The White Rider – A lament for Haldir.

by Apr 3, 2003Poetry

The White Rider

The sound of the tramp of feet
Echoes round Middle-earth,
Uruks march to defeat
Joy and peace, love and mirth.

An army greater than any before,
Intent on just one single thing,
Signalled with a mighty roar
Driven by the power of the Ring.

Young and old stand on the wall,
Ready to fight and then to die,
‘We’ll not last the night, we will fall’
A young boy said with a resigned sigh.

But then a horn blew sweet and clear,
‘That is no Orc-horn’ it was said,
‘Open the gates, our friends are here!’
Elven banners flew blue and red.

Singing to the stars and moon,
To the Valar bright who rule this world,
Praising the Land they’d see so soon,
The Archers came with banners unfurled.

Hearts were lifted, spirits raised
Gold-helmed Archers marched in,
The cry went up ‘We are saved!’
Haldir led the Alliance in.

‘I bring word from Imladris,
Elves and Men together once fought.
To honour that alliance this
Army is sent to Deeping’s fort.’

And on the Deeping wall they stood,
Elven Archers and Mortal Men,
Swords of steel, and bows of wood,
The Alliance lived once again.

The tramp of feet and sound of horn
Was carried in the air,
The roar of Orc and Uruk scorn
Flew to Man and Elf ears fair.

And in the quiet of the night
When darkness crept around,
The Uruk-hai came into sight,
And made a fearful sound.

An arrow was loosed, an Uruk fell,
Their roar grew mighty and strong,
The archers sent their arrows well,
But the Uruks were too great a throng.

Strong be shield, keen be lance,
Fair be helm and strong be sword,
Death be lent to archer’s glance,
The foe awakes, is seen abroad.

Beware the flash of lightning bright!
Beware the thunder of the dark!
Beware the horns that start the fight!
Beware the swordsman’s deadly mark!

Firstborn race, good, fair, and wise,
Fell to Uruk sword and shield,
The Uruk-hai had death in their eyes,
It seemed the fortress now would yield.

‘Retreat! The wall is taken by the foe!’
It became clear the wall would fall,
Then Haldir took a deadly blow,
His face took on a deathly pall.

Ai, Haldir! Fair amongst your kin!
Who will kneel by your grave,
Any lament is lost in the din,
Haldir true, and fair, and brave!

Let this complaint be thy lament
This song be thy lover’s sigh,
To Mandos’ halls you are sent,
Your body in Earth now will lie.

Then like a star come down to earth,
At the rising of the sun,
The White Rider charged with all his worth,
Then the battle was all but done.

The Uruks turned and saw with fright
The charging of Theoden’s man
Eomer, but Gandalf’s light
Blinded them, and they ran.

Like a star, Gandalf was,
Burning fierce and bright,
And in his wrath and fury he was
Shining – Gandalf the White.


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