Rosemary Took, a Hobbit-maid - Chapter 4: Meeting in Imladris

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As time passed, Rosemary found the Elves to be friendly enough to her. She would speak with Arwen from time to time, but she had no very close friends: friends to whom she could tell everything. So she still had a loneliness that would not be cast out: it was always present. Therefore, she took to wandering on walks among the trees in the valley. Most of the time she went alone, but sometimes Arwen went with her. One day as she walked along by herself, she recalled the song that she had sung after she escaped from the woods. She began to sing it again with new verses:

"Never did a fear compare to the one I met back there. Now, at last, sweet food I see, and life is returned to me.

"Now I am in Rivendell and see the Elves that there dwell. The Elves are wise, fair, and free; I know that they don't mind me.

"I love this place I long sought. Against harsh pain I have fought. Through it all I live to be in a home where I'm happy.

"Yet somehow I lack something: my heart has an empty ring. I wonder what it could be; is there something wrong with me?"

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Alcarinque had just returned from long travels, and he was weary both in body and spirit. He had decided to walk through the woods because he wanted to rest and think. The Elf had not been walking long before he heard a soft sound. As he got closer, he decided it was the sweet singing of another Elf. He sat down to listen because it comforted him in a strange way. He felt that he had something in common with this mystery Elf as she sung the last verse of the song in her beautiful voice. He felt the same way: as if he lacked something, but could not make out what it was. When the song ended, he felt a sense of loss. He resolved to meet the singer. He stood up and walked in the direction the voice had come from. Suddenly he stopped, and his resolve began to dwindle. In the trees in front of him, he saw a simple Hobbit-maid. She did not see him, and he wondered if he really wanted to talk to her after all. She was no Elf. Yet her voice surpassed all others he had known. How could it be? Finally he decided. He went up to her and spoke in the Common Speech. "Hello." She was startled. She looked up at him with bright grass-green eyes and then replied. "Hello. I haven't seen you before, have you just arrived from a long journey?" "Yes," he said, wondering at her lovely eyes. "I am Rosemary Took. Who are you?" asked the strange green-eyed Hobbit. Alcarinque began to feel uncomfortable. He wondered why he had ever started talking to her in the first place. He had to go. "My name is Alcarinque. Forgive me, I must go now and speak to Elrond. Farewell." He just wanted to leave. "Namárie," replied Rosemary. "Who taught you Elvish?" asked Alcarinque in amazement. She was such a strange creature. Why was she in Imladris? "Bilbo, but I only know a little. Have you heard of him before?" "Yes. Are you his friend?" "In a way, yes: I am his second cousin. He is the only Hobbit I know who knows about Elves. Sorry for keeping you from your errand. Namárie!" As she spoke these words, she quickly walked away. Alcarinque wondered why she walked away so soon. He had wanted to know more about her. But then again, he had said that he needed to talk to Elrond. He hadn't really been lying: he did need to talk to Elrond soon. But for the moment, he just wanted to think.

*~*

In a few days, Alcarinque decided to walk in the woods again. Perhaps he would meet the strange Hobbit-maid again. He needed to talk to someone anyway. He walked towards the place where he had first met her and waited, thinking. He was deep in thought when he realized that someone was speaking to him. He looked up and then down. It was Rosemary. "Mara aure," she said to him. "Mara aure na len yando," he responded. "Manenna sinare?" "Nan mara, hantalye. Manenna?" "Nan mara. " "What did you do in your travels?" she asked him in the Common Speech (her Elvish vocabulary did not extend very far). "I was a scout." "What happened? Why was your message so urgent?" she asked him anxiously. "I had a skirmish with a few goblins, but nothing too serious." "Why was that so urgent?" she asked suspiciously. He didn't want to answer, so he changed the subject. "Yesterday you were singing. Do you remember the song?" "You heard me singing?!" "Yes." "Ohhhhh..." She was silent. "Will you sing again?" "No." "Please." "I'm not sure." "Just sing." "All right, but only if you sing one for me as well," Rosemary finally consented with a sigh. She began to sing.

"I left the Shire behind: at last I made up my mind. I left my home for Rivendell where never has lain a shadow fell.

"I wanted peace to rest alone: I had no friends to call my own. I often prayed that there would be people, somewhere, who'd be like me.

"But no answer have I found; instead, just troubles do abound. Deep inside I feel empty still. Nothing can that emptiness fill.

"So I wait for what I do not know and hope I can defeat this foe of joy and peace forevermore! And so end my painful war!"

Alcarinque then fulfilled his end of the bargain. He sang a song common to Rivendell:

"A Elbereth Gilthoniel, silivren penna míriel o menel aglar elenath! Na-chaered palan-díriel o galadhremmin ennorath, Fanuilos le linnathon nef aear, sí nef aearon!"

Then they parted.

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*******I got Alcarinque's song from The Fellowship of the Ring, at the very end of Book 2, Chapter 1 (Many Meetings). I don't have a translation. Sorry! *******

*******Mara aure means good day. Mara aure na len yando means good day to you too.*******

*******Manenna sinare means how are you today.*******

*******Nan mara means I am well. hantalye means thank you.*******

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