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The Lay of Leithian

This text is some sort of hybrid between the revised version and the older version of The Lay
of Leithian. I don't really remember the details anymore. I typed this whole thing in from the
book (The Lays of Beleriand) back in !!" or so# and I have no plans to finish the work.
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& king there was in days of old.
ere /en yet walked 0pon the mo0ld
his power was reared in caverns' shade#
his hand was over glen and glade.
(f leaves his crown# his mantle green#
his silver lances long and keen1
the starlight in his sheild was ca0ght#
ere moon was made or s0n was wro0ght.
In after2day when to the shore
of /iddle2earth from 3alinor
the %lven2hosts in might ret0rned#
and banners flew and beacons b0rned#
when kings of %ldamar went by
in strength of war# beneath the sky
then still his silver tr0mpets blew
when s0n was yo0ng and moon was new.
&far then in Beleriand#
in ,oriath's beleag0ered land#
4ing Thingol sat on g0arded throne
in many2pillared halls of stone.
there beryl# pearl# and opal pale#
and metal wro0ght like fishes' mail#
b0ckler and corslet# axe and sword#
and gleaming spears were laid in hoard.
all these he had and co0nted small#
for dearer than all wealth in hall#
and fairer than are born to /en#
a da0ghter had he# L5thien.


() L6T$I%* T$% B%L(3%,

70ch lissom limbs no more shall r0n
on the green earth beneath the s0n1
so fair a maid no more shall be
from dawn to d0sk# from s0n to sea.
$er robe was bl0e as s0mmer skies#
b0t grey as evening was her eyes1
her mantle sewn with lilies fair#
b0t dark as shadow was her hair.
$er feet were swift as bird on wing#
her la0ghter merry as the spring1
the slender willow# the bowing reed#
the fragrance of a flowering mead#
the light 0pon the leaves of trees#
the voice of water# more than these
her bea0ty was and blissf0lness#
her glory and her loveliness.

7he dwelt in the enchanted land
while elven2might yet held in hand
the woven woods of ,oriath.
none ever thither fo0nd the path
0nbidden# none the forest2eaves
dared pass# or stir the listening leaves.
To north there lay a land of dread#
,0ngorthin where all ways were dead
in hills of shadow bleak and cold1
beyond was ,eadly *ightshade's hold
in Ta0r2n02)0in's fastness grim#
where s0n was sick and moon was dim.
To 7o0th the wide earth 0nexplored1
to 8est the ancient (cean roared#
0nsailed and shoreless# wide and wild1
to %ast in peaks of bl0e were piled#
in silence folded# mist2enf0rled#
the mo0ntains of the o0ter world.

Th0s Thingol in his dolven hall
amid the Tho0sand 9averns tall
of /enegroth as king abode.
to him there led no mortal road.
Beside him sat his deathless :0een#
fair /elian# and wove 0nseen
nets of enchantment ro0nd his throne#
and spells were laid on tree and stone.
sharp was his sword and high his helm#
the king of beech and oak and elm.
8hen grass was green and leaves were long#
when finch and mavis s0ng their song#
there 0nder bo0gh and 0nder s0n
in shadow and in light wo0ld r0n
fair L5thien the elven2maid#
dancing in dell and grassy glade.


() ,&I-(* /I*I7T-%L () T$I*+(L

8hen sky was clear and stars were keen#
then ,airon with his fingers lean#
as daylight melted into eve#
a trembling m0sic sweet wo0ld weave
on fl0tes of silver# thin and clear
for L5thien# the maiden dear.

There mirth there was and voices bright1
there eve was peace and morn was light1
there ;ewel gleamed and silver wan
and red gold on white fingers shone#
and elanor and niphredil
bloomed in the grass 0nfading still#
while the endless years of %lven2land
rolled over far Beleriand#
0ntil a day of doom befell#
as still the elven2harpers tell.



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)ar in the *orthern hills of stone
in caverns black there was a throne
by flame encircled1 there the smoke
in coiling col0mns rose to choke
the breath of life# and there in deep
and gasping d0ngeons lost wo0ld creep
to hopeless death all those who strayed
by doom beneath that ghastly shade.
& king there sat# most dark and fell
of all that 0nder heavens dwell.
Than earth or sea# than moon or star
more ancient was he# mightier far
in mind abysmal than he tho0ght
of %ldar or of /en# and wro0ght
of strength primeval1 ere the stone
was hewn to b0ild the world# alone
he walked in darkness# fierce and dire#
b0rned# as he wielded it# by fire.
$e 'twas that laid in r0in black
the Blessed -ealms and then fled back
to /iddle2earth anew to b0ild
beneath the mo0ntains mansions filled
with misbegotten slaves of hate.
death's shadow brooded at his gate.
$is hosts he armed with spears of steel
and brands of flame# and at their heel
the wolf walked and the serpent crept
with lidless eyes. *ow forth they leapt#
his r0ino0s legions# kindling war
in field and frith and woodland hoar.
8here long the golden elanor
had gleamed amid the grass they bore
their banners black# where finch had s0ng
and harpers silver harps had wr0ng
now dark the ravens wheeled and cried
amid the reek# and far and wide
the swords of /orgoth dripped with red
above the hewn and trampled dead.
7lowly his shadow like a clo0d
rolled from *orth# and on the pro0d
that wo0ld not yield his vengeance fell1
to death and thraldom 0nder hell
all things he doomed. the *orthern land
lay cowed beneath his ghastly hand.

B0t still there lived in hiding cold
B?or's son# Barahir the bold#
of land bereaved and lordship shorn
who once a prince of /en was born#
and now an o0tlaw l0rked and lay
in the hard heath and woodland grey.


() T$% 7&3I*+ () 4I*+ I*+L(- )%L&+@*, B' T$% AII BB(-I*+7

Twelve men beside him still there went#
still faithf0l when all hope was spent.
Their names are yet in elven2song
remembered# tho0gh the years are long
since do0ghty ,agnir and -agnor#
-adhr0in# ,air0in# and +ildor#
+orlim @nhappy# and @rthel#
and &rthad and $athaldir fell1
since the black shaft with venomed wo0nd
took Beleg0nd and Barag0nd#
the mighty sons of Bregolas1
since he whose deeds and doom s0rpass
all tales of /en was laid on bier#
fair Beren son of Barahir.
)or these it was# the chosen men
of B?or's ho0se# who in the fen
of reedy 7erech stood at bay
abo0t king Inglor in the day
of his defeat# and with their swords
th0s saved of all the %lven2lords
the fairest1 and his love they earned.
&nd he escaping so0th# ret0rned
to *argothrond his mighty realm#
where still he wore his crown?d helm1
b0t they to their northern homelands rode#
da0ntless and few# and there abode
0ncon:0ered still# defying fate#
p0rs0ed by /orgoth's sleepless hate.


() T&-* &%L@I* T$% BL%77%,

70ch deeds of daring there they wro0ght
that soon the h0nters that them so0ght
at r0mo0r of their coming fled.
Tho0gh price was set 0pon each head
to match the weregild of a king#
no soldier co0ld to /orgoth bring
news even of their hidden lair1
for where the highland browse and bare
above the darkling pines arose
of steep ,orthonion to the snows
and barren mo0ntain2winds# there lay
a tarn of water# bl0e by day#
by night a mirror of dark glass
for stars of %lbereth that pass
above the world into the 8est.
(nce hallowed# still that place was blest.
no shadow of /orgoth# and no evil thing
yet thither came1 a whispering ring
of slender birches silver2grey
stooped on its margin# ro0nd it lay
a lonely moor# and the bare bones
of ancient %arth like standing stones
thr0st thro0gh the heather and the whin1
and there by ho0seless &el0in
the h0nted lord and faithf0l men
0nder the grey stones made their den.


