(The first part of this book follows from my previous post, The Lost Road, Chapter Two.)

Chapter One

Aelfwine of England

Ælfwine awoke with a start---he had been dozing on a bench with his back to a pillar. The voices seemed to pour over him like a stream. He felt he had been dreaming; something very odd and vivid, but he could not catch it; and for a minute or two the familiar scene in the hall seemed strange, and the English speech about him sounded alien and remote, though mostly it was the soft speech of western Wessex that he knew so well. Here and there were men of the Marches up beyond Severn-mouth, and a few spoke oddly, using strange words after the manner of those among whom the Danes dwelt in the eastern lands. He peered down the hall, looking for Eadwine his son, who was due on leave from the fleet but had not yet come.

There was a great crowd in the hall, for King Eadweard was there. The Danish ships were in the Severn Sea, and all the south shores were in arms. The jarls had been defeated far north at Irchenfield, but the Sea-wolves were still at large off the Wealá coast, hunting food and supplies, and the Defenisc and Sumors?te were on guard.

Ælfwine let his gaze wander slowly about the hall. The faces of the men, some old and careworn, some still young and eager, were dim and dreamlike in the wavering torchlight. The candles on the high table were guttering. A wind was blowing outside the great wooden hall, surging round the house, and the timbers creaked. The sound brought back old longings to him that he had thought were long buried. A great tiredness came over him again. Not only because he had lived for threescore winters and with Eadwine had had a long spell of coast-duty, and little sleep for either since the raid on Watchet; but he was tired of this woeful and disheveled world, slipping slowly back into decay as it seemed to him with it's petty but cruel wars, and all the ruin of the good and fair things there had been in his grandsire's days. The hangings on the wall behind the dais were faded and worn, and on the table there were but few vessels or candlesticks of gold and silver smithcraft that survived the pillage of the heathen.

He was born in the year the Danes wintered in Sheppey, and he had sailed many seas and heard many winds since then. The sound of the west wind and the fall of seas on the beaches had always been a challenging music to him. Especially in the spring, when his grizzled sea-worn father Oswine had been wont to tell strange tales to his son of nine winters. But now it was autumn, and he was growing old, and Oswine had been lost at sea many years. And the seas were wide, beyond the power of man to cross-to unknown shores: wide and dangerous, Garsecg the great. The faces of the men about him faded and the clamour of their voices was changed. He heard the crash of waves on the black cliffs and the sea-birds diving and crying; and snow and hail were falling. Then the seas opened pale and wide; the sun shone on the land and the sound and smell of it fell far behind. He was alone, going west toward the setting sun with fear and longing in his heart, driven against his will. And night drew on in the midst of the deep waters, and a sweet fragrance it seemed was borne upon the air.

His dream broke as voices shouted his name. Men were calling for a song, for Ælfwine when the mood was on him could play the minstrel as well as any of them. The king himself, Eadweard the son of Alfred-tired before old age he looked, thought Ælfwine-added his voice. He was a stern man, but like his father in having an ear, when he had the time, for the sound of the old measures. At once Ælfwine rose and walked to the steps of the dais-stiffly, for he was wearied-and bowed.

"Westu hál, Ælfwine!" said the king. "Sing me nú hwætwegu: sum eald léoth, gif thu wilt."

       "Ic  can  lyt  on  léothcraft,  hláford,"  Ælfwine  said, "ac  this  geworht' ic  unfyrn  thé to  weorthmynde."*
        The  king  inclined  his  head,  and  Ælfwine  lifted  up  his  voice  and  chanted  aloud,  but  the  strange  mood  of  his  sleep  was  still  on  him,  and  he  sang  as  one  speaking  to  his  own  ears.
  • "Sing me something, some old poem, if thou wilt."

"I have little skill in poetry, my lord, but I composed this in your honour some little while ago."

