IF THE ONE I KNOW CAME NOW
Anon. (oral tradition)trans. Keith Bosley
FINNISH

Jos mun tuttuni tulisi
ennen nähtyni näkyisi
sillen suuta suikajaisin
olis suu suden veressä,
sillen kättä käppäjäisin
jospa kärme kämmenpäässä!

Olisko tuuli mielelissä
ahavainen kielelissä
sanan toisi, sanan veisi
sanan liian liikuttaisi
kahden rakkaan välillä.

Ennenpä heitän herkkuruat
paistit pappilan unohdan
ennen kun heitän herttaiseni
kesän kestyteltyäni
talven taivuteltuani.



KARELIAN

Kuin se tuttuni tulisi
enne nähtyni näkyisi,
virstan vastahan mänisin
venehell on vettä myöte
suksill on saloo myöte
aitoa ylentämään
veräjeä purkamaha.
Ratkosin risuset aiat,
aiat rautaset alennan.
Miepä kättä käpsäjäisin
vaikka on käärmes kämmenellä,
mie kaglalla kapusin
vaikka on kalma kaglallani,
mie suuta suihkovaisin
vaikka ois suu suven veressä
sekä vierehe mänisin
vaikka ois vieru verta täynnä.


If the one I know came now
the one I've seen were in sight
I'd snatch a kiss from his mouth
though his mouth bled from a wolf
I would touch him on the hand
though a snake were in his palm!

Had the wind a mind
and the gale a tongue
it would bring word, take a word
set an extra word astir
between two lovers.

I will sooner leave fine foods
and forget rectory roasts
before I leave my sweetheart
the one I tamed all summer
and persuaded all winter





If the one I know came now
the one I've seen were in sight
I'd go a mile to meet him
by boat on water
on skis through backwoods
to lift up a fence
to unlatch a gate:
I would tear brushwood fences
iron fences I'd bring down.
I would touch his hand
though a snake were in his palm
I'd climb on his neck
though death were upon his neck
I would kiss his mouth
though his mouth bled from a wolf
and to his side I would go
though his side were all bloody.

From The Great Bear, two variants of a love poem from 70 collected.
The first, from a Swedish travel book in French (1801), was translated by
Goethe ("Finnisches Lied", 1810). The second variant dates from 1884.

Trans. Copyright © Keith Bosley. Original with acknowledgements to the Finnish Literature Society, Helsinki.


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