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The Great Hall of Poets – August 2014

The Lay of Eowyn

By William Diehl

Now, hear the Lay of Eowyn,
A shield-maiden of yore,
Who lived her life in fealty
And loyalty, and war.

In Meduseld, King Theoden
Had no daughter of his own,
So he bade his sister’s child live
With him in his great home.

A lovely maiden of golden hair
Known all across the Mark,
But a shield-maiden must prove herself
At the coming of the Dark.

It happened many years ago
Before our age had come.
Evil fell upon the Rohirrim
And no more songs were sung.

Across the fields of Rohan
And the grasses of the Wold,
Invaders from a far-off land
Rode fearlessly and bold.

Though Theoden was wizened,
He bore a majesty of old.
He sent the mighty Eorlingas
To East and Western Folds.

Upon the west the invaders crept,
The orcs of an evil lord,
Where Theodred, son of Theoden
Met doom by a goblin-sword.

To Theoden, King of Rohan, this news
Dealt a mighty blow.
By evil counsel Theoden was
Convinced that he was old.

But from the North came a mighty sword,
The blade of Anduril.
The lost king of the western lands
Had come in times of ill.

This proud man’s name was Aragorn,
Son of Arathorn by birth.
His grand arrival in Meduseld
Brought happiness and mirth.

He approached the lofty dais
Where Theoden was set,
And suddenly he saw Eowyn
Who smiled when they met.

A finer warrior she had never seen,
This man of jet-black hair,
His face was proud of bearing
Though his hands showed signs of wear.

And he beheld a shield-maiden –
So lovely yet so stern,
A woman of strength and beauty
For which any man would yearn.

Then Theoden and Aragorn rode
To battle in the West,
Leaving Eowyn to think of them and
Manage Meduseld her best.

Across the grass of Rohan came
Tidings of victory!
Now, the mighty warrior Aragorn
Would come for her to see.

For many days she waited until
Finally, he returned.
She was overjoyed to see him
But shocked with what she learned.

He announced that in the morning he
Would go upon his way,
Leaving lonely, anguished Eowyn
In Meduseld to stay.

She begged to come with Aragorn
As he rode away to war.
But Aragorn would have her not
And rode out from the door.

Soon Theoden, the King, returned;
A battle he had won.
But preparations were underway,
For war had just begun!

A muster of the countrymen
Prepared to travel east,
But Eowyn was to be left behind
To guard their hall of feast.

A night passed in unhappiness,
No comfort from the moon.
Indeed no morning ever came,
Only the Dark of Doom.

But Eowyn was resolute,
She the King did not obey.
With mail corslet and silver sword
Among the men she made her way.

With the Eored of the King she rode
Through many perilous days,
Yet though she knew the danger
She would still not turn away.

At last the mighty Rohirrim
Came to the battle-ground.
And Theoden of the Riddermark
Led a charge of great renown.

Through countless ranks of enemy
His proud horse, Snowmane, flew.
Their banner he hewed to the ground,
Their leader Theoden slew.

The Rohirrim had changed the tide
Of battle on that day.
The fearful Darkness on the land
Began to go away.

But suddenly there was horror
As men looked toward the sky.
For they heard a screech of terror
And saw a shadow flying high.

Alas, the King of Darkness on a
Fell-winged steed had come,
So Snowmane reared with terror
Dumping Theoden to the ground.

Poor Theoden’s days were over as he
Was pinned beneath his steed,
With the ever-nearing evil wraith
Contemplating wicked deeds.

But Eowyn had observed the King
As doom upon him fell,
And the shield-maiden began the deed of which
Many tales would tell.

The evil wraith approached the King
To desecrate the dead.
Although the men were paralyzed
This maiden felt no dread.

Defying the dark she leaped from her horse,
Running to her liege’s side.
The fierceness of the shield-maiden
Made men’s eyes open wide.

“Come not between the Nazgul and his
Prey,” the Ringwraith said,
“Or he shall take thee to his land
Where thou wouldst wish for death.”

“Dost thou not know the prophecy,
No man may hinder me!”
These evil words of terror made
Men loath to watch and see.

“Thou dost not look upon a man
But a woman of the Mark!”
And as she threw her helmet down
Her hair lit up the dark.

“Be gone, foul dwimmerlaik,” she said,
“You stand before my kin,
For living or evil dark undead I
Will smite thee if I can.”

So firm a challenge her had not had
In this age of the land.
He charged the shield-maiden, a
Great mace in his hand.

He, with a screech, the mace let fall,
It broke her shield arm.
But suddenly with a cry of pain
He wheeled in alarm.