           "Monath  modes  lust  mid  mereflóde
            forth  tó féran,  thæt  ic  feor  heonan
            ofer  Garsecges  grimme  holmas
         eltheodigra eard gesece.                                                                                                     m         Nis me to  hearpan  hyge  ne  tú hringthege,
            ne  tó wífe  wynn,  ne  tó worulde  hyht,
            ne  ymb  ówiht  elles,  nefne  ymb  ýtha  gewealc. 
         ( The  desire  of  my  spirit  urges  me  to  journey

forth over the flowing sea, that far hence over Garsecg's grim hills the elfish country of strangers I seek. No mind have I for harp, nor gift of ring, nor delight in women, nor joy in the world, nor concern with aught else save the rolling of the waves.)"

He stopped, suddenly aware that this was not what he had meant to sing. There was some laughter, and a few jeers, though many were silent, as if feeling that the words were not spoken to their ears-old and familiar as they were, words of the old poets whom men had heard often before. "If he has no mind to the harp he can expect no praises." one said. "Is there any here who does have such mind?" "If England is not good enough, let him go find one better!" cried another. "He need not go past Iráland if he longs for elves and uncouth wights." "We have had enough of the sea; a spell of Dane-hunting would cure most mens' longing to face the grim water-hills." said a third.

But the king sat gravely and did not smile, and men could see in his eyes that the words had touched him.

"Peace!" said Eadweard at last. "Ælfwine has sailed more seas than you have heard of, even to the islands in the north and west, and the tongue of Iráland is not strange to him. His wife was of Cornwealas. Let him say what his mood bids." There was a short silence.

Ælfwine took up a harp from the dais and struck a sudden note. "Lo!" he cried, loud and clear, and men stiffened to attention. "Lo!" he cried again, and began to chant an ancient tale, yet he was half aware that he was telling it afresh, adding and altering words, not so much by improvisation as after long pondering hidden from himself, catching at the shreds of dreams and visions.

"In days of yore out of deep Ocean to the Longobards, in the land dwelling that of old they held amid the isles of the North, a ship came sailing, shining-timbered without oar and mast, eastward floating. The sun behind it sinking westward with flame kindled the fallow water. Wind was wakened. Over the world's margin clouds greyhelméd climbed slowly up wings unfolding wide and looming, as mighty eagles moving onward to eastern Earth omen bearing. Men there marvelled, in the mist standing of the dark islands in the deeps of time: laughter they knew not, light nor wisdom; shadow was upon them, and sheer mountains stalked behind them stern and lifeless, evilhanted. The East was dark.

The ship came shining to the shore driven and strode upon the strand, till it's stem rested on sand and shingle. The sun went down. The clouds overcame the cold heavens. In fear and wonder to the fallow water men sadhearted swiftly hastened to the broken beaches the boat seeking. They looked within, and there laid sleeping a boy they saw breathing softly: his face was fair, his form lovely, his limbs were white, his locks raven golden-braided. Gilt and carven with wondrous work was the wood about him. In golden vessel gleaming water stood beside him; strung with silver a harp of gold neath his hand rested; his sleeping head was soft pillowed on a sheaf of corn shimmering palely as the fallow gold doth from far countries west of Angol. Wonder filled them.

The boat they hauled and on the beach moored it high above the breakers; then with hands lifted from the bosom it's burden. The boy slumbered. On his bed they bore him to their bleak dwellings mid foul puddles fallow-mudded darkwalled and drear in a dim region between waste and sea. There of wood builded high above the houses was a hall standing forlorn and empty. Long had it stood so, no noise knowing, night nor morning, no light seeing. They laid him there, under lock left him lonely sleeping in the hollow darkness. They held the doors. Night wore away. New awakened as ever on earth early morning; day came dimly. Doors were opened. Men strode within, then amazed halted: fear and wonder filled the watchmen. The house was bare, hall deserted; no form found they on the floor lying, but by bed forsaken the bright vessel dry and empty in the dust standing.

The guest was gone. Grief o'ercame them. In sorrow they sought him, till the sun rising over the hills of heaven to the homes of men light came bearing. They looked upward and high upon a hill hoar and treeless the guest beheld they: gold was shining in his hair, in hand the harp he bore; at his feet they saw the fallow-golden cornsheaf lying. Then clear his voice a song began, sweet, unearthly, words in music woven strangely, in tongue unknown. Trees stood silent and men unmoving marvelling hearkened.