() +(-LI/ T$% @*$&CC'

+orlim @nhappy# &ngrim's son#
as the tale tells# of these was one
most fierce and hopeless. $e to wife#
while fair the fort0ne of his life#
took the white maiden %ilinel.
dear love they had ere evil fell.
To war he rode1 from war ret0rned
to find his fields and homestead b0rned#
his ho0se forsaken roofless stood#
empty amid the leafless wood1
and %ilinel# white %ilinel#
was taken whither none co0ld tell#
to death and thraldom far away.
Black was the shadow of that day
for ever on his heart# and do0bt
still gnawed him as he went abo0t
in wilderness wandring# or at night
oft sleepless# thinking that she might
ere evil came have timely fled
into the woods. she was not dead#
she lived# she wo0ld ret0rn again
to seek him# and wo0ld deem him slain.
Therefore at whiles he left the lair#
and secretly# alone# wo0ld peril dare#
and come to his old ho0se at night#
broken and cold# witho0t fire or light#
and na0ght grief renewed wo0ld gain#
watching and waiting there in vain.

In vain# or worse 2 for many spies
had /orgoth# many l0rking eyes
well 0sed to pierce the deepest dark1
and +orlim's coming they wo0ld mark
and wo0ld report. There came a day
when once more +orlim crept that way#
down the deserted weedy lane
at d0sk of a0t0mn sad with rain
and cold wind whining. LoD a light
at window fl0ttering in the night
amaEed he saw1 and drawing near#
between faint hope and s0dden fear#
he looked within. 'Twas %ilinelD
Tho0gh changed she was# he knew her well.
8ith grief and h0nger she was worn#
her tresses tangled# raiment torn1
her gentle eyes with tears were dim#
as soft she wept. F+orlim# +orlimD
Tho0 canst not have forsaken me.
Then slain# alasD tho0 slain m0st beD
&nd I m0st linger cold# alone#
and loveless as a barren stoneD'

(ne cry he gave 2 and then the light
blew o0t# and in the wind of night
wolves howled1 and on his sho0lder fell
s0ddenly the griping hands of hell.
There /orgoth's servants fast him ca0ght
and he was cr0elly bo0nd# and bro0ght
to 7a0ron# captain of the host#
the lord of werewolf and of ghost#
most fo0l and fell of all who knelt
at /orgoth's throne. In might he dwelt
on +a0roth Isle1 b0t now had ridden
with strength abroad# by /orgoth bidden
to find the rebel Barahir.
$e sat in dark encampment near#
and thither his b0tchers draggen their prey.
There now in ang0ish +orlim lay.
with bond on neck# on hand and foot#
to bitter torment he was p0t#
to break his will and him constrain
to b0y with treason end of pain.
B0t na0ght to them wo0ld he reveal
of Barahir# nor break the seal
of faith that on his tong0e was laid1
0ntil at last a pa0se was made#
and one came softly to his stake#
a darkling form that stooped# and spake
to him of %ilinel his wife.
F8o0ldst tho0#' he said#Fforsake thy life.
who with a few words might win release
for her# and thee# and go in peace#
and dwell together far from war#
friends of the 4ingG 8hat wo0ldst tho0 moreG'
&nd +orlim# now long worn with pain#
yearning to see his wife again
(whom well he weened was also ca0ght
in 7a0ron's net)# allowed the tho0ght
to grow# and faltered in his troth.
Then straight# half willing and half loath#
they bro0ght him to the seat of stone
where 7a0ron sat. $e stood alone
befor that dark and dreadf0l face#
and 7a0ron said. F9ome# mortal baseD
8hat do I hearG That tho0 wo0ldst dare
to barter with meG 8ell# speak fairD
8hat is thy priceG' &nd +orlim low
bowed down his head# and with great woe#
word on slow word# at last implored
that merciless and faithless lord
that he might free depart# and might
again find %ilinel the 8hite#
and dwell with her# and cease from war
against the 4ing. $e crave no more.

The 7a0ron smiled# and said. FTho0 trallD
The price tho0 askest is b0t small
for treachery and shame so greatD
I grant it s0relyD 8ell# I wait.
9omeD 7peak now swiftly and speak tr0eD'
Then +orlim wavered# and he drew
half back1 b0t 7a0ron's da0nting eye
there held him# and he dared not lie.
as he began# so m0st he wend
from first false step to faithless end.
he all m0st answer as he co0ld#
betray his lord and brotherhood#
and cease# and fall 0pon his face.

Then 7a0ron la0ghed alo0d# FTho0 base#
tho0 cringing wormD 7tand 0p#
and hear meD &nd now drink the c0p
that I have sweetly blent for theeD
Tho0 fool. a phantom tho0 didst see
that I# I 7a0ron made to snare
thy lovesick wits. *a0ght else was there.
9old 'tis with 7a0ron's wraiths to wedD
Thy %ilinelD 7he is long since dead#
dead# food of worms less low than tho0.
&nd yet thy boon I grant thee now.
to %ilinel tho0 soon shalt go#
and lie in her bed# no more to know
of war 2 or manhood. $ave thy payD'

&nd +orlim then they dragged away#
and cr0elly slew him1 and at last
in the dank mo0ld his body cast#
where %ilinel long since had laid
in the b0rned woods by b0tchers slain.
Th0s +orlim died an evil death#
and c0rsed himself with dying breath#
and Barahir at last was ca0ght
in /orgoth's snare1 for set at na0ght
by treason was the ancient grace
that g0arded long that lonely place#
Tarn &el0in. now all laid bare
were secret paths and hidden lair.



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H. () B%-%* 7(* () B&-&$I- > $I7 %79&C%

,ark from the *orth now blew the clo0d1
the winds of a0t0mn cold and lo0d
hissed in the heather1 sad and grey
&el0in's mo0rnf0l water lay.
F7on Beren'# then said Barahir#
FTho0 knowst the r0mo0r that we hear
of strength from the +a0rhoth that is sent
against 0s1 and o0r food nigh spent.
(n thee the lot falls by o0r law
to go forth now alone to draw
what help tho0 canst from the hidden few
that feed 0s still# and what is new
to learn. +ood fort0ne go with theeD
In speed ret0rn# for gr0dgingly
we spare thee from o0r brotherhood#
so small. and +orlim in the wood
is long astray or dead. )arewellD'
&s Beren went# still like a knell
reso0nded in his heart that word#
the last of his fater that he heard.

Thro0gh moor and fen# by tree and briar
he wandered far. he saw the fire
of 7a0ron's camp# he heard the howl
of h0nting (rc and wolf a2prowl#
and t0rning back# for long the way#
benighted in the forest lay.
In weariness he then m0st sleep#
fain in a badger2hole to creep#
and yet he heard (or dreamed it so)
nearby a marching legion go
with clink of mail and clash of shields
0p toward the stony mo0ntain2fields.
$e slipped then into darkness down#
0ntil# as man that waters drown
strives 0pwards gasping# it seemed to him
he rose thro0gh slime beside the brim
of s0llen pool beneath dead trees.
Their livid bo0ghs in cold a breeEe
trembled# and all their black leaves stirred.
each leaf a black and croaking bird#
whose neb a go0t of blood let fall#
$e sh0ddered# str0ggling thence to crawl
thro0gh winding weeds# when far away
he saw a shadow faint and grey
gliding across the dreary lake.
7lowly it came# and softly spake.
F+orlim I was# b0t now a wraith
of will defeated# broken faith#
traitor betrayed. +oD 7tay not hereD
&waken# son of Barahir#
and hasteD )or /orgoth's fingers close
0pon thy father's throat1 he knows
yo0r trysts# yo0r paths# yo0r secret lair'
Then he revealed the devil's snare
in which he fell# and failed1 and last
begging forgiveness# wept# and passed
o0t into darkness. Beren woke#
leaped 0p as one by s0dden stroke
with fire of anger filled. $is bow
and sword he seiEed# and like the roe
hotfoot o'er rock and heath he sped
before the dawn. ere day was dead
to &el0in at last he came#
as the red s0n westward sank in flame1
b0t &el0in was red with blood#
red were the stones and trampled m0d.
Black in the birches sat a2row
the raven and the carrion2crow1
wet were their nebs# and dark the meat
that dripped beneath their griping feet.
(ne croaked. F$a# ha# he comes too lateD'
F$a# haD' they answered# FhaD too lateD'
There Beren laid his father's bones
in haste beneath a cairn of stones1
no grave r0ne nor word he wrote
o'er Barahir# b0t thrice he smote
the topmost stone# and thrice alo0d
he cried his name. FThy death' he vowed#
FI will avenge. 'ea# tho0gh my fate
sho0ld lead at last to &ngband's gate.'
&nd then he t0rned# and did not weep.
too dark his heart# the wo0nd too deep.
(0y into night# as cold as stone#
loveless# friendless# he strode alone.

