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RUNE XXXVII.
ILMARINEN'S BRIDE OF GOLD.

ILMARINEN, metal-worker,
Wept one day, and then a second,
Wept the third from morn till evening,
O'er the death of his companion,
Once the Maiden of the Rainbow;
Did not swing his heavy hammer,
Did not touch its copper handle,
Made no sound within his smithy,
Made no blow upon his anvil,
Till three months had circled over;
Then the blacksmith spake as follows:
"Woe is me, unhappy hero!
Do not know how I can prosper;
Long the days, and cold, and dreary,
Longer still the nights, and colder;
I am weary in the evening,
In the morning still am weary,
Have no longing for the morning,
And the evening is unwelcome;
Have no pleasure in the future,
All my pleasures gone forever,
With my faithful life-companion
Slaughtered by the hand of witchcraft!
Often will my heart-strings quiver
When I rest within my chamber,
When I wake at dreamy midnight,
Half-unconscious, vainly searching
For my noble wife departed."
     Wifeless lived the mourning blacksmith,
Altered in his form and features;
Wept one month and then another,
Wept three months in full succession.
Then the magic metal-worker
Gathered gold from deeps of ocean,
Gathered silver from the mountains,
Gathered many heaps of birch-wood.
Filled with faggots thirty sledges,
Burned the birch-wood into ashes,
Put the ashes in the furnace,
Laid the gold upon the embers,
Lengthwise laid a piece of silver
Of the size of lambs in autumn,
Or the fleet-foot hare in winter;
Places servants at the bellows,
Thus to melt the magic metals.
Eagerly the servants labor,
Gloveless, hatless, do the workmen
Fan the flames within the furnace.
     Ilmarinen, magic blacksmith,
Works unceasing at his forging,
Thus to mould a golden image,
Mould a bride from gold and silver;
But the workmen fail their master,
Faithless stand they at the bellows.
Wow the artist, Ilmarinen,
Fans the flame with force of magic,
Blows one day, and then a second,
Blows the third from morn till even;
Then he looks within the furnace,
Looks around the oven-border,
Hoping there to see an image
Rising from the molten metals.
     Comes a lambkin from the furnace,
Rising from the fire of magic,
Wearing hair of gold and copper,
Laced with many threads of silver;
All rejoice but Ilmarinen
At the beauty of the image.
This the language of the blacksmith:
"May the wolf admire thy graces;
I desire a bride of beauty
Born from molten gold and silver!"
     Ilmarinen, the magician,
To the furnace threw the lambkin;
Added gold in great abundance,
And increased the mass of silver,
Added other magic metals,
Set the workmen at the bellows;
Zealously the servants labor,
Gloveless, hatless, do the workmen
Fan the flames within the furnace.
     Ilmarinen, wizard-forgeman,
Works unceasing with his metals,
Moulding well a golden image,
Wife of molten gold and silver;
But the workmen fail their master,
Faithless do they ply the bellows.
     Now the artist, Ilmarinen,
Fans the flames by force of magic;
Blows one day, and then a second,
Blows a third from morn till evening,
When he looks within the furnace,
Looks around the oven-border,
Hoping there, to see an image
Rising from the molten metals.
From the flames a colt arises,
Golden-maned and silver-headed,
Hoofs are formed of shining copper.
All rejoice but Ilmarinen
At the wonderful creation;
This the language of the blacksmith;
"Let the bears admire thy graces;
I desire a bride of beauty
Born of many magic metals."
     Thereupon the wonder-forger
Drives the colt back to the furnace,
Adds a greater mass of silver,
And of gold the rightful measure,
Sets the workmen at the bellows.
Eagerly the servants labor,
Gloveless, hatless, do the workmen
Fan the flames within the furnace.
     Ilmarinen, the magician,
Works unceasing at his witchcraft,
Moulding well a golden maiden,
Bride of molten gold and silver;
But the workmen fail their master,
Faithlessly they ply the bellows.
     Now the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Fans the flames with magic powers,
Blows one day, and then a second,
Blows a third from morn till even;
Then he looks within his furnace,
Looks around the oven-border,
Trusting there to see a maiden
Coming from the molten metals.
From the fire a virgin rises,
Golden-haired and silver-headed,
Beautiful in form and feature.
All are filled with awe and wonder,
But the artist and magician.
Ilmarinen, metal-worker,
Forges nights and days unceasing,
On the bride of his creation;
Feet he forges for the maiden,
Hands and arms, of gold and silver;
But her feet are not for walking,
Neither can her arms embrace him.
Ears he forges for the virgin,
But her ears are not for hearing;
Forges her a mouth of beauty,
Eyes he forges bright and sparkling;
But the magic mouth is speechless,
And the eyes are not for seeing.
Spake the artist, Ilmarinen:
"This, indeed, a priceless maiden,
Could she only speak in wisdom,
Could she breathe the breath of Ukko!"
     Thereupon he lays the virgin
On his silken couch of slumber,
On his downy place of resting.
Ilmarinen heats his bath-room,
Makes it ready for his service,
Binds together silken brushes,
Brings three cans of crystal water,
Wherewithal to lave the image,
Lave the golden maid of beauty.
When this task had been completed,
Ilmarinen, hoping, trusting,
Laid his golden bride to slumber,
On his downy couch of resting;
Ordered many silken wrappings,
Ordered bear-skins, three in number,
Ordered seven lambs-wool blankets,
Thus to keep him warm in slumber,
Sleeping by the golden image
Re had forged from magic metals.
Warm the side of Ilmarinen
That was wrapped in furs and blankets;
Chill the parts beside the maiden,
By his bride of gold and silver;
One side warm, the other lifeless,
Turning into ice from coldness.
Spake the artist, Ilmarinen:
"Not for me was born this virgin
From the magic molten metals;
I shall take her to Wainola,
Give her to old Wainamoinen,
As a bride and life-companion,
Comfort to him in his dotage."
     Ilmarinen, much disheartened,
Takes the virgin to Wainola,
To the plains of Kalevala,
To his brother speaks as follows:
"O, thou ancient Wainamoinen,
Look with favor on this image;
Make the maiden fair and lovely,
Beautiful in form and feature,
Suited to thy years declining!"
     Wainamoinen, old and truthful,
Looked in wonder on the virgin,
On the golden bride of beauty,
Spake these words to Ilmarinen:
"Wherefore dost thou bring this maiden,
Wherefore bring to Wainamoinen
Bride of molten gold and silver?
Spake in answer Ilmarinen:
"Wherefore should I bring this image,
But for purposes the noblest?
I have brought her as companion
To thy life in years declining,
As a joy and consolation,
When thy days are full of trouble!"
Spake the good, old Wainamoinen:
"Magic brother, wonder-forger,
Throw the virgin to the furnace,
To the flames, thy golden image,
Forge from her a thousand trinkets.
Take the image into Ehstland,
Take her to the plains of Pohya,
That for her the mighty powers
May engage in deadly contest,
Worthy trophy for the victor;
Not for me this bride of wonder,
Neither for my worthy people.
I shall never wed an image
Born from many magic metals,
Never wed a silver maiden,
Never wed a golden virgin."
Then the hero of the waters
Called together all his people,
Spake these words of ancient wisdom:
"Every child of Northland, listen,
Whether poor, or fortune-favored:
Never bow before an image
Born of molten gold and silver:
Never while the sunlight brightens,
Never while the moonlight glimmers,
Choose a maiden of the metals,
Choose a bride from gold created
Cold the lips of golden maiden,
Silver breathes the breath of sorrow."

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