by W. F. Kirby
in two volumes
PART I — THE HERO OF ESTHONIA
ARGUMENT OF THE “KALEVIPOEG”
|CANTO I —||THE MARRIAGES OF SALME AND LINDA|
|CANTO II —||THE DEATH OF KALEV|
|CANTO III —||THE FATE OF LINDA|
|CANTO IV —||THE ISLAND MAIDEN|
|CANTO V —||THE KALEVIDE AND THE FINNISH SORCERER|
|CANTO VI —||THE KALEVIDE AND THE SWORD-SMITHS|
|CANTO VII —||THE RETURN OF THE KALEVIDE|
|CANTO VIII —||THE CONTEST AND PARTING OF THE BROTHERS|
|CANTO IX —||RUMOURS OF WAR|
|CANTO X —||THE HEROES AND THE WATER-DEMON|
|CANTO XI —||THE LOSS OF THE SWORD|
|CANTO XII —||THE FIGHT WITH THE SORCERER’S SONS|
|CANTO XIII —||THE KALEVIDE’S FIRST JOURNEY TO HADES|
|CANTO XIV —||THE PALACE OF SARVIK|
|CANTO XV —||THE MARRIAGE OF THE SISTERS|
|CANTO XVI —||THE VOYAGE OF THE KALEVIDE|
|CANTO XVII —||THE HEROES AND THE DWARF|
|CANTO XVIII —||THE KALEVIDE’S JOURNEY TO PŌRGU|
|CANTO XIX —||THE LAST FEAST OF THE HEROES|
|CANTO XX —||ARMAGEDDON|
PART II — ESTHONIAN FOLKTALES
SECTION I — TALES ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE “KALEVIPOEG”
THE MILKY WAY. (JANNSEN.)
THE GRATEFUL PRINCE. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE GOLD-SPINNERS. (KREUTZWALD.)
SECTION II — ORPHAN AND FOUNDLING TALES
THE WOOD OF TONTLA. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE ORPHAN BOY AND THE HELL-HOUNDS. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE EGG-BORN PRINCESS. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE ROYAL HERD-BOY. (KREUTZWALD.)
TIIDU THE FLUTE-PLAYER.
THE LUCKY EGG. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE MAGICIAN IN THE POCKET, THE GOD-DAUGHTER OF THE ROCK-MAIDENS, and THE FOUNDLING
Volume 2Title Page
SECTION III — COSMOPOLITAN STORIES
THE DWARF’S CHRISTENING. (JANNSEN.)
THE ENVIOUS SISTERS.
THE GIFTED BROTHERS. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE IDIOT’S LUCK.
THE MAGICIAN’S HEIRS. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
VIDEVIK, KOIT, ANDÄMARIK (Twilight, Dawn, and Evening Twilight).
THE MAIDEN AT THE VASKJALA BRIDGE. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE WOMAN IN THE MOON. (JANNSEN.)
SNOWWHITE, THE GLASS MOUNTAIN, AND THE DESPISED YOUNGEST SON.
THE THREE SISTERS. (JANNSEN.)
THE THREE WISHES.
THE STEPMOTHER. (KREUTZWALD.)
SECTION IV — FAMILIAR STORIES OF NORTHERN EUROPE
THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE.
THE MERMAID. (KREUTZWALD.)
HOW THE SEA BECAME SALT. (JANNSEN.)
THE TWO BROTHERS AND THE FROST. (JANNSEN.)
THE SOLDIER AND THE DEVIL. (JANNSEN.)
SECTION V — STORIES OF THE GODS, AND SPIRITS OF THE ELEMENTS
THE SONG-GOD’S DEPARTURE. (JANNSEN.)
THE TWELVE DAUGHTERS. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE FOUR GIFTS OF THE WATER-SPRITE. (JANNSEN.)
THE LAKE-DWELLERS. (JANNSEN.)
THE FAITHLESS FISHERMAN. (JANNSEN.)
THE SPIRITS OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS. (JANNSEN.)
THE SPIRIT OF THE WHIRLWIND. (JANNSEN.)
THE WILL O’ THE WISPS. (JANNSEN.)
