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  •  The Kalevala Rune XX The Brewing of Beer (1+ / 0-)
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    bsegel

    Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
    Hastens to the hall and court-room,
    In the centre speaks as follows:
    "Whence indeed will come the liquor,
    Who will brew me beer from barley,
    Who will make the mead abundant,
    For the people of the Northland,
    Coming to my daughter's marriage,
    To her drinking-feast and nuptials?
    Cannot comprehend the malting,
    Never have I learned the secret,
    Nor the origin of brewing."
    Spake an old man from his corner:
    "Beer arises from the barley,
    Comes from barley, hops, and water,
    And the fire gives no assistance.
    Hop-vine was the son of Remu,
    Small the seed in earth was planted,
    Cultivated in the loose soil,
    Scattered like the evil serpents
    On the brink of Kalew-waters,
    On the Osmo-fields and borders.
    There the young plant grew and flourished,
    There arose the climbing hop-vine,
    Clinging to the rocks and alders.

    "Man of good-luck sowed the barley
    On the Osmo hills and lowlands,
    And the barley grew and flourished,
    Grew and spread in rich abundance,
    Fed upon the air and water,
    On the Osmo plains and highlands,
    On the fields of Kalew-heroes.

    "Time had travelled little distance,
    Ere the hops in trees were humming,
    Barley in the fields was singing,
    And from Kalew's well the water,
    This the language of the trio:
    'Let us join our triple forces,
    Join to each the other's powers;
    Sad alone to live and struggle,
    Little use in working singly,
    Better we should toil together.'

    "Osmotar, the beer-preparer,
    Brewer of the drink refreshing,
    Takes the golden grains of barley,
    Taking six of barley-kernels,
    Taking seven tips of hop-fruit,
    Filling seven cups with water,
    On the fire she sets the caldron,
    Boils the barley, hops, and water,
    Lets them steep, and seethe, and bubble
    Brewing thus the beer delicious,
    In the hottest days of summer,
    On the foggy promontory,
    On the island forest-covered;
    Poured it into birch-wood barrels,
    Into hogsheads made of oak-wood.

    "Thus did Osmotar of Kalew
    Brew together hops and barley,
    Could not generate the ferment.
    Thinking long and long debating,
    Thus she spake in troubled accents:
    'What will bring the effervescence,
    Who will add the needed factor,
    That the beer may foam and sparkle,
    May ferment and be delightful?'

    Kalevatar, magic maiden,
    Grace and beauty in her fingers,
    Swiftly moving, lightly stepping,
    In her trimly-buckled sandals,
    Steps upon the birch-wood bottom,
    Turns one way, and then another,
    In the centre of the caldron;
    Finds within a splinter lying
    From the bottom lifts the fragment,
    Turns it in her fingers, musing:
    'What may come of this I know not,
    In the hands of magic maidens,
    In the virgin hands of Kapo,
    Snowy virgin of the Northland!'

    "Kalevatar took the splinter
    To the magic virgin, Kapo,
    Who by unknown force and insight.
    Rubbed her hands and knees together,
    And produced a snow-white squirrel;
    Thus instructed she her creature,
    Gave the squirrel these directions:
    'Snow-white squirrel, mountain-jewel,
    Flower of the field and forest,
    Haste thee whither I would send thee,
    Into Metsola's wide limits,
    Into Tapio's seat of wisdom;
    Hasten through the heavy tree-tops,
    Wisely through the thickest branches,
    That the eagle may not seize thee,
    Thus escape the bird of heaven.
    Bring me ripe cones from the fir-tree,
    From the pine-tree bring me seedlings,
    Bring them to the hands of Kapo,
    For the beer of Osmo's daughter.'

    Quickly hastened forth the squirrel,
    Quickly sped the nimble broad-tail,
    Swiftly hopping on its journey
    From one thicket to another,
    From the birch-tree to the aspen,
    From the pine-tree to the willow,
    From the sorb-tree to the alder,
    Jumping here and there with method,
    Crossed the eagle-woods in safety,
    Into Metsola's wide limits,
    Into Tapio's seat of wisdom;
    There perceived three magic pine-trees,
    There perceived three smaller fir-trees,
    Quickly climbed the dark-green branches,
    Was not captured by the eagle,
    Was not mangled in his talons;
    Broke the young cones from the fir-tree,
    Cut the shoots of pine-tree branches,
    Hid the cones within his pouches,
    Wrapped them in his fur-grown mittens
    Brought them to the hands of Kapo,
    To the magic virgin's fingers.
    Kapo took the cones selected,
    Laid them in the beer for ferment,
    But it brought no effervescence,
    And the beer was cold and lifeless.

    "Osmotar, the beer-preparer,
    Kapo, brewer of the liquor,
    Deeply thought and long considered:
    'What will bring the effervescence,
    Who will lend me aid efficient,
    That the beer may foam and sparkle,
    May ferment and be refreshing?'

