Tuonetar, the Dead-Land hostess

Tuonetar, the death-land hostess,
Ancient hostess of Tuoni,
Brings him pitchers filled with strong-beer,
Fills her massive golden goblets,
Speaks these measures to the stranger:
“Drink, thou ancient Wainamoinen,
Drink the beer of king Tuoni!”
Wainamoinen, wise and cautious,
Carefully inspects the liquor,
Looks a long time in the pitchers,
Sees the spawning of the black-frogs,
Sees the young of poison-serpents,
Lizards, worms, and writhing adders.

Tuonetar, hostess of Tuonela, Land of the Dead, offers the wizard Väinämöinen a pint of snakes, worms and lizards. He refuses to drink it. In old poems, Tuonetar is the one who tucks the dead into bed. After being offered the pint of snakes, Väinämöinen is offered a bed full of lizards.



Lemminkäinen, the warrior-wizard, is offered a pint of snakes in Pohjola, Northland.

Looking to the very bottoms;
There beheld he writhing serpents,
In the centre adders swimming,
On the borders worms and lizards.


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