The Gardens Of Ithilien


After the rain
The cobalt storm-clouds
Clear to sapphire and
Below my balcony
In the rebuilt splendour
Of Ithilien the wet gardens
Perfume the evening.
With laurel and lilac
While I
Dream of the steppes.

At first when I wandered
And you saw it in my eye
With an iron hand
Still trained to the bow
You imprisoned my wrist
Led me past the guards,
Away from the handmaids
Intent on their needlework
Entangling my life.

In the darkened stable
Warm and listening
You led out the mare
With your own hand
Tightened the girths
And kissed me, saying;
‘Fly, little kestrel
Seek your Mark’

No spur so sharp
As my love for that land
That ran from sky to sky
From mountain to stream
The land of horses.
And when I would return
Spent and silent, your
Kiss on my brow
Turned longing to desire.

For a part of me never
Walked in the gardens
Of Ithilien.
Like a huntsman
Calls his hawk
You called my heart
From the wilderness.

A torn banner
Of green silk.
A white tree
On black velvet.
Your horses
Outpace mine.
Your days outlast
My nights. The grave
Will be my garden now.

- Varda