THE BEGINNING OF TIMES

Lyrics by Pekka Kainulainen (translated by Erkki Virta)

Click here for the full cycle of poems (in English).

BATTLE FOR LIGHT

She robbed the moon from the sky
Derailed the sun off its course
Inside her mountain enchained the light
She took the wisdom for her own

The sun no longer shines on us
No silver moon reflects
The stars no longer give their light
To help us find our path

I’m thrown on barren wastelands
In feverish swamps I’m lost
I stagger through white-rimed lands
I drown in diseased black mire

I fight the forces, forces of dark and cold
Upon the witches I cast my spells
I strike with a sword, touch with a feather
And sing my song into the night

Beyond the heaven, the highest one
The god supreme smites with his sword
Into the sea falls fiery star
A pike of deep swallows the spark

Skyforger, come to my aid
The Magicsmith, by my side
Daughter of creation
The tiny man from the sea

Ilmatar the ancient
Mighty ocean-dwarf
Skyforger by my side
Thunder and lightning

We find the hidden moon
Release the mountain-bound
We light the wisdom of the heart
The sun dawns anew

MERMAID

On the blue waters of mermaids
I was sailing on the blue
Brought up a catch of strangest wonder
On the blue

And I drew my knife to gut
What I had taken from the blue
But it was gone, back to the lake
And vanished into the blue

The waters, they parted
As she rose to shine

She was my maid, my wife-to-be
Returned to me this one time
I did not know her, I made her flee
Flee from me

Beneath the waves and marbled rocks
Watery canyon of blackest depths
My hope was sunk
My dream taken away

Woe to you, she said to me
As she broke cover of the blue
Don’t you know me?
I couldn’t be yours after all
I never knew

MY ENEMY

He set out to take my life
And the power of my soul
His spells against my might
My wrath he did ignite

Your brain replaced by mine
Your mind changed into mine
You lose sight of yourself
Your world no longer yours

The lightning of my eyes crumbles you
My fingers as snakes drag you to mire
The trembling earth now melts under you
Your legs turn to sludge from my ire

I feel your feelings now
I know now what you knew
I see how you have lied
Plunge you into your grave

Under the ground I force you
To Underworld I curse you
To arms of death deliver
And damn inside a rock

Remorse is useless there
And mercy never shown
Bribery’s futile there
No promises hold

No one feels your pain
No one there will listen
No one takes your hand
No one helps you now

But I will show him mercy
Let him return to life
I will show him mercy
I will let him go back

YOU I NEED

I was born as all the world here was born
As tones, words and stories of the primeval song
I need no bow, I need no sword
My kingship’s known to gods
Let their song go on

I need you to be the guide
The mirror to the sky and sea
Portray all above and below
The gate of life and death

The sea of my loneliness
It needs to have a sky
To go with my story
I also need to have your words

Like a king has his moon
A queen has her sun
To make the song go on

Make the song go on
The creator of gods
Make the song go on and on
On and on

Be my guide of life and death

THE SONG OF THE SAGE

No man nor a god, with a sword he carved
With a feather he conjured
An instrument from the bone of fish
A kantele from the jaws of a pike
Sat on a golden rock, on a bank of a golden river
By the brink of golden falls, under the golden sun

The birds flew to the singer
The wildfowl from the open sea

The fingers plucked the brightest chord
Tolled the fangs of a pike
The colours of rainbow lighted
Above the silent waters

Came forth the woodland creatures, the spirits great and small
The mistress and the master of Tapiola, forest folk

Behind a cloud of blue, the moon wove the strands of silver
On the edge of the cloud of red, the daylight gilded the cloth

The small fish in the shallows, the big ones under the surface
The king of waters, on the waves, the queen on an open sea

From distant fens came the swans
An eagle from its heaven high

Each one comprehended and understood
Each one shed a tear, they wept and cried

Each and every tear, tears of everyone
All joined to flow into the silent waters
The golden stream of life carried the tears to the sea
To oceans’ deep keeps the pearls were concealed.