Middle-earth had known for many ages neither song nor singer; no sight so fair had eyes of mortal, since the earth was young, seen when waking in that sad country long forsaken. No lord they had, no king or counsel, but the cold terror that dwelt in the desert, the dark shadow that haunted the hills and the hoar forest. Dread was their master. Dark and silent, long years forlorn, lonely waited the hall of kings, house forsaken without fire or food.

Forth men hastened from their dim houses. Doors were opened and gates unbarred. Gladness wakened. To the hill they thronged, and their heads lifting on the guest they gazed. Greybearded men bowed before him and blessed his coming their years to heal; youths and maidens, wives and children welcome gave him. His song was ended. Silent standing he looked upon them. Lord they called him; king they made him, crowned with golden wheaten garland, white his raiment, his harp his scepter. In his house was fire, food and wisdom; there fear came not. To manhood he grew, might and wisdom.

Sheave they called him, whom the ship brought them, a name renowned in the North countries ever since in song. For a secret hidden his true name was, in tongue unknown of far countries where the falling seas wash western shores beyond the ways of men since the world worsened. The word is forgotten and the name perished.

Their need he healed, and laws renewed long forsaken. Words he taught them wise and lovely- their tongue ripened in the time of Sheave to song and music. Secrets he opened runes revealing. Riches he gave them, reward of labour, wealth and comfort from the earth calling, acres ploughing, sowing in season seed of plenty, hoarding in garner golden harvest for the help of men. The hoar forests in his days drew back to the dark mountains; the shadow receded, and shining corn, white ears of wheat, whispered in the breezes where waste had been. The woods trembled.

Halls and houses hewn of timber, strong towers of stone steep and lofty, golden-gabled, in his guarded city they raised and roofed. In his royal dwelling of wood well-carven the walls were wrought; fair-hued figures filled with silver, gold and scarlet, gleaming hung there, stories boding of strange countries, were one wise in wit the woven legends to thread with thought. At his throne men found counsel and comfort and care's healing, justice in judgement. Generous-handed his gifts he gave. Glory was uplifted. Far sprang his fame over fallow water, through Northern lands the renown echoed of the shining king, Sheave the mighty.

Seven sons he begat, sires of princes, men great in mind, mighty-handed and high-hearted. From his house cometh the seeds of kings, as songs tell us, fathers of the fathers, who before the change in the Elder Years the earth governed, Northern kingdoms named and founded, shields of their peoples: Sheave begat them: Sea-danes and Goths, Swedes and Northmen, Franks and Frisians, folk of the islands, Swordmen and Saxons, Swæfes and Engles, and the Langobards who long ago beyond Myrkwudu a mighty realm and wealth won them in the Welsh countries where Ælboine Eadwoin's heir in Italy was king. All that has passed."

Ælfwine lowered the harp with relief, and the king wordlessly poured mead into his own cupand pressed it on him. Ælfwine bowed gravely and drank; his throat was becoming harsh and the drink was needed. Eadwine had entered the hall during the final verse, so Ælfwine took his leave and went out with his son.

"Had you meat and drink yet, son?" said Ælfwine. "Drink had I, by the king's courtesy: meat I took when first I came ashore."

"I have eaten aboard ship." said Eadwine. There was a dullness in his voice that made his father look at him with alarm. They stood nigh the door in the lea of the hall, and the uncertain light from within lit them but fitfully. Around them the wind sighed and muttered, and unseen trees hissed and moaned. Though only forty years and five, Eadwine looked older. He was born just ere the holy Eadmund was pierced by arrows of the heathen folk, and had been but nine winters in the world when the black year came and so many had fled, the year when Alfred himself went into hiding on Athleny, where it was rumored the Virgin spoke to him. Ælfwine's wife had fled west to her people in Cornwealas with Eadwine, and old Oswine his grandfather had taken his ship out into the west sea and never returned.

"The weary sea-hunting is wearying you, is it not?" Ælfwine said.

"I am sick of this!" Eadwine said fiercely. "The Danes have more sense, always pressing on. They go west. They pass round, to Iráland and beyond; while the English sit like Wealas waiting to be made into slaves."

"And I suppose our endless sea-hunting is but sitting." Ælfwine said harshly. "What call you Ethandune, and Irchenfield, then?"

