Varda makes the Elven-Stars - An ode to Varda Elbereth
In olden days when earth was new and Endor's darkness great,
The sounds of voices there were few, and blooms for spring did wait.
In Valinor, a shining light the Trees unstinting rained
like drops of dew to gardens bright of Aman the Unstained.
Then Middle-earth neath ancient stars wrapped in a peaceful night
Slumbered, and there faint and far shone Valinor's great light.
The wide lands were in darkness merged, its beauty still unseen
Though rushing rivers swiftly surged, and grass was soft and green.
Then Varda gazed from towers wrought on tall Mount Ever-white.
Her keen bright eyes the dark lands sought, and with her hallowed sight
She far descried Cuiviénen, and to her ears unheard,
In that fair land, by lake and fen, the Eruhini stirred.
Her heart was filled, she knew not why, with wonder and with love,
And gazing at the inky sky and stars faint, far above,
She pondered long how she could bright the Hither Shore's dark land;
She knew with her gifted foresight: the Waking was at hand.
Then swift she took light from the dew of bright Telperion
And with her skill wrought it anew, and ever and anon
A gleaming star from Valinor, from Utter West would rise
To shine upon the Hither shore, and sail the boundless skies.
The ancient stars in heavens high she took and grouped once more
And set in clusters in the sky much brighter than before.
The crystal stars formed fair designs; in dark they shimmered white;
In silver fire they painted signs upon the roof of night.
In that far time by her white hands Menelvagor was made.
As swordsman of the sky he stands, and silver is his blade.
Bright Helluin beside him came, blue beacon of the skies,
while over them with wings of flame the Swooping Eagle* flies.
Luinil's wanly shining ray like frosty ice cold gleamed
While Carnil in his bright array as fiery ruby seemed.
Gold Anarrima and Lumbar were placed in south and west
The star of water, pale Nénar did in the middle rest.
Above the earth in clearest sight she set the Star of North.
The Valacirca, sickle bright, around it blazéd forth.
As challenge to the world's dark Foe, it swung in circles high;
In days of legend long ago, it shimmered in the sky.
These Varda made, and many more, the sailors of the air.
In those far times, the days of yore, the sky grew wondrous fair.
The many stars like jewels gleamed upon the velvet night.
All under them no longer dreamed, but gazed up to the light.
O Varda Elbereth most bright, indeed art thou Star-queen.
This well we ken; thy shining light have not we always seen?
We who walk 'neath woven trees recall thy starlight well,
Thy starlight on the Western seas, lofty Gilthoniel.
Elven-stars: The stars made just before the Elves woke.
*That is, Soronumë, Descending Eagle.
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