Revised Attempt at the same:
The Steward Speaks
based on My Last Duchess by Robert Browning
With further apologies to Browning, a revised poem: The Steward
speaks....text ... Vison ... 01.20-22:44
That’s my eldest son painted on the wall.
A handsome lad, is he not? I recall
When he was born, my lady wife wept
Tears of joy. My own joy I kept
More decorous, it has never been my way
To wear my heart upon my sleeve, as they say.
The painter caught his look, that stance
He has, the shoulders square, his glance
Direct and fearless. But, perchance
You have seen him? He rides a black horse
And always bears our arms, of course.
Our device is plain, you know, white tree on white.
My son e’er frets himself, the sight
Of that plain banner troubles him, his pride
Would have us Kings. He knows, for I have tried
To tell him that our blood’s as pure and blue
As any, and as Steward I am King in truth.
As Steward I am King, in all but name.
To keep the vow of office is no shame
To me, or yet to Boromir, and yet he frowns
Because I sit upon a simple chair, down
From the high seat. He will not meet
Me in that chamber; the steward’s seat
Is too low for him. It may be that when I am gone
My son will put himself upon the throne.
His blood is high enough! Let no man doubt
His lineage. My wife was of a royal kin,
Dol Amroth’s prince her father. Since
She died, I do not know just how it is
That things have gone awry. All this,
The furniture, the hangings, was her choice.
At times, I think that I can hear her voice
Echoing in the silent rooms. The other one
Still misses her, I think. My younger son
Is quieter than Boromir, less bold in arms
And given much to study. No harm,
No harm! A man cannot expect that brothers
Will be exactly like each other.
The elder is the one who bears the future
Of our house, and of our city. It is sure
That deeds of his will be renowned and fame
And glory will raise higher yet our name.
I will not take the throne myself. I keep
To the old ways. Yet, I confess, that deep
In my heart I love to think of Boromir, as King
Of Gondor. See thou? I wear this plain ring
As Steward, but his hand is shaped to bear
A ruling Ring. He is man enough, and there
Can be no doubt the folk love him. They cry
After him in the streets, when he rides by.
“Boromir the Bold!” they shout, and run to see
Him on that black horse. I deem that none
Will speak against him, should he take the throne.
No, I will not step one foot beyond
The law that ever governs me. Ecthelion
My father held this rule, that honour must
Be first in what a man might do. Trust
Follows duty well performed. Yet times change
And maybe men must change with them. Strange
News comes daily now. The world we knew
Will be no more. New days, I deem, will then require
New ways. Boromir, when he has put his sire
To rest, will take the Crown of Elendil
To himself. He will bend this city to his will.
Come! Your glass is empty. Take some wine
And move closer to the fire; we will dine
Soon. My sons will join us, both of them,
I vow you’ve never seen such men.
My words, I fear, have seemed somewhat
Unwise; be sure I mean no treasonous plot
Against the law! Tis just a father’s dream.
And speak of dreams! Tell me, dost thou deem
That meaning may be found in such? There,
I hear the outer door, and booted feet upon the stair.
My sons, come in, be seated, take thine ease!
Put aside thy cares of duty. Let it please
Thee to talk of matters of less import; light
Converse, even jests, do oft delight
A man’s heart when duty may be set aside.
This matter of thy dreams—well, dreams have lied
Before, and led stout men to spend much thought
On things which in the light of day seem naught
But phantoms. Faramir, this dream of thine,
That once thy brother dreamed as well, you’ll find
That common sense will make all plain.
And yet it bears the telling once again;
Tell now thy tale, draw close to this our guest,
Say thou the verse that breaks thy rest.
Now, Boromir! Dreams, and such, we’ll set
Aside, you and I. We’ve things of import yet
To order. There is no need for dreams and signs
In Gondor! Let Faramir recite those lines
While you and I take counsel. Long have I thought
Of Gondor’s need, long have I wrought
In secret, thwarting him who means us harm.
Now we must move, our strength of arms
Is spread too thin. I fear our friends
Forget us and do not think to send
What aid they might. Our walls of stone
Must defend us, for we stand alone….
Nearer, son, there is no need for them to hear
Our words. I trust thee only, Boromir……
Poem for Sam and Frodo: I've Carried
This is my own translation of my
mother's favourite poem. I've altered it a little bit of course; Sam
replaces 'the Lord'. I found it so fitting for him because in my
perception Sam has always represented Faith.
There was a day on which I walked
By the shores, it was low tide
I was not alone out there, because
My Sam walked by my side
We walked together through my life
And thus left in the sand
Two trails of footsteps, side by side
We walked, he held my hand
I stopped a while and gazed behind
And saw my path of life
In times of happiness and joy
Of hope, sorrow and strife
But as I looked upon the trail
I saw, where times were bad
One pair of footsteps printed there
At the rough parts of my path
I said then: Sam, how come it is
In times of fear and doubt
That you have left me all alone
When I saw no way out?
He looked at me, eyes full of love
And answered fair and true
But Master, you only see one pair
Because I’ve carried you
'We had a kettle; we let it leak: Our not replacing it made it worse.
We haven't had any tea for a week...
The bottom is out of the Universe'
But this little ditty could have,
should have come from a hobbit! LOL!
Maybe it would have gone something
like this (please forgive me Rudyard)
'We had some pipeweed; we smoked it all: Our greed made it worse.