(f h0nter's lore he had no need
the trail to find. 8ith little heed
his r0thless foe# sec0re and pro0d#
marched north away with blowing lo0d
in braEen horns their lord to greet#
trampling the earth with grinding feet.
Behind them bold b0t wary went
now Beren# swift as ho0nd on scent#
0ntil beside a darkling well#
where -ivil rises from the fell
down into 7erech's reeds to flow#
he fo0nd the slayers# fo0nd his foe.
)rom hiding on the hillside near
he marked them all. tho0gh less than fear#
too many for his sword and bow
to slay alone. Then# crawling low
as snake in heath# he nearer crept.
There many weary with marching slept#
b0t captains# sprawling on the grass#
drank and from hand to hand let pass
their booty# gr0dging each small thing
raped from dead bodies. (ne a ring
held 0p# and la0ghed. F*ow# mates#' he cried
Fhere's mineD &nd I'll not be denied#
tho0gh few be like it in the land.
)or I 'twas wrenched it from the hand
of that same Barahir I slew#
the robber2knave. If tales be tr0e#
he had it of some elvish lord#
for the ro0ge2service of his sword.
*o help it gave to him 2 he's dead.
They're parlo0s# elvish rings# 'tis said1
still for the gold I'll keep it# yea
and so eke o0t ny niggard pay.
(ld 7a0ron bade me bring it back#
and yet# methinks# he has no lack
of weightier treas0res in his hoard.
the greater the greedier the lordD
7o mark ye# mates# ye all shall swear
the hand of Barahir was bareD'
&nd as he spoke an arrow sped
from tree behind# and forward dead
choking he fell with barb in throat1
with leering face the earth he smote.
)orth# then as wolfho0nd grim there leapt
Beren among them. Two he swept
aside with sword1 ca0ght 0p the ring1
slew one who grasped him1 with a spring
back into shadow passed# and fled
before their yells of wrath and dread
of amb0sh in the valley rang.
Then after him like wolves they sprang#
howling and c0rsing# gnashing teeth#
hewing and b0rsting thro0gh the heath#
shooting wild arrows# sheaf on sheaf#
at trembling shade or shaking leaf.
In fatef0ll ho0r was Beren born.
he la0ghed at dart and wailing horn1
fleetest of foot of living men#
tireless on fell and light on fen#
elf2wise in wood# he passed away#
defended by his ha0berk grey
of dwarfish craft in *ogrod made#
where hammers rang in cavern's shade.

&s fearless Beren was renowned.
when men most hardy 0pon gro0nd
were reckoned folk wo0ld speak his name#
foretelling that his after2fame
wo0ld even golden $ador pass
or Barahir or Bregolas1
b0t sorrow now his heart had wro0ght
to fierce despair# no more he fo0ght
in hope of life or ;oy or praise#
b0t seeking so to 0se his days
only that /orgoth deep sho0ld feel
the sting of his avenging steel#
ere death he fo0nd and end of pain.
his only fear was thraldom's chain.
,anger he so0ght and death p0rs0ed#
and th0s escaped the doom he wooed#
and deeds of breathless daring wro0ght
alone# of which his r0mo0r bro0ght
new hope to many a broken man.
They whispered FBeren'# and began
in secret swords to whet# and soft
by shro0ded hearts at evening oft
songs they wo0ld sing of Beren's bow#
of ,agmor his sword. how he wo0ld go
silent to camps and slay the chief#
or trapped in his hiding past belief
wo0ld slip away# and 0nder night
by mist or moon# or by the light
of open day wo0ld come again.
(f h0nters h0nted# slayers slain
they sang# of +orgol the B0tcher hewn#
of amb0sh in Ladros# fire in ,rIn#
of thirty in one battle dead#
of wolves that yelped like c0rs and fled
yea# 7a0ron himself with wo0nd in hand.
Th0s one alone filled all that land
with fear and death for /orgoth's folk1
his comrades were the beech and oak
who failed him not# and wary things
with f0r and fell and feathered wings
that silent wander# or dwell alone
in hill and wild and waste of stone
watched o'er his ways# his faithf0l friends.

'et seldom well an o0tlaw ends1
and /orgoth was a king more strong
than all the world has since in song
recorded. dark athwart the land
reached o0t the shadow of his hand#
at each recoil ret0rned again1
two more were sent for one foe slain.
*ew hope was cowed# all rebels killed1
:0enched were the fires# the songs were stilled#
tree felled# heath b0rned# and thro0gh the waste
marched the black host of (rcs in haste.
&lmost they closed their ring of steel
ro0nd Beren1 hard 0pon his heel
now trod their spies1 within their hedge
of all aid shorn# 0pon the edge
of death at bay he stood aghast
and knew that he m0st die at last#
or flee the land of Barahir#
his land beloved. Beside the mere
beneath a heap of nameless stones
m0st cr0mble those once mighty bones#
forsaken by both son and kin#
bewailed by reeds of &el0in.

In winter's night the ho0seless *orth
he left behind# and stealing forth
the leag0er of his watchf0l foe
he passed 2 a shadow on the snow#
a swirl of wind# and he was gone#
the r0in of ,orthonion#
Tarn &el0in and its water wan#
never again to look 0pon.
*o more shall hidden bowstring sing#
no more shall shaven arrows wing#
no more his h0nted head shall lie
0pon the heath beneath the sky.
The *orthern stars# whos silver fire
of old /en named the B0rning Briar#
were set behind his back# and shone
o'er land forsaked. he was gone.

7o0thward he t0rned# and so0th away
his long and lonely ;o0rney lay#
while ever loomed before his path
the dreadf0l peaks of +orgorath.
*ever had foot of man most bold
yet trod those mo0ntains steep and cold#
nor climbed 0pon their s0dden brink#
whence# sickened# eyes m0st t0rn and shrink
to see their so0thward cliffs fall sheer
in rocky pinnacle and pier
down into shadows that were laid
before the s0n and moon were made.
In valleys woven with deceit
and washed with waters bitter2sweet
dark magic l0rked in g0lf and glen1
b0t o0t away beyond the ken
of mortal sight the eagle's eye
from diEEy towers that pierced the sky
might grey and gleaming see afar#
as sheen on water 0nder star#
Beleriand# Beleriand#
the borders of the %lven2land.



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J. () T$% 9(/I*+ () B%-%* T( ,(-I&T$1 B@T )I-7T I7 T(L, ()
T$% /%%TI*+ () /%LI&* &*, T$I*+(L

There long ago in %lder2days
ere voice was heard or trod were ways#
the ha0nt of silent shadows stood
in starlit d0sk *an %lmoth wood.
In %lder2days that long are gone
a light amid the shadows shone#
a voice was in the silent heard.
the s0dden singing of a bird.
There /elian came# the Lady grey#
and dark and long her tresses lay
beneath her silver girdle2seat
and down 0nto her silver feet.
The nightingales with her she bro0ght#
to whom their song herself she ta0ght#
who sweet 0pon her gleaming hands
had s0ng in the immortal lands.
Thence wayward wandering on a time
from LKrien she dared to climb
the ever2lasting mo0ntain2wall
of 3alinor# at whose feet fall
the s0rges of the 7hadowy 7ea.
(0t away she went then free#
to gardens of the +ods no more
ret0rning# b0t on mortal shore#
a glimmer ere the dawn she strayed#
singing her spells from glade to glade.
& bird in dim *an %lmoth wood
trilled# and to listen Thingol stood
amaEed1 then far away he heard
a voice more fair than fairest bird#
a voice as crystal clear of note
as thread of silver glass remote.

