A Winter Song (Talvilaulu), Eino Leino

lingua fennica

winter song

An extended Indian summer won’t stop winter. (Another day in the low to mid-twenties is forecast for Joensuu.) My big concern with this translation is that I made the hero of the last stanza into a fool, for the sake of a rhyme with “pool”. I’m not sure that can be justified…

The sun onto sea now has mounted,
freezing ridges atop the sea,
and fall with past heroes is counted,
winter’s frost will soon with us be.

And faithlessness seeming is winning,
weakly beating my broken heart,
the tinge of leaf browning is thinning –
lengthy northerly night will start.

O, frost of the winter, come slowly
o’er the earth and the gladed pool,
O, deathly, may frost settle quietly
‘pon the dozing heroic fool.

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

On aurinko astunut mereen,
meren kattanut jäykkä jää,
syys siirtynyt sankarin vereen,
pian talvikin hallapää.

Ja voittanut on epäusko,
sydän särkynyt heikosti lyö,

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