The Lady Elanor

- jan-u-wine


(A grey-crowned head rests upon folded arms -

sleeping fingers,

blunt'd by long care and earth's caress,
yet hold the quill to leaf-thin page….

Square, careful letters,
homely contrast

to the round, erratic
spill
that went before,

line the many pages.

It is finished.

It is time)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

A mere taste of wind
danced the high clouds to-day.

A voice,
familiar, dear,
finds me in the garden,

sighs
its greeting into my ear.

His old cloak holds him warm from the breath of the Sea.

The book is beneath his arm.

My throat tightens. 
 
He does not know I remember.

Oh, Da.

I remember.

So small I was,
yet smaller still he seemed,
that day.

Even the sound of his feet upon the road
diminished beneath  his grief……

even Mum's kiss,
so gentle-sad upon his cheek…..

even my arms,
tight with love about
his neck,
 
did not bring him back
to us. 

  
And though the sun shone,
still

I saw the grey-green of a ragged Sea
reflected in far-off  eyes……..

and a book,
(this same book,)
held close to him,

tight to his heart,
as if by holding it,
he might  keep-safe
that which was lost.

He looks a bit lost,
himself, today…..

and yet

as one in hope of being found.

 
I show him the roses, now,

the ones he named for me:
Airë-seldë-elennanórë a meril**

How well they grow here:

fragile poppy-paper pink,
dash-of-lemon yellow,

winter's-breath-white…..
swaying like children held
captive by the dance……  

clinging to sand-mixed earth.

We take tea upon the bench in the garden.

It is strong, this tea.

All the long way from the house of the King
it came,

a gift of our Lady to the last of the Ringbearers.

Her letter, the gentle flow of silver-toned words
soft upon gold-limned parchment,
stays upon his knee.

He is looking to where the Towers lie.

I follow his eye.

Almost beyond vision,

a slip of white shines upon the blue throat of the Sea.

 
This time, it shall be me who will return alone from the harbour.

Never shall a ship stay for me upon the turning of the tide.

I fasten the clasp of his cloak about his throat.

He kisses my forehead.

All the words I have learnt at the feet of my Lady,

all the words like music, by means of which
I might bid him farewell,
leave me.

I understand the bitterness of her choice now.

Da.

In that far land,

beneath the lamps which were lit from the World's
beginning….

oh, Da….

remember, please, your Elanorelle.

Namarie.

Da, Namarie.

 

       

**literally:  Sea-child, star-rose.  The word elennanórë means star-wards.