(f folk and kin no more he tho0ght1
of errand that the %ldar bro0ght
from 90ivLnen far away#
of lands beyond the sea that lay
no more he recked# forgetting all#
drawn only by that distant call
till deep in dim *an %lmoth wood
lost and beyond recall he stood.
&nd there he saw her# fair and fay.
&r2/elian# the Lady grey#
as silent as the windless trees#
standing with mist abo0t her knees#
and in her face remote the light
of LKrien glimmered in the night.
*o word she spoke1 b0t pace by pace#
a halting shadow# towards her face
forth walked the silver2mantled king#
tall %l0 Thingol. In the ring
of waiting trees he took her hand.
(ne moment face to face they stand
alone# beneath the weeling sky#
while starlit years on earth go by
and in *an %lmoth wood the trees
grow dark and tall. The m0rm0ring seas
rising and falling on the shore
and @lmo's horn he heeds no more.

B0t long his people so0ght in vain
their lord# till @lmo called again#
and then in grief they marched away#
leaving the woods. To havens grey
0pon the western shore# the last
long shore of mortal land# they passed#
and thence were borne beyond the 7ea
in &man# the Blessed -ealm# to be
by evergreen %Eellohar
in 3alinor# in %ldamar.

Th0s Thingol sailed not on the seas
b0t dwelt amid the land of trees#
and /elian he loved# divine#
whose voice was potent as the wine
the 3alar drink i golden halls
where flower blooms and fo0ntain falls1
b0t when she sang it was a spell#
and no flower stirred nor fo0ntain fell.
& king and M0een th0s lived they long#
and ,oriath was filled with song#
and all the %lves that missed their way
and never fo0nd the western bay#
the gleaming walls of their long home
by the grey seas and the white foam#
who never trod the golden land
where the towers of the 3alar stand#
all these were gathered in their realm
beneath the beech and oak and elm.

In later days when /orgoth fled
from wrath and raised once more his head
and Iron 9rown# his mighty seat
beneath the smoking mo0ntain's feet
fo0nded and fortified anew#
then slowly dread and darkess grew.
the 7hadow of the *orth that all
the )olk of %arth wo0ld hold in thrall.
The lords of /en to knee he brings#
the kingdoms of the %xiled 4ings
assails with ever2mo0nting war.
in their last havens by the shore
they dwell# or strongholds walled with fear
defend 0pon his borders drear#
till each one falls. 'et reigns there still
in ,oriath beyond his will
the +rey 4ing and immortal M0een.
*o evil in their realm is seen1
no power their might can yet s0rpass.
there still is la0ghter and green grass#
there leaves are lit by the white s0n#
and many marvels are beg0n.

There went now in the +0arded -ealm
beneath the beech# beneath the elm#
there lightfoot ran now on the green
the da0ghter of the king and :0een.
of &rda's eldest children born
in bea0ty of their elven2morn
and only child ordained by birth
to walk in raiment of the %arth
from Those descended who began
before the world of %lf and /an.

Beyond the bo0nds of &rda far
still shone the Legions# star on star#
memorials of their labo0r long#
achievement of 3ision and of 7ong1
and when beneath their ancient light
on %arth below was clo0dless night#
m0sic in ,oriath awoke#
and there beneath the branching oak#
or seated in the beech2leaves brown#
,airon the dark with ferny crown
played on his pipes with elvish art
0nbearable by mortal heart.
*o other player has there been#
no other lips or fingers seen
so skilled# 'tis said in elven2lore#
save /aglor son of )?anor#
forgotten harper# singer doomed#
who yo0ng when La0relin yet bloomed
to endless lamentation passed
and in the tombless sea was cast.
B0t ,airon in his heart's delight
yet lived and played by starlit night#
0ntil one s0mmer2eve befell#
as still the elven harpers tell.
Then merrily his piping thrilled1
the grass was soft# the wind was stilled#
the twilight lingered faint and cool
in shadow2shapes 0pon the pool
beneath the bo0ghs of sleeping trees
standing silent. &bo0t their knees
a mist of hemlocks glimmered pale#
and ghostly moths on lace2wings frail
went to and fro. Beside the mere
:0ickening# rippling# rising clear
the piping called. Then forth she came#
as sheer and s0dden as a flame
of peerless white the shadows cleaving#
her maiden2bower on white feet leaving1
and as when s0mmer star arise
radiant into darkened skies#
her living light on all was cast
in fleeting silver as she passed.
There now she stepped with elven pace#
bending and swaying in her grace#
as half2rel0ctant1 then began
to dance# to dance. in maEes ran
bewildering# and a mist of white
was wreathed abo0t her whirling flight.
8ind2ripples on the water flashed#
and trembling leaf and flower were plashed
with diamond2dews# as ever fleet
and fleeter went her wingNd feet.

$er long hair as a clo0d was streaming
abo0t her arms 0plifted gleaming#
as slow above the trees the /oon
in glory of the plenil0de
arose# and on the open glade
its light serene and clear was laid.
Then s0ddenly her feet were stilled#
and thro0gh the woven wood there thrilled#
half wordless# half in elven2to0nge#
her voice 0praised in blissf0l song
that once of nightingales she learned
and in her living ;oy had t0rned
to heart2enthralling loveliness#
0nmarred# immortal# sorrowless.

Ir Ithil ammen %r0chLn
menel2vOr sLla dLriel
si loth a galadh lasto dOnD
& $Or &nnIn gilthoniel#
le linnon im Tin5vielD

( elven2fairest L5thien
what wonder moved thy dances thenG
That night what doom of %lvenesse
enchanted did thy voice possessG
70ch marvel shall there mo more be
on %arth or west beyond the 7ea#
at d0sk or dawn# by night or noon
or neath the mirror of the moonD
(n *eldoreth was laid a spell1
the piping into silence fell#
for ,airon cast his fl0te away#
0nheeded on the grass it lay#
in wonder bo0nd as stone he stood
heart2broken in the listening wood.
&nd still she sang above the night#
as light ret0rning into light
0psoaring from the world below
when s0ddenly there came a slow
d0ll tread of heavy feet on leaves#
and from the darkness on the eaves
of the bright glade a shape came o0t
with hands agrope# as if in do0bt
or blind# and as it st0mbling passed
0nder the moon a shadow cast
bended and darkling. Then from on high
as lark falls headlong from the sky
the song of L5thien fell and ceased1
b0t ,airon from the spell released
awoke to fear# and cried in woe.
F)lee L5thien# ah L5thien goD
&n evil walks in the woodD &wayD'
Then forth he fled in his dismay
ever calling her to follow him#
0ntil far off his cry was dim
F&h flee# ah flee now# L5thien'
B0t silent stood she in the glen
0nmoved# who never fear had known#
till fear then seiEed her# all alone#
seeing that shape with shagged hair
and shadow long that halted there.
Then s0dden she vanished like a dream
in dark oblivion# a gleam
in h0rrying clo0ds# for she had leapt
among the hemlocks tall# and crept
0nder a mighty plant with leaves
all long and dark# whose stem in sheaves
0pheld an h0ndred 0mbrels fair1
and her white arms and sho0lders bare
her raiment pale# and in her hair
the wild white roses glimmering there#
all lay like spattered moonlight hoar
in gleaming pools 0pon the floor.
Then stared he wild in d0mbness bo0nd
at silent trees# deserted gro0nd1
he blindly groped across the glade
to the dark trees' encircling shade#
and# while she watched with veil?d eyes#
to0ched her soft arm in sweet s0rprise.
Like startled moth from deathlike sleep
in s0nless nook or b0shes deep
she darted swift# and to and fro
with c0nning that elvish dancers know
abo0t the tr0nks of trees she twined
a path fantastic. )ar behind
enchanted# wildered and forlorn
Beren came bl0ndering# br0ised and torn.
%sgald0in the elven2stream#
in which amid tree2shadows gleam
the stars# flowed strong before his feet.
7ome secret way she fo0nd# and fleet
passed over and was seen no more#
and left him forsaken on the shore.
F,arkly the s0ndering flood rolls pastD
To this my long way comes at last 2
a h0nger and a loneliness#
enchanted waters pitiless.'

