The Road is not long between the City of the White Tree
and the close-held autumn of Rivendell.
save to those of weary heart.
I am one such,
by the small figure
who does not rise to my greeting,
close and quiet and parchment-skinned fragile
before the orange-red grate.
He sleeps and wakes and sleeps again
and oft-times knows me not,
though just as oft-times asks after that
which I bore.
It grieves me
to see him thus.
To know I have made him thus.
I, who only loved him,
A messenger has brought
words of courtesy from my Lord Elrond:
as if I were a Prince of his own blood,
he begs me attend upon him this day.
And so I do, my steps falling small and half-soundless
in the vast halls.
Almost the beginning of the World he has seen,
my Lord Elrond
his eyes hold still to Spring as he takes my hand,
greets me in the tongue of the Fair Folk.
Somewhat of what he says, I understand.
I do not,
I lose myself in the music of it,
the unknown words like the voices of wind and stars,
sighing like the Sea in the First Morning.
He is smiling at me.
Blood brightens my cheeks:
his speech had ceased some little while ago
while I dreamt on,
the words finding shape and meaning within my heart.
In the common tongue,
he recalls to me the tale of Earendil,
(whose Light I also bore).
whose name means "Lover of the Sea",
the mortal Mariner,
Earendil, my Lord Elrond's father.
There is a book within my Lord's hand,
and robes of sombre hue upon his arm.
The robes he draws close about me.
scholar's robes for he who need learn
for he who
learn every thing.
The book he gifts me with, as well,
forming with grace'd runes the Sea-star name of his father.
It strikes me,
of a sudden,
that we are both orphans,
of a sort,
sundered, both, by rivers of water and sky.
With humble'd thanks, I leave him
Within a quieten'd autumn courtyard,
I find a cloth-draped bench,
open the book beneath the spill of amber sun.
As if it were my own heart beating with my own blood,
the words flow within me:
now slow and soft
like meadows of spring under a new sun,
now swift and unconquerable,
like the crash of angry waves upon a resistant shore.
And I read the words, more with fingers that feel the sense of them
than with eyes that cannot......
I read until it becomes dark
and even the perfection of night in the Last Homely House dims with
Light, soft like a candle lit in a far-away window, steals across the
It is he.
He whose tale I read,
who sails forever upon the Sea of the sky,
the glowing timbers of his benighted barque the very stars....
He is calling me,
Elven words and Sea-songs playing through me like aged wine,
dappling like the gilt-green of sun upon the hidden pools of the
I have no words like these,
my own light,
such as it is,
to answer him with.
And I still myself,
and think of him,
sailing til the ages end upon the face of the night,
bound forever to see the great wheel
of life turn the world from joy to grief
and back again.
I look down upon my hands,
beyond the sober drape of the robe,
to where they hold the book open as if
the night itself might partake of the story.
My hands are adrift with Light.
And I know.