Songs of March (Maaliskuun lauluja, 1896)


One evening I was walking a path on the moor,
I gathered flowering heather, a bunch of four.

The night was magical and the wind was sleeping,
the heather fragrant, the cuckoo was calling.

But then suddenly my heart filled with tears –
memories flew me back to my youth-time years.

Watching the heather in my hand, thick and fair,
I suddenly remembered my maiden’s hair.

To the ditch the beautiful heather I tossed,
like the joys of my life in the soil I lost.



Early morning’s wave is singing brightly
when it loudly splashing shoreline beats,
aspen leaves there flutter jubilantly,
free of stress of mankind’s daily needs.|
Ladybug her sorrows alone singing,
longing, her own lovely darling yearns.

So did I, like brightest morning waves,
then like happy children, I was singing,
playing games like shoreline’s aspen leaves,
I then played there, singing, loving, dancing.

Ladybug, I lost my gayety,
from you I got this pious melody.



The whole forest is ringing with singing,
it’s love in the mating season,
so jubilant the chaffinch and bunting
as having lost their reason.

But from one tree the birds shy away,
abhorring, I don’t know why –
there, unhappy me, I sit all day,
my worries I sigh and sigh.


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The Spinner (Yõkehrããjã, 1897)


Two shepherds sat at the burn near a pond,
one ruddy-cheeked, the other blond.
The ruddy-cheeked played his horn joyfully,
the blond one just sitting there, quietly.

Then they heard another shepherd to yell:
»Hey fellows, I have some news to tell!
At dawn there, I saw Seita Stockingmind,
you fellows, you don’t believe what a find!

Charmingly-build was her slender body,
swinging her gait like a melody.
Her eyes were like bluebells ringing,
in her crown yellow mica was shining.

Charmingly smiling she waived to me,
waived again, it is hard to believe!|
Thus exclaimed the third shepherd, joyously.
The ruddy-cheeked listening longingly:

»To see her once, wouldn’t that be something!
That blond-one listened and said nothing.
The blond one was crying bitterly.
That fairy he had seen already.



My only friend, you were righ
when you left me in the night.
Your bosom so young and warm,
by my side a freezing-cold storm.

Look, on the road a flower is paling,
its pedals turning white in the snow.
My dear flower what are you still waiting,
it is time to bend down and go.

A thousand thoughts filled my soul,
one stays, the others away flow:
on my road was a withering flower,
and I covered it back in the snow.



What is the song that floats on the waves,
a graceful melody in its wake?
A craft is riding the billows,
a honeymoon boat sailing the lake. –

Whose bride travels there, I want to know,
in the dusk the wedding fires that glow? –
It’s cricket’s craft, small boats in tow,
and cricket’s chosen sits in the bow.

Who is the sweetheart of the cricket? –
Ladybird from the alder forest.
Where leads the journey of the sweethearts? –
To the ridge on that high island,
in Terhenniemi highland!



Mussel shells on the shore crunched and cracked
and the blackhaw tree tinkled.
Who walks on the shore rejoicing like that?
Nobody else walks so wicked –

It’s my girl, my sweetheart, that’s right
muscle shells crunching and swinging.
Like a pearl her foot is so white,
I know, I once was it watching.



Why did I suddenly feel so cold?
As if the night got me in it’s hold.
Your hands were loving and worm.
Did you betray me leaving me in icy storm?

Did you wish me as an icicle die?
Why did you leave me in snowdrift, oh why?



The flame in my lamp is losing its glow.
Dark is my window, that darkness I know.
I stare and I stare and my thoughts fly high
they fly and they fly like the bubbles fly.

And bubbles keep wandering everywhere,
my bubble of happiness is not there.
In the window’s dark night only me I see,
no flame in my lamp, in my mind no glee.



Why do you suddenly so quiet stay,
my maiden, why your tears started to flow?
Why did that cloud cover my sunny day
eating my happiness hollow?

The flowers are blossoming carefree,
and larks are singing their happiness,
so fragrant now is the rowan-tree –
you alone crying your sadness.

You, in the bud of your youthful days,
fresh is your complexion, strong is your chest,
life beckons you with a smiling face –
make your life light-hearted, full of zest!