A Halfling, holbytla, had travelled
From a far-off land to war,
And seeing the peril of Eowyn
Had come to lend his sword.

As the Nazgul stood above Eowyn,
His mace raised in the air,
The Halfling’s sword thrust in his leg
And a howl went through the air.

The Ringwraith stumbled backward, now
Helplessly in pain,
For now the labors of Eowyn had
Not all been in vain.

Her sword she raised above his head,
Though none could see his flesh,
And driving her sword into his face
There came the howl of death.

The sword splintered and fragmented,
Eowyn fell to the ground.
The black breath was upon her
And she lay without a sound.

She was borne with honor from the
Field to the Tower of the Guard,
Where rested she among the slain
Of countless soldiers hard.

But ho! The mighty Aragorn to his
Kingdom had returned.
He won the battle on the field whence
Of Eowyn he heard.

“The hands of a King are healing hands,”
Said Ioreth the Old,
And Aragorn, the long lost King,
Knew healing arts of old.

He saved the valiant Eowyn
And left her to grow strong.
For he had still a war to fight
And soon he hurried on.

As Eowyn recovered, she
Longed for battle still;
A shield-maiden must prove herself
In times of dark and ill.

She met a young man, Faramir,
The ruler of the Tower.
For he too had been nearly killed
In Gondor’s darkest hour.

For Faramir this shield-maiden
Was a pleasant sight indeed,
And soon he fell in love with her
Though him she did not see.

Her heart on another man was set,
That ranger of the North.
She longed for news of battle
As the messengers rode forth.

But now the tidings darkened,
Turning new hope to despair.
And Faramir and Eowyn
Together began to fare.

The two proud warriors fell in love
Upon the Tower of the Sun.
And suddenly the tidings came that
The final war was won!

As all the western lands rejoiced with
Hard-earned victory,
The shield-maiden made it known that
Faramir’s wife she’d be.

The two were joined in happiness
As all the world rejoiced,
While all the blessings of Gondor and
The Rohirrim were voiced.

The two dwelled in Ithilien,
Land of eternal spring.
The two lived ever in happiness
Where birds and minstrels sing.

Oh, here is come the end of the
Lay of Eowyn-
The shield-maiden of the Mark; the
Princess of Ithilien.

~~*~~

The Fellowship

By: Olivia B

Legolas:
I shall came back in spring
when gold leaves fall from trees.
I shall come sit by the river
and dream of the seas.

Gimli:
I will come back to the mountain,
and look upon brethren who died.
Then I will dig down in the dark
for the true silver metal hide.

Boromir:
I will never come back home,
but my soul shall go to the hall
of my father’s kindred history,
now hear my horn’s last call.

Aragorn:
I must win my crown back by right,
and correct my ancestor’s bane.
I have used the sword that was broken,
to start the dominion of man’s reign.

Gandalf:
I will go back now across the seas,
for my work to bring peace here is done.
I have used magic, wisdom, and fireworks
so the hobbits can keep having fun.

Frodo:
I shall come back in summertime,
to my hole ‘neath the hill with round door.
I have saved my lovely Shire land,
but my calling is to a distant seashore.

Sam:
I came back to the lover I left,
to my garden and hedge’s home.
I have been the most faithful companion,
but my heart wants a hole to roam.

Pippin:
I came back from battles with plenty,
and served as a white tree guard man.
I left my home as a fool, but lo
I returned a great soldier of the land.

Merry:
I shall come back a new, wiser hobbit,
for I saw war but pain did not stop me.
I fought with horse lords in a great battle,
and saw sights I never thought I’d see.

~~*~~

Arwen’s Song

By Elessar’s Queen

We met at dusk in Imladris wood;
He called, “Tinúviel!”
As Beren called in years long past,
Far west of Rivendell.

In Lórien of singing gold
We met at length once more;
I plighted troth to Arathorn’s son
On Amroth’s hill of lore.
I turned away from Elven-home
And gave to him my love;
Immortal life I rejected then
And naught could my heart move.

Estel went far a-journeying
Till war inevitable came.
Through Eru’s grace Ring passed away,
The Shadow fell in shame.
In City of Kings our hands were joined
At midsummer of year;
And though he’d kingdom, wealth, and power,
‘Twas me he held most dear.
But at long last his years were spent;
He lay in Silent Street
As still and cold as hardest stone.
Our son took Estel’s seat.

I chose to bear the Doom of Men
That day so long ago;
I now must bear the Doom of Men,
Would I or would I no.
I’ll not be conquered at last test –
I who renounced the Foe.
There’s life past death, His gift to Men,
Relief from bitter load.