THE FOUNDLING. (JANNSEN.)
THE CAVE-DWELLERS. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE COMPASSIONATE WOODCUTTER. (JANNSEN.)
THE GOOD DEED REWARDED. (KREUTZWALD.)
SECTION VI — HEATH LEGENDS. (JANNSEN.)
THE WONDERFUL HAYCOCK. (JANNSEN.)
THE MAGIC EGG. (JANNSEN.)
SECTION VII — LAKE LEGENDS.
LAKE PEIPUS. (JANNSEN.)
THE LAKE AT EUSEKÜLL. (JANNSEN.)
EMMU LAKE AND VIRTS LAKE. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE BLUE SPRING. (JANNSEN.)
THE BLACK POOL. (JANNSEN.)
SECTION VIII — STORIES OF THE DEVIL AND OF BLACK MAGIC.
THE SON OF THE THUNDER-GOD. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE MOON-PAINTER. (JANNSEN.)
THE TREASURE-BRINGER. (JANNSEN.)
THE WOODEN MAN AND THE BIRCH-BARK MAID. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE COMPASSIONATE SHOEMAKER. (JANNSEN.)
MARTIN AND HIS DEAD MASTER.
THE BEWITCHED HORSE.
SECTION IX — HIDDEN TREASURES
THE COURAGEOUS BARN-KEEPER. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE GALLOWS-DWARFS. (KREUTZWALD.)
THE TREASURE AT KERTELL. (JANNSEN.)
THE GOLDEN SNAKES. (JANNSEN.)
THE DEVIL’S TREASURE. (JANNSEN.)
THE NOCTURNAL CHURCH-GOERS. (KREUTZWALD.)
SECTION X — ORIENTAL TALES.
THE NORTHERN FROG. (KREUTZWALD).
SECTION XI — CHURCH-STORIES
THE CHURCH AT REVEL.
THE CHURCH AT PÜHALEPP.
THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS.
THE CHURCH AT FELLIN.
SECTION XII — UNNATURAL BROTHERS
THE RICH BROTHER AND THE POOR ONE.
SECTION XIII — PLAGUE-LEGENDS
SECTION XIV — BEAST-STORIES
THE MAN WITH THE BAST SHOES.
WHY THE DOG AND CAT AND THE CAT AND MOUSE ARE ENEMIES.
THE ORIGIN OF THE SWALLOW.
THE SPIDER AND THE HORNET.
THE OFFICIOUS FLIES.
PART III — ESTHONIAN BALLADS, &C.
THE HERALD OF WAR
THE BLUE BIRD (I.).
THE BLUE BIRD (II.).
CHARM AGAINST SNAKE-BITE.
THE Kalevipoeg, which may be called the national epic of Esthonia, contains the adventures of a mythical hero of gigantic size, who ruled over the country in its days of independence and prosperity. He is always called by his patronymic, Kalevipoeg, or Kalevide, the son of Kalev; and, notwithstanding the great differences between them, he is evidently the Kullervo of the Finnish Kalevala.
The Kalevipoeg consists of twenty cantos and about 19,000 lines; and a fairly complete prose outline of the story is here given, all the tedious lyrical interludes which break its continuity, especially at the beginning of several of the cantos, being entirely omitted. For further p. 2 general information respecting the poem itself we will refer to the Introduction, and will now proceed to give a short abstract of the principal contents of the cantos, before proceeding to a more detailed analysis.
ARGUMENT OF THE “KALEVIPOEG”Canto I.—Three brothers travel in various directions, one of whom, Kalev,1 is carried by an eagle to Esthonia, where he becomes king. A widow finds a hen, a grouse’s egg, and a young crow. From the two first spring the fair maidens, Salme and Linda, and from the last a slave-girl. Salme chooses the Youth of the Stars, and Linda the young giant-king Kalev, as their respective husbands, with whom they depart.
Canto II.—Death and burial of Kalev; birth of his posthumous son, the Kalevipoeg.
