SILENT WATERS

Lyrics by Pekka Kainulainen (transl. E. Virta)

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

WEAVING THE INCANTATION
A mind dejected, blood boiling with anger
The storm of the warpath now sings in my heart
Your pleadings useless, I now shall disregard
I leave you to weep and to fear for me

I’m ready for my end
My hair I comb down
With resin into braids
I’m ready to ascend
My will burning high
Summon strength from the night

I equip myself, to warfare I prepare
I put on my black cloak, enchanted adder’s skins
Your prayers shall not reach into my heart
Your despair shall not stop me now

This precious hairbrush thrown at the wall
It came to me from my father
I give you this as a token of myself
For you to have and mourn over

And when my blood flows from its bristles
When my sap is streaming from its shaft
Then you will know of my anguish
My destruction will be revealed

A SERVANT
What was denied from poor
I thought to be riches
I run for them there and then
It made me take my due
To death I’d plunge with joy
My happiness to claim
I am prepared to face the war
Under the black soil

I’m righteous if I so desire
Until I reveal my worth
And take to myself
What was denied from me
I stalked them in their celebrations
I delved into the words
I aimed at the highest of the high
And decided it’s mine to take

Wont to crawl I was
To cringe and fawn
A servant on hours of day
But a holder of nocturnal sway

What was denied from poor
I thought to be love
I run for it here and now
It makes me take my due

SILENT WATERS
A day’s light told me of my son’s fate
The sun showed the way, grim and severe
Pulled under the raging waters, my child
Sank in the drowning currents, my son

My strength is not enough, my powers failed me
I need the heavens’ help, I ask for thunder’s force
I plead for you, oh lightning, forge an iron tool
A magic rake for dragging a river for my son

God of fire, bring your light
Forger of sun, help me now
Guardian of the shore will sleep in your warmth
Lull the folk of cold water
Banish the serpents of the dark
To the river let me go and fetch my son away

A rake made of iron from the Gods of skies
The spirit of bright days sent me the sun
Cold troops of Tuoni can not stand in my way
Untouched I shall walk by the river of the night

My child
My son

TOWARDS AND AGAINST
I have known the arcane lore
On strange roads such visions met
That I have no fear nor concern
For hatred and obstacles of this world

By stone-shoed wanderer I am taught
My visions from fiery-eyed iron-armed chanter
I know how to fight, I know how to sing
I know how to bend, I know how to break

I’ve not grown weary on lengthy roads
On strange lands not gone astray
Such is the knowledge cast in me
Such is the knowledge, such are the skills

I know how to fight
I know how to sing
I know the way

If ruin is said to befall me
It has not come to pass
I conquered all who stood in my way
And drowned the snakes of death

Because of treason I now shall leave
Because of my blood burning my soul
And now I raise this flaming sword
Towards darkness, against everyone

I OF CRIMSON BLOOD
I am of crimson blood
Nought shall hold me
Mirror mine the dark of night
Reflects me in water

Ablaze are my eyes
My soul consumed by woe
My braids weaved by the wind
An image, black in my mind

Leave I must now with haste
Me who tires of quiet life
Me whose path leads to war
Me who fears no death

I, I yearn for more
I yearn to rise
I yearn for everything
I yearn for you
I yearn to rise

HER ALONE
Only one can make me do my good deeds
Only one and the shadow of that one
Only one can make me do my evil deeds
Only one and the shadow of that one

Her alone I will lend my ear to
Only her I will obey
Her alone I will always want to serve
Only her I will defy

Only one can make me wage all my wars
Only one and the shadow of that one
Only one can make me do all my deeds
Only one and the shadow of that one

My understanding under her advice
My understanding under her advice
Birth of my knowing under her advice
My desires I fulfil by revolting

ENIGMA
On his trail the stones they grew
He was lead astray
Forces strange he had to face
Magic unseen

When he asked, he was not answered
But he would not yield
What he asked for was not given
A shape to his dream

To a whirling mass of water
Mountains of high
His desire he spoke out
To claim his due
A shadow moved in Louhi’s mirror
The fairest maid of them all
Restless mind found her to his liking
But the queen wanted more

Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve
Find and catch the devil’s moose and bring it here to me
Seize the stallion born of fire, harness the flaming horse
He captured and bound the moose, he tamed the golden horse

Still remained the one final test
Hunt the bird from the stream of death

SHAMAN
Mother wept for her son
She wept and sang
Anxiously pondered fate
His and her own

A sun’s ray, in through the eye
Glimmered in the room of mind
Changing the woman shape
Sorrow fled her face

From the shaman into shaman

From the chimney a witch flew out
Shaman dived across the sky
Under her the woods and lakes
Till she saw the Northland gates

I’ve come for my son, where is my son?
I accept no lies, no falsehood or deception
I send you plagues unnumbered
Destruction upon your house
I lay to waste your treasure
I slay your fairest daughter

The queen of north told of the way
The road to river black
Impossible and incomplete
The path of no return

THE WHITE SWAN
I set out on the longest road
To seek the answers from Death
I set out to the black sacred stream
to seek out and shoot a white swan

On desolate and stony paths
From a mountain to a vale
I reached the shore and saw it come
Into my view, the swan

I took the arrow and raised my bow
I aimed below the graceful neck
Under the white of its breast
Inside the red of its heart

The surface of the river calm and black
Reflects the sky, the pale moon
And there a glimpse caught of myself
I’m shattered, the vision is ruined

An arrow from the water
A serpent rips my mind
Into the black river of Death
With a slash across my heart

My last sight a white swan
Behind the swan a starless sky
Under the sky a coal black river
Reflected a bone white moon

BLACK RIVER
Still searching for my way
The right way to be
Still pondering
What I’ve done

I’m still thinking what I’ve said
Still finding from within
And all that I know
Is still not enough

I’m being held by the one
Shadow tormenting my soul
The curving neck of the swan
The slow turning of a bird’s head

So white its plumes and feathers
Its breast like the moon in water
Silent and tranquil it moves
On the river in the calm

I wander back on familiar roads
I sense the marks I left on the hills
I see the cuts and wounds of my deeds
They make me muse on life

Up the hill and the mountain
I look back, I look down
There flows the River of Death
And here the wind in my hair

SIGN
Bonus Track
Far from here, a house forsaken
On lands of yesterday
The silence of the night has crept in
As weeping of the women
As thoughts of solitude
As sadness and as grief

In a dim deserted room
A token left on the table
A talisman, a hairbrush from his father
Oozing from the shaft
A stream of bitter sap
Dripping scarlet flow, so slow

They know it to be an emblem of death
A sign of destruction
They recognize the end of a friend
The agony of a man and son
They look at the brush
Remember the black hair
They weep a bitter sap

Oozing from the shaft
A stream of bitter sap
Dripping scarlet flow, so slow
Bristles weeping wet
To a pool of red