Two Sonnets for Theoden

I Shall Not Now Be Ashamed
(based on Shakespeare's Sonnet XXXIII )

Rohan's own glorious morning have I seen;
Echo these mountain-tops  with sovereign horn
Spears glinting, spires in meadows green,
Gilding banners, white and green reborn.
Glory permits I'll basest men to ride
With honorable mount determined face,
And from the war-torn world no visage hide,
As a spear thrown, clean death and no disgrace,
Even so my sun one red morn did shine
With all triumphant splendour on my brow;
But out! alack! It was but one hour mine,
The darkest wings hath mask'd it from me now.
Yet e'en in this my heart no whit disdaineth;
Night of the world may stain, when heaven's sun staineth.

Dark Were My Dreams, Of Late
(based on Shakespeare's Sonnet CVII)

Now mine own fears, fulfilled prophetic soul
Of a dark world dreaming on things of past
Can yet, releas'd by true love, control
Suppos'd as forfeit, sacrificed to doom's repast
The mortal man hath his eclipse endur'd
And the black counsel mock'd, no more engag'd;
Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd
And strength proclaim'd from clouded age.
Now with the drops of tears yet upon my sword
My heart lives fresh, and Death to me belied
Since spite of him I'll live and keep my words
While he insults o'er Orthanc's wounded pride.
And I in this shalt find a monument,
When tyrants' crest and sword of iron are spent.

- Primula