"I have heard strange tales from Iráland of late." said Eadwine, pursuing the train of his former thought. A sharper gust eddied fallen leaves around the corners of the hall, and the wind was cold. "Of a land in the North-west filled with ice, but fit for men to dwell, and there are mountains rising from the ice that spew forth a flowing flame. There were hermits there, but they fled when the Norse came."

"Methinks it be not Christian to press on endlessly into the distance, leaving the land of one's roots to perish, without staying to protect what is worthy of protection." said Ælfwine. "It is only Christian men who stay and ward their homes."

"The holy Brendan did so in the time of Arthur, and so have others--as Maelduin, for one. And they came back--not that I would ever want to. I would sail on, to the Insula Deliciarum--even Paradise."

"Paradise cannot be got to by ship." said Ælfwine grimly. "There are deeper waters between us than Garsecg. The roads are bent: you come back in the end. There is no escape by ship from the Circles of the World."

"I do not think that is true--I hope that it is not true. Our ancestors won new lands by ship. And whence did come Sheave, might I ask?"

"Sheave." muttered Ælfwine. "You were not at the hall, but just ere you entered I sung them a geste of Sheaf. But different, I felt it: not what others know, as if in my dreams had knowledge come."

"Sing it me now, father, if you are not overtired." Eadwine begged, as they re-entered the hall. It was warmer here, though smokier, and draughts breathed in the jambs. "Mayhap it will ease my mind's weariness and my heart's longing."

Ælfwine sighed as they sat down. "No voice have I for the singing, and in any case I finished not the tale when I finished the song. But I will tell that to you now, in such form as I am able.

"But it came to pass after long years that Sheaf summoned his friends and counselors, and he told them that he would depart. For the shadow of mortality was fallen upon him (out of the East) and he would return whence he came. Then there was great mourning. But Sheaf laid him upon his golden bed, and became as one in deep slumber; and his lords obeying his commands while he yet ruled and had command of speech set him in a ship. He lay beside the mast, which was tall, and the sails were golden. Treasures of gold and of gems and fine raiment and costly stuffs were laid beside him. His golden banner flew above his head. In this manner he was arrayed more richly than when he came among them; and they thrust him forth to sea, and the sea took him, and the ship bore him unsteered far away into the uttermost West out of sight or thought of men. Nor do any know who received him in what haven at the end of his journey; some have said that ship found the Straight Road. But none of the children of Sheaf went that way, and many in the beginning lived to a great age, but coming under the shadow of the East they were laid in great tombs of stone or in mounds like green hills; and most of these were by the western sea, high and broad upon the shoulders of the land, whence men can descry them that steer their ships amid the shadows of the sea."

"I have been too long at sea, father." said Eadwine after a long pause. "I long for other shores. Shores that are not English; where the elvish people walk, or the strange hermits live. I feel very like those hermits sometimes, as if I would fain leave all men behind; but I would not stay. I would sail on, and yet farther."

"What then would you do?" Ælfwine said shortly. They were in a quiet corner and the murmer of the voices did not interrupt their speech.

"Even as grandfather Oswine: to sail into the west, to seek the Lost Road." He paused, seeing no reaction in his father. "I could obtain dismissal from the fleet for us both, and there are captured prizes we could use."

"I have contemplated such a voyage ever since Oswine went off to seek the gods he is named for, but never carried it out." said Ælfwine. "Yet I ween there are some whom we could suade to crew our vessel; few, for not all men love to sail a quest for the red sun or to tempt the dangerous seas in thirst for undiscovered things."

There was a thud and the bench shook as Ælfheath sat down beside Ælfwine; he was a large man, wild and restless, who had long been a comrade of Ælfwine. "Westu, Ælfwine, Eadwine." he said in his rough slow voice, and drank from his tankard.

"When do you wish to sail?" Ælfwine said in reply.

Ælfheath choked. "Sail?! We have but just come to shore!" He paused a moment, the small deep-set eyes considering. "To whence?"

"To seek Insula Deliciarum." said Eadwine. Ælfwine said nothing.

"Ah. Methought this would come to pass, of soon or of late. I have been thy comrade of every voyage, Ælfwine, and I have seen each time the regret in thy face when turning to home. Think not to sail without Ælfheath the Fatherless!"