My mortal love, I grieve for you
Beneath these fading trees
Of what was once fair Lórien,
Forsaken for the seas.
I too now lay me down to sleep
Upon this hill of ours,
To lie, perchance, forevermore
In nature’s golden bower.

O Elbereth Gilthoniel,
Your daughter Arwen sleeps.
O Eru, take me to Your land
Beyond the Sundered Seas.

~~*~~

Middle-earth

By Lindariel

The fairest world ever seen
washed by springs of water clean,
Overflowing with fountains of mirth,
the world: Middle-earth.

Trees and grass and hills full fair
and Elves, with shining golden hair.
Men in their tall mighty halls
and the Eagles, with their piercing calls.

Dwarves a-delving in the deep,
heights and hills that leap
Their sunny peaks from end to end;
their tops, the fluffy white clouds mend.

The Hobbits in their sandy holes
living somewhat like the moles;
Food and pantries and other things,
caring not for rich bright rings.

But Middle-earth remains fair –
fairer than the brightest star;
Unworn by greatest thought and care,
and all sorrows flee upon the air.

The Elves sing and dance by streams;
their sleep is blest with fairest dreams
Of Valinor, that Elven-Home,
and crashing waves with silvery foam.

The Men, they dream of fame and pow’r,
not of grass and golden flow’r.
Helpless in ther misery,
in their silver livery.

The Dwarves’ dreams are of rocks and jewels,
uncovering great sights and pools.
Thinking thoughts of lust and lore
and never dancing on the moor.

The happy Hobbits have no cares
of evil cruelty and lairs;
They live a life of perfect ease
revelling in the grass and trees.

The Dúnedain, the dour Men
patrol the Shire, and many a den.
Silent and watchful in the dark of night,
they’re seldom seen but at twilight.

The People of the Mighty Sea
in the seawashed weathered lee;
Living in that tall stone tower,
commanding Dol Amroth with great power.

The Eagles of the heights see far,
and nothing can their eyesight mar.
Free like creatures of the air
untouched by thought, word and care.

The stars in the bright-studded sky
look down on all the world’s sights.
The whole earth from end to end they see
from stream to rushing Sea.

The Sea rushes and foams
and the golden sand it ever combs
With gentle, peaceful waves, dark blue
while tiny shells the high tide saves.

The secret Elves live in high trees
revelling in the shade of trees.
Passing silently, unnoticed by many,
Wand’ring o’er the untouched fen.

~~*~~

The Hands of the Air

By Kangi Ska

I stand within the space of a breath
Alone—Outside of time
Unborn—Undead
And the shapes of the clouds
In the hands of the air
Are turned to beasts from dreams
We never share.

~~*~~

“I Want To Go Back To The Days”

By Claire G

I want to go back to the days
When all was wild and free;
And all of us could laugh and dance
The springle-ring under the trees.

I want to go back to the days
When darkness did not reign;
When hope and happiness endured,
And love would conquer pain.

I want to go back to the days
When the lands were lush and green;
And flowers bloomed on hillsides,
And sunshine was our queen.

But long over are those days;
Claimed they have been by the past;
Now a dream cloaked in darkness
Where hope can barely last.

It’s the reality we face
It’s the toll that our lives pay;
And now, when they’re all over,
I want to go back to the days.

~~*~~

The Final Rest

By BlackFox

Moonlight
Pale and white
Hills wrapped in shadows
Stars still ‘n’ bright

Pearls of silver
Shrouds of mist
Night’s hand wrote down
In its wonders list

And silence sang
My lullaby
As the winter’s hang
Grew ever tight’

Forever shall I remember
That frozen hour
When my dreams had yet to turn sour
The ease of heart
The final rest
Before my will was put to test

~~*~~

Frodo

By Rebecca M.

His name meant wise by experience
Yet that knowledge he did not want
Knowledge of what lay in the shadows
Of Mordor black.

His name meant wise by experience
He did not want to go
And see the Eye seeking him
Through the shadows of Mordor black.

His name meant wise by experience
And looking at those he loved
He could not let the Eye seek them
Through the shadows of Mordor black

His name meant wise by experience
And wisdom he got each day
Showing mercy and carrying his burden
Through the shadows of Mordor black

His name meant wise by experience
Now he is home, his burden released
Yet the shadows still haunt him
The shadows of Mordor black.

His name meant wise by experience
He left long ago, seeking peace
Yet with peace that he saved his friends
From the shadows of Mordor black.

~~*~~