the golden maiden
is a tale which the runolainen of the
far North used to sing in hovel and hall, and
which the heroes of primeval times learned by
heart and taught to their children. In its original
form it was related, not in plain, unvarnished prose,
as you shall find it here, but in
endless monotonous measures, tuned to the
music of the kantele.
It was made up of numerous stories, songs,
folk-melodies, and incantations, with which were
interwoven many independent episodes that are
nor necessary to its completeness. The weaver
of tales, who now relates these adventures to
modern readers, has chosen to deviate widely
from the methods of the ancient story-tellers.
He has combined various parts, as pleased his
fancy, into one complete harmonious fabric, and,
while he has retained much of the original warp
and woof, he has added various and many colorings
and connecting threads of his own invention.
In doing this he has merely exercised the time-honored
right of poets and story-tellers—the
right to make new cloth out of old.