Saturday, November 19, 2011


Lemminkäinen or Lemminki is a prominent figure in Finnish mythology. He is one of the Heroes of the Kalevala, where his character is a composition of several separate heroes of oral poetry. He is usually depicted as young and good looking, with wavy blonde hair.

The original, mythological Lemminkäinen is a shamanistic figure. In the Kalevala, he has been blended together with epic war-heroes Kaukomieli/Kaukamoinen and Ahti Saarelainen.

In one myth he drowns in the river of Tuonela (the underworld) in trying to capture or kill the black swan that lives there as part of an attempt, as Ilmarinen once made, to win a daughter of Louhi as his wife. In a tale somewhat reminiscent of Isis' search for Osiris, Lemminkäinen's mother searches heaven and earth to find her son. Finally, she learns of his fate and asks Ilmarinen to fashion her a rake of copper with which to dredge her son's body from the river of Tuonela. Thus equipped, she descends into the underworld in search of her son. On the banks of the river of the underworld, she rakes up first Lemminkäinen's tunic and shoes, and then, his maimed and broken body. Unrelenting, she continues her work until every piece of Lemminkäinen's body is recovered. Sewing the parts together and offering prayers to the gods, the mother tries to restore Lemminkäinen to life, but succeeds only in remaking his body, life is still absent. Then, she entreats a bee to ascend to the halls of the over-god Ukko and fetch from there a drop of honey as ointment that would bring Lemminkäinen back to life. Only with such a potent remedy is the hero finally restored.

Lemminkäinen and the Scandinavian Balder have many things in common in their respective myths (for example both are killed by a blind man at the feast of gods or heroes) which has led some researchers to believe they share common origin.