If worries cast shadows on your day,
or in your hopes clouds will gather,
the glow of my love will chase them away –
then back comes the sweet kissing weather.

I thought of late autumn with its gloom,
when the sky is cloudy and gray,
and flowers of summer meet their doom,
and forest is quiet all day.

About autumn of life I also thought,
when grayness of sky makes me sad,
and roses from cheeks are gone and lost,
then my voice is toneless, flat.

The thought of the autumn’s gloomy glow
suddenly crept to my chest:
then frozen will be your love, its flow,
from your feelings ash is left.

You loved the sparkling flash of my eyes,
the cheeks with blossoming roses,
and when you see how all this dies,
is your love then lost, no more kisses? –

Ah, please, my beloved, please do not cry,
my maiden, loveliest, sweetest thing.
The scent of our love gives me a high
like the rowan-tree in the spring.

I sniff its scent and start music hearing.
Rowan flowers we together gather
when young grass is again growing.



When I was alone in the evening,
something in my heart was humming.

What is that humming and humming?
The maiden is humming and spinning.

I was deep in my thoughts in the evening
when something at my side was singing.

Who is singing so loud, constantly? –
The death wants the maiden, instantly.

When I was alone in the evening,
I heard my heart crying and sobbing.

Who is there crying and sobbing, incessantly? –
The maiden is crying for her liberty.



I’m like a lost child, asleep in the forest,
at twilight waking with a distress cry,
but gone is the brother and the sister drowned
and echo only hears the distress sigh.

Poor child, he doesn’t know what time it is,
he doesn’t know the path home, where to go.
The trails in the forest, between tall trees,
which one leads to the mother, so hard to know.

Backwoods are wild, so ghastly and creepy,
all things so silent, gray and threatening,
no wind here, so quiet, the branches sleepy,
and behind the trees the trolls keep peeping.

The child is crying, running, falling down
gets up, falls down, gets up once again.
The child is tiny, forest vast all around,
the home is too far, his is fight in vain.

I’m like the child, lost, asleep in the forest,
at twilight waking with a distress cry,
but gone is the brother and the sister drowned
and echo only hears the distress sigh.



What a pity your heart and you,
poor girl, and pity me,
your heart’s windows have no louvers
and the draft blows on your lovers.

I too have been in your heart, so flimsy,
sitting there an evening or two.
But it was so drafty and it was so windy –
it was nothing that I knew.

You don’t believe – go inside to get the feeling,
but don’t stay long to come back alive.
I wonder how on earth can anything living,
like your heart, in that cold draft survive.



She walks as if over a flower-bed
on the wings of a melody mellow,
so tenderly swaying her body and head,
to see her I quietly follow.

And as long as my spirit is going strong
and smoothly my melodies flow,
she can walk on the glittering waves of my song,
on the flower bed of my fantasies.





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Multi-Colored Cane (Kirjokeppi, 1897)


The clay on the shore was cracking
split by the long-lasting dryness,
the mind of the singer was grieving
under the load of sadness.

The water tossed and the sun scorched,
the clay, beaten by whether, splashed,
turbid and cloudy clay was turned
into small scoops, tiny purses.

And foggy spirit was molded,
split into tiny small verses,
for the children of the village to play,
for the maidens of the village to pray.




The lily of Vimpele village
is closing it’s gentle eyelids,
the lake is still and the forest sleeps,
from the cloud the pale moon peeks
over summer night’s dim alleys,
ponds and bogs in the valleys.

The spruce sleeps, the fir dozes;
from sauna the smoke rises;
moonlight the dimness enhances,
on pliable fur tree branches
walks the song of life and dying
like a moonscape painting.


I push my boat on the rolling waves
and across the restless lake I sail,
through the straights between the islands
to a small bay leads my trail.

There at the shore of that placid bay,
there hides a bird-cherry grove,
home of the chaffinch and ladybird,
the cradle of songs of the cove.

And there in the fragrant shady grove
my dark-hared maiden I meet,
the ladybird of my joyful spring,
my song and my spring-flower sweet.


