don't you lose him, Samwise Gamgee……..
and I don't mean to,
but see now I have,
Every step was a loss,
and me not seeing until too late.
Not that there was aught for me to do.....
naught but follow as I have since I were a lad....
when dark found us,
to unforgiving stone,
I counted each breath,
as they thinned and grew sparse.
And I drew the rough cloak about us,
knowing with certainty the smell,
the feeling which runs from you,
runs and drifts
like a cry cut in twain by the wind:
A world away, under skies of silver'd onyx,
(a lifetime gone by)
you named the stars for me,
to their fiery places with Elvish music.
There is a star, now,
cutting clear and defiant between fire clouds....
do you see,
the stars are still there....
That which touches us,
that which takes you...
It cannot climb that high....
Do you see?
On the morrow,
we do not speak of the star,
There is naught to speak of,
naught but these last moments,
and I would have them,
I will have
even these moments,
when I see,
you have gone where I cannot
that it is merely
stubborn will and not mind which keeps you
to your path.
I would have them,
have them all,
(and your feet and some last reserve of strength take you from me,
running straight and swift as ever you did at Home.....)
keep them within me,
(and you have come to it, at last, haven't you, and, oh, Master, I see your doubt,
keep them safe,
(and a gentle heart gives over, finally,
and lips twist and sneer and a hand, unaccountably strong, takes what It will,
vanishing together in my muddied vision)
(and yellow teeth close and tear and you roll and scream madness and blood and hate in impossible crimson heat)
(and he is gone, his torment ended, but not yours, oh, still not yours, and your eyes ask me to let you go, and your fingers slip away from mine, and It floats like an evil promise upon Its bed of fire)...
(and I put all of Home in my gaze: the sweet-sharp green of Spring, the common bitter-brown of Gaffer's brew, the small sigh of a little river running hard by an orphan lad's window....
and a hand reaches, holds to mine, blood-slick yet sure, and a mind wrenches away from gold, dying there in the chasm below, and a heart chooses.....)
I did not lose you,
at the end of all things.