To get leave of the king and a ship proved less difficult than they had supposed. But few were willing to crew them, as Ælfwine had forseen, and in the end nine only besides Ælfheath were found to go with them.

They had been some days at sea, keeping a lookout at all times. Lundy was off their stern when Ælfwine heard Eadwine in the lookout, shout that Vikings were coming up from the island, and coming with great speed. He hurried to his son's side and peered out, grasping the bulwark with one hand and the high stempost with the other (ignoring the faint jab of pain from a stubborn splinter no needle had proved able to remove)-and peered out. He saw the deep green-blue waves flickering with a thousand sparkles of sun on their hollowed humps, and far off were a few black shapes, emerging from the dim distant line of Lundy. "How do you tell they are Viking?" he asked, a little crossly; his eyes were old, but had stared out at many seas before this, and it was difficult to admit they might be failing.

"Their sails are queer, not straight like ours, and I see by their shape they are long, swift and keen: raiding ships, and all pointed for us." said Eadwine.

"Keener are your eyes than many I have met, lad," said Ælfwine, "yet I will trust to them rather than my own." and shouted orders. The men had all fought Vikings before and obeyed with great speed. More sail was added and trimmed, and the ship's overlaying timbers squealed powerfully as she lunged forward in response. Ælfwine took the steering oar while Ælfheath tightened the fastenings around the mast-foot to keep it in place against the added strain. Waves were cloven by the high prow as by the blade of a sword and the longship seemed to leap along their crests.

"We are losing ground to them, Ælfwine!" Eadwine said, still bending his gaze backward. "They are nearer than before. The foremost ship is very large, twice our size, and it's beak is wrought as a dragon's head. Red are her sails, and a coiled serpent thereon, and a man stands upon it garbed as a Sea-king of the Danes, his hair white and his bearing noble. There are three others in it's wake, built low to the sea but their prows are high and fearsomely carved."

"Tack to the north!" Ælfwine roared, and as the men adjusted the sails he swung the steering-oar. Eadwine lent his younger sinews to the subduing of the stubborn tiller, and the ship swerved in a long arc, catching the wind from the side now. Viking-built, under the shrewd hands of the Saxon mariners she responded like a living steed, and crossed over the waters with a speed few of them had expected. Gradually the Viking sails fell back, and still on through a night of dead cloud and no moon Ælfwine steered them, although no one had the ghost of an idea where they were heading. In the blackness they eluded the Vikings by changing course several times; and morning came, red as flame, and the mariners rose stiffly from their slumber and found themselves in unknown waters.

"See you sign of Viking?" one of the crew hailed Eadwine as he bent his keen eyes all about.

"The seas are empty." Eadwine called back.

Due west they pushed on all that day. The clouds scattered before the sun, sailing slowly overhead into the west like ponderous castles of billowy white stone; and before the ninth hour the sky was clear. Still the wind held and they sailed on into the west, as the fallow sun sank until it split upon their prow and fell ever swifter toward the sea. Eadwine, who was at the steering-oar, gave a cry at which his father turned sharply, and pointed to the west. Out of the sunset great clouds were rising, lifting up enormous wings of black shadow with backs of scarlet flame, and they had mighty heads with a trailing beak of cloud, like the profile of some huge bird.

"The Eagles of the Lords of the West." said Ælfwine in a strange voice. "There will be storm tonight."

That night all was blackness. The stars were swallowed by shadow, and lightning flamed, and amid the flickering glare there was outlined a bulk against the sky. The wind increased and the storm came upon them, and amid the roar of wind and the groan of the black water-hills they heard the boom of surf. An island they saw, all wreathed with lightning, and reefs were about it like great teeth. Sheer onto them the ship drove, for the steering-oar broke and the mast had gone, and there came a wave mightier than all the rest, advancing over the ship and consuming deck and mast-stump. One moment Ælfwine saw it's smooth grooved and hollowed face before him; the next, even as he sucked in a great breath, dark madness took him. When he could see or breathe again he was aware he was on solid ground, the water rushing back from his body into the sea.

