Mallorn of Lorien: a Sestina
LotR Object: A mallorn tree
The moonlight plays upon your boughs
Fair branching hair gleaming with light
That in the wind ripples and flows
As an Elven maiden’s might.
Like pure true-silver your bark glows
Your leaves like wrought gold in the night.
Dark is the shadow cast by the night
Upon your slender silver boughs
While ‘neath your twisting roots of might
The flashing water of Nimrodel flows
Its swirling rills gently mirroring your light
As in its mossy bed it faintly glows.
Above, the star of Elbereth brilliantly glows
A flaming torch burning in the night
Its glimmering rays entwining with your boughs
Like fine strands woven by the spider’s might.
Swiftly passing the night’s dark tide flows
Soon to give way to golden morning’s light.
Dawn sends forth its first clear rays of light
Upon your quivering leaves of gold it glows.
Like a gem you glittered in the night
Now the sun’s amber touch has gilded your boughs
As a skilled Elven craftsman might.
The tool that fashions is the wind that flows.
Unchanged as around you passing time flows
Fleeting is the mortal world of light.
Ages have looked wondering upon your boughs
Then passed like silent shadows in the night.
And still undimmed your mithril pillar glows
A last fortress rising before the Shadow’s might.
How long will fair Lothlorien’s might
Hold back the ever-deepening tide that flows
A deathly blackness to swallow up the light?
Unseen above the gloom the elf star glows
While beneath, the dark eternal night
Creeps ever nearer to your quivering boughs.
May your glorious mithril boughs long resist the Shadow’s might
Strong beneath the flashing light that from the mighty elf ring flows
A frosty star that flickering glows still holding back the tide of night.
- Elvellon Ringsbane