the lay of leithian by jrr tolkien, left unfinished

the story of beren and lúthien ~ finished by geoff zeiger

The Lay of Leithian
Release from Bondage


A king there was in days of old
ere men yet walked upon the mould.
His power was reared in caverns' shade;
his hand was over glen and glade.
His shields were shining as the moon, 5
his lances keen of steel were hewn.
Of silver grey his crown was wrought;
the starlight in his banners caught,
and silver thrilled his trumpets long
beneath the stars in challenge strong. 10
In after days when to the shore
of Middle-Earth from Valinor
the Elven-hosts in might returned,
and banners flew and beacons burned,
when kings of Eldamar went by 15
in strength of war, beneath the sky,
then still his silver trumpets blew
when sun was young and moon was new.
Afar then in Beleriand,
in Doriath's beleaguered land, 20
King Thingol sat on guarded throne
in many-pillared halls of stone.
There beryl, pearl and opal pale
and metal wrought like fishes' mail,
buckler and corselet, axe and sword 25
and gleaming spears were laid in hoard.
All these he had and counted small,
for dearer than all wealth in hall
and fairer than are born to Men
a daughter had he, Lúthien. 30

Such lissom limbs no more shall run
upon the earth, beneath the sun;
so fair a maid no more shall be
from dawn to dusk, from sun to sea.
Her robe was blue as summer skies, 35
but grey as evening were her eyes;
her mantle sewn with lilies fair,
but dark as shadow was her hair.
Her feet were swift as bird on wing,
her laughter lighter than the spring; 40
the slender willow, the bowing reed,
the fragrance of a flowering mead,
the light upon the leaves of trees,
the voice of water, more than these
her beauty was and blissfulness, 45
her glory and her loveliness;
and her the king more dear did prize
than hand or heart or light of eyes.

They dwelt amid Beleriand
while Elven might yet held the land; 50
the woven woods of Doriath:
none ever thither found the path
unbidden, none the forest eaves
dared pass, or stir the listening leaves.
To North there lay the Land of Dread, 55
whence only evil pathways led
o'er hills of shadow bleak and cold
or Taur-na-Fuin's haunted hold,
where Deadly Nightshade lurked and lay
and never came nor moon nor day; 60
to South the wide earth unexplored;
to West the ancient ocean roared,
unsailed and shoreless, wide and wild;
to East in peaks of blue were piled
in silence folded, mist-enfurled, 65
the mountains of the Outer World,
beyond the tangled woodland shade,
thorn and thicket, grove and glade,
whose brooding boughs with magic hung
were ancient when the world was young. 70

There Thingol in the Thousand Caves,
whose portals pale that river laves,
Esgalduin that faeries call,
in many a tall and torchlit hall
a dark and hidden king did dwell, 75
lord of the forest and the fell;
and sharp his sword and high his helm,
the king of beech and oak and elm.

There Lúthien the lissom maid
would dance in dell and grassy glade, 80
and music merrily, thin and clear,
went down the ways, more fair than ear
of mortal Men at feast hath heard,
and fairer than the song of bird.
When sky was clear and stars were keen 85
then Dairon with his fingers lean,
as daylight melted into shade,
a wandering music sweetly made,
enchanted fluting, warbling wild,
for love of Thingol's elfin child. 90

There mirth there was and voices bright;
there eve was peace and morn was light;
there songs were made and things of gold,
and silver cups and jewels untold,
and elanor and niphredil 95
bloomed in the grass unfading still,
and the endless years of Faërie land
rolled over far Beleriand,
until a day of doom befell
as still the elven harpers tell. 100

lúthien tinúviel



lúthien tinúviel