Smitten (Rakastunut), Eino Leino

Wood warbler - RSPB
Wood warbler – RSPB

This is an early poem, published in the collection Maaliskuun lauluja (March Songs) in 1896, when Leino was 18.

It all hinges on the translation of kerttu. One translation renders it as “ladybug” – the Finnish for ladybird being leppäkerttu. But I’ve never heard a ladybird sing, so warbler seems much more likely…

Fresh, the morning billow now is singing,
ripples’ gentle spilling strikes the shore,
cheerful is the aspen copse’s jingle,
now that harvest labour is no more.
Lonely warbler’s sadly serenading
absent loved one – memory now is fading.

And that morning billow I resembled,
once sang merrily just like a child,
played and sang, made love and went out dancing,
like those aspens on the shore was wild.
Joy has left me now – O warbler golden,
yours and mine, this song to cares beholden.


Raikkahasti laulaa aamunaalto,
kun se läikkyellen rantaan lyö,
hilpeä on haapalehdon helke,
sit’ ei paina elon päivätyö.
Yksin kerttu laulaa murheissansa
ikävöiden omaa armastansa.

Minä myöskin aamunaallon lailla
ennen lapsenmiellä laulelin,
sitten lietona kuin rannan haavat
leikin, lemmin, lauloin, tanhusin.
Nytp’ on riemu poissa, kerttu kulta,
saanut olen huolenvirret sulta.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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