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One Hundred and One Songs (Sata ja yksi laulua, 1898)


On alder-leafs my songs I embroider
and toss them to drift in the river.
One rolls faraway, another here,
they float in the stream here and there.

If one of the leafs would soar so high
above the waves and forever fly,
and if one of my hymns would fly and reach
the fairy island and land on its beach.

To the people there it would sing a new rhyme,
on that fairy island, beyond reach of time:
how a kiss may bring lifesaving breath,
or a kiss may be a kiss of death.



So strange and so bizarre is the mind of mine
like the sea in the moonshine.
I shun the fuzz of the company,
when alone, I feel so lonely.

So vast is my mind, its reach is high,
to the galaxies in the sky.
The whole world it can accommodate
and the day and the night together.

Ah, my mother dear if you were alive,
on your lap I would cry and revive!
And your forgiving hand would wipe my tears,
and sooth the sorrows of the years.

All wickedness here makes the mankind cry,
why this persecution, tell me why,
when Lord made our earth so wonderful
and everything here so beautiful.

Why dejection so tight the mankind binds,
although the sky above is so high?
Minds like your’s  your mind there finds,
up there, in the glory of sky.
I shun the fuzz of the company,
when alone, I feel so lonely.
So strange and bizarre is the mind of mine
like the sea in the moonshine.



When I reminisce many a lonesome night
I was sitting there alone, lonely,
all those glittering stars, side by side
so close together, brilliant and lovely.
Then my maiden dear,
ah, my maiden dear,
I come close to you, closer and closer,
and I look at you longer, forever.

When I reminisce how many times I was
alone wandering deep in wilderness.
Sitting there alone under the evergreens
Sitting alone, alone and joyless.
Then my maiden dear,
oh my maiden dear,
I will kiss you and kiss you once again,
tears flowing and quietly crying.

When I reminisce the thoughts that filled my mind,
bad and evil thoughts I then had down there,
that we together would have avoided,
fighting united, us together.
Then my maiden dear,
oh my maiden dear,
keep loving me longer, still longer,
you must love me longer, forever. 



I am a heathen with my offering,
You are the Divine, my sacrifice pole,
to you I tell my secrets, whispering,
you never mock, you only console.

I will spread a sheet down there in the grove
when the full moon starts the offer-season,
from chaff and from sins I sift my soul,
and start fasting my body of poison.

Three times my forehead to the ground I knelt,
dropping the pearls to the Devine,
and took off my precious buckle-belt,
I’m praying and hope for a sign.

But in silence stands Seita, the God of the night,
and I’m there alone with my faith and plight.



Like the apple-tree blossoms, my happiness grew
in the luminous nights of the spring,
when the fir cones have that reddish hue
and at dusk the virgins are dreaming.

Those couple of nights around Whitsuntide,
those spring nights are deep and so light.
If only my blossoms from wind could hide
the fruits would grow well until ripe.

Oh, heavenly forces, keep it calm,
I hope that your plans will agree!
My almighty savior, hear this psalm:
save the orphan’s apple-tree!



Echo, echo my song, soar,
echo high and higher.
Morning twilight, billows roar
at the shoreline willow.

Sleep and dream, your heart is young,
sleep in youthful dreaming.
Soon you hear the wake-up ring
the sleepy mankind calling.

Fly my love and soar sky high,
fly high over mountain.
Mountains, nothing can defy
young love birds from loving.



Under the window a pine tree was sighing,
the girl looked out of the window.
»Where on earth in the ways of the wind
is my dearest wandering now?

The winds were swaying the old pine tree,
mighty sorrows the fiancé.
»I wonder who’s funeral music now
the organs of the wind are wailing.

Heavy winds razed and broke the pine tree,
the girl was cut by the yearning.
The fiancé in foreign lands
faltering and withering.



The paleface moon on its eternal flight,
the spring-night is lovely and sacred.
Together here we still sit in the night −
though long ago we should have parted.

The breeze in the night sings its serenades
to the twigs of the sleepy alder.
The heart beats, silently anticipates
those glorious dreams of the summer.



I wanted the heaven and earth to search
to find the fountain of truth.
Now I want only your eyes to search,
two heavenly stars of the youth.

