The love story of Nemunas and Neris

Another legend of Nemunas and Neris

Beyond the vast woodlands, beyond boundless marshlands, two springs spurted and two little streams ran from deep in the ground. The further they went, the faster they hurried, but had not yet decided where they would turn. ‘Rush to the west!’, urged the low clouds, pouring clean and clear water into the little streams. ‘There you’ll find the vast sea!’ Replete with water, the two little streams merged and became one river Nemunas.

A handsome youth, Nemunas now boldly ploughed his way to the sea. In the meantime, little white clouds spoke to him of the gorgeous beauty of Neris. ‘She’s there’, pointed the clouds to the north, ‘Neris also wishes to reach the sea. She’s so clear that even the smallest clouds reflect on her waters.’

As Nemunas listened to the clouds, he was captivated by Neris. He soon turned and rushed towards her.

But the treacherous wind overheard the words of the white clouds and tossed them around. Nemunas rushed, unknowingly, after them: to one side in the morning, to the other at night. Delayed and looping across the same lands, Nemunas made his way ahead regardless. At Birštonas, he lost his sense of direction and could no longer tell which way was Neris or the sea. Thrumming with despair he pushed through the Balbieris shoal of stones. ‘Don’t get upset, I’ll help you,’ said Verknė who had also witnessed much hardship. Having merged with Nemunas, she ran with him to Strėva stream, then all the way to Kaunas. ‘Here’, she comforted Nemunas, ‘you will meet your beloved.’

The furious wind howled and tossed the clouds across the vast skies, but his efforts were now fruitless.