The Great Hall of Poets – April 2016
-Túrin, the Luckless-
By Sterling Kerman,
Taken from the ‘Children of Húrin’ by J.R.R Tolkien
Son of Húrin,
Captain of Men,
From the mountains of Dor’lomin
To the cliffs of Cabed.
Only glory, did he follow,
Only death, did he leave.
On the reign of Thingol,
He slew Saeros.
And so he fled,
Hidden with thieves.
For days he plotted,
He wielded outlaws,
And became a captain.
Then seeketh a Kingdom,
He captured a dwarf.
Through threat and death,
From Mîm, the halls Amon Rûdh.
But an act of treason,
Mîm broke oath.
A thousand orcs,
And the rage of Dwarves.
Through capture and torment,
Túrin was broken.
But his friend, Beleg the Bowman,
Came to rescue.
But through darkness and pain,
Through fear and madness,
Túrin slayed Beleg,
His friend of old.
Only flee could Túrin,
With Gwindor, to Nargothrond.
No longer Túrin, but Agarwaen.
Hidden from his shame.
There he renewed, the cursed blade.
Anglachel, Beleg’s blade, the one it had slain.
Gurthang was its name,
The Iron of Death.
But out of the pain,
Love befell Argawaen,
Finduilas, daughter of Orodreth;
Softened his maddened heart.
But through defiance and treason,
His name was revealed.
Gwindor his friend,
Named him Túrin.
But unlike the expected,
Greatness was only given.
Chief councilor, lord of Elves.
Befell Túrin, under Orodreth.
But as all tales do,
Darkness fell upon the unlikely Hero.
The blade of Morgoth,
The dragon Glaurung.
Upon battle, and the fires of the beast,
Tùrin was trapped in the cursed gaze.
And idly, trapped, weak…
His love Finduilas, was gone.
Tricked, and angered,
To Dor’lomin Túrin travelled.
Seeking his tormented kin.
But only taint did he find.
The lands of Húrin,
Were now of Brodda,
No sign of mother, nor sister Nienor.
Thus, in a rage,
He slayed Brodda.
But only angered he, the lords therein.
And to fire, did Aerin fell.
And so Túrin left in search,
No more did he seek his kin,
But rather, Finduilas.
And search, did he… But all too late.
On the roads to Brethil, he learned:
That the prisoners of Nargothrond, were no more.
In anguish he fell,
And was taken to Brethil.
That all this time.
His sister, Nienor seeked him.
To Nargothrond she went.
But there she found, the monstrous beast.
And into his eyes, she did gaze.
“Remember no more,” did he say.
And as glass, her mind was clear.
She became the same as a wild beast,
And into the forests she travelled far.
But there upon the grave of his love,
Did Túrin, now Turambar, find her.
Knowing her not, he named her Níniel.
he taught her all he knew.
And in an ill fate, he began to lust.
And both blind of the existing bond, as one they became.
But lo’ the reign of Glaurund was unfinished;
To Brethil he came.
With the Iron of Death, and companions of two;
Came Túrin to defend.
But as the beast was slain,
By the might of Gurthang;
The black blood of the beast,
Fell upon Túrin.
And in fear, came Níniel.
Seeking her husband, fearing the end.
But only death did she find,
The body of Túrin.
Off the cliff of Cabed-en-Aras;
she leapt onto the river,
And was no more.
But then awoke, Túrin of his deathly sleep.
He learned from Brandir, the fate of Níniel.
In anger, he slew Brandir.
To the cliff thereof, did he go.
And anguish, he plotted his death.
And he took Gurthang saying
“Take but one more life”
And upon the blackened blade,
He fell to his death.
And so was the tale of Túrin the cursed.
The folk of Brethil raised a stone.
And buried their hero.
And now to this day, lays Túrin.
Sleep he does, till the end of time.
~~ * ~~
by Briony Loudoun
Sailing the seas by the sun guided,
shining to the shore came Sheaf the king—
the child of gold, chosen by the gods.
His cradle was of corn, cut at harvest,
from foreign shores the flaxen sheaves.
The boat was brought to bay, onto the sand.
It was twin-prowed, of timbers proud,
by Woden’s ravens, his winged riders
by air and oar. The young boy was
greeted with grace by the great and small
of account among all the people.
Lightly they lifted the lad from the boat,
his beauty they beheld and brought him to the hall
There lay the lad till late when Sheaf
woke and wayward walked from the hall.
His ship Sheaf found, of sheaves golden,
and took his talent and his task in his hands—
his harp and his hopeful harvest of corn.
He played to the people both prayers and spells,
his magical music mesmerised the folk
while gold glimmered and glinted in his hair,
raven twined with the rarest treasure
the Olden Earth had ever seen:
corn, the kernels that came from the sea.
Their god of gold guided his people
how to handle and harvest the golden
crop. They crowned him king in thanks
for his golden gift and guidance. For years
he reigned as ruler of a rich people,
a folk famed for their farming wealth.
But soon the sun must set and a king’s
right to rule be resigned to death.
Sheaf was shorn of his shining life,
his people prepared him properly for the journey
to the after-life where Elves linger
and legends live on lighted shores.
With gold they gifted their greatest king
and piled his boat with a precious burden.
With gold he came and with gold he was cast
with blessings to the beaches of his birth, where corn
grows in greatness and glimmers ever.
With each crop of corn carried in at harvest
we remember Sheaf and the riches and sheaves
he brought in his boat.
~~ * ~~
Ode to a Mallorn
by Rebecca D.
O mallorn tree, how bright your leaves,
Mirror the evening radiance of Anor!
As the fading light of autumn gold,
Lingers, a beacon in the Shadow.
Exalted beech of Valinor, how lofty are your eaves,
That splay from argent-silver bark of silk!
A dwelling of ambrosial bliss;
Minas Hîth: tower above the somber mist.
Aureate Laureate, how your foliage interweaves,
Dancing, ambling, fluttering down in Spring!
Gathered in fallow flaxen heaps,
Lasse-lanta, a song of leaf-fall on the zephyr.
Elegant Pillar, how fair your head receives,
Sun-star blossoms that adorn your gossamer hair!
Astral lamps of divinely lit petals,
Kindled Amber, twinkling at twilight.
Gilded Guard, how in summer you perceive,
Noon is peak, and still your leaves are green!
Reflecting the silver light of the moon,
Green-Grey Gate, protect viridescent day within.
O mallorn tree, how bright still are your leaves,
Though sun has set and night falls upon your eaves.
Though your stewards soon will depart in grief,
Linger, ageless memory, living dream, of what once was reality.
~~ * ~~