisdom-singer.

    Westward, westward, sailed the hero

    O’er the blue-black of the waters,

    Singing as he left Wainola,

    This his plaintive song and echo:—

    “Suns may rise and set in Suomi,

    Rise and set for generations,

    When the North will learn my teachings,

    Will recall my wisdom-sayings,

    Hungry for the true religion.

    Then will Suomi need my coming,

    Watch for me at dawn of morning,

    That I may bring back the Sampo,

    Bring anew the harp of joyance,

    Bring again the golden moonlight,

    Bring again the silver sunshine,

    Peace and plenty to the Northland.”

    Thus the ancient Wåinåmoinen,

    In his copper-banded vessel,

    Left his tribe in Kalevala,

    Sailing o’er the rolling billows,

    Sailing through the azure vapors,

    Sailing through the dusk of evening,

    Sailing to the fiery sunset,

    To the higher-landed regions,

    To the lower verge of heaven;

    Quickly gained the far horizon,

    Gained the purple-colored harbor.

    There his bark he firmly anchored,

    Rested in his boat of copper;

    But he left his harp of magic,

    Left his songs and wisdom-sayings,

    To the lasting joy of Suomi.