Hush, hear this, and this is wholly true,
down like a dove my love soars,
and now when I sit here next to you,
and kiss your lips, wow, my heart roars.



I believed that your were my life’s happiness
but you were my whole life and its flavor,
guiding us through joyful togetherness,
yet also through pain and sorrow.

I believed that you would my spirit lift,
but you were the fairy of sleep
bringing roses from the valley as a gift
yet also icy snow from the mountain peak.

I thought you were the lightning of my nights –
but you were the night itself.
A velvety black gown hides your delights
but you brighten the skies with your eyes.



Kiss me once and twice and more,
more kisses and more loving!
So often we have dreamt before
of carefree morrows coming.

When on my chest your head you press,
you hear the surging rapids,
then glow of love will you possess,
the surge will sway your hips.



Your laugh is my love, it is like the thrush
that sings its evening song
when the sun paints the hills with its golden brush
and the cuckoos are calling along.
Your laugh sings in enchanting harmony,
it rings like the twang of the harp.
Whoever hears that melody,
it sings in his chest like a lark.

Your laugh brings me fear, it brings me fright
like the lamb is scared of the butcher.
Whoever heard that laugh falls into night,
and stays in the trance forever.

Your laugh can be tender or atrocious,
and so evil, still so lovingly ring,
your laugh can be ecstatic, murderous –
Ah, if once more for me it would sing!



Who is she? A whisper of night in the moonshine,
the fairy of the field, the dream of the forest,
a melody arising from the chest of mine
and the night-time dream of my spirit?

I don’t know, but if a fairy she was,
she wasn’t me astray leading,
or if a song that from my chest arose,
then my foremost song I was singing.


HOME AGAIN         

I walk like a plowman around his strips
on the ruins of my beloved home
and reminisce memories of my youth,
plays joyful and fishing trips.

I walk like a plowman around his field,
the heart full, peace in the chest.
The winter gone, it had to yield
summer-days arriving, mild and blessed.

I want to start from the beginning again,
from a new start, a new life to begin,
I don’t want the fight to strike me down
I want to stand,  fight and win!

I walk like the plowman around his field
on the moors and cattle roads beloved,
new sowing new hopes and harvest may yield,
I water it with tears from my heart.



I looked at the lily of the valley,
its leafs and flowers lovely and white
and remembered dark eyes suddenly
and dark hair like tropical night.

What is she thinking and where did she go?
Sorrow or joy in her mind and voice?
Do tears of longing from her eyes flow,
or do they gleam from rejoice?

I do not wish her to be sad and crying,
I do not wish her laughing either.
f like me faraway waves she were looking
it would make my mind a little bit brighter.



What is this fragfance, aroma, sweetness?
What is this silence, this stillness?
What is the meaning of that peace in my heart,
so new and so strange in its greatness?

I can now hear when the flowers grow,
what trees to each other whisper.
In their hopes the dreams mature and flow,
the hope makes new crops  crisper.

So quiet around me is everything,
all nature is tender and sweet.
In my heart spring flowers are opening,
their fragrance is peaceful and deep.

Please let your hem to cover
my heavy, tormented head,
on your lap to rest, and forever
the sorrows of my mind to forget.

The earth is a barren, desolate sight,
but with you the night is a feast,
with twinkling stars you fill the night,
in their shine the arteries beat.

You make my night tender and quiet,
with you the darkest night feels great,
take care of  this child, weary and tired! –
I am scared of a dreadful fate.



I once thought of the summer, dreaming,
I dreamed that Lord’s sun was shining,
shined to me, shined to others,
to the backyard of my poor brothers,
turned green many thousands lentils,
made blue many hundreds of lakes,
rejoiced the lovely heather-moor
the oak in the woods told its lore,
the tree spoke and the flower knew –
the poor man believed it was true.

He thought his summer had arrived,
poor soul, bared his chest open wide
for the soothing touch of the summer,
to hear the hummingbirds hummer –

An angry wind suddenly squealed,
lonely wolf in the backwoods howled,
winter sky hurled snow in deep heaps,
people in the village spoke icy words.

Never, even once, thereafter
have I  dreamed of the summer.