& s0mmer waned# an a0t0mn glowed#
and Beren in the woods abode#
as wild and wary as a fa0n
that s0dden wakes at r0stling dawn#
and flits from shade to shade# and flees
the brightness of the s0n# yet sees
all stealthy movements in the wood.
The m0rm0ro0s warmth in weathers good#
the h0m of many wings# the call
of many a bird# the pattering fall
of s0dden rain 0pon the trees#
the windy tides in leafy seas#
the creaking of the bo0ghs# he heard1
b0t not the song of sweetest bird
bro0ght ;oy or comfort to his heart#
a wanderer d0mb who dwelt apart1
who so0ght 0nceasing and in vain
to hear and see those thinga again.
a song more fair than nightingale#
a wonder in the moonlight pale.

&n a0t0mn waned# a winter laid
the withered leaves in grove and glade1
the beeches bare were ga0nt and grey#
and red their leaves beneath them lay.
)rom cavern pale the moist moon eyes
the white mists that from earth arise
to hide the morrow's s0n and drip
all the grey day from each twig's tip.
By dawn and d0sk he seeks her still1
by noon and night in valleys chill#
nor hears a so0nd b0t the slow beat
on sodden leaves of his own feet.

The wind of winter winds his horn1
the misty veil is rent and torn.
The wind dies1 the starry choirs
leap in the silent sky to fires#
whose light comes bitter2cold and sheer
thro0gh domes of froEen crystal clear.

& sparkle thro0gh the darkling trees#
a piercing glint of light he sees#
and there she dances all alone
0pn a freeless knoll of stoneD
$er mantle bl0e with ;ewels white
ca0ght all the rays of frosted light.
7he shone with cold and wintry flame#
as dancing down the hill she came#
and passed his watchf0l silent gaEe#
a glimmer as of stars ablaEe.
&nd snowdrops spang beneath her feet#
and one bird# s0dden# late and sweet#
shrilled as the wayward passed along.
& froEen brook to b0bbling song
awoke and la0ghed1 b0t Beren stood
still bo0nd enchanted in the wood.
$er starlight faded and the night
closed o'er the snowdrops glimmering white.

Thereafter on a hillock green
he saw far off the elven2sheen
of shining limb and ;ewel bright
often and oft on moonlit night1
and ,airon's pipe awoke him once more#
and soft she sang as once before.
Then nigh he stole beneath the trees#
and heartache mingled with hearts2ease.

& night there was when winter died1
then all alone she sang and cried
and danced 0ntil the dawn of spring#
and chanted some wild magic thing
that stirred him# till it s0dden broke
the bonds that held him# and he woke
to madness sweet and brave despair.
$e fl0ng his arms to the night air#
and o0t he danced 0nheeding# fleet#
enchanted# with enchanted feet.
$e sped towards the hillock green#
the lissom limbs# the dancing sheen1
he leapt 0pon the grasy hill
his arms with loveliness to fill.
his arms were empty# and she fled1
away# away her white feet sped.
B0t as she went he swiftly came
and called her with the tender name
of nightingales in elvish tong0e#
that all the woods now in s0dden r0ng.
FTin5vielD Tin5vielD'
&nd clear his voice was as a bell1
its echoes wove a binding spell.
FTin5vielD Tin5vielD'
$is voice s0ch love and longing filled
one moment stood she# fear was stilled1
one moment only1 like a flame
he leaped towards her as she stayed
and ca0ght and kissed that elfin maid.

&s love there woke in sweet s0rprise
the starlight trembled in her eyes.
&D L5thienD &D L5thienD
more fair than any child of /en1
(D loveliest maid of %lfinesse#
what madness does thee now possessD
&D lissom limbs and shadowy hair
and chaplet of white snowdrops there1
(D starry diadem and white
pale hands beneath the pale moonlightD
7he left his arms and slipped away
;0st at the breaking of the day.



<



I3


$e lay 0pon the leafy mo0ld#
his face 0pon earth's bosom cold#
aswoon in overwhelming bliss#
enchanted of an elvish kiss#
seeing within his darkened eyes
the light that for no darkness dies#
the loveliness that doth not fade#
tho0gh all in ashes cold be laid.
Then folded in the mists of sleep
hi sank into abysses beep#
drowned in an overwhelming grief
for parting after meeting brief1
a shadow and a fragrance fair
lingered# and waned# and was not there.
)orsaken# barren# bare as stone#
the daylight fo0nd him cold# alone.

F8here art tho0 goneG The day is bare#
the s0nlight dark# and cold in the airD
Tin5viel# where went thy feetG
( wayward starD ( maiden sweetD
( flower of %lfland all too fair
for mortal heartD The woods are bareD
The woods are bareD' he rose and cried.
F%re spring was born# the spring hath diedD'
&nd wandering in path and mind
he groped as one gone s0dden blind#
who seeks to grasp the hidden light
with faltering hands in more than night.

&nd th0s in ang0ish Beren paid
for that great doom 0pin him laid#
the deathless love of L5thien#
too fair for ove of mortal /en1
and in his doom was L5thien snared#
the deathless in his dying shared1
and )ate them forged a binding chain
of living love and mortal pain.

Beyond all hope her feet ret0rned
at eve# whenin the sky there b0rned
the flame of stars1 and in her eyes
there trembled the starlight of the skies#
and from her hair the fragrance felll
of elvenflowers in elven2dell.

Th0s L5thien# whom no p0rs0it#
no snare# no dart that h0nters shoot#
might hope to win or hold# she came
at the sweet calling of her name1
and th0s in his her slender hand
was linked in far Beleriand1
in ho0r enchanted long ago
her arms abo0t his nech did go#
and gently down she drew to rest
his weary head 0pon her breast.
&D L5thien# Tin5viel#
why wentest tho0 to darkling dell
with shining eyes and dancing pace#
the twilight glimmering in thy faceG
%ach day before the end of eve
she so0ght him love# nor wo0ld him leave#
0ntil the stars were dimmed# and day
came glimmering eastward silver2grey.
Then trembling2veiled she wo0ld appear
and dance before him# half in fear1
there flitting ;0st before his feet
she gently chid with la0ghter sweet.
F9omeD dance now# Beren# dance with meD
)or fain thy dancing I wo0ld see.
9omeD tho0 m0st woo with nimbler feet#
than those who walk where mo0ntains meet
the bitter skies beyond this realm
of marvello0s moonlit beech and elm.'

In ,oriath Beren long ago
new art and lore he learned to know1
his limbs were freed1 his eyes alight#
kindled with a new enchanted sight1
and to her dancing feet his feet
att0ned went dancing free and fleet1
his la0ghter welled as from a spring
of m0sic# and his voice wo0ld sing
as voices of those in ,oriath
where paved with flowers are floor and path.
The year th0s on to s0mmer rolled#
from spring to a s0mmertime of gold.

Th0s fleeting fast their short ho0r flies#
while ,airon watches with fiery eyes#
ha0nting the gloom of tangled trees
all day# 0ntil at night he sees
in the fickle moon their moving feet#
two lovers linked in dancing sweet#
two shadows shimmering on the green
where lonely2dancing maid had been.
F$atef0l art tho0# ( Land of TreesD
/ay fear and silence on thee seiEeD
/y fl0te shall fall from idle hand
and mirth shall leave Beleriand1
m0sic shall perish and voices fail
and trees stand d0mb in dell and daleD'

It seemed a h0sh had fallen there
0pon the waiting woodland air1
and often m0rm0red Thingol's folk
in wonder# and to their king they spoke.
FThis spell of silence who hath wro0ghtG
what web hath ,airon's m0sic ca0ghtG
It seems the very birds sing low1
m0rm0rless %sgald0in doth flow1
the leaves scarce whisper on the trees#
and so0ndless beat the wings of beesD'

