Night lay on the northern lands as ‘mid the barren stone
Wrapped in ancient memories of grief I lay alone
And watched the dying embers fade beneath the starless sky
As stinging fell the winter rain on broken ground to lie.
As I dreamed in loneliness, the rain upon my face
The west wind came and whispering drew me in its embrace
And in that wind I caught the sound of harpstrings struck afar
And borne upon its sighing breath a voice that nought could mar.
It sang of light and fearless night and stars before the dawn
The memory of deathless lands was woven in its song
A joy beyond all sorrowing, and tears as sweet as wine
When clear the Elven laughter fell as rain on lands divine.
It sang of the first rising of Tilion's vessel white,
Each falling note sprang flowering 'fore Arien's golden light
Like gems the stones cast back the light as the bright radiance grew
And in the vanguard of the wind clear silver trumpets blew.
It sang of ships upon the waves, white-mantled in the spray
The Sea sent up its musics deep to greet the rising day
As through the sable wrack of clouds by rising tempests torn
Eärendil's star came riding, the herald of the Morn.
In woven woods upon the hills the west wind paused to dance
And played amid the birches white harmonies to entrance
Then swift it leapt away again, on wings of song released
And sped unto the mountains’ feet, where suddenly it ceased.
Then lo! I woke, and wondering, beheld the somber day.
The wind was stilled, and silence filled the hollow where I lay
But faint and far I heard it call as from the north it fled
And hearkening still I rose and west my following feet were led.
Bitter was that road, and long, and comfortless and grey
And many suns and many stars set on my lonely way
Until at last the mountains’ horns behind me towering lay
And looked I down on a deep vale just at the break of day.
Above the deep blue shadows hung gold mist upon the fells
Across the foaming waters tolled the song of silver bells
The dark trees kindled to green flame as the new morning broke
And in the towers beyond the falls clear Elven song awoke.
‘Tarry here, O wanderer,’ the gentle breezes sighed,
‘For thy long and lonely road behind at last doth lie;
Lay aside thy sorrowing, and leave behind regret
Let our sweet song ease thy grief, though you cannot forget.’
So I tread the hidden path and crossed the stony ford
And in court of Elrond’s house I laid to rest my sword.
Winter’s chill gave way to spring and old wounds ceased to pain
My heart was healed with each new dawn, and I learned to smile again.
And still I tarry in the vale beneath the misty hills
While without the wayward wind bears fortune where it wills,
And though in time I’ll forth again on yet unknown travails
Ever my feet will here return until the last ship sails.