Pip & The Lad Who Wanders

- jan-u-wine

From the warm depths of the river,
to the sharp rise and dip
of the hills,
everywhere it was green.
Green and sweet with life,
running like the horses
that filled Uncle's rich fields,
swifting like the hawk whose
sharp cry cut the sky.
The wandering hawk,
and the lad with the green eyes
who was named for it.
It is 1390.
The quiet of Bag-End has held my dreams
for a year now.
Sun and stars,
full fields and fallow
fold themselves,
with velvet wings
within my mind.
The Road calls me
beyond the closed hand
of the gate.
Snow waits in the iron-grey
lying upon the brow of the Hill.
How far is it, I wonder,
to the edge of the Sea?
Does the breath of winter
hold Her in thrall,
like the white-stilled water
of the Brandywine?
My feet, without thought,
turn to the West,
track the departing Sun.
It is weary night.....
cold enough
that I no longer feel
my hands,
dark enough
that I know I have
missed a turning upon the road.
This is no Adventure,
no walk between the winter-lull
of the Shire
and the white-gold of the Sea.
It is  weary night,
and weary hours more,
before there is light before me.
Light and noise.
Great Smials.
The door that the Old Took
himself had of the Dwarves
stands open to the blowing drift.
Uncle Paladin, his face coloured
by torch-light and ale,
stands laughing gladly in the grey-stoned
There has been a son born to the house this night.
My heart tugs strangely at the news,
my feet slip,
shadow-swift, shadow-soft
through the fire-limned door.
I think only to warm myself in one of the great rooms.
In a moment, it seems, I lose myself in the turnings
of the halls.
every turning,
closer and tighter,
my breath loud
upon my ear.
A door, at last, with light beyond it
and a  voice,
soft with murmured love.
Somehow, I do not think I should enter here....
I know I must.
I have only seen Aunt Eglantine once before
in my life.
With a child's fancy, I thought her beautiful then.
I am no longer a child.
She is more beautiful than any memory of beauty
(save one)
I own.
The wet of auburn curls cling to the snow-milk of her face,
the soft round of her arms cradle the child to her breast.
Her eyes.
They are green,
her eyes,
like the deep water of sun-dazed
hidden pools....
like the angry Sea in uncle's books....
like new leaves in Spring.
She is singing to the child.
It is a song of Home
and those who wander.    
I think it a strange song
for a babe.
Though I have tried to make myself
she sees me.
Her smile
is like Home
it draws me to her
with comforting warmth.
I have never held a babe before,
not even cousin Merry.
I do not know whether to laugh
or be frightened at this small
He lies quiet within my arms,
as if he knows me.
Uncle told me,
that the eyes of all faunts
are blue,
like the slated sky.
The gaze which holds mine
with strange gravity
is green-gold,
like the hills that slant beyond the window's round.
What gift might I give this faerie child,
this unexpected small being
with the fierce, loving eyes?
The Song of Nimrodel the fair,
she who wandered and was lost
in spun-silver time,
comes unbidden to my lips.
The fingers of the child hold to mine.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It is long past another nightfall
ere I see the smoke rising from
uncle's chimney.
He is angry with me in his absent
sort of way.
I have no words of explanation.
something called my heart
that night,  
something as far as the stars,
and just as bright and dear.
Something that sings of days past
and days yet held in time's
great book.
Uncle smiles and touches my shoulder.
He says he imagines adventuring runs in the family,
and silences the yellow-flamed candle with a breath.
The fading red eye of the wick
trails smoke-fingers through the
closing door.
I smile in the companionable dark:
I am very glad to have met the lad with the green eyes.
I am gladder,
to be held within the arms of my own small bed.
I think Uncle need not worry over-much
on the likelihood of my future Adventuring.