    "Kalevatar, sparkling maiden,
    Grace and beauty in her fingers,
    Softly moving, lightly stepping,
    In her trimly-buckled sandals,
    Steps again upon the bottom,
    Turns one way and then another,
    In the centre of the caldron,
    Sees a chip upon the bottom,
    Takes it from its place of resting,
    Looks upon the chip and muses
    'What may come of this I know not,
    In the hands of mystic maidens,
    In the hands of magic Kapo,
    In the virgin's snow-white fingers.'

    "Kalevatar took the birch-chip
    To the magic maiden, Kapo,
    Gave it to the white-faced maiden.
    Kapo, by the aid of magic,
    Rubbed her hands and knees together,
    And produced a magic marten,
    And the marten, golden-breasted;
    Thus instructed she her creature,
    Gave the marten these directions.
    'Thou, my golden-breasted marten,
    Thou my son of golden color,
    Haste thou whither I may send thee,
    To the bear-dens of the mountain,
    To the grottoes of the growler,
    Gather yeast upon thy fingers,
    Gather foam from lips of anger,
    From the lips of bears in battle,
    Bring it to the hands of Kapo,
    To the hands of Osmo's daughter.'

    "Then the marten golden-breasted,
    Full consenting, hastened onward,
    Quickly bounding on his journey,
    Lightly leaping through the distance
    Leaping o'er the widest rivers,
    Leaping over rocky fissures,
    To the bear-dens of the mountain,
    To the grottoes of the growler,
    Where the wild-bears fight each other,
    Where they pass a dread existence,
    Iron rocks, their softest pillows,
    In the fastnesses of mountains;
    From their lips the foam was dripping,
    From their tongues the froth of anger;
    This the marten deftly gathered,
    Brought it to the maiden, Kapo,
    Laid it in her dainty fingers.

    "Osmotar, the beer-preparer,
    Brewer of the beer of barley,
    Used the beer-foam as a ferment;
    But it brought no effervescence,
    Did not make the liquor sparkle.

    "Osmotar, the beer-preparer,
    Thought again, and long debated:
    'Who or what will bring the ferment,
    Th at my beer may not be lifeless?'

    "Kalevatar, magic maiden,
    Grace and beauty in her fingers,
    Softly moving, lightly stepping,
    In her trimly-buckled sandals,
    Steps again upon the bottom,
    Turns one way and then another,
    In the centre of the caldron,
    Sees a pod upon the bottom,
    Lifts it in her snow-white fingers,
    Turns it o'er and o'er, and muses:
    'What may come of this I know not,
    In the hands of magic maidens,
    In the hands of mystic Kapo,
    In the snowy virgin's fingers?'

    "Kalevatar, sparkling maiden,
    Gave the pod to magic Kapo;
    Kapo, by the aid of magic,
    Rubbed the pod upon her knee-cap,
    And a honey-bee came flying
    From the pod within her fingers,
    Kapo thus addressed her birdling:
    'Little bee with honeyed winglets,
    King of all the fragrant flowers,
    Fly thou whither I direct thee,
    To the islands in the ocean,
    To the water-cliffs and grottoes,
    Where asleep a maid has fallen,
    Girdled with a belt of copper
    By her side are honey-grasses,
    By her lips are fragrant flowers,
    Herbs and flowers honey-laden;
    Gather there the sweetened juices,
    Gather honey on thy winglets,
    From the calyces of flowers,
    From the tips of seven petals,
    Bring it to the hands of Kapo,
    To the hands of Osmo's daughter.'

    "Then the bee, the swift-winged birdling,
    Flew away with lightning-swiftness
    On his journey to the islands,
    O'er the high waves of the ocean;
    Journeyed one day, then a second,
    Journeyed all the next day onward,
    Till the third day evening brought him
    To the islands in the ocean,
    To the water-cliffs and grottoes;
    Found the maiden sweetly sleeping,
    In her silver-tinselled raiment,
    Girdled with a belt of copper,
    In a nameless meadow, sleeping,
    In the honey-fields of magic;
    By her side were honeyed grasses,
    By her lips were fragrant flowers,
    Silver stalks with golden petals;
    Dipped its winglets in the honey,
    Dipped its fingers in the juices
    Of the sweetest of the flowers,
    Brought the honey back to Kapo,
    To the mystic maiden's fingers.

    "Osmotar, the beer-preparer,
    Placed the honey in the liquor;
    Kapo mixed the beer and honey,
    And the wedding-beer fermented;
    Rose the live beer upward, upward,
    From the bottom of the vessels,
    Upward in the tubs of birch-wood,
    Foaming higher, higher, higher,
    Till it touched the oaken handles,
    Overflowing all the caldrons;
    To the ground it foamed and sparkled,
    Sank away in sand and gravel.

    "Time had gone but little distance,
    Scarce a moment had passed over,
    Ere the heroes came in numbers
    To the foaming beer of Northland,
    Rushed to drink the sparkling liquor.
    Ere all others Lemminkainen
    Drank, and grew intoxicated
    On the beer of Osmo's daughter,
    On the honey-drink of Kalew.

