Old Kalevala

Thus to me was tale recited,

Thus the verses all were started:

75 All alone our nights are falling,

All alone our dawns are breaking,

Born alone was Väinämöinen,

Issued forth this ageless singer.

This creator, man of Pohja,

80 Venerable Väinämöinen,

In his mother’s womb was lying

For a span of thirty summers,

And the same number of winters.

Bored was he with his existence,

85 Very strange he found his life there,

Since he never saw the moonglow,

Nor was he aware of daylight.

          So he spoke words of beseeching,

Thus celestial help imploring:

90 “Moon, release, and day, deliver,

Great Bear, teach and give instruction

How a man can find an outlet

Through these strange and alien doorways,

From these small, restricted crannies,

95 From these meagre, crowded laneways.

Let him out to see the moonglow,

And to gaze upon the daylight,

From Great Bear to learn a lesson,

And to wonder at the heaven.”

100    When the moon did not release him,

When the day did not deliver,

On his own he filed a gateway,

Ruptured it with his fourth finger;

Kicked the red door, breached it open

105 Using his big, hefty left toe;

Clawed his way out from the prison,

On his knees he reached the entrance,

On his feet he entered manor.

Rose he up to see the moonglow,

110 And to marvel at the daylight,

From Great Bear to learn a lesson,

And to wonder at the heaven.

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