It felt as if we were rowing
on a shiny lake’s surface floating.
The waves had wormed up in the sunshine
and the chest of the cliff at the shoreline.

It felt as if we were drifting  and landed
under that lovely shoreline rock,
and on fine white sand waded
and walked to a nearby hillock.

And from there, we saw a lovely sunset
on straights between tiny islands,
and the evening and night had arrived
over singing trees in the lowlands.We saw the haze dancing through the night,

the mist on the lake drifting to shore,
meadow’s drowsy ponds were swimming behind
and the dream grew bigger, evermore.

It was swinging from branch to branch,
and from flower to flower it danced–
we stood there on the hill hand in hand,
watched in amazement how it advanced.






The summer night is so short in the North,
soon the sun from the waves was rising.
But my dream goes on from that day forth,
on the waves of my dream I’m still rowing.



Was it a string that so suddenly snapped,
through the air with a strange twang zapped?
Why, my girl, hiding your face you turn around,
was it the string of your heart, that sound?

Why, my girl, your cheeks tenderly blush,
on your strawberry lips a smile so lush?
No, it was just a tiny spring flower
that opened at an early morning hour.









I lost my faith and I lost my hope
when I wrecked my ship on the reef.
Your kisses I trust, your eyes as my guide
eyes dark like the tropical night.

My girl, if you still are in love with me,
your kiss makes my sails to ring,
my boat will sail again fully rigged
and I holler to the wind and sing:

A great many ships are sailing the waves,
a great many stars in the night.
Cheers, my ship sails with the brightest star
the lucky star of my bride.


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From the Waves of Time (Ajan aalloilta , 1899)



Restless is the stream and waves rolling restless,
the ocean enchanting, the ocean endless.
Stream, sleep on the lap of the ocean.

The wind is restless and the leaves fly high,
lucky is the leaf that to the valley will fly.
Sleep leaf in the lap of the valley.

The sunrise arrived and the stars faded.
Not gone forever is the life that ended.
Star, sleep on the lap of the sunlight.


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Hymns of the Skier (Hiihtãjãn virsiã,1900)




The night comes, the sun dies.
The shroud of the dusk dims the eyes.
In the swamps of the wilderness
the will o’ the wisp kindles.

All alone I sit in my dwelling,
my friends shy away from me,
but in the odd estranged dreaming
is my spirit’s jubilee.

Who is there? Who is in the grove moving?
Who is there a white veil swaying?
Image white rolls and glitters,
flash of features I know so well.

My thoughts frozen still, startled,
the shroud of dusk covers my eyes.



Way too long I stared the fire,
burning logs that needed poking.
I was burning with desire,
dreaming of my dark-haired darling.

Glowing coals an image painted,
brought back memories elated,
summer birds soared in the sky
summer days swinging sky-high.
Cheeks were glowing, mouth was smiling, –
the eyes for another longing.

I roved lands and I roved swamps,
I roved vast, endless wilderness,
wilderness hides a bluish smoke,
under smoke a dwelling remote.
At her loom a virgin sitting
golden fabric weaving,
clattering pearls in the fabric.

For whom is the golden fabric?
»The gift for the bride of the forest.
To whom is the bride, breast like marten?
»The backwoods skier will get his maiden.

Not too long should the forsaken souls
stare at the fire, poke flaming coals,
tears fill the eyes, poor soul starts to sob
head between hands, fighting the tears,
throat’s rattling filling the ears,
the chest and the heart start to throb.



The strain of the years, ever increasing pain,
and sad dreams grow sadder with nostalgic strain,
they burn, they glow and they hold me tight.
Every evening I dream that tomorrow new
will sooth me, my turmoil subdue!
At dawn old sorrows return after endless night.

They come again as if this was their home,
they bring their new friends to my home to roam,
their names in my memory faintest.
Yesterday’s sorrow, so painfully lashing
feels now sweet when today’s sorrows are smashing –
that biggest of sorrows, when comes the biggest?

You almighty ruler, when will you come near,
You, my highest pain and biggest fear.
Since my childhood for you I was waiting,
sleepless at nights, trembling in  bed.
In your eyes I saw an accusing thread
f I ever was happiness searching.