This L5thien heard# and there the :0een
her s0dden glances saw 0nseen.
B0t Thingol marvelled# and he sent
for ,airon the piper# ere he went
and sat 0pon his mo0nded seat 2
his grassy throne by the grey feet
of the M0een of Beeches# $irilorn#
0pon whose triple piers were borne
the mightiest va0lt of leaves and bo0gh
from world's beginning 0ntil now.
7he stood above %sgald0in's shore#
where long slopes fell beside the door#
the g0arded gates# the portals stark
of the Tho0sand echoing 9averns dark.
There Thingol sat and heard no so0nd
save far off footsteps on the gro0nd1
no fl0te# no vocice# no song of bird#
no choirs of windy leaves there stirred1
and ,airon coming no word spoke#
silent amid the woodland folk.
Then Thingol said. F( ,airon fair#
tho0 master of all m0sics rare#
( magic heart and wisdom wild#
who0e ear nor eye may be beg0iled#
what omen doth this silence bearG
8hat horn afar 0pon the air#
what s0mmons do the woods awaitG
/ayhap the Lord Tavros from his gate
and tree2propped halls# the forest2god#
rides his wild stallion golden2shod
amid the tr0mpets' tempest lo0d#
amid his green2clad h0nters pro0d#
leaving his deer and friths divine
and emerald forestsG 7ome faint sign
of his great onset may have come
0pon the 8estern winds# and d0mb
the woods now listen for a chase
that here once more shall th0ndering race
beneath the shade of mortal trees.
8o0ld it were soD The Lands of %ase
hath Tavros left not many and age#
since /orgoth evil wars did wage#
since r0in fell 0pon the *orth
and the +nomes 0nhappy wandered forth.
B0t if not he# who comes or whatG'
&nd ,airon answered. F$e cometh notD
*o feet divine shall leave that shore#
where the 7hadowy 7eas' last s0rges roar#
till many things be come to pass#
and many evils wro0ght. &lasD
the g0est is here. The woods are still#
b0t wait not1 for a marvel chill
them holds at the strange deeds they see#
b0t kings see not 2 tho0gh :0eens# maybe#
may g0ess# and maidens# maybe# know.
8here one want lonely two now goD'

F8hither thy riddle points is plain'
the king in anger said# Fb0t deign
to make it plainerD 8ho is he
that earns my wrathG $ow walks he free
within my woods amid my folk#
a stranger to both beech and oakG'
B0t ,airon looked on L5thien
and wo0ld he had not spoken then#
and no more wo0ld he speak that day#
tho0gh Thingol's face with wrath was grey.
Then L5thien stepped lightly forth.
F)ar in the mo0ntain2leag0ered *orth#
my father#' said she# Flies the land
that groans beneath 4ing /orgoth's hand.
Thence came one hither# bent and worn
in wars and travail# who had sworn
0ndying hatred of that king1
the last of B?or's sons# they sing#
and even hither far and deep
within thy woods the echoes creep
thro0gh the wild mo0ntain2passes cold#
the last of B?or's ho0se to hold
a sword 0ncon:0ered# neck 0nbowed#
a heart by evil power 0ncowed.
*o evil needest tho0 think or fear
of Beren son of BarahirD
If a0ght tho0 hast to say to him#
then swear to h0rt not flesh or limb#
and I will lead him to thy hall#
a son of kings# no mortal thrall.'
Then long 4ing Thingol looked on her
while hand nor foot nor tong0e did stir#
and /elian# silent# 0namaEed#
on L5thien and Thingol gaEed.
F*o blade nor chain his limbs shall mar'
the king then swore. F$e wanders far#
and news# mayhap# he hath for me#
and words I have for him# maybeD'
*ow Thingol bade them all depart
save ,airon# whom he called. F8hat art#
that wiEardry of *orthern mist
hath this illcomer bro0ght 0sG ListD
Tonight go tho0 by secret path#
who knowest all wide ,oriath#
and watch that L5thien 2 da0ghter mine#
what madness doth thy heart entwine#
what web from /orgoth's dreadf0l halls
hath ca0ght thy feet and thee enthrallsD 2
that she bid not this Beren flee
back whence he came. I wo0ld him seeD
Take with thee woodland archers wise.
Let na0ght beg0ile yo0r hearts or eyesD'

Th0s ,airon heavyhearted did#
and the woods were filled with watchers hid1
yet needless# for L5thien that night
led Beren by the golden light
of mo0nting moon 0nto the shore
and bridge befor her father's door1
and the white light silent looked within
the waiting portals yawning dim.

,ownward with gentle hand she led
thro0gh corridors of carven dread
whose t0rns were lit by lanterns h0ng
of flames from torches that were fl0ng
on dragons hewn in the cold stone
with ;ewelled eyes and teeth of bone.
Then s0dden# deep beneath the earth
the silences with silver mirth
were shaken and the roks were ringing#
the birds of /elian were singing1
and wide the ways of shadow spread
as into archNd halls she led
Beren in wonder. There a light
like day immortal and like night
of stars 0nclo0ded# shone and gleamed.
& va0lt of topless trees it seemed#
whose tr0nks of carven tones there stood
like towers of and enchanted wood
in magic fast for ever bo0nd#
bearing a roof whose branches wo0nd
in endless tracery of green
lit by some leaf2imprisoned sheen
of moon and s0n# and wro0ght of gems#
and each leaf h0ng on golden stems.
LoD there amid immortal flowers
the nightingales in shining bowers
sang o'er the head of /elian#
while water for ever dripped and ran
from fo0ntains in the rocky floor.
There Thingol sat. $is crown he wore
of green and silver# and ro0nd his chair
a host in gleaming armo0r fair.
Then Beren looked 0pon the king
and stood amaEed1 and swift a ring
of elvish weapons hemmed him ro0nd.
Then Beren looked 0pon the gro0nd#
for /elian's gaEe had so0ght his face#
and daEed there drooped he in that place#
and when the king spake deep and slow.
F8ho art tho0 st0mblest hitherG 4now
that none 0nbidden seek this throne
and ever leave these halls of stoneD'
no word he answered# filled with dread.
B0t L5thien answered in his stead.
FBehold# my father# one who came
p0rs0ed by hatred like a flameD
LoD Beren son of BarahirD
8hat need hath he thy wrath to fear#
foe of o0r foes# witho0t a friend#
whose knees to /orgoth do not bendG'

FLet Beren answerD' Thingol said.
F8hat wo0ldst tho0 hereG 8hat hither led
thy wandering feet# ( mortal wildG
$ow hast tho0 L5thien beg0iled
or darest tho0 to walk this wood
0nasked# in secretG -eason good
'twere best declare now if tho0 may#
or never again see light of dayD'
Then Beren looked in L5thien's eyes
and saw a light of starry skies#
and thence was slowly drawn his gaEe
to /elian's face. &s from a maEe
of wonder d0mb he woke1 his heart
the bonds of awe there b0rst apart
and filled with fearless pride of old1
in his glance now gleamed an anger cold.
F/y feet hath fate# ( king#' he said#
Fhere over the mo0ntains bleeding led#
and what I so0ght not I have fo0nd#
and love it is hath here me bo0nd.
Thy dearest treas0re I desire1
nor rocks nor steel nor /orgoth's fire
nor all the power of %lfinesse
shall keep that gem I wo0ld possess.
)or fairer than are born to /en
& da0ghter hast tho0# L5thien.'

