EMON NEUVO POJALLEDON’T PROPOSE ON A SUNDAY
Anon. (after oral tradition)trans. Keith Bosley (from Finnish)
Emo neuvoi poikoansa,
vanhin vaivansa näköä
kuin kuki sukimojansa,
itse ilmoin luomiansa.
Noin kuulin emon sanovan,
vaimon vanhan lausuvaksi:
"Poikueni, nuorempani,
lapseni, vakavampani,
jos tahot talohon naia,
tuoa miniän minulle,
ellös pyytäkö pyhänä,
tieltä kirkko kihlaelko.
Silloin porsaski punainen
ja sika'i silkki päässä.
Jalkavaimotki pahimmat
kirkkotiellä kiirehiksen,
sinisukkahan siroksen,
punapaulahan paneksen,
pää on silkkihin siottu,
hiukset pantu palmikolle.
Arkena parempi aika;
silloin naios, poikueni!
Ota olkihuonehesta,
riusanvarresta valitse,
kivenpuusta kihlaellos,
joll' on nurin nuttu päällä,
takki valmis tahtomatta,
jonk' on huntu huutehessa,
perä petkelen tomussa,
varsi jauhon valkiassa."
A mother advised her son
a parent the one she’d fledged
as anyone those she'd groomed
herself brought into the world.
Thus I heard my mother say
the old woman speak:
"My offspring, my younger one
my child, my baby
if you want to wed well, to
bring me a daughter-in-law
don't propose on a Sunday
on the church path don't betroth:
then even a piglet shines
and even a sow wears silk;
the very worst concubines
hurry along the church path
all got up in blue stockings
all made up in red laces
their heads bound in silk
their hair tied in braids.
Weekdays are the better time:
do your wiving then, my boy!
Take one from the threshing-floor
from those holding flails choose one
from those grinding betroth one
who has her coat on crooked
or straight without meaning it
whose kerchief has hoarfrost on
her bottom dusty from the stamper
her body white from grinding!"

From the Kanteletar, a treasury of lyrics and ballads (1840-1) based on oral tradition.

Trans. Copyright © Keith Bosley 1997 - publ. Bloodaxe Books. Original with acknowledgements to the Finnish Literature Society, Helsinki.


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