From: Wiki

LEMMINKAINEN, much disheartened,
Deeply thought and long considered,
What to do, what course to follow,
Whether best to leave the wild-moose
In the fastnesses of Hisi,
And return to Kalevala,
Or a third time hunt the ranger,
Hoping thus to bring him captive,
Thus return at last a victor
To the forest home of Louhi,
To the joy of all her daughters,
To the wood-nymph's happy fireside.
Taking courage Lemminkainen
Spake these words in supplication:
"Ukko, thou O God above me,
Thou Creator of the heavens,
Put my snow-shoes well in order,
And endow them both with swiftness,
That I rapidly may journey
Over marshes, over snow-fields,
Over lowlands, over highlands,
Through the realms of wicked Hisi,
Through the distant plains of Lapland,
Through the paths of Lempo's wild-moose,
To the forest hills of Juutas.
To the snow-fields shall I journey,
Leave the heroes to the woodlands,
On the way to Tapiola,
Into Tapio's wild dwellings.
"Greeting bring I to the mountains,
Greeting to the vales and uplands,
Greet ye, heights with forests covered,
Greet ye, ever-verdant fir-trees,
Greet ye, groves of whitened aspen,
Greetings bring to those that greet you,
Fields, and streams, and woods of Lapland.
Bring me favor, mountain-woodlands,
Lapland-deserts, show me kindness,
Mighty Tapio, be gracious,
Let me wander through thy forests,
Let me glide along thy rivers,
Let this hunter search thy snow-fields,
Where the wild-moose herds in numbers
Where the bounding reindeer lingers.
"O Nyrikki, mountain hero,
Son of Tapio of forests,
Hero with the scarlet head-gear,
Notches make along the pathway,
Landmarks upward to the mountains,
That this hunter may not wander,
May not fall, and falling perish
In the snow-fields of thy kingdom,
Hunting for the moose of Hisi,
Dowry for the pride of Northland.
"Mistress of the woods, Mielikki,
Forest-mother, formed in beauty,
Let thy gold flow out abundant,
Let thy silver onward wander,
For the hero that is seeking
For the wild-moose of thy kingdom;
Bring me here thy keys of silver,
From the golden girdle round thee;
Open Tapio's rich chambers,
And unlock the forest fortress,
While I here await the booty,
While I hunt the moose of Lempo.
"Should this service be too menial
Give the order to thy servants,
Send at once thy servant-maidens,
And command it to thy people.
Thou wilt never seem a hostess,
If thou hast not in thy service,
Maidens ready by the hundreds,
Thousands that await thy bidding,
Who thy herds may watch and nurture,
Tend the game of thy dominions.
"Tall and slender forest-virgin,
Tapio's beloved daughter,
Blow thou now thy honey flute-notes,
Play upon thy forest-whistle,
For the hearing of thy mistress,
For thy charming woodland-mistress,
Make her hear thy sweet-toned playing,
That she may arise from slumber.
Should thy mistress not awaken
At the calling of thy flute-notes,
Play again, and play unceasing,
Make the golden tongue re-echo."
Wild and daring Lemminkainen
Steadfast prays upon his journey,
Calling on the gods for succor,
Hastens off through fields and moorlands,
Passes on through cruel brush-wood,
To the colliery of Hisi,
To the burning fields of Lempo;
Glided one day, then a second,
Glided all the next day onward,
Till he came to Big-stone mountain,
Climbed upon its rocky summit,
Turned his glances to the north-west,
Toward the Northland moors and marshes;
There appeared the Tapio-mansion.
All the doors were golden-colored,
Shining in the gleam of sunlight
Through the thickets on the mountains,
Through the distant fields of Northland.
Lemminkainen, much encouraged,
Hastens onward from his station
Through the lowlands, o'er the uplands,
Over snow-fields vast and vacant,
Under snow-robed firs and aspens,
Hastens forward, happy-hearted,
Quickly reaches Tapio's court-yards,
Halts without at Tapio's windows,
Slyly looks into her mansion,
Spies within some kindly women,
Forest-dames outstretched before him,
All are clad in scanty raiment,
Dressed in soiled and ragged linens.
Spake the stranger Lemminkainen:
"Wherefore sit ye, forest-mothers,
In your old and simple garments,
In your soiled and ragged linen?
Ye, forsooth! are too untidy,
Too unsightly your appearance
In your tattered gowns appareled.
When I lived within the forest,
There were then three mountain castles,
One of horn and one of ivory,
And the third of wood constructed;
In their walls were golden windows,
Six the windows in each castle,
Through these windows I discovered
All the host of Tapio's mansion,
Saw its fair and stately hostess;
Saw great Tapio's lovely daughter,
Saw Tellervo in her beauty,
With her train of charming maidens;
All were dressed in golden raiment,
Rustled all in gold and silver.
Then the forest's queenly hostess,
Still the hostess of these woodlands,
On her arms wore golden bracelets,
Golden rings upon her fingers,
In her hair were sparkling, jewels,
On her bead were golden fillets,
In her ears were golden ear-rings,
On her neck a pearly necklace,
And her braidlets, silver-tinselled.
"Lovely hostess of the forest,
Metsola's enchanting mistress,
Fling aside thine ugly straw-shoes,
Cast away the shoes of birch-bark,
Doff thy soiled and ragged linen,
Doff thy gown of shabby fabric,
Don the bright and festive raiment,
Don the gown of merry-making,
While I stay within thy borders,
While I seek my forest-booty,
Hunt the moose of evil Hisi.
Here my visit will be irksome,
Here thy guest will be ill-humored,
Waiting in thy fields and woodlands,
Hunting here the moose of Lempo,
Finding not the Hisi-ranger,
Shouldst thou give me no enjoyment,
Should I find no joy, nor respite.
Long the eve that gives no pleasure,
Long the day that brings no guerdon!
"Sable-bearded god of forests,
In thy hat and coat of ermine,
Robe thy trees in finest fibers,
Deck thy groves in richest fabrics,
Give the fir-trees shining silver,
Deck with gold the slender balsams,
Give the spruces copper belting,
And the pine-trees silver girdles,
Give the birches golden flowers,
Deck their stems with silver fret-work,
This their garb in former ages,
When the days and nights were brighter,
When the fir-trees shone like sunlight,
And the birches like the moonbeams;
Honey breathed throughout the forest,
Settled in the glens and highlands
Spices in the meadow-borders,
Oil out-pouring from the lowlands.
"Forest daughter, lovely virgin,
Golden maiden, fair Tulikki,
Second of the Tapio-daughters,
Drive the game within these borders,
To these far-extending snow-fields.
Should the reindeer be too sluggish,
Should the moose-deer move too slowly
Cut a birch-rod from the thicket,
Whip them hither in their beauty,
Drive the wild-moose to my hurdle,
Hither drive the long-sought booty
To the hunter who is watching,
Waiting in the Hisi-forests.
"When the game has started hither,
Keep them in the proper highway,
Hold thy magic hands before them,
Guard them well on either road-side,
That the elk may not escape thee,
May not dart adown some by-path.
Should, perchance, the moose-deer wander
Through some by-way of the forest,
Take him by the ears and antlers,
Hither lead the pride of Lempo.
"If the path be filled with brush-wood
Cast the brush-wood to the road-side;
If the branches cross his pathway,
Break the branches into fragments;
Should a fence of fir or alder
Cross the way that leads him hither.
Make an opening within it,
Open nine obstructing fences;
If the way be crossed by streamlets,
If the path be stopped by rivers,
Make a bridge of silken fabric,
Weaving webs of scarlet color,
Drive the deer-herd gently over,
Lead them gently o'er the waters,
O'er the rivers of thy forests,
O'er the streams of thy dominions.
"Thou, the host of Tapio's mansion,
Gracious host of Tapiola,
Sable-bearded god of woodlands,
Golden lord of Northland forests,
Thou, O Tapio's worthy hostess,
Queen of snowy woods, Mimerkki,
Ancient dame in sky-blue vesture,
Fenland-queen in scarlet ribbons,
Come I to exchange my silver,
To exchange my gold and silver;
Gold I have, as old as moonlight,
Silver of the age of sunshine,
In the first of years was gathered,
In the heat and pain of battle;
It will rust within my pouches,
Soon will wear away and perish,
If it be not used in trading."
