So Said Denethor


This Found Poem is an attempt to understand Denethor through his own words as written by Tolkien. The title and the stanzas (in the order presented) are from passages found in FOTR's "The Council of Elrond" -- where Denethor's words are reported by Gandalf to the Council -- and ROTK's "Minas Tirith" and "The Pyre of Denethor." - Linaewen

To me what was is less dark
Than what is to come --
That is my care.
You will find naught
That is not well known to me,
Master of the lore of this city.

You will find naught
unless you have more skill
even than Saruman, who studied here long.
What was is less dark
than what is to come.

~~~~~

Dark is indeed the hour; at such times
you are wont to come, Mithrandir.
Though all signs forebode the doom of Gondor,
Less now to me that darkness
Than my own darkness.
You bring one who saw my son die.
My Boromir! Now we have need of you.

Mithrandir! Help and counsel
you deal out according to your own designs.
The Lord of Gondor not to be made the tool
of other men's purposes, however worthy.
No purpose higher than the good of Gondor;
The rule of Gondor mine; no other man's,
unless the king should come again.

~~~~~

Pride and despair!
The eyes of the White Tower blind? Nay!
Thy hope is but ignorance. Vanity!
For a little space, triumph -- for a day.
But against the Power that arises
there is no victory. All the East moving.
The wind of thy hope cheats thee.
The West has failed -- time to depart
for all who would not be slaves.

I would be Lord in peace;
leave my chair to a son after me --
his own master and no wizard's pupil.
But if doom denies, I will have naught --
neither life diminished, love halved, nor honour abated.

Time to depart, who would not be slaves.

- Linaewen