In front of you, facing you I want to kneel,
look you in the eyes, tell you how I feel:
take back my life that to me you gave,
but my young spirit I’ll not give, never!
In its pain it strikes its fire, forever,
I will take it with me to my grave!



Who happy is, his happiness should hide,
who treasure has, should find a hiding-place,
to no-one else his happiness confide,
its joys and richness all alone embrace.

The gaze of others ruins the happiness,
who happy is should go to wilderness
and accept silent, silent loneliness,
and all alone enjoy his happiness.



I was young and in happiness believed,
sweet dark eyes and their promises.
My sanity, myself deluded
in hazy dreams and misty reveries.

Old notes I relearned, new songs created,
old songs I tried to recall.
I had a dream of the summer and waited –
waking up, it was already fall.

Ah, dark eyes, I don’t you accuse
that I lost my sanity!
You cried and were singing the blues
in sympathy, with pity
when my spirit’s last bits and chips
were killed by smiling red lips.



Along the fields of the Death I was walking,
the Death was plowing and I was crying.

The Death called: “Come-on man, I need a farm-hand!
You get boards for your casket, a piece of land.”

I will be your farm-hand, I replied,
the Afterlife, for sure, looks after its child.

From then on the fields of the Death I have plowed –
The weeks pass, life’s moments covered in shroud.

My friend is far and my heart a frozen clot –
O Lord, when do I reach the end of my plot?



I would like to discuss sometime
with those children of the sunshine,
joyous children of the village,
children of benevolent vintage,
those who have the spirit, the glow,
from their mouth the words smoothly flow,
their pens like a sparkle flying,
soaring like a bird is their singing.

To those children I would like say:
It is easy sweet music to play
in the middle of a vineyard,
in the shine of the daylight star,
among the flowers of the spring.

Something else is the poems to sing,
holy Sunday fires to light,
shrieking snow-banks to fight,
in the land of mighty frost.

If you managed to melt an inch
the frost took back without a flinch.


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Holy Spring (Pyhã kevãt, 1901)


Down the stream drifts the boat.
Where’s the end of the road?
The surge beats the bow and the keel.
The human soul, what it is –
Like will-o’ the wisp, restless.
Sandy soil me calls, already holds my heel.
One is born to joy, another’s life is sad,
and in everybody’s heart the timer is counting,
when ticking stops, time comes for dying.

Downstream drifts the boat.
Where’s the end of the road?
Gloomy sins threaten doom.
A while the glory glows
then it turns into gloom,
a tiny pile of ash is all that remains.
And the sins, they grow and join other sins,
the son in cradle inherits sins of the father.
The chest fills up with trash, ash and clutter.

Where’s the end of the road?
Downstream drifts the boat.
Heavy load in my boat is shifting.
Ah, eternal sea!
Like a mirror, please be!
Be my still-water, friendly clouds reflect.
And world endless, growing old, out of breath,
time to rest, tired world, white-haired and aged.
Take a note of shaking shadows of death.

Downstream drifts the boat.
Where’s the end of the road?
No-one that knows among the living.
Earth and everything here
doomed to disappear –
how can human soul escape from dying?

These are my thoughts:
New dawn will make all things right
when no longer the wolf the lam eats,
when no longer the brother his brother beats
and men do not grind their swords to fight.

And all these lovely thoughts we dream
must be turned into actions, actions that matter.
The calling of man is ideals to gather!

Or is all this a lie?



A sinful thought my brain huddles,
twisting like the snake circles.
One hand maiden’s nipple fiddles
the other the loin cuddles.

White thoughts on black skin curl –
what a great deal of color!
On bosom a snake, white like a pearl.
What a wicked lover!



What is more beautiful:
to believe that the freedom will begin,
to wish that enlightenment will win,
and to fight for enlightenment; –

or to fight knowing that dawn will not begin,
knowing that freedom will not win,
and to keep on fighting?

What is more beautiful:
to think, if the freedom will not win,
to ponder, if dawn will not begin,
why should I bother to fight at all?

Or to believe:
I am the child of the sunset, not of the dawn,
of enlightenment, though not as a winner born,
so, breaking up is my fate.



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