Tears in Immortality

by Feb 16, 2005Poetry

I always felt that the depth of Elrond’s pain was never quite shown enough in the movies or in the book. He is a father who has recently learned that his only daughter will die. That pain is one of the most unendurable a parent can experience, or so I’ve heard. The one moment that I felt Elrond’s complete despondency was when he asked Arwen, “Do I not also have your love?” That line was the starting point for this poem.

Tears in Immortality

She rejects the gift of the Valar,
The sea calls,
But a power stronger
Than that of the Grey Havens
Holds her here.

There once was a ship that could bear her
Away, away with her people,
Away with her Ada.
Now there is nothing for her
But death
In all places.
And I can do nothing.

She will have me sail
Into Bliss
With the shadow of her death
Upon my thoughts,
Upon my heart.
Without her,
Eternity will be only
Regret and sorrow.

She will dwell here,
In this land of impermanence,
While I endure eternal happiness,
Divided from her by an
Omnipotnent sea.

She will fade
As I live on.
And then one day
She will die.
Will my sight reach so far?
Will I know of her death
In another land?
Or will I spend
Many long years
Questioning her vitality?

My tears fall
For the impending doom.
They fall not for this
Forsaken land,
But for her,
Who would have herself

It is a dying man
For whom she stays.
She is terrified that
He may not come back,
Not aware that
I am consumed by grief,
A grief that could
Drown the heart of any mortal.
Ada innas al gar an inc
Ah im, ú-`erin veleth lîn?

She chooses him
Over herself,
Over me.
She will be happy with him
For short years.
I will be heartbroken
Without her throughout my

Note: The Elvish is (not literally, but nicely translated): A father should not have to wonder / Do I not also have your love?


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