He pulled himself erect. The wave had cast him upon a high beach of dark sand in a deep-walled cove, and the lurid gleam of storm and lightning let him see the wild teeth that he had passed; but he was alone.

The storm went on with the night, and day came grey and cold, lifting the shroud of shadow to reveal a land of sad and tattered black rocks, and wave-gnawed cliffs above them, and about them surged sullen foaming waves, and below every cliff was a beach of planks. The sucking gasps of the spuming waves as they were strangled in the queer grots they had themselves eaten out sounded from all sides.

Dark and very empty was that island, and as Ælfwine climbed and wandered it's grim shores that long day and many thereafter he came upon many hulls of wrecks rotting on the long gloomy beaches, and some were wrecks of mighty ships of Roman or Greek design, and some were treasureladen. Of his own ship he found only planks, and of his companions not so much as a footprint. On the one side of the island were the dreadful rocks, and on the other side were great flats of sand and mud; but they were quicksands, and if any wreck there stuck, she would ere long be swallowed entire. Fish he caught, and mollusks lived in plenty among the calmer pools, and so he did not starve.

Upon the western shore Ælfwine came upon a lonely cabin at the last; it was builded from the upturned hull of a small ship, so that at first he took it for a wreck, but upon the west it was fitted with windows and a hinged door upon the sea. An ancient man dwelt there, and Ælfwine feared him, for the eyes of the man were as deep as the unfathomable sea, and his long beard was blue and grey; great was his stature, and his shoes were of stone (whereat Ælfwine wondered greatly), but he was all clad in tangled rags, sitting beside a small fire of driftwood. And he spoke no word, but with one hand made Ælfwine sit beside the fire, and with another pulled down a torn cloak and draped it over his shivering guest.

In that strange hut beside an empty sea did Ælfwine long abide for lack of other shelter or counsel, thinking his ship lost and his son and comrades drowned. It was a queer life: the giant stranger did not snore, nor even seemed to sleep much, for if by chance Ælfwine woke in the night he saw the deep gleam of the ancient eyes staring into the shadows from his enormous bed. The fire was tended every day, nor suffered to go out, for it alone kept warm the house in the chill clime, and every day the gulls brought them food. At first Ælfwine and the tall man did not speak much, sharing food and house but each deep in their own thoughts, and in the day Ælfwine would climb to the highest parts of the island and there brood, facing into the west, while his host would range about the shores. But the ancient man grew kindly toward him, and they fell into talk about the voyages each had made and the marvels beheld; and far-travelled though Ælfwine was renowned for he heard many things from the stranger he had not known, as they sat beside that smoky fire of an eve; strange tales of Magic Isles, and men lapped in foam and black weed cast for ever in enchanted sleep upon the sighing shores beneath towers of pearl, and of the lands that had been before the bending of the ways, when the waves were ruled by fair high ships of the men beloved of Ulmo. And of times farther back yet, when all these seas were fenced with peril and with shadow as a ward for the Lands of Glory in the West, when no mariner save one had ever managed to win through. "And this isle is a last remnant of those sad days." the Man of the Sea would say, "left behind through many changes of the world."

"What then was it's purpose?" Ælfwine asked.

"This was one of that ring of Harbourless Isles that draw all ships towards their hidden rocks and quaking sands, lest Men fare over far upon Garsecg and see things that are not for them to see; and they were set in the world at the Hiding of Valinor, and little wood for ship or raft does here grow on them, as may be thought; but I may aid thee yet in thy desire to depart from these greedy shores." The storm-wind raging outside in the blackness nigh shook loose the door as he spoke, and turning an annoyed eye towards it the Man of the Sea roared "Oh, leave off that!" and the yanking of the wind ceased, although it still screamed by on all sides.

