In the Mist Upon the River

- Elvellon Ringsbane

‘I sat at night by the waters of Anduin, in the grey dark under the young pale moon, watching the ever-moving stream; and the sad reeds were rustling. ...Then I saw, or it seemed that I saw, a boat floating on the water, glimmering grey, a small boat of a strange fashion with a high prow, and there was none to row or steer it.

‘An awe fell on me, for a pale light was round it. But I rose and went to the bank, and began to walk out into the stream, for I was drawn towards it. Then the boat turned towards me, and stayed its pace, and floated slowly by within my hand’s reach, yet I durst not handle it. It waded deep, as if it were heavily burdened, and it seemed to me as it passed under my gaze that it was almost filled with clear water, from which came the light; and lapped in the water a warrior lay asleep.

‘A broken sword was on his knee. I saw many wounds on him. It was Boromir, my brother, dead. I knew his gear, his sword, his beloved face. One thing only I missed: his horn. One thing only I knew not: a fair belt, as it were of linked golden leaves, about his waist. Boromir! I cried. Where is thy horn? Whither goest thou? O Boromir! But he was gone. The boat turned into the stream and passed glimmering on into the night. Dreamlike it was, and yet no dream, for there was no waking. And I do not doubt that he is dead and has passed down the River to the Sea.’

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Window on the West pg. 651


In the Mist upon the River

In the mist upon the river
Still I stand and silent shiver
As the reed beds wind-swept quiver
In the wind upon the river.

In the wind upon the river
Silver foams the waters driven
By a slender vessel riven
Wreathed in mist upon the river.

Wreathed in mist upon the river
Grey the vessel silent drifting
Twisting currents ever shifting
Borne upon the flowing river.

Borne upon the flowing river
Turns the Elven vessel, staying
Motionless its burden laying
Lapped within the crystal river.

Lapped within the crystal river
Lies a pale warrior sleeping
Shredded mist about him creeping
Still before me on the River.

Still before me on the river
Marked with numerous wounds bitter
In his dark hair droplets glitter
Tossed like jewels by the river.

Tossed like jewels by the river
Are the tears that bathe my brother
Vain I wish it was another
Borne in death upon the river.

Borne in death upon the river
Clasped with leaves of golden shimmer
In his hands his blade-shards glimmer
Washed clean by the flowing river.

Washed clean by the flowing river
Long dark locks with care arrayed
At his head his round shield laid
Shining faintly in the river.

Shining faintly in the river
Emerald brooch wrought ‘neath the trees
His cloak grey-green as linden leaves
Woven with the rippling river.

Woven with the rippling river
Strands of radiance faintly glowing
Like the water round him flowing
Dreaming vision of the river.

Dreaming vision of the river
Granted peace and victory
Beneath your feet, your enemies
Lost to darkness in the river.

Lost to darkness in the river
Your great horn you no longer bear
From distant lands silent you fare
Slipping swiftly down the river.

Slipping swiftly down the river
Slowly spinning your grey boat turns
Borne away never to return
Upon the bosom of the river.

Upon the bosom of the river
Fading the ethereal gleam
Yet I know it was no dream
My brother lost unto the river.

My brother lost unto the river
Passing onward to the sea
There to sleep eternally
In the mist upon the river.

In the mist upon the river
Still I stand and silent shiver
As the reed beds wind-swept quiver
In the wind upon the river.