Long the hunter, Lemminkainen,
Glided through the fen and forest,
Sang his songs throughout the woodlands,
Through three mountain glens be sang them,
Sang the forest hostess friendly,
Sang he, also, Tapio friendly,
Friendly, all the forest virgins,
All of Metsola's fair daughters.
Now they start the herds of Lempo,
Start the wild-moose from his shelter,
In the realms of evil Hisi,
Tapio's highest mountain-region;
Now they drive the ranger homeward,
To the open courts of Piru,
To the hero that is waiting,
Hunting for the moose of Juutas.
When the herd had reached the castle,
Lemminkainen threw his lasso
O'er the antlers of the blue-moose,
Settled on the neck and shoulders
Of the mighty moose of Hisi.
Then the hunter, Kaukomieli,
Stroked his captive's neck in safety,
For the moose was well-imprisoned.
Thereupon gay Lemminkainen
Filled with joyance spake as follows:
"Pride of forests, queen of woodlands,
Metsola's enchanted hostess,
Lovely forest dame, Mielikki,
Mother-donor of the mountains,
Take the gold that I have promised,
Come and take away the silver;
Spread thy kerchief well before me,
Spread out here thy silken neck-wrap,
Underneath the golden treasure,
Underneath the shining silver,
that to earth it may not settle,
Scattered on the snows of winter."
Then the hero went a victor
To the dwellings of Pohyola,
And addressed these words to Louhi:
"I have caught the moose of Hisi,
In the Metsola-dominions,
Give, O hostess, give thy daughter,
Give to me thy fairest virgin,
Bride of mine to be hereafter."
Louhi, hostess of the Northland,
Gave this answer to the suitor:
"I will give to thee my daughter,
For thy wife my fairest maiden,
When for me thou'lt put a bridle
On the flaming horse of Hisi,
Rapid messenger of Lempo,
On the Hisi-plains and pastures."
Nothing daunted, Lemminkainen
Hastened forward to accomplish
Louhi's second test of heroes,
On the cultivated lowlands,
On the sacred fields and forests.
Everywhere he sought the racer,
Sought the fire-expiring stallion,
Fire out-shooting from his nostrils.
Lemminkainen, fearless hunter,
Bearing in his belt his bridle,
On his shoulders, reins and halter,
Sought one day, and then a second,
Finally, upon the third day,
Went he to the Hisi-mountain,
Climbed, and struggled to the summit;
To the east he turned his glances,
Cast his eyes upon the sunrise,
There beheld the flaming courser,
On the heath among the far-trees.
Lempo's fire-expiring stallion
Fire and mingled smoke, out-shooting
From his mouth, and eyes, and nostrils.
Spake the daring Lemminkainen,
This the hero's supplication:
"Ukko, thou O God above me,
Thou that rulest all the storm-clouds,
Open thou the vault of heaven,
Open windows through the ether,
Let the icy rain come falling,
Lot the heavy hailstones shower
On the flaming horse of Hisi,
On the fire-expiring stallion."
Ukko, the benign Creator,
Heard the prayer of Lemminkainen,
Broke apart the dome of heaven,
Rent the heights of heaven asunder,
Sent the iron-hail in showers,
Smaller than the heads of horses,
Larger than the heads of heroes,
On the flaming steed of Lempo,
On the fire-expiring stallion,
On the terror of the Northland.
Lemminkainen, drawing nearer,
Looked with care upon the courser,
Then he spake the words that follow:
"Wonder-steed of mighty Hisi,
Flaming horse of Lempo's mountain,
Bring thy mouth of gold, assenting,
Gently place thy head of silver
In this bright and golden halter,
In this silver-mounted bridle.
I shall never harshly treat thee,
Never make thee fly too fleetly,
On the way to Sariola,
On the tracks of long duration,
To the hostess of Pohyola,
To her magic courts and stables,
Will not lash thee on thy journey;
I shall lead thee gently forward,
Drive thee with the reins of kindness,
Cover thee with silken blankets."
Then the fire-haired steed of Juutas,
Flaming horse of mighty Hisi,
Put his bead of shining silver,
In the bright and golden bead-stall,
In the silver-mounted bridle.
Thus the hero, Lemminkainen,
Easy bridles Lempo's stallion,
Flaming horse of evil Piru;
Lays the bits within his fire-mouth,
On his silver head, the halter,
Mounts the fire-expiring courser,
Brandishes his whip of willow,
Hastens forward on his journey,
Bounding o'er the hills and mountains,
Dashing through the valleys northward,
O'er the snow-capped hills of Lapland,
To the courts of Sariola.
Then the hero, quick dismounting,
Stepped within the court of Louhi,
Thus addressed the Northland hostess:
"I have bridled Lempo's fire-horse,
I have caught the Hisi-racer,
Caught the fire-expiring stallion,
In the Piru plains and pastures,
Ridden him within thy borders;
I have caught the moose of Lempo,
I have done what thou demandest;
Give, I pray thee, now thy daughter,
Give to me thy fairest maiden,
Bride of mine to be forever."
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Made this answer to the suitor:
"I will only give my daughter,
Give to thee my fairest virgin,
Bride of thine to be forever,
When for me the swan thou killest
In the river of Tuoni,
Swimming in the black death-river,
In the sacred stream and whirlpool;
Thou canst try one cross-bow only,
But one arrow from thy quiver."
Then the reckless Lemminkainen,
Handsome hero, Kaukomieli,
Braved the third test of the hero,
Started out to hunt the wild-swan,
Hunt the long-necked, graceful swimmer,
In Tuoni's coal-black river,
In Manala's lower regions.
Quick the daring hunter journeyed,
Hastened off with fearless footsteps,
To the river of Tuoni,
To the sacred stream and whirlpool,
With his bow upon his shoulder,
With his quiver and one arrow.
Nasshut, blind and crippled shepherd,
Wretched shepherd of Pohyola,
Stood beside the death-land river,
Near the sacred stream and whirlpool,
Guarding Tuonela's waters,
Waiting there for Lemminkainen,
Listening there for Kaukomieli,
Waiting long the hero's coming.
Finally he hears the footsteps
Of the hero on his journey,
Hears the tread of Lemminkainen,
As he journeys nearer, nearer,
To the river of Tuoni,
To the cataract of death-land,
To the sacred stream and whirlpool.
Quick the wretched shepherd, Nasshut,
From the death-stream sends a serpent,
Like an arrow from a cross-bow,
To the heart of Lemminkainen,
Through the vitals of the hero.
Lemminkainen, little conscious,
Hardly knew that be was injured,
Spake these measures as he perished.
"Ah! unworthy is my conduct,
Ah! unwisely have I acted,
That I did not heed my mother,
Did not take her goodly counsel,
Did not learn her words of magic.
Oh I for three words with my mother,
How to live, and bow to suffer,
In this time of dire misfortune,
How to bear the stings of serpents,
Tortures of the reed of waters,
From the stream of Tuonela!
"Ancient mother who hast borne me,
Who hast trained me from my childhood,
Learn, I pray thee, where I linger,
Where alas! thy son is lying,
Where thy reckless hero suffers.
Come, I pray thee, faithful mother,
Come thou quickly, thou art needed,
Come deliver me from torture,
From the death-jaws of Tuoni,
From the sacred stream and whirlpool."
Northland's old and wretched shepherd,
Nasshut, the despised protector
Of the flocks of Sariola,
Throws the dying Lemminkainen,
Throws the hero of the islands,
Into Tuonela's river,
To the blackest stream of death-land,
To the worst of fatal whirlpools.
Lemminkainen, wild and daring,
Helpless falls upon the waters,
Floating down the coal-black current,
Through the cataract and rapids
To the tombs of Tuonela.
There the blood-stained son of death-land,
There Tuoni's son and hero,
Cuts in pieces Lemminkainen,
Chops him with his mighty hatchet,
Till the sharpened axe strikes flint-sparks
From the rocks within his chamber,
Chops the hero into fragments,
Into five unequal portions,
Throws each portion to Tuoni,
In Manala's lowest kingdom,
Speaks these words when he has ended:
"Swim thou there, wild Lemminkainen,
Flow thou onward in this river,
Hunt forever in these waters,
With thy cross-bow and thine arrow,
Shoot the swan within this empire,
Shoot our water-birds in welcome!"
Thus the hero, Lemminkainen,
Thus the handsome Kaukomieli,
The untiring suitor, dieth
In the river of Tuoni,
In the death-realm of Manala.

