The Great Hall of Poets – March 2014
THE SMALLEST HANDS
We hearken to the harp and hear
of deeds of Elves and Men;
of Silmarils, Thangorodrim,
and fallen Gondolin;
of Beren and of Lúthien;
of Eärendil the Star;
of Húrin who was sadly cursed,
and Túrin Túrambar
We sing of fallen Númenor,
and faithful Elendil,
who of his folk a remnant saved,
to do the Valar’s will.
We tell of mighty Gil-galad,
who led against the foe
an army vast of Elves and Men
to lay the Shadow low.
And by such things our hearts are stirred,
to know these tales of yore;
the dire deeds done and victories won
by those who went before.
So we see then in our mind’s eye
these heroes brave and tall
with faces fell and mighty arms
who answered to the call.
In such a way we measure them
whose deeds we may admire,
by strength of hand and height from ground,
to such we may aspire.
There is a land so fair and green
far to the north and west,
where dwell a folk but half Men’s height,
in peace and plenty blest.
They plow the ground, they till the earth,
a simple folk, we find,
who laugh and weep and live and love;
with open hearts and kind.
Yet even there did Evil reach
far to the west and north.
Against the Shadow’s fearsome clutch
were four who ventured forth.
Although in height but half as high
full twice as large their hearts.
When darkness threatened all they loved,
they sought to do their parts.
Into a world grown grim and cold,
where perils oft await,
they wandered in their innocence
toward an uncertain fate.
And two there were, who carried off
by fell and fearsome foes,
yet by their wits and strength of will
they both struck mighty blows.
And two there were who went alone
into the Shadow’s lair;
where nothing good may there be found,
and all is bleak despair.
Betrayed and beaten, whipped and cursed,
they managed to endure.
they struggled on through pain and thirst,
where only death was sure,
and into malice Mercy cast,
and Love and Grace prevailed.
So Power and Pride did tremble then,
And thus the Darkness failed.
Perhaps it was to humble us
when Chance or Purpose called–
and into smallest hands did give
the greatest deed of all.
by Lisse Mirelien
I linger here in Lórien for one last fading day.
The mellyrn’s glowing leaves have dropped in one last golden spray
And now the Golden Wood beloved with shadows dark is filled;
The Nimrodel, the laughing stream, has now its laughter stilled.
Against the sky the songbirds wheel and cry their joyous cries,
But in my heart I hear the seabird’s call, the ocean’s sighs.
Namárië to Middle Earth! I bid thee fond farewell–
My eyes are turned to Valinor, beyond the grey sea swell.
O Valinor! No more I’ll stay upon this Hither Shore,
No more a fading crown I’ll weave of golden elanor.
Where once I dwelt in peace and joy, there I will dwell again,
Forsaking Middle Earth–for now will reign the Kings of Men.
Of snow-white ships at last I’ve sung; a ship has come for me;
A ship to bear me safely home across the Sundering Sea.
From Numenor we came of old
but now our tales are seldom told
we fared the seas and danced the tides
we built the ships on surf would glide.
But destruction came upon our land
the sea rose up o’er grass and sand.
Our sails were filled, our banners flown
we sailed our ships to lands unknown.
Our banners still fly but on ships no more
the shadows grow long outside our door.
Elendil he perished at the foot of Mount Doom
Isildur was slain and taken too soon.
The King’s line stands broken, the crown lies unworn
the proud line of Numenor now decreased and forlorn.
The ships sail no longer, no gull flies them home
the White Tree is withered no seedling is sown.
The throne it is taken by Stewards, not Kings
the harps play no longer, the minstrels don’t sing.
Doom lies on cities, they fall to decay
the glory of Numenor now slippeth away.
Our valor and beauty shall fade from this land
if no man comes to us to raise up his hand.
Our courage still lives in the last of our line
our blood it flows secret in all Dunedain.
The crown is returned, the White Tree in bloom
our peace now upon us no longer our doom.
“An Elegy for Dis”
Blood runs in rubies and tears stream,
silver fountains on pearl skin,
beauty wreathed in shadow.
A mother with nothing to love
save the feel of cold stone
and the closing of a carven tomb,
the only predictable constant
that she has ever come to know.
Two sons raised on her tales
of dragons and Dwarf-lords,
what she has forever endured,
in hopes that they would grow
to be the kings of their corner of Arda.
Now she crosses names off
her old lists on dinner guests:
Father’s Father, Father Dearest,
Big Brother, Bigger Brother,
Husband (’til death do them part),
Golden Prince, Reckless Prince.
Does it matter how many coins
the Free Kings get when a mother
has to bury her children
in the name of the greed,
the gleam, and the glory?
It doesn’t take a beast to destroy
a family, it only takes your
closest fearless kin, because you only
hurt the ones you love.