THREE WORDS

From all the four corners
From the heights beyond the changing skies
From in between the golden stars
From lands of dead below

I seek the magic for my spell
The power for my charm
For want of three words
For want of three words for my song

Three words for my magic song
A boat for love I’d carve
Three words for my magic song
A craft of life I’d build

Along the Tuoni pathway
To gloomy shore
Across the lands of dead
To find the missing charm

Death’s maiden showed the way
To death’s grim abode
Where death’s wife offered me
Death’s drink to have

Three words for magic
Three words from Death

REFORMATION

When I am broken, when I depart
When my eyes stray from yours
When I no longer know you, my love
When I am broken, when I depart

Fear not for me, weep not for me
For finally I am released
Fear not for me, weep not for me
To the heaven of all earths
I am released

When from my head my mane is torn
When my hair is blowing in solar wind
When into my eyes driven are the nails
When weighted boots march across my grave

Don’t you fear

SOOTHSAYER

I rose and raised the others with me, too
I shared the ancient wisdom
And taught the ways to be

I sang the charms of stars
And sowed the land with strength
I set the abodes for men
And steered the rightful roads

Within my being sings the god on high
The glimmer of stars in my bloodstream
I am the abyss, I am the bridge
I am the sky, I am the land

I feel the communion
Of the largest and the least
The way from death to life
The path of stone and gold

I live on wings of eagle
I know the secrets of seas
My forms countless
Like words, names and stars

I’ve been here from the beginning
Echoes and tones I understand
Eternal poems of nonexistence
The birthwords of time’s beginning

ON A STRANDED SHORE

Silk of blue woven by the moon
Red spun by the sun
Of the sun’s gold

Silver in wrists and in her rings
Hair braided in red
Her shoes featherlight

As reeds and straws on the shore
As bark and foliage
As clamshells and sand

My maiden’s flesh
Now fish in the lake deeps
Her blood now waters blue

Oh god of sleep
Tell in my dream
Where has my maiden gone
Where lies my mermaid now

Rise above the waves
From the waters’ grave
From the side of spottled stones
Become alive again

These shores are for memory
These waters not for baiting
No shallows for the thirsty

No sun beheld above these shores
No reflection of the moon on these waters here

My maiden’s hair
Grass on the waters’ edge
Now willows on a shore

ESCAPE

Therein lie the nets of iron
Snares of copper made
They offered drinks that lull to sleep
Of everlasting chains

But I changed my mortal shape
And took the form of a snake
I swam through the nets of deception
Crawled back to life again

Death bestows no wisdom
No might from death endowed
They say there’s no return but I
Made my way back home

Back to life

I was there among the shadows
Who whispered put their screams
I was transformed by the strength
Of my will to live

Death bestows no wisdom
No might from death endowed
There is no return, no way
To ever walk back home

Death bestows no wisdom
No might from death endowed
They say there’s no return but I
Made my way back home

Back to life

CRACK IN A STONE

In the North, a prisoner of darkness
In black court, a victim of sleep
Slither like a snake I tried
A mole under the soil

A king, a fool trapped in a strange land
A slave of the black queen
I was under the darkest magic
Bound by an unknown spell

The one crack in the stone I need
Just the one, one fracture in the wall
Just the one hole in the sky I need
Just the one lock with the key

An otter lost in muddy waters
An elk upon strange trail
A prisoner in black court
A victim of sleep in lands of dark

One path there to be known
One sign in a dream
In time just one direction
One star in my mind

One path
One sign
One star
One lock
One key
One crack in the stone

BEGINNING OF TIME

I have a wish to sing
Of time before the beginning
When nothing was all
But how to sing of nothing?

So I sing of the beginning
The birth of all creation
The borders of nothingness
The substance of inception

The solitude of space my uncaring mother
My father salt of the sea

Still unborn I remained
Unopened the narrow gate
Unborn in my hiding place
No release by my maker

Wrapped around my darkness
I knew my that time was waiting
I felt the passage of days and nights
And northern stars

The solitude of space my uncaring mother
My father salt of the sea
The void and infinity were never ending
Time had no beginning

The songs were born into my mind
The knowledge of the stars
The stories before and after
The spells of war and peace

The birth of the world was my birth too
I found the land, began the time
From shorelessness of the sea
From underneath the space

I have a wish to sing
Of time before the beginning…

HEART’S SONG

The spirit of clouds I am
And the spring creeks singing
A stillness within a river great
A rainbow on the falls
A blackness of waters
The spirit of man
In a warrior straw-haired

I am not a god
A man I’m not

I am my people
I am the song of my tribe
The wisdom and the skills
A sword turned into poem

I am the oaken sage
The bone-hurling one
The boulder on some riverside
The eye of golden hawk
The embrace of red bear
The song in the heart of the man