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The Hero of Esthonia and Other Studies in the Roma

Then the Creator summoned Koit and Aemarik to his presence


the Creator summoned Koit and Aemarik to his presence, and said, "I will guard against any further negligence respecting the light of the world, lest darkness should again get the upper hand, and I will appoint two watchers under whose care all shall run its course. The Moon and Videvik shall illumine the night with their radiance at the appointed time. Koit and Aemarik, to your watch and ward I intrust the light of day beneath the firmament. Fulfil your duty with diligence. To thy care, my daughter Aemarik, I entrust the sinking sun. Receive him on the horizon, and carefully extinguish all the sparks every evening, lest any harm should ensue, and lead him to his setting. Koit, my active son, let it be thy care to receive the sun from the hands of Aemarik when he is ready to begin his course, and to kindle new light, that there may never be any deficiency."

The two servants of the sun did their duty with diligence, so that the sun was never absent from the sky for a day. Then began the long summer nights when Koit and Aemarik join their hands, when their hearts beat and their lips meet in a kiss, while the birds in the woods sing sweet songs each according to his note, when flowers blossom, the trees flourish, and all the world rejoices. At this time the Creator descended from his golden throne to earth to celebrate the festival of Lijon.[20] He found all his works and affairs in good order, and rejoiced in his creation, and said to Koit and

Aemarik, "I am well pleased with your management, and desire your lasting happiness. From henceforth be husband and wife."

But the two exclaimed with one voice, "Father, let us enjoy our happiness undisturbed. We are content with our lot, and will remain lover and beloved, for thus we enjoy a happiness which is ever young and new."

Then the Creator granted them their desire, and returned to his golden heaven.

* * * * *

The versions given by Boecler and Jannsen differ slightly.

[Footnote 18: This story has been already printed in English, (Jones and Kropf, _Folk-Tales of the Magyars_, pp. 326-328), but I was unwilling to omit it.]

[Footnote 19: The constellation of the Great Bear is of course intended.]

[Footnote 20: The dictionary gives no further explanation than "Name of a mythical personage."]



On a beautiful and quiet summer evening many years ago, a pious maiden went to the Vaskjala[21] Bridge to bathe and refresh herself after the heat of the day. The sky was clear, and the song of the nightingale re-echoed from the neighbouring alder thicket. The Moon ascended to his heavenly pavilion, and gazed down with friendly eyes on the wreath of the maiden with the golden hair and rosy cheeks. The maiden's heart was pure and innocent, and modest and clear as the waters of the spring to its very depths. Suddenly she felt her heart beat faster, and a strange longing seized her, and she could no longer turn her eyes away from the face of the Moon. For because she was so good and pure and innocent, she had won the love of the Moon, who desired to fulfil her secret longings and the wish of her heart. But the pious maiden cherished but one wish in her heart, which she could not venture to express or to ask the Moon to fulfil, for she longed to depart from this world and to dwell for ever beneath the sky with the Moon, but the Moon knew the unexpressed thoughts of her heart.

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