A Mother’s Sorrows (Äidin surut) from The Devil’s Sword (Hiiden miekka), Eino Leino

lingua fennica

Portrait of Leino by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, 1917 Portrait of Leino by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, 1917

Leino wrote the libretto for Melartin’s oratorio (?) of the same name in 1906. The oratorio seems all but forgotten. Words written for music can have a considerably more fluid metre, though this is less of a challenge with the first of the three translations I’m doing. The others are “The Troubadour’s Song” (Trubaduurin laulu) and “Sukkamieli’s Rod” (Sukkamielen sauva).

.
Three the nights now, rolling stream,
grieving thusly, awful dream:
ever since my mourning’s onset
all my thoughts have been of poppet.

Thus I dream of horrid sword,
sand with bloody stain is scored.
Mother’s child’s in arms of Jesus,
slain in battle, cut to pieces.

Cup is rolling, spent, on floor,
dregs are drained, there is no more.
Faithful Lord from wayward feeling
save a mother’s pet with healing.

Clenched like this my…

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