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

ON ALDER-LEAFS MY SONGS I EMBROIDER

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.

 

THE SEA IN THE MOONSHINE 

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

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. 

 

SEITA

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.

 

APPLE BLOSSOMS

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!

 

MORNING SONG

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.

 

A SMALL BALLAD

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

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 TO SEARCH THE HEAVEN AND EARTH

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

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 KISS ME TWICE

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

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?

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.

 

THE SAILOR I HIS CABIN

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.

  

 PEACE

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 DREAMED OF THE SUMMER

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

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 SNAPPED?

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 MY HOPE

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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