The Elf From America-Part Fifteen - Leaving the Fair of Lorien
That day she relished the woods of Lorien. They were prepared a magnificent breakfast feast. Many elves were present. She actually feasted with Galadriel the Lady of the Golden Wood! She and Legolas practiced more with the bow, and Haldir even taught her new techniques much to the objects of Legolas.
"There are many more techniques to the bow than just that of Mirkwood, Prince," Haldir told Legolas. "You aren't the only one either that may show her how to weild the bow."
Legolas looked as though he would burst with anger until Elenya got between the two.
"I will be happy to have both of you show me how to weild the bow. That of Lorien and of Mirkwood. But now I wish to speak with my liege lord," Elenya said as she began to walk away.
As she walked away, Haldir asked, "Her what?"
"That is the name she gives to Aragorn," Legolas said. "She admires him greatly."
"Does she love him?" Haldir asked.
"Of course not!" Legolas said loudly. "What I mean is that Aragorn does not love her either. Aragorn is promised to another, and she knows that."
"I have not known of Aragorn's lover," Haldir said nearly inquiring to Legolas.
Legolas did not wish to name the Evenstar to Haldir. Aragorn's love life was private. He changed the subject.
"What do you think of the elf?" Legolas asked.
"She's enchanting," Haldir answered.
"Aye, but she is strange. I can not read her yet."
"Why would you wish to? Do you love her?"
Legolas did not answer Haldir.
"We have been summoned to the chamber of Galadriel and Celeborn. It is the last day I fear," Aragorn told Elenya.
This was the day they were leaving. She didn't want to leave for she knew what would come next more grief and battle. Emilie followed the Fellowship sadly to the chamber of Celeborn and Galadriel. Her heart was heavy as Celeborn spoke.
"Now is the time," he said, "when those who wish to continue the quest must harden their hearts to leave this land. Those who no longer wish to go forward may remain here for awhile. But whether they stay or go, none can be sure of peace. For we are come now to the edge of doom."
Doom! Why did he have to say that? Peace? Find no peace in Lorien? If no one can find peace in Lorien, they will find no peace anywhere.
He continued, "Here those who wish may await the oncoming of the hour till either the ways of the world lie open again, or we summon them to the last need of Lorien. Then they may return to their own lands or else go to the long home of those that fall in battle."
Fall in battle. His words are not comforting.
Lorien had become as a home to Elenya. A second home. They said farwell to the lawn by the fountain where they had slept. Elanor blossomed about everywhere. Elenya did not leave before picking one of the golden flowers. She was now in breeches again for what was coming could not be fought in a dress. The Company had decided to continue the journey to Mordor though Aragorn was going to go to Gondor.
Elenya saw the three boats for them. Three would go in each. She wished to go with Aragorn, but he insisted on being with the hobbit Frodo. And she knew Sam would not leave his master's side. She did not wish to sit with Boromir, but Merry and Pippin did. It seemed that poor Gimli would be with two elves. But he did not mind that as much after seeing Galadriel. It seemed he now loved elves. She climbed into the boat with Legolas. He, of course, placed her in the middle.
They began to sail down the river slowly when all of a sudden, they saw a great swan of enourmous size. The water rippled on either side of the white breast beneath its curvingneck. It's beak shone like burnished gold, and its eyes glinted like jet set in yellow stones; its huge white wings were half lifted. A music came down the river as it drew nearer to their small three little canoes. In the midst of the vessel sat Celeborn, and behind him stood Galadriel tall and white. In her hand, she bore a harp, and she sang. Sad and sweet was the sound of her voice in the cool clear air.
I sang of leaves, leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew: Of wind I sang, a wind there came and in the branches blew. Beyond the Sun, beyond the Moon, the foam was on the Sea, And by the strand of Ilmarin, there grew a golden Tree. Beneath the stars of Ever-eve in Eldamar it shone, In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion. There long the golden leaves have grown upon the branching years, While here beyond the Sundering Seas now fall the Elven-tears. Oh Lorien! The Winter comes, the bare and leafless Day; The leaves are falling in the stream, the River flows away. Oh Lorien! Too long I have dwelt upon this Hither ShoreAnd in a fading crown have twined the golden elanor. But it of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me, What ship would bear me ever ack across so wide a Sea?
Galadriel came to bid them her last farwell. And to give them gifts. Elenya did not expect anything. She was happy simply to have been there and to have seen Galadriel.