7ilence then fell 0pon the hall1
like graven stone there stood they all#
save one who cast her eyes agro0nd#
and one who la0ghed with bitter so0nd.
,airon the piper leant there pale
against a pillar. $is fingers frail
there to0ched a fl0te that whispered not1
his eyes were dark1 his heart was hot.
F,eath is the g0erdon tho0 hast earned#
( baseborn mortal# who hast learned
in /orgoth's realm to spy and l0rk
like (rcs that do his evil workD'
F,eathD' echoed ,airon fierce and low#
b0t L5thien trembling gasped in woe.
F&nd death#' said Thingol# Ftho0 sho0ldst taste#
had I not sworn an oath in haste
that blade nor chain thy flesh sho0ld mar.
'et captive bo0nd by never a bar#
0nchained# 0nfettered# shalt tho0 be
in lightless labyrinth endlessly
that coils abo0t my halls profo0nd
by magic bewildered and enwo0nd1
tho0 shalt learn the power of %lfinesseD'
FThat may not beD' LoD Beren spake#
and thro0gh the king's words coldly brake.
F8hat are thy maEes b0t a chain
wherein the captive blind is slainG
Twist not thy oaths# ( elvish king#
like faithless /orgothD By this ring 2
the token of a lasting bond
that )elag0nd of *argothrond
once swore in love to Barahir#
who sheltered him with shield and spear
and saved him from p0rs0ing foe
on *orthern battlefields long ago 2
death tho0 canst give 0nearned to me#
b0t names I will not take from thee
of baseborn# spy# or /orgoth's thrallD
&re these the ways of Thingol's hallG'
Cro0d are the words# and all there t0rned
to see the ;ewels green that b0rned
in Beren's ring. These +nomes had set
as eyes of serpents twined that met
beneath a golden crown of flowers#
that one 0pholds and one devo0rs.
the badge that )inrod made of yore
and )elag0nd his son now bore.
$is anger was chilled# b0t little less#
and dark tho0ghts Thingol did possess#
tho0gh /elian the pale leant to his side
and whispered. F( king# forgo thy prideD
70ch is my co0nsel. *ot by thee
shall Beren be slain# for far and free
from these deep halls his fate doth lead#
yet wo0nd with thine. ( king# take heedD'
B0t Thingol looked on L5thien.
F)airest of %lvesD @nhappy /en#
children of little lords and kings
mortal and frail# these fading things#
shall they then look with love on theeG'
his heart with him tho0ght. FI see
thy ring#' he said# F( mighty manD
B0t to win the child of /elian
a father's deeds shall not avail#
nor thy pro0d words at which I :0ail.
& treas0re dear I too desire#
b0t rocks and steel and /orgoth's fire
from all the powers of %lfinesse
do keep the ;ewel I wo0ld possess.
'et bonds like these I hear thee say
affright thee not. *ow go thy wayD
Bring me one shining 7ilmaril
from /orgoth's crown# then if she will#
may L5thien set her hand in thine1
then shalt tho0 have this ;ewel of mine.'

Then Thingol's warriors lo0d and long
they la0ghed1 for wide renown in song
had )?anor's gems o'er land and sea#
the peerless 7ilmarils1 and three
alone he made and kindled slow
in the land of 3alar long ago#
and there in TIn of their own light
they shone like marvello0s stars at night#
in the great +nomish hoards of TIn#
while +lingal flowered and Belthil's bloom
yet lit the land beyond the shore
where the 7hadowy 7eas' last s0rges roar#
ere /orgoth stole them and the +nomes
seeking their glory left their homes#
ere sorrow fell on %lves and /en#
ere Beren was or L5thien#
ere )?anor's sons in madness swore
their dreadf0l oath. B0t now no more
their bea0ty was seen# save shining clear
in /orgoth's d0ngeons vast and drear.
$is iron crown they m0st adorn#
and gleam above (rcs and slaves forlorn#
treas0red in $ell above all wealth#
more than his eyes1 and might nor stealth
co0ld to0ch them# or even gaEe too long
0pon their magic. Throng on throng
of (rcs with reddened scimitars
encircled him# and mighty bars
and everlasting gates and walls#
who wore them now amigst his thralls.
Then Beren la0ghed more lo0d than they
in bitterness# and th0s did say.
F)or little price do elven2kings
their da0ghters sell 2 for gems and rings
and things of goldD If s0ch thy will#
thy bidding I will now f0lfill.
(n Beren son of Barahir
tho0 hast not looked the last# I fear.
)arewell# Tin5viel# starlit maidenD
%re the pale winter pass snowladen#
I will ret0rn# not thee to b0y
with any ;ewel in %lfinesse#
b0t to find my love in loveliness#
a flower that grows beneath the sky.'
Bowing before /elian and the king
he t0rned# and thr0st aside the ring
of g0ards abo0t him# and was gone#
and his footsteps faded one by one
in the dark corridors. F& g0ilef0l oath
tho0 sworest# fatherD Tho0 hast both
to blade and chain his flesh now doomed
in /orgoth's d0ngeons deep entombed#'
said L5thien# and welling tears
sprang in her eyes# and hideo0s fears
cl0tched at her heart. &ll looked away#
and later remembered that sad day
whereafter L5thien no more sang.
Then clear in the silence the cold words rang
of /elian. F9o0nsel c0nning2wise#
( kingD' she said. F'et if mine eyes
lose not their power# 'twere well for thee
that Beren failed his errantry.
8ell for thee# b0t for thy child
a dark doom and a wandering wild.'

FI sell not to /en those whom I love'
said Thingol# Fwhom all things above
I cherish1 and if hope there were
that Beren sho0ld ever living fare
to the Tho0sand 9averns once more# I swear
he sho0ld not ever have seen the air
or light of heaven's stars again.'
B0t /elian smiled# and there was pain
as of far knowledge in her eyes1
for s0ch is the sorrow of the wise.



3


7o days drew on from the mo0rnf0l day1
the c0rse of silence no more lay
on ,oriath# tho0gh ,airon's fl0te
and L5thien's singing both were m0te.
The m0rm0rs soft awake once more
abo0t the woods# the waters roar
past the great gates of Thingol's halls1
b0t no dancing step of L5thien falls
on t0rf or leaf. )or she forlorn#
where st0mbled once# where br0ised and torn#
with longing on him like a dream#
had Beren sat by the shro0ded stream
%sgald0in the dark and strong#
she sat now and mo0rned in a low song.
F%ndless roll the waters pastD
To this my love hath come at last#
enchanted waters pitiless#
a heartache and a loneliness.'

The s0mmer t0rns. In branches tall
she hears the pattering raindrops fall#
the windy tide in leafy seas#
the creaking of the co0ntless trees1
and longs 0nceasing and in vain
to hear one calling once again
the tender name that nightingales
were called of old. %cho fails.
FTin5vielD Tin5vielD'
the memory is like a knell#
a faint and far2off tolling bell.
FTin5vielD Tin5vielD'

F( mother /elian# tell to me
some part of what thy dark eyes seeD
Tell of thy magic where his feet
are wanderingD 8hat foes him meetG
( mother# tell me# lives he still
treading the desert and the hillG
,o s0n and moon above him shine#
do the rains fall on him# mother mineG'

F*ay# L5thien my child# I fear
he lives indeed in bondage drear.
The Lord of 8olves hath prisons dark#
chains and enchantments cr0el and stark#
there trapped and bo0nd and lang0ishing
now Beren dreams that tho0 dost sing.'

FThen I alone m0st go to him
and dare the dread in d0ngeons dim1
for none there be that will him aid
in all the world# save elven2maid
whose only skill were ;oy and song#
and both have failed and left her long.'

&nd no0ght said /elian thereto#
tho0gh wild the words. 7he wept anew#
and ran thro0gh the woods like h0nted deer
with her hair streaming and eyes of fear.
,airon she fo0nd with ferny crown
silently sitting on beech2leaves brown.
(n the earth she cast her at his side.
F( ,airon# ,airon# my tears#' she cried#
Fnow pity for o0r old days' sakeD
/ake me a m0sic for heart's ache#
for heart's despair# and for heart's dread#
for light gone dark and la0ghter deadD'

FB0t for m0sic dead there is no note#'
,airon answered# and at his throat
his fingers cl0tched. 'et his pipe he took#
and sadly trembling the m0sic shook1
and all things stayed while that piping went
wailing in the hollows# and there intent
they listened# their b0siness and mirth#
their hearts' gladness and the light of earth
forgotten1 and bird2voices failed
while ,airon's fl0te in ,oriath wailed.
L5thien wept not for very pain#
and when he ceased she spoke again.
F/y friend# I have a need of friends#
as he who a long dark ;o0rney wends#
and fears the road# yet dare not t0rn
and look back where the candles b0rn
in windows he has left. The night
in front# he do0bts to find the light
that far beyond the hills he seeks.'
&nd th0s of /elian's words she speaks#
and of her doom and her desire
to climb the mo0ntains# and the fire
and r0in of the *orthern realm
to dare# a maiden witho0t helm
or sword# or strength of hardy limb#
where magic fo0nders and grows dim.
$is aid she so0ght to g0ide her forth
and find the pathways to the *orth#
if he wo0ld not for love of her
go by her side a wanderer.
F8herefore#' said he# Fsho0ld ,airon go
into direst peril earth doth know
for the sake of mortal who did steal
his la0ghter and ;oyG *o love I feel
for Beren son of Barahir#
nor weep for him in d0ngeons drear#
who in this wood have chains enow#
heavy and dark. B0t thee# I wow#
I will defend from perils fell
and deadly wandering into hell.'

