The Lion and The Swan
A poem of Éomer of Rohan, from musings by his bride, Lothíriel of Dol Amroth
I dream of seas beneath a prow
That leaps upon the surging waves,
And winds that toss and whip and run
Upon a distant watery realm.
I dream of sea birds crying high
Above familiar rampart walls
Whereon I watch and there! afar
A white sail gleams on homeward reach.
I dream of green beloved ways
Where once I fared in childish quest,
For magic in a daisy’s face
And mystery ‘neath a maple bower.
A silvered wing on salty airs
Soars high above and far beyond
And with it wings my questing heart
To shores beyond a distant sun.
But now my seas are waves of grass,
And winds bear rumor from afar
Of snow upon the frowning peaks
And rain on stern and silent hills.
The very air is scented strange,
The breezes murmur parchment dry,
Caressing like an old maid’s hand
Yet comfort will not find me so.
The vault of sky bears not a sound
And ‘midst that endless whisp’ring space
I shrink within, a small, lost thing
Cast far upon the winds of chance;
Far from that long familiar hearth
Where blessed voices ring and laugh,
Swept like the gull on tempest gales,
Alas my homeward shores are lost.
Now hark! A step within the hall,
And comes the master of this house.
He paces like a tethered lion,
This golden king, this warrior’s son.
Pale eyes burn with kindled flame
And strength and power rest in his hand;
Born to hauberk, sword and spear,
He is the Mark; the Mark is him.
But oh I see a light within,
I feel a trembling in his touch.
So soft his lips touch mine and then
He smiles into my eyes and speaks;
Sweet words that lift my heart awhirl
And banish shadows hurrying.
My love has come and in his hands
My heart rests like a nestling bird.
For he is mine and I am his;
The lion and the swan abide,
One soul within our separate hearts,
As river joins with restless sea.
For though we come from lands apart,
One borne of sea, the other sky,
We twain are joined in matchless bonds
And all he treasures, so shall I.
I am his and he is mine;
My king rests in my cradled arms,
His golden head upon my breast,
Whilst slumber doth caress his brow.
Sleep, my king, my matchless love,
And rest ’til duty calls thee forth,
For I shall guard thy gentle rest
As thou hast guarded e’re my heart.
~ * ~