After they had eaten and drunk, Celeborn gave them directions down the river to where they should stop. Then it was time to drink the cup of Farwell. The cup was passed to each of the Company, and they drank.
"I have brought in my ship gifts of which the Lord and the Lady of the Galadhrim now offer you in memory of Lothlorien," Galadriel said sweetly. "To the leader of the Company."
She gave to Aragorn a sheath overlaid with a tracery of flowers and leaves wrought of silver and gold, on it were set in elven runes formed of many gems the name Anduril and the lineage of the sword.
"But is there aught else that you desire of me at our parting?"
"Lady, you know all my desire, and long held in keeping the only treasure I seek. Yet it is not yours to give me, even if you would; and only through darkness shall I come to it."
Arwen? I know not Emilie thought to herself.
"Yet maybe this will lighten your heart. This stone I gave to Celbrian my daughter, and she to hers; and now it comes to you as a token of hope. In this hour take the name that was foretold for you, Elessar, the Elfstone of the house of Elendil!"
It was a great stone of clear green set in a silver brooch that was wrought in the likeness of an eagle with outspread wings.
She gave to Boromir a belt of gold. To the hobbits Pippin and Merry, small silver belts each with a clasp wrought like a golden flower. To Legolas, she gave a bow such as the Galadhrim used, longer and stouter than the bows of Mirkwood, and strung with a string of elf-hair. With it went a quiver of arrows. To Sam, little gardener and lover of trees, she gave the small box of plain gray wood, unadorned save for a single rune upon the lid. But in it was the precious gift of soil from her garden. She saod that now other garden in Middle Earth would bloom like his. Then he may remember Galadriel and catch a far off glimpse of Lorien. Sam would need it later during the Scouring of the Shire. Emilie knew that. Sam went red to the ears and muttered something inaudible after she spoke. He clutched the small box and bowed as well as he could.
Galadriel approached Elenya.
"To you my female elf and friend, I give you these."
Elenya seemed astonished as Galadriel placed a circlet of golden flowers upon her head. The circlet rested lightly upon her loose brown hair. They were of pure gold in the shape of Elanor tied together with strings of silver.
"Yes, they are elanor. The gold shall not fade, and it will glow during your dark nights. When you wear it, think of Galadriel and your nights in Lorien."
"I shall never forget you, Lady," Elenya curtsied.
"And what would a dwarf ask of the elves?" Galadriel said to Gimli.
"Nothing Lady," he said. "It is enough for me to have seen the Lady of the Galadhrim and to hear her gentle words."
"Here ye all elves!" she cried to those about her. " Let none say that dwarves are grasping and ungracious! Yet surely Gimli son of Gloin, you desire something that I could give? Name it I bid you. You shall not be the only guest without a gift."
"There is nothing Lady Galadriel," said Gimli bowing low. "Nothing unless it might be-unless it is permitted ask, nay, to name a single strand of your hair, which surpassed the gold of the earth as the stars surpass the gems of the mine. I do not ask for such a gift. But you commanded me to name my desire."
Everyone was shocked at the dwarf. Hushed whispers rippled through the crowd of elves standing nearby. Galadriel asked what he would do with such a gift.
"Treasure it Lady in memory of your words to me at our first meeting. And if I ever return to the smithies of my home, it shall be set in imperishable crystal to be an heirloom of my house, and a pledge of good will between the Mountain and the Wood until the end of days."
Instantly, Galadriel unbraided one of her long tresses and cut three strands of hairs and laid them in Gimli's hand. "These words shall go with the gift. I do not foretell, for al lforetelling is now vain, on the one hand lies darkness, and on the other only hope. But if hope should not fail, then I say to you Gimli son of Gloin, that your hand shall flow with gold, and yet over you gold shall have no dominion."
And finally to Frodo, she gave to him the Light of Earendil. She held up the crystal phial: it glittered as she moved it, and rays of white light sprang from her hand. In the phial, was the light caught of Earendil's star, set amid the water's of her fountain.
"It will shine brighter when night is about you. May it be a light for you in dark places when all other lights go out. Remember Galadriel and her Mirror!"
As they climbed back into the boats with heavy hearts, she stood upon the riverbank her hand lifted to the sky in farwell. A white light shone about her. She seemed like a queen great and beautiful. Lorien was a time Elenya would remember for ages to come.