From: here

LEMMINKAINEN'S aged mother
Anxious roams about the islands,
Anxious wonders in her chambers,
What the fate of Lemminkainen,
Why her son so long has tarried;
Thinks that something ill has happened
To her hero in Pohyola.
Sad, indeed, the mother's anguish,
As in vain she waits his coming,
As in vain she asks the question,
Where her daring son is roaming,
Whether to the fir-tree mountain,
Whether to the distant heath-land,
Or upon the broad-sea's ridges,
On the floods and rolling waters,
To the war's contending armies,
To the heat and din of battle,
Steeped in blood of valiant heroes,
Evidence of fatal warfare.
Daily does the wife Kyllikki
Look about her vacant chamber,
In the home of Lemminkainen,
At the court of Kaukomieli;
Looks at evening, looks at morning,
Looks, perchance, upon his hair-brush,
Sees alas! the blood-drops oozing,
Oozing from the golden bristles,
And the blood-drops, scarlet-colored.
Then the beauteous wife, Kyllikki,
Spake these words in deeps of anguish:
"Dead or wounded is my husband,
Or at best is filled with trouble,
Lost perhaps in Northland forests,
In some glen unknown to heroes,
Since alas! the blood is flowing
From the brush of Lemminkainen,
Red drops oozing from the bristles."
Thereupon the anxious mother
Looks upon the bleeding hair-brush
And begins this wail of anguish:
"Woe is me, my life hard-fated,
Woe is me, all joy departed!
For alas! my son and hero,
Valiant hero of the islands,
Son of trouble and misfortune!
Some sad fate has overtaken
My ill-fated Lemminkainen!
Blood is flowing from his hair-brush,
Oozing from its golden bristles,
And the drops are scarlet-colored."
Quick her garment's hem she clutches,
On her arm she throws her long-robes,
Fleetly flies upon her journey;
With her might she hastens northward,
Mountains tremble from her footsteps,
Valleys rise and heights are lowered,
Highlands soon become as lowlands,
All the hills and valleys levelled.
Soon she gains the Northland village,
Quickly asks about her hero,
These the words the mother utters:
"O thou hostess of Pohyola,
Where hast thou my Lemminkainen?
Tell me of my son and hero!"
Louhi, hostess of the Northland,
Gives this answer to the mother:
"Nothing know I of thy hero,
Of the hero of the islands;
Where thy son may be I know not,
Cannot lend the information;
Once I gave thy son a courser,
Hitched the racer to his snow-sledge,
This the last of Lemminkainen;
May perchance be drowned in Wuhne,
Frozen In the icy ocean,
Fallen prey to wolves in hunger,
In a bear's den may have perished."
Lemminkainen's mother answers:
"Thou art only speaking falsehoods,
Northland wolves cannot devour us,
Nor the bears kill Kaukomieli;
He can slay the wolves of Pohya
With the fingers of his left hand;
Bears of Northland he would silence
With the magic of his singing.
"Hostess of Pohyola, tell me
Whither thou hast sent my hero;
I shall burst thy many garners,
Shall destroy the magic Sampo,
If thou dost not tell me truly
Where to find my Lemminkainen."
Spake the hostess of Pohyola:
"I have well thy hero treated,
Well my court has entertained him,
Gave him of my rarest viands,
Fed him at my well-filled tables,
Placed him in a boat of copper,
Thus to float adown the current,
This the last of Lemminkainen;
Cannot tell where he has wandered.
Whether in the foam of waters,
Whether in the boiling torrent,
Whether in the drowning whirlpool."
Lemminkainen's mother answers:
Thou again art speaking falsely;
Tell me now the truth I pray thee,
Make an end of thy deception,
Where is now my Lemminkainen,
Whither hast thou sent my hero,
Young and daring son of Kalew?
If a third time thou deceivest,
I will send thee plagues, unnumbered,
I will send thee fell destruction,
Certain death will overtake thee."
Spake the hostess of Pohyola:
"This the third time that I answer,
This the truth that I shall tell thee:
I have sent the Kalew-hero
To the Hisi-fields and forests,
There to hunt the moose of Lempo;
Sent him then to catch the fire-horse,
Catch the fire-expiring stallion,
On the distant plains of Juutas,
In the realm of cruel Hisi.
Then I sent him to the Death-stream,
In the kingdom of Tuoni,
With his bow and but one arrow,
There to shoot the swan as dowry
For my best and fairest daughter;
Have not heard about thy hero
Since he left for Tuonela;
May in misery have fallen,
May have perished in Manala;
Has not come to ask my daughter,
Has not come to woo the maiden,
Since he left to hunt the death-swan."
Now the mother seeks her lost one,
For her son she weeps and trembles,
Like the wolf she bounds through fenlands,
Like the bear, through forest thickets,
Like the wild-boar, through the marshes,
Like the hare, along the sea-coast,
To the sea-point, like the hedgehog
Like the wild-duck swims the waters,
Casts the rubbish from her pathway,
Tramples down opposing brush-wood,
Stops at nothing in her journey
Seeks a long time for her hero,
Seeks, and seeks, and does not find him.
Now she asks the trees the question,
And the forest gives this answer:
"We have care enough already,
Cannot think about thy matters;
Cruel fates have we to battle,
Pitiful our own misfortunes!
We are felled and chopped in pieces,
Cut in blocks for hero-fancy,
We are burned to death as fuel,
No one cares how much we suffer."
Now again the mother wanders,
Seeks again her long-lost hero,
Seeks, and seeks, and does not find him.
Paths arise and come to meet her,
And she questions thus the pathways:
"Paths of hope that God has fashioned,
Have ye seen my Lemminkainen,
Has my son and golden hero
Travelled through thy many kingdoms?"
Sad, the many pathways answer:
"We ourselves have cares sufficient,
Cannot watch thy son and hero,
Wretched are the lives of pathways,
Deep indeed our own misfortunes;
We are trodden by, the red-deer,
By the wolves, and bears, and roebucks,
Driven o'er by heavy cart-wheels,
By the feet of dogs are trodden,
Trodden under foot of heroes,
Foot-paths for contending armies."
Seeks again the frantic mother,
Seeks her long-lost son and hero,
Seeks, and seeks, and does not find him;
Finds the Moon within her orbit,
Asks the Moon in pleading measures:
"Golden Moon, whom God has stationed
In the heavens, the Sun's companion,
Hast thou seen my Kaukomieli,
Hast thou seen my silver apple,
Anywhere in thy dominions? "
Thus the golden Moon makes answer:
"I have trouble all-sufficient,
Cannot watch thy daring hero;
Long the journey I must travel,
Sad the fate to me befallen,
Pitiful mine own misfortunes,
All alone the nights to wander,
Shine alone without a respite,
In the winter ever watching,
In the summer sink and perish."
Still the mother seeks, and wanders,
Seeks, and does not find her hero,
Sees the Sun in the horizon,
And the mother thus entreats him:
Silver Sun, whom God has fashioned,
Thou that giveth warmth and comfort,
Hast thou lately seen my hero,
Hast thou seen my Lemminkainen,
Wandering in thy dominions?"
Thus the Sun in kindness answers:
"Surely has thy hero perished,
To ingratitude a victim;
Lemminkainen died and vanished
In Tuoni's fatal river,
In the waters of Manala,
In the sacred stream and whirlpool,
In the cataract and rapids,
Sank within the drowning current
To the realm of Tuonela,
To Manala's lower regions."
Lemminkainen's mother weeping,
Wailing in the deeps of anguish,
Mourns the fate of Kaukomieli,
Hastens to the Northland smithy,
To the forge of Ilmarinen,
These the words the mother utters:
"Ilmarinen, metal-artist,
Thou that long ago wert forging,
Forging earth a concave cover,
Yesterday wert forging wonders,
Forge thou now, immortal blacksmith,
Forge a rake with shaft of copper,
Forge the teeth of strongest metal,
Teeth in length a hundred fathoms,
And five hundred long the handle."
Ilmarinen does as bidden,
Makes the rake in full perfection.
