Beren & Luthien – A Tale of Love: Forgotten and Lost

by Jul 13, 2004Poetry

Frodo awoke with a stir. Aragorn was humming something in Sindarin, Frodo could not hear him. “Aragorn,” spoke Frodo, “What are you singing of?”
“Of Beren and Luthien.”
“Can you sing it in the common tongue?”
“Yes, and I will: Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures. And of these histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Luthien. Of their lives was made the Lay of Leithian, Release from Bondage, which is the longest save one of the songs concerning the world of old; Yet I will sing it in fewer words, and in song.”

“Beren wandered upon Dorthonion, as a solitary outlaw,
He became friends with birds and beasts,
So wolves would never attack him with their claws.
Slay a good animal he would never do,
Yet only if they were a part of Melkor’s crew.
Captivity he feared, but death not,
He would never be put to bonds,
He would never sleep upon a cot.
Melkor set a price upon his head,
No one could live without,
But when Orcs heard tales that Berin was about,
They would would not seek him out.
Thefore Sauron led an assault,
Harder than a steel vault,
With Werewolves as tall as 5 feet,
And wicked Fell Beasts.
To doriath he came,
Beat, withered and maimed,
In Neldoreth he saw her,
By Esgalduin she danced,
The Sun fell upon her,
Yet not even a chant.
The pain left him,
He was struck by her beauty,
Yet not one could touch them.
Her hair blue as night,
Eyes as grey as twilight,
A crown of flowers upon here head,
Her face as golden as a red.
Then she vanished as quick as she had come,
Beren was struck dumb,
He searched the woods for her,
Tinuviel he called her.
He saw her from afar,
But was breathing hard.
On the dawn of spring,
Upon a green hill,
Luthien began to sing.
She broke the bonds of winter,
The wall of night she splintered,
She rose the dying stars,
Her feet brought to life what she had come upon.
Then Tinuviel! Berin cried,
She loved him, loved his eyes,
Yet she knew she could not,
So she vanished before she was caught.
They would meet again,
But someone would betray them,
Daeron loved her too,
So he wanted Berin slew.
Thingol he told about their love,
but when push comes to shove,
Beren and Luthien were caught,
Yet cry they did not.
Then Thingol spoke:’I see the ring, son of Barahir, and I perceive that you are proud, and deem yourself mighty. But a father’s deeds, even had his service been rendered to me, avail not to win the daughter of Thingol and Melian. See now! I too desire a treasure that is withheld. For rock and steel and the fires of Morgoth keep the jewel that I would possess against all the powers of the Elf-kingdoms. Yet I hear you say that bonds such as these do not daunt you. Go your way therefore! Bring to me in your hand a Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown; and then, if she will, Luthien may set her hand in yours. Then you shall have my jewel; and though the fate of Arda lie within the Silmarils, yet you shall hold me generous.’
So Beren went to take the jewels from Melkor’s crown,
Yet upon him Celegorm and Curufin looked down,
Felagund agreed to help him,
So as orcs they went,
Ten others came with them,
Sauron saw them out of his tower,
Doubt overtook his power,
So he set out to kill them,
and made Felagund sing songs of power with him….

‘He chanted a song of wizardry,
Of piercing, opening, of treachery,
Revealing, uncovering, betraying.
Then sudden Felagund there swaying
Sang in answer a song of staying,
Resisting, battling against power,
Of secrets kept, strength like a tower,
And trust unbroken, freedom, escape;
Of changing and of shifting shape
Of snares eluded, broken traps,
The prison opening, the chain that snaps.
Backwards and forwards swayed their song.
Reeling and foundering, as ever more strong
The chanting swelled, Felagund fought,
And all the magic and might he brought
Of Elvenesse into his words.
Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
Singing afar in Nargothrond,
The sighing of the Sea beyond,
Beyond the western world, on sand,
On sand of pearls in Elvenland.
Then the gloom gathered; darkness growing
In Valinor, the red blood flowing
Beside the Sea, where the Noldor slew
The Foamriders, and stealing drew
Their white ships with their white sails
From lamplit havens. The wind wails,
The wolf howls. The ravens flee.
The ice mutters in the mouths of the Sea.
The captives sad in Angband mourn.
Thunder rumbles, the fires burn —
And Finrod fell before the throne.’


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