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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