Lemminkainen's anxious mother
Takes the magic rake and hastens
To the river of Tuoni,
Praying to the Sun as follows:
"Thou, O Sun, by God created,
Thou that shinest on thy Maker,
Shine for me in heat of magic,
Give me warmth, and strength, and courage,
Shine a third time full of power,
Lull to sleep the wicked people,
Still the people of Manala,
Quiet all Tuoni's empire."
Thereupon the sun of Ukko,
Dearest child of the Creator,
Flying through the groves of Northland,
Sitting on a curving birch-tree,
Shines a little while in ardor,
Shines again in greater fervor,
Shines a third time full of power,
Lulls to sleep the wicked people
In the Manala home and kingdom,
Still the heroes with their broadswords,
Makes the lancers halt and totter,
Stills the stoutest of the spearmen,
Quiets Tuoni's ghastly empire.
Now the Sun retires in magic,
Hovers here and there a moment
Over Tuoni's hapless sleepers,
Hastens upward to his station,
To his Jumala home and kingdom.
Lemminkainen's faithful mother
Takes the rake of magic metals,
Rakes the Tuoni river bottoms,
Rakes the cataract and whirlpool,
Rakes the swift and boiling current
Of the sacred stream of death-land,
In the Manala home and kingdom.
Searching for her long-lost hero,
Rakes a long time, finding nothing;
Now she wades the river deeper,
To her belt in mud and water,
Deeper, deeper, rakes the death-stream,
Rakes the river's deepest caverns,
Raking up and down the current,
Till at last she finds his tunic,
Heavy-hearted, finds his jacket;
Rakes again and rakes unceasing,
Finds the hero's shoes and stockings,
Sorely troubled, finds these relies;
Now she wades the river deeper,
Rakes the Manala shoals and shallows,
Rakes the deeps at every angle;
As she draws the rake the third time
From the Tuoni shores and waters,
In the rake she finds the body
Of her long-lost Lemminkainen,
In the metal teeth entangled,
In the rake with copper handle.
Thus the reckless Lemminkainen,
Thus the son of Kalevala,
Was recovered from the bottom
Of the Manala lake and river.
There were wanting many fragments,
Half the head, a hand, a fore-arm,
Many other smaller portions,
Life, above all else, was missing.
Then the mother, well reflecting,
Spake these words in bitter weeping:
"From these fragments, with my magic,
I will bring to life my hero."
Hearing this, the raven answered,
Spake these measures to the mother:
"There is not in these a hero,
Thou canst not revive these fragments;
Eels have fed upon his body,
On his eyes have fed the whiting;
Cast the dead upon the waters,
On the streams of Tuonela,
Let him there become a walrus,
Or a seal, or whale, or porpoise."
Lemminkainen's mother does not
Cast the dead upon the waters,
On the streams of Tuonela,
She again with hope and courage,
Rakes the river lengthwise, crosswise,
Through the Manala pools and caverns,
Rakes up half the head, a fore-arm,
Finds a hand and half the back-bone,
Many other smaller portions;
Shapes her son from all the fragments,
Shapes anew her Lemminkainen,
Flesh to flesh with skill she places,
Gives the bones their proper stations,
Binds one member to the other,
Joins the ends of severed vessels,
Counts the threads of all the venules,
Knits the parts in apposition;
Then this prayer the mother offers:
"Suonetar, thou slender virgin,
Goddess of the veins of heroes,
Skilful spinner of the vessels,
With thy slender, silver spindle,
With thy spinning-wheel of copper,
Set in frame of molten silver,
Come thou hither, thou art needed;
Bring the instruments for mending,
Firmly knit the veins together,
At the end join well the venules,
In the wounds that still are open,
In the members that are injured.
"Should this aid be inefficient;
There is living in the ether,
In a boat enriched with silver,
In a copper boat, a maiden,
That can bring to thee assistance.
Come, O maiden, from the ether,
Virgin from the belt of heaven,
Row throughout these veins, O maiden,
Row through all these lifeless members,
Through the channels of the long-bones,
Row through every form of tissue.
Set the vessels in their places,
Lay the heart in right position,
Make the pulses beat together,
Join the smallest of the veinlets,
And unite with skill the sinews.
Take thou now a slender needle,
Silken thread within its eyelet,
Ply the silver needle gently,
Sew with care the wounds together.
"Should this aid be inefficient,
Thou, O God, that knowest all things,
Come and give us thine assistance,
Harness thou thy fleetest racer
Call to aid thy strongest courser,
In thy scarlet sledge come swiftly,
Drive through all the bones and channels,
Drive throughout these lifeless tissues,
Drive thy courser through each vessel,
Bind the flesh and bones securely,
In the joints put finest silver,
Purest gold in all the fissures.
"Where the skin is broken open,
Where the veins are torn asunder,
Mend these injuries with magic;
Where the blood has left the body,
There make new blood flow abundant;
Where the bones are rudely broken,
Set the parts in full perfection;
Where the flesh is bruised and loosened,
Touch the wounds with magic balsam,
Do not leave a part imperfect;
Bone, and vein, and nerve, and sinew,
Heart, and brain, and gland, and vessel,
Heal as Thou alone canst heal them."
These the means the mother uses,
Thus she joins the lifeless members,
Thus she heals the death-like tissues,
Thus restores her son and hero
To his former life and likeness;
All his veins are knit together,
All their ends are firmly fastened,
All the parts in apposition,
Life returns, but speech is wanting,
Deaf and dumb, and blind, and senseless.
Now the mother speaks as follows:
"Where may I procure the balsam,
Where the drops of magic honey,
To anoint my son and hero,
Thus to heal my Lemminkainen,
That again his month may open,
May again begin his singing,
Speak again in words of wonder,
Sing again his incantations?
"Tiny bee, thou honey-birdling,
Lord of all the forest flowers,
Fly away and gather honey,
Bring to me the forest-sweetness,
Found in Metsola's rich gardens,
And in Tapio's fragrant meadows,
From the petals of the flowers,
From the blooming herbs and grasses,
Thus to heal my hero's anguish,
Thus to heal his wounds of evil."
Thereupon the honey-birdling
Flies away on wings of swiftness,
Into Metsola's rich gardens,
Into Tapio's flowery meadows,
Gathers sweetness from the meadows,
With the tongue distills the honey
From the cups of seven flowers,
From the bloom of countless grasses;
Quick from Metsola returning,
Flying, humming darting onward,
With his winglets honey-laden,
With the store of sweetest odors,
To the mother brings the balsam.
Lemminkainen's anxious mother
Takes the balm of magic virtues,
And anoints the injured hero,
Heals his wounds and stills his anguish;
But the balm is inefficient,
For her son is deaf and speechless.
Then again out-speaks the mother:
Lemminkainen's Restoration.
"Little bee, my honey-birdling,
Fly away in one direction,
Fly across the seven oceans,
In the eighth, a magic island,
Where the honey is enchanted,
To the distant Turi-castles,
To the chambers of Palwoinen;
There the honey is effective,
There, the wonder-working balsam,
This may heal the wounded hero;
Bring me of this magic ointment,
That I may anoint his eyelids,
May restore his injured senses."
Thereupon the honey-birdling
Flew away o'er seven oceans,
To the old enchanted island;
Flies one day, and then a second,
On the verdure does not settle,
Does not rest upon the flowers;
Flies a third day, fleetly onward,
Till a third day evening brings him
To the island in the ocean,
To the meadows rich in honey,
To the cataract and fire-flow,
To the sacred stream and whirlpool.
There the honey was preparing,
There the magic balm distilling
In the tiny earthen vessels,
In the burnished copper kettles,
