Staburadze tells of a wonder
These vows the Council brought now to its close-
Their homeward paths the gods departing sought.
When Staburadze last of all arose,
And with these words portentous tidings brought:
"I came this day straight from my palace home,
With eager news of what my eyes there saw.
It happened in the seething waters' foam,
The raging vortex of the maelstrom's maw."
"I sat aloft and spun the mists of night,
On Staburags's crag enthroned on high.
The shuttle filled and in the morning's light,
At cock's first crow the blushing dawn was nigh.
Then came two witches riding in the air,
Lit by the sun they flew in dawn's pale gleam;
On oaken branches twisted, gnarled and bare,
Across the Daugava sped above the stream."
"And down into the pool a staff they cast,
One of the two they through the heavens rode.
Then on the other homeward sped off fast,
To seek again their dread and drear abode.-
To learn the reason for this secret deed,
To look into the whirlpool's depths and see,
I flew down straight, and took of all good heed,
And drew the whirling branch secure to me."
"Then what strange sight before my eyes took form!
A handsome youth revealed in morning's grey,
Who lay within the log, his skin still warm,
Though swooning in a deathly faint he lay.
Forth from the log I drew the gasping lad,
And bore him to my home beneath the swells,
Within its crystal halls now warmly clad,
I laid him down upon a bed of shells."
"When signs of life with surging joy I saw,
To tell of this I hastened hence to you;
To learn great God of Thunder of your law,
To know your will and seek your further view.
For humankind within the maelstrom's jaws
Must lie for ever, turned to lifeless stone.
Our Staburags, augmented without pause,
Has by such plunder ever vaster grown."
"This youngster now I do desire to take
To dwell with me inside my castle gate.
For if he venture from the sacred lake,
To turn at once to stone will be his fate.
But in my Crystal Palace he can bide,
In human form the bloom of youth to see,
There, raised to safety from the river's tide,
To live his life in harmony with me."
Stern Tikla chaste, with strict words ever rife,
Spoke thus, fair Staburadze to berate:
"Perhaps to have eternal godly life
Our sister now does judge a tedious fate.
She does not wish so long alone to mourn
And wash the cliff with flood of bitter tears.
She wants the youth of human parents born,
And with him yearns to spend the passing years."
Though Staburadze blushed at Tikla's word,
She did not yield nor shrink back from the blow.
"You err, stern Tikla, make a charge absurd.
The circumstances clear and plainly show,
The youth is not a normal mortal man.
I want to keep this lad with me alive,
That, chosen by the gods, his life's whole span
He will against the powers of darkness strive."
Perkons reveals his purpose
At last wise Laima uttered up her view:
"To me its plan the future must reveal.
Thus, I will look to see what it will do:
His lot from me the fates may not conceal."
"Women, enough! Yield place! Be silent all,"
The Thunder God in raging anger cried.
"This youth is chosen not to heed your call,
But serves the goals of my surpassing pride.
The witches down into the whirlpool cast
Bearslayer, son of Lielvarde's Lord;
You, Staburadze, wisely hastened fast;
You rescued him and this must all applaud!"
"Depart at once back to your Crystal Throne,
And take him in and give him seemly care,
That this fair lad may not be turned to stone,
But mend apace and flourish with you there.
You Laima too will care for this young man,
And guide him rightly, so that soon or late,
His life will follow and fulfil my plan,
To serve the gods and meet a hero's fate."
To close the Council now the time was right;
The Baltic gods in pomp departed all.
Will Destiny's father, grizzled, deathless might,
Again such sacred wisdom ever call?