DarkElf and the Second Gift



The wind hurls burning cinders into our eyes
We do not retreat, do not falter
Where is there to go, if the Valar lose this battle?
Better death in fire than life in slavery
Better glory now than rusting chains

In the faces of these Men there is a thing I have not known
Stronger than fear, hotter than Bauglir's hate,
Brighter than the memory of Two Trees
I have never seen it within an Elf, but I recall now seeing it before
This was the thing that enamoured Lúthien
This was the thing that confounded and destroyed Glauraug
It walked into the Hidden Kingdoms, speaking in the voices of gods
It dies daily on the soil of Arda, yet lives on by tenacity
It is that in Eärendil that bound me to him in love

In a brief glimpse, a small gift of perception imparted,
I knew the Second Gift and understood the mercy of Illúvatar
In that twinkling, in the midst of pitched battle,
With the cool distance of a witness,
I saw the roads by which we travel
Elves and Men, Firstborn and Followers,
In my mind as a tapestry woven
Threads spun of stars circle back to find their beginnings
And all among them are entwined this other cord
Composed of many smaller threads, but unending
Spinning on and on into the Void
Unto the very Ending and Beyond
A pressure like gravity leans me toward that dim road

I stand and watch through the glazed glass curtain
Unheeding the smouldering of my garments or the shouting of Men
I become aware gradually of the approaching beast
Vomiting his molten curses upon our heads
His black hide is cold as the outer world
His eyes keen, seeing with other sight
He knows that I am here, even as I finally become aware
It is as if I am suddenly alone on that field
And my enemy is closing, singing despair
Bringing that deliverance that ends fear and pain
Cajoling me with shivering cries to stand and accept it

- Lothithil