Hunger. Weariness. Despair.
This is what I feel.
I have never perceived fear and distress so thorough. Even when I fled from my home to the south, escaping the new horror that had woken in the mines and the Orcs that crept on the northern borders of Lórien, I did not feel so alone and distraught.
Has it been only days, weeks or months when Amroth and I lost each other? Whatever the time may be, it seems like years have gone past.
To marry him when he brought me to a land of peace was my promise. To peace he thought to bring me but instead to woe have I come. Has ever a pledge been more dire, a journey more grievous? We were going to the haven in the south, to pass away like I deem all the Elves will in the end. That was our doom.
He told me of the West, the tales he had heard. We even made plans of how we were to be wed. Happiness was to dawn. Oh, how early was my hope of seeing peace at last!
In the wooded hills we strayed, my maidens and I. Trying to find our way and Amroth we got more and more lost, Mithrellas disappeared somewhere, then the others. I was alone.
To find a way to the Sea, to the haven, the ships, to Amroth has been my desire. All to naught. I haven’t met a soul on the road, no one to ask for tidings of my love.
So I have walked and walked and shall go on walking.
I hear water singing. I have come to a river. The river reminds me of my sweet stream in Lórien. Swift, clear and cool was the water. My heart lightens, I sit on the bank remembering the times past. Starting a song that I sang so often before, I look on the waters running to the Sea. Oh, take me with you!
The night has come, I look at the stars reflected in the dark river, the sound of the falls is the sweetest I have ever beheld. I remember Lórien, the silvery stream, the golden mellyrn. Sleep overcomes me, deeper and deeper I drift until the weariness and despair drowns me to sleep.
I wake. How long have I been dreaming? Too long. I fear that I am too late but the dreams and the water gives me the last hope. I shall walk on the river’s bank and find my way to the Sea.
Endless miles pass, the water never faltering, my feet carrying me to the south. Another year seems to have gone by but it could be just a week. I find some berries and rest awhile under the trees. It’s quiet, I can’t hear birds singing to ease my troubled heart.
I am walking again, putting one foot before the other. I come to a place where the river that I have been following meets with another. They join their singing waters and head to the Sea. I go on.
Autumn has arrived. A wind starts to blow from the north, getting stronger and stronger. A cold wind from the Northern Waste by the feel of it. I find a hill to shelter me from the storm.
The gale passes at last but with it the last shreds of belief go as well. Somehow my doom was made, I suddenly realise that. But still I make myself go on, not knowing what had happened.
Countless miles later a sound reaches my ears, a sound I have never heard before in all my years. The Sea! My heart leaps, I have come at last to it’s wide waters. Closer and closer I pace. I see the beach. Something is on the sand…someone. Dread fills me. Even with elven sight I can’t tell who it is yet, but my heart knows.
I come to the strand. What I had been afraid of has come true: I see my love, the one I wished to get to, who promised me happiness and peace from the wars, Amroth, the King of Lórien – drowned. A slight breeze blows from the Sea, I hear his voice again calling my name – Nimrodel.
He found me at last and I him. Tears well in my eyes, they fall like pearls to the sand, on his clothes, on his fair face.
He seems to be so cold and wet. I have to get him somewhere warmer, away from all this water. Water – it had always been my chief love. I hate it now, the Sea, the rivers who feed the hungry Sea. Robber of my love, my life.
I try to drag him under the nearby trees, onto the soft grass. It is hard, I am so tired. Finally we are under the leaves. I gently lower his head to the grass, kneeling I look upon him. His garments are drying, his hair is stirring in the gentle wind on his strong shoulders. Tears fall from my eyes again, wetting his face.
I look back at everything that had befallen us. Never to be! I loved him for so long and he me. But I cherished my freedom and didn’t like the Elves coming from the West, bringing war and woe with them. I feel his arms around me again, see his eyes that reflected the stars when he sat beside me, his voice when he joined me in song. Why did I wait? If only I had known.
I gently dry his brow from my tears and lay beside him, holding him tightly. I see his face next to mine. He looks like one who is sleeping. I kiss him, our hair mingling in another gust of salty air. Thinking of all the might have beens I let my head fall onto his chest.
Grief is overcoming me, I have no tears left. My time here, on Middle-earth, has come to its end. I don’t see the green of the foliage or the blue of the sky anymore. Stars are before my eyes and a light like moonlight or sunlight but still not either of them. Maybe it’s a glimmer of the radiance of the Two Trees that are no more. The Halls of Mandos, I am journeying there now. We will meet, Amroth, my lord, we’ll see each other again in the Undying Lands!
I feel the last ties between my spirit and my body vanishing.
And on the grass beneath the trees, beside the Sea a star seems to have gone out. There lay two Elves in eachother’s arms. The maiden has a white mantle hemmed with gold, her shoes are silver grey. A star is in her long golden hair. Her love has light coloured garments, a grey cloak and hair the colour of sunlight.
How long did the bodies rest there no one knows. But after a while they were gone. Two new trees grew there. Beautiful long limbed asps whose boughs were intertwined like Nimrodel had been embracing Amroth in the same place. Men do not come there often, they regard these trees as strange and scary. When the wind is in the South, the voice of Amroth comes from the Sea and the voice Nimrodel can be heard faintly, striving to meet his. The leaves of the asps catch these tones and look as if shivering in answer.
Elves have not come to that sad place, otherwise they would surely have guessed the origin of the asps; Men go there not. And so the fate of Nimrodel and Amroth is still unknown, the tidings never coming to the Elves on the Hither Shore.