Faramir

Black velvet sewn with a silver tree
And stars of the Southern sky.
Swallows tumbling among the spires
Bitter bread on a golden plate.

How long can a heart hunger?
Longer than city walls,
Streets, towers, turrets,
Buttressed with the living land
Gleaming white as pearl.
Imprisoned by hope,
I have become a stone.

My brother’s cowardice,
Had he ever shown any
Would have ranked above my courage.

Courage I held like a sword-hilt,
Bright as my own blood
The rolling crash of the shield-wall
Like the tide on rocks
Arrows sharp as a father’s scorn
Tearing my flesh away.

High above the battle
Opens a sweet sky.
But only I look up.

‘Let Faramir judge us!’
Cries every fearful thief,
Each trespasser, each fugitive,
For all the army knows
I am a just man
And my enemy is Death.
‘You are too weak!’
Said my father turning away.

A wind rises from the plain
Dark before dawn
And haunts the narrow streets.
Fever ebbs away, the smooth tiles
Are cold against my cheek.
Fear declines like rings
In a silent pool.
The great black bearskin
Slides off the couch
Like a beast seeking escape
From my terrible dream.

- Varda