I sit on my knees in the darkened Ring
My thoughts like ashes in the hearth
Eärendil is gone from me, his leave taken
I am cold, nothing left to burn
I remember that Glorfindel waits for me
A golden star burning within where I had once been alone
I know now that I truely live
I have completed my task, but not my journey
Safety and idleness I am done with
This is no paradise for a dark elf
I brush away the last of my grief
I am done with it all!
I raise myself to my feet to find a way to go home
And find that I am not alone as I had thought
A slim figure, cowled in melancholy
Stands in the exit of the dell, watching me
I have never seen her before,
But I have known her many times in my life: Nienna
Queen of Vala, patron of Mercy and Sorrow
Blue are her eyes, grey her raiment
With fingers of silk she touches the tracks of my tears
Her voice is a blue melody
"Thou hast perceived the beauty of forgiveness
And the magic that is Mercy.
These are my gifts to you; you are my warrior now."
"Take back your gifts, goddess!" I say
"I have no need of your pity or weeping."
"Never for thyself have thy tears been shed
Why are you in mourning now?
There is only joy to be found here, only delight.
Can you not hear Eärendil's laughter? He is exulted!"
"I have not the ears of the Vala, nor their far-seeing eyes
To know beyond Time to what will be.
I see only what is before me
And more clearly still what is behind."
"Rivers flow not up the mountains
Nor can tears having fallen be unshed
But the past is not forever lost
Sometimes, what has been lies ahead."
My anger cools, I bow my head
"Faithful I have served
Water, Air, and Death.
What would you have me do, my Queen?"
There is no answer but the seabreeze against my face
Cold on the tears I thought I had done with
Gulls cry, and the Shoreline Pipers singing comes clearly to me
I race to catch my ship, running so quickly
I could believe I can fly