Smaller than a maiden's thimble,
Smaller than the tips of fingers.
Faithfully the busy insect
Gathers the enchanted honey
From the magic Turi-cuplets
In the chambers of Palwoinen.
Time had gone but little distance,
Ere the bee came loudly humming
Flying fleetly, honey-laden;
In his arms were seven vessels,
Seven, the vessels on each shoulder;
All were filled with honey-balsam,
With the balm of magic virtues.
Lemminkainen's tireless mother
Quick anoints her speechless hero,
With the magic Turi-balsam,
With the balm of seven virtues;
Nine the times that she anoints him
With the honey of Palwoinen,
With the wonder-working balsam;
But the balm is inefficient,
For the hero still is speechless.
Then again out-speaks the mother:
"Honey-bee, thou ether birdling,
Fly a third time on thy journey,
Fly away to high Jumala,
Fly thou to the seventh heaven,
Honey there thou'lt find abundant,
Balsam of the highest virtue,
Only used by the Creator,
Only made from the breath of Ukko.
God anoints his faithful children,
With the honey of his wisdom,
When they feel the pangs of sorrow,
When they meet the powers of evil.
Dip thy winglets in this honey,
Steep thy plumage in His sweetness,
Hither bring the all-sufficient
Balsam of the great Creator;
This will still my hero's anguish,
This will heal his wounded tissues,
This restore his long-lost vision,
Make the Northland hills re-echo
With the magic of his singing,
With his wonderful enchantment."
Thus the honey-bee made answer:
"I can never fly to heaven,
To the seventh of the heavens,
To the distant home of Ukko,
With these wings of little virtue."
Lemminkainen's mother answered:
"Thou canst surely fly to heaven,
To the seventh of the heavens,
O'er the Moon, beneath the sunshine,
Through the dim and distant starlight.
On the first day, flying upward,
Thou wilt near the Moon in heaven,
Fan the brow of Kootamoinen;
On the second thou canst rest thee
On the shoulders of Otava;
On the third day, flying higher,
Rest upon the seven starlets,
On the heads of Hetewanè;
Short the journey that is left thee,
Inconsiderable the distance
To the home of mighty Ukko,
To the dwellings of the blessed."
Thereupon the bee arising,
From the earth flies swiftly upward,
Hastens on with graceful motion,
By his tiny wings borne heavenward,
In the paths of golden moonbeams,
Touches on the Moon's bright borders,
Fans the brow of Kootamoinen,
Rests upon Otava's shoulders,
Hastens to the seven starlets.,
To the heads of Hetewanè,
Flies to the Creator's castle,
To the home of generous Ukko,
Finds the remedy preparing,
Finds the balm of life distilling,
In the silver-tinted caldrons,
In the purest golden kettles;
On one side, heart-easing honey,
On a second, balm of joyance,
On the third, life-giving balsam.
Here the magic bee, selecting,
Culls the sweet, life-giving balsam,
Gathers too, heart-easing honey,
Heavy-laden hastens homeward.
Time had traveled little distance,
Ere the busy bee came humming
To the anxious mother waiting,
In his arms a hundred cuplets,
And a thousand other vessels,
Filled with honey, filled with balsam,
Filled with the balm of the Creator.
Lemminkainen's mother quickly
Takes them on her, tongue and tests them,
Finds a balsam all-sufficient.
Then the mother spake as follows:
"I have found the long-sought balsam,
Found the remedy of Ukko,
Where-with God anoints his people,
Gives them life, and faith, and wisdom,
Heals their wounds and stills their anguish,
Makes them strong against temptation,
Guards them from the evil-doers."
Now the mother well anointing,
Heals her son, the magic singer,
Eyes, and ears, and tongue, and temples,
Breaks, and cuts, and seams, anointing,
Touching well the life-blood centres,
Speaks these words of magic import
To the sleeping Lemminkainen:
"Wake, arise from out thy slumber,
From the worst of low conditions,
From thy state of dire misfortune!"
Slowly wakes the son and hero,
Rises from the depths of slumber,
Speaks again in magic accents,
These the first words of the singer:
"Long, indeed, have I been sleeping,
Long unconscious of existence,
But my sleep was full of sweetness,
Sweet the sleep in Tuonela,
Knowing neither joy nor sorrow!"
This the answer of his mother:
"Longer still thou wouldst have slumbered,
Were it not for me, thy, mother;
Tell me now, my son beloved,
Tell me that I well may hear thee,
Who enticed thee to Manala,
To the river of Tuoni,
To the fatal stream and whirlpool?"
Then the hero, Lemminkainen,
Gave this answer to his mother:
"Nasshut, the decrepit shepherd
Of the flocks of Sariola,
Blind, and halt, and poor, and wretched,
And to whom I did a favor;
From the slumber-land of envy
Nasshut sent me to Manala,
To the river of Tuoni;
Sent a serpent from the waters,
Sent an adder from the death-stream,
Through the heart of Lemminkainen;
Did not recognize the serpent,
Could not speak the serpent-language,
Did not know the sting of adders."
Spake again the ancient mother:
"O thou son of little insight,
Senseless hero, fool-magician,
Thou didst boast betimes thy magic
To enchant the wise enchanters,
On the dismal shores of Lapland,
Thou didst think to banish heroes,
From the borders of Pohyola;
Didst not know the sting of serpents,
Didst not know the reed of waters,
Nor the magic word-protector!
Learn the origin of serpents,
Whence the poison of the adder.
"In the floods was born the serpent,
From the marrow of the gray-duck,
From the brain of ocean-swallows;
Suoyatar had made saliva,
Cast it on the waves of ocean,
Currents drove it outward, onward,
Softly shone the sun upon it,
By the winds 'twas gently cradled,
Gently nursed by winds and waters,
By the waves was driven shoreward,
Landed by the surging billows.
Thus the serpent, thing of evil,
Filling all the world with trouble,
Was created in the waters
Born from Suoyatar, its maker."
Then the mother of the hero
Rocked her son to rest and comfort,
Rocked him to his former being,
To his former life and spirit,
Into greater magic powers;
Wiser, handsomer than ever
Grew the hero of the islands;
But his heart was full of trouble,
And his mother, ever watchful,
Asked the cause of his dejection.
This is Lemminkainen's answer:
"This the cause of all my sorrow;
Far away my heart is roaming,
All my thoughts forever wander
To the Northland's blooming virgins,
To the maids of braided tresses.
Northland's ugly hostess, Louhi,
Will not give to me her daughter,
Fairest maiden of Pohyola,
Till I kill the swan of Mana,
With my bow and but one arrow,
In the river of Tuoni.
Lemminkainen's mother answers,
In the sacred stream and whirlpool.
"Let the swan swim on in safety,
Give the water-bird his freedom,
In the river of Manala,
In the whirlpool of Tuoni;
Leave the maiden in the Northland.,
With her charms and fading beauty;
With thy fond and faithful mother,
Go at once to Kalevala,
To thy native fields and fallows.
Praise thy fortune, all sufficient,
Praise, above all else, thy Maker.
Ukko gave thee aid when needed,
Thou wert saved by thy Creator,
From thy long and hopeless slumber,
In the waters of Tuoni,
In the chambers of Manala.
I unaided could not save thee,
Could not give the least assistance;
God alone, omniscient Ukko,
First and last of the creators,
Can revive the dead and dying,
Can protect his worthy people
From the waters of Manala, .
From the fatal stream and whirlpool,
In the kingdom of Tuoni."
Lemminkainen, filled with wisdom,
With his fond and faithful mother,
Hastened straightway on his journey
To his distant home and kindred,
To the Wainola fields and meadows,
To the plains of Kalevala.
* * * * *
Here I leave my Kaukomieli,
Leave my hero Lemminkainen,
Long I leave him from my singing,
Turn my song to other heroes,
Send it forth on other pathways,
Sing some other golden legend.

