The Loss of the Old Woods

Before the world knew half its tales
The Ents of Old walked in the wood.
The forest know no bounds nor end,
Up to the sea the woodlands stood.

How great the devastation then
Of grove and dell, of forest flock
When mariners came from afar
To clear the land down to the rock.

Their ships were mighty, tall and swift
The names they bore were full of pride.
They hewed the trees and stacked the wood,
And built their cities near beside.

The Ents did watch the men afar,
The years went by and ages too:
Men prospered through both peace and war,
The forest shrank and farmland grew.

The Ents grew sleepy, slow and sad
Their trees grew wild, unwatched, unknown.
Their name became no more than myth
And all their ways were overgrown.

When darker times again did come
Their name a slip, mere fable old,
The Ents were not a part of plans
Laid out by friend who now was foe.

Ah! What a stumble, Saruman!
Ah! What a blunder, woe to thee
That you should try to play at war
Without the blessing of the trees!

The Ents did find a smallish folk;
From unknown lands they came to them.
Their sap was stirred, their leaf unfurled
And hasty was their Hoom-Hum-Hem!

The little ones showed them the truth
That there are times to be involved,
That bullies only know brute force;
Speak their language, breach the wall!

Soon unto Orthanc did they march
The Ents were raised in fearsome might –
Tore beam from beam and stone from stone
To rubble in one fearsome night.

They found their strength and knew again
The longing for their missing wives,
Their number dwindled through the years.
Too few, too few remaining lives.

“If you see them, please let them know
We want them back, and entings too.
So long ago they went away…
Perhaps the Shire would have a few.”

Alas the loss of ancient trees,
Alas the Ent-wives gone apart!
Alas for all the wasted days;
For waiting far too long to start.

- Primula