*o more they spake that day# and she
perceived not his meaning. 7orrowf0lly
she thanked him# and she left him there.
& tree she climbed# till the bright air
above the woods her dark hair blew#
and straining afar her eyes co0ld view
the o0tline grey and faint and low
of diEEy towers where the clo0ds go#
the so0thern faces mo0nting sheer
in rocky pinnacle and pier
of 7hadowy /o0ntains pale and cold1
and wide the lands before them rolled.
B0t straightway ,airon so0ght the king
and told him his da0ghter's pondering#
and how her madness might her lead
to r0in# 0nless the king gave heed.
Thingol was wroth# and yet amaEed1
in onder and half fear he gaEed
on ,airon and said. FTr0e hast tho0 been.
*ow ever shall love be 0s between#
while ,oriath lasts1 within this realm
tho0 art a prince of beech and elmD'
$e sent for L5thien# and said.
F( maiden fair# what hath thee led
to ponder madness and despair
to wander r0in# and to fare
from ,oriath agains my will#
stealing like a wild thing men wo0ld kill
into the emptiness o0tsideG'
FThe wisdom# father#' she replied1
nor wo0ld she promise to forget#
nor wo0ld she vow for love or threat
her folly to forsake and meek
in ,oriath her father's will to seek.
This only vowed she# if go she m0st#
that none b0t herself wo0ld she now tr0st#
no folk of her father's wo0ld pers0ade
to break his will or lend her aid1
if go she m0st# she wo0ld go alone
and friendless dare the walls of stone.

In angry love and half in fear
Thingol took co0nsel in his most dear
to g0ard and keep. $e wo0ld not bind
in caverns deep and intertwined
sweet L5thien# his lovely maid#
who robbed of air m0st wane and fade#
who ever m0st look 0ponthe sky
and see the s0n and moon go by.
B0t close 0nto his mo0nded seat
and grassy throne there ran the feet
of $irirlorn# the beechen :0een.
@pon her triple boles were seen
no break or branch 0ntil aloft
in a green glimmer# distant# soft#
the mightiest va0lt of leaf and bo0gh
from world's beginning 0ntil now
was fl0ng above %sgald0in's shores
and the long slopes of Thingol's doors.
+rey was the rind of pillars tall
and silken2smooth# and far and small
to s:0irrels' eyes were those who went
at her grey feet 0pon the bent.
*ow Thingol made men in the beech#
in that great tree# as far as reach
their longest ladders# there to b0ild
an airy ho0se1 and as he willed
a little dwelling of fair wood
was made# and veiled in leaves it stood
above the first branches. 9orners three
it had and windows faint to see#
and by three shafts of $irilorn
in the corners standing was 0pborne.
There L5thien was bidden dwell#
0ntil she was wiser and the spell
of madness left her. @p she clomb
the long ladders to her new home
among the leaves# among the birds1
she sang no song# she spoke no words.
8hite glimmering in the tree she rose#
and her little door they heard her close.
The ladders were taken and no more
her feet might tread %sgald0in's shore.

Thither at whiles they climbed and bro0ght
all things she needed and beso0ght1
b0t death was his# who so sho0ld dare
a ladder leave# or creeping there
sho0ld set one by the tree at night1
a g0ard was held from d0sk to light
abo0t the grey feet of $irilorn
and L5thien in prison and forlorn.
There ,airon grieving often stood
insorrow for the captive of the wood#
and melodies made 0pon his fl0te
leaning against a grey tree2root.
L5thien wo0ld from her windows stare
and see him far 0nder piping there#
and she forgave his betraying word
for the m0sic and the grief she heard#
and only ,airon wo0ld she let
across her threshold foot to set.
'et long the ho0rs when she m0st sit
and see the s0nbeams dance and flit
in beechen leaves# or watch the stars
peep on clear nights between the bars
of beechen branches. &nd one night
;0st ere the changing of the light
a dream there came# from the +ods# maybe#
or /elian's magic. 7he dreamed that she
heard Beren's voice o'er the hill and fell
FTin5viel' call# FTin5viel.'
&nd her heart answered. FLet me be gone
to seek him no others think 0ponD'
7he woke and saw the moonlight pale
thro0gh the slim leaves. It trembled frail
0pon her arms# as these she spread
and there in longing bowed her head#
and yearned for freedom and escape.

*ow L5thien doth her co0nsel shape1
and /elian's da0ghter of deep lore
knew many things# yea# magics more
than then or now know elven2maids
that glint and shimmer in the glades.
7he pondered long# while the moon sank
and faded# and the starlight shrank#
and the dawn opened. &t last a smile
on her face flickered. 7he m0sed a while#
and watched the morning s0nlight grow#
then called to those that walked below.
&nd when one climbed to her she prayed
that he wo0ld in the dark pools wade
af cold %sgald0in# water clear#
the clearest water cold and sheer
to draw for her. F&t middle night#'
she said# Fin bowl of silver white
it m0st be drawn and bro0ght to me
with no word spoked# silently.'
&nother she begged to bring her wine
in a ;ag of gold where flowers twine 2
Fand singing let him come to me
at high noon# singing merrily.'
&gain she spake. F*ow go# I pray#
to /elian the :0een# and say.
Pthy da0ghter many a weary ho0r
slow passing watches in her bower1
a spinning2wheel she begs thee send.P'
Then ,airon she called. FI prithee# friend#
climb 0p and talk to L5thienD'
&nd sitting at her window then#
she said. F/y ,airon# tho0 hast craft#
beside thy m0sic# many a shaft
and many a tool of carven wood
to fashion with c0nning. It were good#
if tho0 wo0ldst make a little loom
to stand in the corner of my room.
/y idle fingers wo0ld spin and weave
a pattern of colo0rs# of morn and eve#
of s0n and moon and changing light
amid the beech2leaves waving bright.'
This ,airon did and asked her then.
F( L5thien# ( L5thien#
8hat wilt tho0 weaveG 8hat wilt tho0 spinG'
F& marvello0s thread# and wind therin
a potent magic# and a spell
I will weave within my web that hell
nor all the powers of ,read will break.'
Then ,airon wondered# b0t he spake
no word to Thingol# tho0gh his heart
feared the dark p0rpose of her art.

&nd L5thien now was left alone.
& magic song to /en 0nknown
she sang# and singing then the wine
with water mingled three times nine1
and as in golden ;ar they lay
she sang a song of groth and day1
and as they lay in silver white
another song she sang# of night
and darkness witho0t end# of height
0plifted to the stars# and flight
and freedom. &nd all the names of things
tallest and longest on earth she sings.
the locks of the Longbeard dwarves1 the tail
of ,ra0gl0in the werewolf pale1
the body of +lKm0nd the great snake1
the vast 0psoaring peaks that :0ake
above the fiers in &ngband's gloom1
the chain &ngainor that ere ,oom
for /orgoth shall by gods be wro0ght
of steel and torment. *ames she so0ght#
and sang of +lend the sword of *an1
of +imil the giant of %r0man1
and last and longest named she then
the endless hair of @inen#
the Lady of the 7ea# that lies
thro0gh all the waters 0nder skies.

Then did she lave her head and sing
a theme of sleep and sl0mbering#
profo0nd and fathomless and dark
as L5thien's shadowy hair was dark 2
each thread was more slender and more fine
than threads of twilight that entwine
in filmy web the fading grass
and closing flowers as day doth pass.
*ow longer and longer grew her hair#
and fell to her feet# and wandered there
like pools

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