It made up for us being small...The bottom is out of the Shire'
- Gimli's Goat
We have been studying NZ poets in
English, and the poem "No Ordinary Sun" by Hone Tuwhare really caught
my attention, it reminded me a lot of the white tree of Gondor. I wrote
this poem, based on that one.
No Ordinary Storm
White Tree, let thy arms fall.
Raise them not sharply in supplication
To the all-consuming dark.
Let thy twisted carcass fail at last,
Thy branches bend beneath the weight of years,
For this is no ordinary storm.
White tree, let barren fall thy ancient memory,
Extend no vain entreaties to the flaming dark.
Thy buds shall not rise again.
Thy white bones now crumble into dust,
As ash upon the wind.
As ye fall at last beneath the storm of wrath.
Yet flame shall wreathe thy boughs with one last blossom.
White tree, in the shadowed mountain by the tombs of Kings,
Thy end at last is written.
Strider's version of the Bath Song...
(with apologies to Master Tolkien )
For mud and muckyness sing Hey!
It makes this skanky ranger's day!
A loon is he who bids me bathe
Or (horror of horrors) asks me to shave!
Oh water is fair that leaps on high
In fountain white beneath the sky!
But better than rain or rippling streams
is wallowing round in muddy dreams!
(The Lay of Gil-Galad revisited for Aragorn)
So sing the minstrels of Gondor…
Elessar Was A Mighty King
Elessar was a mighty king
Of him the harpers gladly sing,
He who renewed lands fair and free
Between the mountains and the sea.
His sword was long, his glance was keen,
His banner black afar was seen
The seven stars of Gondor’s shield
Were mirrored on its sable field.
Not long ago he road this way
And now he dwelleth here to stay
For out of darkness rose his star,
From Mordor, where no shadows are.
- Elvellon Ringsbane
(Based on The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll)
O’er a pint of ale, Sam spins a tale
Of many wondrous things:
Of Maggot’s crop, and Weathertop,
Of Bagginses and Rings,
The party tree, and Bill, at Bree,
Learning Strider’s Name
At Rivendell, how Gandalf fell
Wreathed in the Balrog’s flame,
Lothlorien! Great Anduin,
The courage friendship brings,
Jagged stone, bleak, bare as bone,
The beat of fell beast wings,
Across the bog, through mist and fog
Where dark and Dead things dwell,
The Gate so black that turned them back,
Fear they could not quell,
Of Gollum’s taunts and Oliphaunts
And hordes of Easterlings,
A climbing stair to get them there
Past Shelob’s deadly stings,
Visions fair, of Rosie’s hair,
Of strawberries and cream,
Earendil’s light and Eagles’ flight
‘Neath Mt. Doom’s fiery gleam,
An Age was born as Aragorn
Received the crown of Kings;
A great rebirth of Middle Earth,
Peace, and the hope it brings.
The Ring is gone! And life goes on,
But wounds poor Frodo bore.
From Havens Grey, he sailed away
With the Elves, to Valinor.
Now lights are low, and embers glow,
And Samwise softly sings
Of lembas bread, of hope and dread,
Of Fellowship, and Rings.
- Daughter of Kings & Anna Estel
A Burning Question for Denethor...
Steward, Steward, burning bright
In Rath Dinan in the night...
I must ask, though mad you are:
How'd you ever run that far?
- Lithilien Quicksilver
With my apologies to the Bard a
little poem referencing the latest news concerning "The Hobbit" movie.
Please note that these opinions are
my own and I have no affiliation with Saul Zaentz or Tolkien
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made inglorious by the studio of New Line;
And all the clouds that loured upon Hobbiton
have been resurrected by greed and power.
Now are our brows bound with great consternation,
Our merry meetings changed to stern alarums,
Our delightful measures to dreadful marches.
Grim-visaged politics has shown its wrinkled front,
. . .
Why, I in this present time of peace in Middle-earth
Have no delight to pass away the time,
whilst others trample Tollers underfoot.
And therefore since I cannot hope for Hobbiton come
To entertain the future well-spoken days,
I am determined to speak and Ring out
And hate the Hobbit handlings of today.
How weary, stale, flat and too profitable,
Seem to me the New Lines of this world!
Or whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows Of New Lines fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of studios
And by opposing ----- SUE THEM!!!!!
Must my Fellow Ringers suffer
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That New Line bears us.
Fie on't! ah fie! Tis the One Ring
That grows in Power.things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely.
That it should come to this!
The next gale that sweeps from Hollywood will
bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms!
Why should we stand idle?
What would they have?
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased
at the price of trashing Tollers
Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take;
but as for me, give me the Hobbit
adapted and true until my last breath.
Elves, Hobbits, Countrymen! Lend me your cash!
I come to defend Jackson, not to praise him
The films that men make live on after death
The books are oft interred with their bones...
With apologies to William S.
'To film, or not to film, that is
Whether t'is nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous New Line,
Or take arms against a sea of Hobbits
And by misrepresenting them, end them. To win, to film
With Weta, and by a film to say we end
The Wizards and the thousand Tolkien Elves
The Fans adhere to; t'is a contract
Devoutly to be wished. To win, to film..
To film, perchance to flop -ay, there's the orc;
For in that Hobbit film what gaffes may come
When we have got the franchise to Bag End
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes critics of humble fans.
For who would bear the slips and boobs of scripts,
The Studio's lawsuit, the critic's barbecue
The pangs of lost merchandise, the Oscars missed
The insolence of purists and the spurns
A patient director of the moguls takes
When he himself might his 'The Hobbit' make
With a Fans' Petition?'