Meeting Strider

The moon was half-full,
The long grasses glistened,
And Aragorn the Brave
Stood still and listened.

A sound he heard near:
The wind in the trees?
A deer in the saplings?
The leaves in the breeze?

The wizard sent word
His stealth he must use:
To the Prancing Pony;
Using Strider, his ruse.

Ground cast his shadow
As silent he stood
And wondered again
Would it do any good?

Was this the beginning,
The start of his fate?
Would he become king?
The hour was late.

He looked at the dark
And saw all was still safe.
Saw no sign of danger
Or coldness of wraith.

Around his dark tresses
He pulled his hood tight.
Long paces resumed
In the heart of the night.

He saw it now clearly:
A pub, lights ablaze.
The innocents all there
For evil's keen gaze.

In a corner he sat
A lone man, a ranger.
Determined to keep
Young hobbits from danger.

A misstep one took
While dancing just there.
The Ring was loosed,
Tossed in smoky air!

"This is the start,"
He said in his mind.
"Now with this act
It begins to unwind."

He stood to approach
And as he drew near,
He didn't hesitate.
He didn't feel fear.

Elven-wise he was;
Light gleamed in his eyes.
But no one knew him
There in his disguise.

He saved them that night;
He captured each heart.
Thou he never spoke
The truth of his part.

The scared and unknowing
Were then led with the Ring
To the Last Homely House
By the great crownless King.

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