    "Osmotar, the beer-preparer,
    Kapo, brewer of the barley,
    Spake these words in saddened accents:
    'Woe is me, my life hard-fated,
    Badly have I brewed the liquor,
    Have not brewed the beer in wisdom,
    Will not live within its vessels,
    Overflows and fills Pohyola!'

    "From a tree-top sings the redbreast,
    From the aspen calls the robin:
    'Do not grieve, thy beer is worthy,
    Put it into oaken vessels,
    Into strong and willing barrels
    Firmly bound with hoops of copper.'

    "Thus was brewed the beer or Northland,
    At the hands of Osmo's daughter;
    This the origin of brewing
    Beer from Kalew-hops and barley;
    Great indeed the reputation
    Of the ancient beer of Kalew,
    Said to make the feeble hardy,
    Famed to dry the tears of women,
    Famed to cheer the broken-hearted,
    Make the aged young and supple,
    Make the timid brave and mighty,
    Make the brave men ever braver,
    Fill the heart with joy and gladness,
    Fill the mind with wisdom-sayings,
    Fill the tongue with ancient legends,
    Only makes the fool more foolish."

    When the hostess of Pohyola
    Heard how beer was first fermented,
    Heard the origin of brewing,
    Straightway did she fill with water
    Many oaken tubs and barrels;
    Filled but half the largest vessels,
    Mixed the barley with the water,
    Added also hops abundant;
    Well she mixed the triple forces
    In her tubs of oak and birch-wood,
    Heated stones for months succeeding,
    Thus to boil the magic mixture,
    Steeped it through the days of summer,
    Burned the wood of many forests,
    Emptied all the, springs of Pohya;
    Daily did the, forests lesson,
    And the wells gave up their waters,
    Thus to aid the hostess, Louhi,
    In the brewing of the liquors,
    From the water, hops, and barley,
    And from honey of the islands,
    For the wedding-feast of Northland,
    For Pohyola's great carousal
    And rejoicings at the marriage
    Of the Malden of the Rainbow
    To the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
    Metal-worker of Wainola.

    Smoke is seen upon the island,
    Fire, upon the promontory,
    Black smoke rising to the heavens
    From the fire upon the island;
    Fills with clouds the half of Pohya,
    Fills Karelen's many hamlets;
    All the people look and wonder,
    This the chorus of the women:
    "Whence are rising all these smoke-clouds,
    Why this dreadful fire in Northland?
    Is not like the smoke of camp-fires,
    Is too large for fires of shepherds!"

    Lemminkainen's ancient mother
    Journeyed in the early morning
    For some water to the fountain,
    Saw the smoke arise to heaven,
    In the region of Pohyola,
    These the words the mother uttered:
    "'Tis the smoke of battle-heroes,
    From the beat of warring armies!"

    Even Ahti, island-hero,
    Ancient wizard, Lemminkainen,
    Also known as Kaukomieli,
    Looked upon the scene in wonder,
    Thought awhile and spake as follows:
    "I would like to see this nearer,
    Learn the cause of all this trouble,
    Whence this smoke and great confusion,
    Whether smoke from heat of battle,
    Or the bonfires of the shepherds."

    Kaukomieli gazed and pondered,
    Studied long the rising smoke-clouds;
    Came not from the heat of battle,
    Came not from the shepherd bonfires;
    Heard they were the fires of Louhi
    Brewing beer in Sariola,
    On Pohyola's promontory;
    Long and oft looked Lemminkainen,
    Strained in eagerness his vision,
    Stared, and peered, and thought, and wondered,
    Looked abashed and envy-swollen,
    "O beloved, second mother,
    Northland's well-intentioned hostess,
    Brew thy beer of honey-flavor,
    Make thy liquors foam and sparkle,
    For thy many friends invited,
    Brew it well for Lemminkainen,
    For his marriage in Pohyola
    With the Maiden of the Rainbow."

    Finally the beer was ready,
    Beverage of noble heroes,
    Stored away in casks and barrels,
    There to rest awhile in silence,
    In the cellars of the Northland,
    In the copper-banded vessels,
    In the magic oaken hogsheads,
    Plugs and faucets made of copper.
    Then the hostess of Pohyola
    Skilfully prepared the dishes,
    Laid them all with careful fingers
    In the boiling-pans and kettles,
    Ordered countless loaves of barley,
    Ordered many liquid dishes,
    All the delicacies of Northland,
    For the feasting of her people,
    For their richest entertainment,
    For the nuptial songs and dances,
    At the marriage of her daughter
    With the blacksmith, Ilmarinen.

    When the loaves were baked and ready.
    When the dishes all were seasoned,
    Time had gone but little distance,
    Scarce a moment had passed over,
    Ere the beer, in casks imprisoned,
    Loudly rapped, and sang, and murmured:
    "Come, ye heroes, come and take me,
    Come and let me cheer your spirits,
    Make you sing the songs of wisdom,
    That with honor ye may praise me,
    Sing the songs of beer immortal!"

    The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in learning to love the dandelions. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1910

    by Grainpaw on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 08:58:08 PM PDT

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