On the rocks the waves were splashing,
in the sky the gulls were shrieking,
in a pool a crab was clawing
at a shell that hid a snail.
I was younger, I was stronger,
I could hear the sea shore speaking,
and I thought of Ilmarinen,
the smith who forged the Sampo,
the magic mill that spun gold and silver
in Kalevala, the old Finnish tale.
Longfellow wrote Hiawatha
to its rhythm and its metre.
On the page the verses moved me,
they spoke of pines, nuts and cones,
pleasant to my ear like the flow of water,
the flow of water over stones.
I have never been to Finland,
rowed a boat upon its water,
heard the song of Vainamoinen,
as he courted Louhi’s daughter.
There is still the sudden rainbow,
the silence after thunder,
the kite I flew on the grass,
the first inklings of wonder.
Who has stolen the red sun?
Who has hidden the white moon?
Now the wizard war is over,
who will find words to fit the tune?