Canto III.—The Kalevipoeg and his brothers go hunting in the forest. During their absence Linda is carried off by a Finnish sorcerer whose suit she has despised. She escapes from him through the interference of the gods, who afterwards change her into a rock. Return of the p. 3 brothers; the Kalevide seeks help and counsel at his father’s grave.
Canto IV.—The Kalevide throws himself into the sea to swim to Finland. In the evening he lands on an island where he meets a maiden whom he seduces. When she hears his name, she is horrified, and falls into the sea. he plunges after her, but being unable to save her, swims onwards on his journey. The parents rake the sea, and find an oak and a fir and other things, but not their daughter. Song of a maiden who was enticed into the sea by a man of copper.
Canto V.—The planting of the great oak-tree on the island. The Kalevide arrives in Finland and slays the sorcerer.
Canto VI.—The Kalevide visits a famous smith, from whom he buys a huge sword, which was bespoken by his father Kalev. A great drinking-bout is held in his honour, during which he slays the smith’s eldest son in a fit of drunken fury, and the smith curses him. The felling of the great oak-tree on the island.
Canto VII.—The Kalevide finds the sorcerer’s boat, and sails homeward. The three brothers relate their adventures, and the eldest proposes that they should now decide which of them shall settle in the country as his father’s heir. The Kalevide again visits his father’s grave.
Canto VIII.—The three sons of Kalev journey to the shores of a lake, and try their strength în hurling rocks across it. The youngest makes the best cast, and the other two leave the country. The Kalevide ploughs the land, and one day while he is sleeping his horse is devoured by wolves.
Canto IX.—The Kalevide slaughters the wolves. News of war. The visit of Taara. The Finnish Bridge.
Canto X.—In order to settle a dispute between two water-demons, the Kalevide’s cousin, the Alevide, begins to drain a swarnp. The water-demon begs the hero to desist, and the latter tricks the demon out of his treasures. Visit of the Kalevide’s cup-bearer to the water-demon’s palace, and his escape. The Kalevide overcomes the demon in hurling and wrestling. He decides to build fortified towns, and sets out to Lake Peipus to fetch timber. Meeting with the Air-maiden at a well.
Canto XI.—The Kalevide wades through Lake Peipus. A sorcerer steals his sword and sinks it in the brook Käpä, where the Kalevide leaves it, after enjoining it to cut off the legs of him who had brought it there; meaning the sorcerer. He encounters a man of ordinary stature in a forest, whom he puts in his wallet. The man relates his adventure with two giants and their mother.
Canto XII.—The Kalevide is attacked by three sons of the sorcerer, and beats them off with the boards, which are destroyed. Adventure with the hedgehog. The Kalevide finds to his grief that the man in his wallet has been killed by a chance blow during the fight. He falls asleep, and the sorcerer casts a spell upon him which throws him into a deep sleep for seven weeks. Vision of Ilmarine’s workshop. The Kalevide wakes, and sets out on his return. Adventures of two poor boys.
Canto XIII.—On his return journey the Kalevide finds some demons cooking at the entrance to a cave. He enters the cavern, which leads him to the door of the palace of p. 5 Sarvik,1 which he breaks open. In the antechamber, he finds three maidens.
Canto XIV.—Next day the maidens show the Kalevide over Sarvik’s palace. Sarvik surprises them, and wrestles with the Kalevide in the enclosure, but is overcome and vanishes. The Kalevide and the sisters escape from the palace.
Canto XV.—The fugitives are pursued by the demons, but the youngest sister raises a flood between them. The leader, Tühi, questions the Kalevide, who answers him sarcastically, and the demons take to flight. The three sisters are married to the Kalevide’s kinsmen.
Canto XVI.—The Kalevide projects a voyage to the end of the world. Building of the ship Lennuk. Voyage to Finland and Lapland. Meeting with Varrak, the Laplander. Voyage to the Island of Fire. The Giant’s Daughter. The Northern Lights. The Dog-men. Homeward voyage.
Canto XVII.—The fortified cities. Great battle with invaders. Land journey of the Kalevide and his friends. Encounter with Sarvik disguised as a dwarf. The daughters of the Meadow-Queen.
