The Leave-taking


Borne into the West
On a sunset wind, red
As autumn in the Shire,
Light on the water
Cold as December
Look back and remember…

Gandalf at the door, stooping
To go out
‘But why are you leaving?’
No answer then
And no answer now
Someone always leaving.

Bilbo, tracing his steps
On the moonlit path,
Singing. No
Tears at parting,
No parting at all,
Gone away without me.

The Elves turn to the West
A journey without pain
Without memory.
Summer in the Shire
Apple-red at dusk
Sam left on the quay.

Will I become like them?
No tears, shining like diamonds
On their pale faces, crowned
With silver, kings
Of the past, gone into legend.
No more leave-taking.

- Varda