On a Journey (Matkalla), Eino Leino

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A tale of a lost seafarer, told with Leino’s characteristically relentless metre. It’s perhaps worth comparing with Blok’s early poem The Dark Maiden.

Long the journey, blackly feeling, where the consolation?
Recollecting former bliss is worries’ relegation.

There my maid resided, like a native seashore flower;
there I let my boat be pulled to glade by windy power.

Flower of native seashore, cast not gaze beyond at ocean,
look upon the valley, or on seashore’s little drumlin.

Under crashing breaker, you perchance may there espy me,
destined mourning virgin, bitter, gazing, your eyes teary.

Sometimes, teary virgin, you may find yourself recalling
coastal flower’s not always first beneath the wave befalling.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Matka pitkä, mieli musta, mistä lohdun saapi?
Entisajan auvon muistot murheet karkottaapi.

Sinne jäi mun neitoni kuin kukka kotirannan;
venhoni mä viiman viedä aukealle annan.

Ällös kukka kotirannan katso ulapalle,
katso ennen laaksohon tai rannan kukkulalle.

Sortuvan mun aallon alle nähdä voisit siellä,
siitä ehkä kauvan oisit, impi, murhemiellä.

– Joskus mua muista sentään, muista immyt rukka,
ettei ensi aallon helmaan kaadu rannankukka.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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