Canto XVIII.—The gates of Pōrgu.2 The Kalevide enters the cavern, notwithstanding every obstacle fights his way across an iron bridge, and enters Sarvik’s palace.
Canto XIX.—The Kalevide overcomes Sarvik in a wrestling match, and loads him with chains. He returns to the upper world, and finds the Alevide waiting for him p. 6 at the entrance to the cavern. Return of the Kalevide to Lindanisa.1 Great feast and songs. News of a formidable invasion. Departure of Varrak for Lapland. Arrival of fugitives.
Canto XX.—The Kalevide buries his treasure. Terrible battles, in which his cousin the Sulevide is slain. Drowning of the Alevide. The Kalevide abdicates in favour of his surviving cousin, the Olevide, and retires to live in seclusion on the bank of a river. Being annoyed by occasional visitors, he wanders away towards Lake Peipus, and steps into the brook Käpä, when his sword cuts off his legs. His soul takes flight to the halls of Taara,2 but is bidden by the gods to reanimate his body. He is mounted on a horse, and stationed at the gates of Pōrgu, to keep watch and ward on Sarvik and his hosts.
In ancient days, the race of Taara dwelt here and there in the land, and took to themselves wives of the daughters of men.2 In the far North, p. 8 near the sacred oak forest of Taara, such a house-hold existed, and from thence three sons went forth into the world to seek their fortunes. One son travelled to Russia, where he became a great merchant; another journeyed to Lapland, and became a warrior; while the third, the famous Kalev,1 the father of heroes, was borne to Esthonia on the back of an eagle.2 The eagle flew with him to the south across the Gulf of Finland, and then eastward across Lääne3 and Viru,4 until, by the wise ordering of Jumala,5 the eagle finally descended p. 9 with him on the rocky shores of Viru, where he founded a kingdom.
THE MARRIAGES OF SALME AND LINDA
In the province of Lääne a young widow lived quietly by herself. One Sunday she followed the footprints of her cattle, and what did she find on her way? On the path she found a hen; she found a grouse’s egg in the footprints of the cattle, and she found a young crow near the village. She carried them all home with her to comfort her loneliness, and she made a nest for the hen and the egg in a basket lined with wool, but she threw the young crow into a corner behind the boxes.
The hen soon began to grow, and her head reached the lid of the basket while she sat on the egg. She grew taller for three months, and for several days of the fourth month.
The widow went into the storehouse to look at her foster-children, and what did she behold on raising the lid of the basket? The hen had grown into the fair maiden Salme;1 the egg had given p. 10 birth to a second maiden, Linda, while the poor crow had become an orphan girl, a maid-of-all-work, to carry wood to the stove and to bend under the weight of water-pails from the well. Salme was besieged by suitors. Five and six brought her offerings of corn-brandy, seven sent her offers of marriage, and eight sent trustworthy messengers to bring them news of her. The fame of her beauty spread far and wide, and at length not merely mortal lovers, but even the Moon, the Sun,1 and the eldest son of the Pole Star sought her hand in marriage.
The Moon drove up in a grand chariot drawn by fifty horses, and attended by a train of sixty grooms. He was a pale slender youth, and found no favour in the eyes of Salme, who cried out from the storehouse:
|“Him I will not have for husband,|
And the night-illumer love not.
Far too varied are his duties,
And his work is much too heavy.
Sometimes he must shine in heaven
Ere the day, or late in evening;
Sometimes when the sun is rising;
Sometimes he must toil at morning,
Ere the day has fully broken;
Sometimes watches in the daytime,
Lingering in the sky till mid-day.”
And now the Sun himself appeared, a young man with fiery eyes; and he drove up with similar state to the Moon. But Salme declared that she liked him even less than the Moon, for he was much too fickle. Sometimes, during the finest summer weather, he would send rain in the midst of the hay-harvest; or if the time had come for sowing oats, he would parch the land with drought; or if the time for sowing is past, he dries up the barley in the ground, beats down the flax, and presses down the peas in the furrows; he won’t let the buckwheat grow, or the lentils in their pods; and when the rye is white for harvest, he either glows fiercely and drives away the clouds, or sends a pouring rain.
