Gilraen

- Primula

A heart so very young and tender,
A laughing girl not yet a woman;
A blossom barely opened.
How sweet your dark hair and gentle eyes,
Your graceful form and understanding heart
When beheld by a kingly man.
Arathorn's heart you held with only a glance.
Your name was the sweetest word he knew.
His faithful promise was only to you,
Awaiting the day you would blossom,
And take that step into womanhood to be his;
To be gathered in as a fresh rose in morning.
Were you frightened by his love for you?
All your child's dreams coming too soon.
No time for dreaming,
No time for waiting.
They whisper late at night, thinking you do not hear:
His life is in danger, and any day may be his last.
Your mother sees the love in his eyes,
Answered by the blush of your cheek,
The sparkle in your ready smile.
Arathorn.
Inheritor of a kingdom that he cannot claim,
Holder of a sword that he cannot wield.
Filled with the bright spark of Numenor,
Assailed by a life of deadly striving and strife.
The hope of so many resting on his shoulders,
And in his heirs.

Your mother had the far-seeing eyes,
Dear Gilraen,
Fair daughter of peace in a time of war.
She knew he would not be long with you.
How hard the choice!
Choosing the brief draught, knowing the time is short,
Choosing the heartbreak, knowing healing is long.
Hard choices were made, to permit this early union.
Consent was given -
And so...
He took your hand and heart,
With your blessing and theirs.
Though you were hardly more than a child yourself
You bore him a son.
A little one to hold close in your arms
When Arathorn was far beyond your longing reach.
In his innocent baby face you found his father's eyes,
This tiny inheritor of kings.
And when the day of sorrow came,
Tidings of untimely death and aching defeat,
In the midst of your dark days and the fear
What a comfort you found in your babe.
The life of his father beating on in this infant's heart.

Hold him close, Gilraen, hold him close
And sing softly to him as you cry.
Behold
An infant's hand and a broken sword.
The slender thread of his lineage,
The fate of nations resting in your trembling care.
So sweet your spirit, faithful to your heart's own heart,
In your grieving youth you kissed your child,
Arathorn's only heir,
And murmered soft and low
The name of Hope.
Estel in the midst of your darkness,
Estel, to be a light in the darkness that would come.