From: here
Lemminkainen is a Finnish hero-God of the great national epic called the Kalevala. He is a good-natured and talented God, and very popular with the women. He had been magically bathed as an infant by His mother, which gave Him great powers of magic and scholarship, and great talents. On an adventure to the Land of the Dead, Lemminkainen was killed, His body torn in pieces. His mother found out, and patiently reassembled His body, knitting the flesh and bones together. With the help of Suonetar, the Goddess of Veins, and a humble bee, She brought Him back to life and speech, much like Isis restored Her beloved Osiris.

From: here

Into the forest went Lemminkainen. As he went he chanted his Magic Song, "O Tapio, Lord of the Forest, aid me: lead me where I may take my quarry! Nyyrikki, O thou son of the Forest's Lord, red-capped one, mighty hero, make a path for me through your father's domain; clear the ground for me and keep me on the proper roadway"' Lemminkainen, the handsome, the light-stepping one, chanted Magic Songs to win the forest divinities as he went seeking the Elk of Hiisi.

Another Magic Song he chanted: "O Mielikki, Mistress of the Forest, fair-faced, bountiful lady, send the game towards me; turn it into the pathway of the hunter; open the thickets; unlock Tapio's storehouse; make wide the door of his castle in the forest! Do this during this hunting-trip of mine!" Other Magic Songs Lemminkainen chanted as he went through the forest seeking the Elk of Hiisi. "If thou wilt not trouble thyself about me, Mistress of the Forest, charge thy little serving-girls to help me! And thou, Tapio's girl, little maiden of the forest, put the flute to your mouth of honey, whistle through thy pipe so that the Lady of the Forest may rouse herself and harken to my Magic Songs!"

So he went through the forest; but the quarry he sought was not turned towards him. Through the trackless forest he went, across the marshes, over the heaths. At last he went up a mountain; he climbed a knoll; he turned his eyes to the north-west; he turned his eyes to the north; there, across the marshes, he saw Tapio's mansions with their doors and windows all golden.

Then once more the quick-moving, light-stepping Lemminkainen went onward. He dashed through all that lay across his path. Under the very windows of the mansions of the Lord of the Forest he came. Through the windows he saw those whose business it was to dispense the game to the hunters. They were resting; they were lolling; their worst wear they had on them. Under the windows Lemminkainen chanted his Magic Songs:

"Mistress of the Forest, wherefore do you sit here and do you let the others sit here in such shabbiness? You are loathsome to behold! Yet when I went through the forest I saw three castles--one a wooden one, one a bone one, one a stone one; they had six windows, all bright, all golden; they who were within had rustling, golden garments on! Re-array as before thyself and thy household! Put away now your birch-bark shoes, your old garments, your disgusting shabbiness! Mistress of the Forest, put on thy garments of good fortune! Put thy golden bracelets on thy wrists, thy golden rings on thy fingers, a head. dress of gold put on! Put gold coins in thy hair, gold rings in thine ears, gold beads around thy neck! Long and wearily have I wandered hereabouts; I wander for nothing; the quarry I seek is not to be seen by me!

"Greybeard with the pine-leaf hat," he chanted, "with the cloak of moss! Re-array the woods; give the aspens their greyness, give the alders a robe of beauty, clothe the pine-trees in silver, Adorn the fir-trees with gold, and the birch-trees with golden blossoms. Make it as in the former years when days were better, when the waste-places flowed with honey. O daughter of Tapio, Tuulikki, gracious virgin, drive the game this way! Take a switch; strike the game on their haunches; drive the game towards the one who seeks for it and waits for it! Master of Tapio's mansions, mistress of Tapio's mansions, make wide the doors, send forth the game that has been shut in!"

So Lemminkainen chanted; for a week he ranged through the forest. His Magic Songs appeased the Lord of the Forest, delighted the Mistress of the Forest, and made glad the hearts of all the Forest Maidens. To where the Elk of Hiisi had his lair they went; they drove forth the Elk; they turned it in the direction of the one who waited for it.

Over the Elk Lemminkainen threw his lasso. And when he held the Elk he chanted his Magic Song once more, "Lord of the Forest, Tapio; Mistress of the Forest, Mielikki, come now and take your reward for the good you have done me! Come now and take the gold and silver I scatter on the ground of the forest!" So he chanted; then to the north, to Pohjola, he journeyed with the Elk he had captured. "I have caught the Elk of Hiisi! Come forth now, ancient one of Pohjola; give me your daughter; give me the bride I have come for!"

Louhi, the Mistress of Pohjola, came out of her dwelling, and she looked upon Lemminkainen and the Elk he had captured. "I will give you my daughter, I will give you the bride you have come for, when you capture the Steed of Hiisi, and bring it to me here."