The Sun was deeply offended; his eyes glowed with anger, and he departed in a rage.
At last the Youth of the Stars made his appearance, driving with a similar cortège to those who had preceded him.
As soon as Salme heard of his arrival, she cried out that his horse was to be led into the stable and tended with the utmost care. The horse must have the best provender, and must be given fine linen to rest on and be covered with silken cloths; his head was to rest on satin, and his hoofs on soft hay. After this she declared to his master:
|“Him I will accept as lover,|
Give the Star my hand in marriage,
And will prove his faithful consort.
Gently shine his eyes of starlight,
And his temper alters nothing.
Never can he thwart the sowing,
Never will destroy the harvest.”
Meantime, the widow again invited the Star to eat and drink, or, if he were tired, to sleep; but he declared, as before, that he would neither eat nor drink till he had seen Salme, and that the stars never closed their eyes in sleep.
At last Salme herself appeared in the hall, but the Meadow-Queen1 and the wood nymphs had so adorned her that her foster-mother did not know p. 14 her again, and asked in astonishment, “Is it the moon,1 or the sun, or one of the young daughters of the sunset?”
Guests gathered to the wedding from far and near, and even the oaks and alders came, roots, branches, and all.
|After this they danced the cross-dance,2|
Waltzed the waltzes of Esthonia,
And they danced the Arju3 dances,
And the dances of the West Land;
And they danced upon the gravel,
And they trampled all the greensward.
Starry youth and maiden Salme,
Thus their nuptials held in rapture.
A third suitor, the Lord of the Waters, now appeared; but Linda replied that the roaring of the waves was terrible, and the depth of the sea was awful; that the brooks only gave a scanty supply of water, and the river-floods were devastating. He was followed by the Wind, who rode the Horse of the Tempest, and, like all the other suitors, was attended by a cavalcade of fifty horses and sixty grooms; and he too asked the hand of Linda. But she replied that a delicate girl could never take pleasure in the howling of the wind and the raging of the tempest. The Wind whistled out of the house, but his trouble did not weigh on his heart very long.
Another suitor for the hand of Linda now appeared in the person of the Prince of Kungla.1 All the guests, and Linda’s own sisters, approved of this suitor. But Linda declared that she could not p. 16 think of accepting him; for the king, his father, had wicked daughters, who would treat a stranger unkindly.
A sixth suitor now appeared in the person of the young and handsome giant Kalev. All the wedding-guests grumbled, and even the widow was opposed to the match; but he pleased Linda, and she accepted him at once. The widow then invited him to enter and partake of the good cheer; but he trembled with eagerness, so that his sword in its sheath, and his chains and spurs, and even the money in his purse, jingled as he answered that he would neither eat nor drink till Linda appeared before him. Linda begged for a little delay to adorn herself, but Kalev still refused to eat or drink, and then she called her slave-sister to help her, while the widow continued her ineffectual invitations to Kalev to feast and enjoy himself.
At last Linda appeared in the hall, where she excited as much admiration as her sister, and her wedding was celebrated with still greater festivities than Salme’s, the guests dancing the local dances of every province of Esthonia.
But now the Youth of the Stars could delay no longer, and Salme took an affecting farewell p. 17 of her foster-mother and all her kith and kin, declaring that she would now be hidden behind the clouds, or wandering through the heavens transformed into a star. Then she mounted her sledge, and again bade her foster-mother a last and eternal farewell. Linda and her slave-sister called after her to ask whither she was going; but there came no answer save the sighing of the wind, and tears of joy and regret in the rain and the dew; nor did they ever receive tidings of Salme more.
After Salme’s departure, the wedding-festival of Linda was kept up for some time, and when Kalev finally drove off with her in her sledge, she bade farewell to her foster-mother; but Kalev reminded her that she had forgotten the moon before the house, who was her father; the sun before the storehouse, who was her old uncle; and the birch-tree before the window, who was her brother, besides her cousins in the wood. They gazed after her sorrowfully; but she was happy with Kalev, and heeded them not. Kalev and Linda drove on in their sledge day and night across the snow-fields and through the pine-forests till they reached their home.