Then Lemminkainen took a golden bridle and a halter of silver; he went through the green and open meadows; he went out upon the plains. No sign he saw of the Steed of Hiisi. He called upon Ukko, the God of the Sky, and he chanted a Magic Song:

"Open the clefts of the Heavens; cast the hail upon the back of Hiisi's Steed; fling ice-blocks upon him that he may race from where he is, that he may come to where I am!" Ukko rent the air; he scattered ice-blocks; they were smaller than a horse's head, but they were bigger than a man's head. They struck the back of Hiisi's Steed. It raced forward. Then Lemminkainen chanted, "Steed of Hiisi, stretch forth thy silver head; push it into this golden bridle! I will never drive thee harshly; with a rope's end I will never smite thee. No, with silver cords I will lead thee, and with a piece of cloth I will drive thee!" So he chanted, and the Steed of Hiisi put forward his head; the golden bridle with the bit of silver went across his head and into his mouth.

Then to the north went Lemminkainen bringing the chestnut steed with the foam-flecked mane. He called to the Mistress of Pohjola, "I have captured the Steed of Hiisi and the Elk of Hiisi. Now give thy daughter to me, give me the bride that I have come for."

But Louhi, the Mistress of Pohjola, answered him, "I will give thee my daughter, I will give thee the bride thou hast come for when thou hast shot with an arrow, and using one arrow only, the white Swan on Tuonela's dark water." Then Lemminkainen took his bow. He went down into Manala's abysses. He went to where Tuoni's murky river flowed. He went to where the waters made a dread whirlpool.

There the cowherd Märkähattu lurked; there the blind man waited for Lemminkainen. When Lemminkainen had come first to Pohjola he had chanted his Magic Songs; he had chanted them against the swordsmen and the young heroes who were there, and he had driven them all away, banning them with his Magic Songs. One old man he had not banned--Märkähattu the cowherd who sat there, his eyes closed in blindness. Lemminkainen had scorned him. "I have not banned thee," he cried, "because thou art so wretched a creature. The worst of cowherds, thou hast destroyed thy mother's children, thou hast disgraced thy sister, thou hast crippled all the horses, thou hast wearied to death the foals." Märkähattu, greatly angered, left the place where Lemminkainen had scorned him; ever since he had waited by the whirlpool for the coming of Lemminkainen.

The white Swan was on the dark river of Tuonela. Lemminkainen drew his bow. As he did, Märkähattu grasped a water-snake; he hurled it; he pierced Lemminkainen with the serpent. Lemminkainen knew no Magic Songs to relieve himself from the wounds made by water-snakes. He sank into the murky river; he was tossed about in the worst of whirlpools; he was dashed down the cataract; the stream brought him into Tuonela.

There Tuoni's bloodstained son, drawing his sword, hewed him into pieces. He hewed him into eight pieces and he flung the pieces into the dark river. "Be tossed about for ever with thy bow and thy arrows, thou who camest to shoot the sacred Swan upon our sacred River!"

Only through his mother could help come to Lemminkainen. She had bided at home, troubled by his long delay in returning. One day she looked up the comb and the hair-brush he had left behind: she saw blood trickling from the comb, blood dripping from the hair-brush. She knew that blood was coming from the body of her son. She gathered up her skirt and she went off to find him.

Valleys were lifted up as Lemminkainen's mother went on; hills were levelled; the high ground sank before her and the low ground was lifted up. She hastened to Pohjola. She came to the door and she questioned the Mistress of Pohjola.

"Whither hast thou sent my son, Lemminkainen?" "I know no tidings of your son. I yoked a steed for him; I fixed a sledge for him, and he started off from my dwelling; perhaps in driving over a frozen lake he sank into it." "Shameless are the lies thou tellst me. Tell me whither thou hast sent him or I will break down the doors of Pohjola." "I fed him; I gave him meat and drink, and I placed him in his boat; he went to shoot the rapids, but what has befallen him I do not know." "Shameless are the lies thou tellst. Tell me whither thou hast sent him or this instant death will come to thee." "Now I will tell thee, now I will tell thee truly. Lemminkainen went to shoot the sacred bird, the Swan on Tuonela's River."

Then his mother went in quest of him; she questioned the trees, she questioned the pathway, she questioned the golden moon in the sky. But the trees, the pathway, the golden moon in the sky, all had their own troubles, and they would take no trouble for any woman's son. She questioned the sun in the heavens, and the sun told her that her son was in Tuonela's River.

Then to the smith Ilmarinen went Lemminkainen's mother. For her Ilmarinen fashioned a rake, a rake with a copper handle and with teeth of steel--a hundred fathoms was the length of the teeth, five hundred fathoms was the length of the handle. To Tuonela's River she went: there she chanted a Magic Song.

She prayed the sun to shine with such strength that the watchers in Manala would sleep and that the powers of Tuonela would be worn out. And the sun stooped upon a crooked birch-tree and shone in his strength so that the watchers of Manala were worn out--the young men slept upon their sword-hilts; the old men slept resting upon their staffs; the middle-aged men, the spearmen, slept resting upon the hafts of their spears. Then Lemminkainen's mother took her rake; she raked the river against the current; once she raked it, and she raked it again. The third time she raked the river she brought up the hat and stockings of her son Lemminkainen. She went into the river, and she waded in its deepest water. She drew up the body with her rake of iron.

Many fragments were wanting to make up the body of Lemminkainen--half of his head, a hand, many little fragments. Life was wanting in the body. But still his mother would not cast it back into the river. Once again she raked Tuonela's deep river, first along it and then across it; his hand she found, half of his head she found, fragments of his backbone she found, and pieces of his ribs.

She pieced all together; the bones fitted, the joints went together. She chanted a Magic Song, praying that Suonetar would weave the veins together, and stitch with her finest needle and her most silken thread the flesh and the sinews that were broken. She sang a Magic Song, praying that Jumala would fix together the bones. Then the veins were knit together, the bones were fastened together, but still the man remained lifeless and speechless.

Then Lemminkainen's mother sang a Magic Song. She bade the bee go forth and find the honey-salve that would give final healing. The bee flew across the moon in the heavens; he flew past the borders of Orion; he flew across the Great Bear's shoulders, and into the dwelling of Jumala the Creator. In pots of silver, in golden kettles was the salve that would give final healing. The bee gathered it and brought it back to Lemminkainen's mother.

With the salve she rubbed him. She called upon her son to rise out of his slumbers, to awaken out of his dreams of evil. Up he rose; out of his dreams he wakened, and speech came back to him. Even then he would have slain the Swan so that he might win a bride in Pohjola. But his mother persuaded him, and his mother drew him back with her to his home. There the bride awaited him whom he had won in another place and on another day, Kyllikki, the Flower of Saari.

From: here

Also see:

The Kalevala -- Finnish epic

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