It was then a month since Ælfwine had been cast here, and in the morning when he went forth to view the damage of the storm he beheld a new wreck upon the sands: a large and well-built ship of the cunning lines the Northmen loved. Cast far up on the treacherous sands it stood, and it's great beak carven as a dragon's head still glared unbroken at the land. Then the Man of the Sea went out when the tide began to creep in slow and shallow over the long flats; he bore as staff a timber as great as a young tree, and he fared as if he had no need to fear either tide or quicksand despite his stony boots, until he came far out to where his shoulders were scarce above the yellow waters of the incoming flood. There still jutted that carven prow, alone to be seen of that sinking ship. Then Ælfwine marvelled watching from afar, to see him heave by his single strength the whole great ship up from the clutches of the sucking sand that gripped it's sunken stern; and when it floated he thrust it before him, swimming now with mighty strokes in the deepening water. At that sight Ælfwine's fear of the aged one was renewed, and he wondered what sort of dreadful being his companion might be, whether giant-blooded or troll-begotten or creature yet unthought of. But now the ship was thrust far up on the firmer sands, and the swimmer strode ashore, and his mighty beard was full of strands of weed, and sea-weed was in his hair.

"Lord, what is your name?" said Ælfwine in great wonder.

"I am Ancient, son of Eru, and I am named Man of the Sea." his companion replied simply. "When the tide leaves the firm sands and empties the hold of this ship of all but sand, go and look at that new wreck."

When the tide departed and the gulls wheeled and perched all about the wide stinking flats of sea-mud, pecking for clams, Ælfwine went over to the new ship and looked her over from stem to stern and inside as well. Save for a great weight of sand in her hold she was not harmed, and amid the sand lay the bodies of nine mighty men who had not been long dead. They lay abottom gazing up at the sky, and one of them was garbed as a Sea-king; though his garments were slime-caked and his white hair was sodden and his face was pale in death, still a proud man and a fierce he looked.

"Men of the North, the Forodwaith, whom ye name Viking, are they," said the Man of the Sea, "but hunger and thirst was their death, and their ship was flung upon the Hungry Sands, there to be slowly engulfed, had not fate willed otherwise."

"I have little love for the Danish pirates," said Ælfwine, "and particularly for these, for they gave us chase a month ago and made us lose our bearings, so that we were far enough north to be cast upon the hungry island and my son and comrades lost."

"Yet their ship it shall be that bears you from this Harbourless Isle," said the other, "and a gallant ship it was of brave men, for few folks have now so great a heart for the adventures of the sea as have these Forodwaith, who press ever into the mists of the West, though never can they find again that which they seek so blindly. For the road is bent that leads to the West, and the ways that once were straight no more are so, and the gods are gone from the earth."

And the Man of the Sea stored the ship with fish all packed in salt, and with fruits of his own growing, though where he produced them from Ælfwine could not guess, they seemed to have been packed ere his arrival. So many he stored that Ælfwine was amazed: "We are but two men, even if thou eat for five, and yet food for ten for many months is here stored."

"Not ten, but nine." the Man of the Sea replied. "For thy comrades are not all dead. Seven yet remain, the mightiest mariners that ever shall be, and thy son the Friend of Bliss, and thyself the Friend of Elves: that makes nine. For I will not go with you on your last voyage, Ælfwine."

"But my lord," said Ælfwine, "I saw them consumed by the great wave, and planks of my own ship as well have I found. How can they have survived?"

"They were cast up on Tol Morwen, where the Stone of the Hapless stands that shall never be thrown down, the grave of the Children of Húrin forever." the ancient one made answer. Then he went up to the ship and laid his hand upon her prow and spoke words of blessing and of power. "Ye shall cleave uncloven waters and sail on unbent ways, and ride untrodden beaches; where no ship by mortals wrought has been given leave to land ye shall land, and ye shall return the same way. For I say it, Ylmir Ainu Vala of the Seas, and let not storm nor bending air gainsay my words!" Then that ship, with Ælfwine alone upon it, was seized as by a great current and drawn out through channels in the Hungry Sands, and sailed north and east all that day.

When sunset came the current ceased, and that large and fierce ship was left becalmed beside a strange island in the sea. Like a low swelling hump it rose from the water, girt with beaches of grey sand, and upon the north it was rocky, and there was a deep channel under the waves, as it were the bed of an ancient river. But high above the sea upon the height of a low hill there rose a great mound, and upon the mound a mighty stone standing solitary against the dark eastern sky. In the sere light Ælfwine saw that many old trees grew upon the hill, rising even out of the shallow waters, withered and dead for countless years but preserved by some terrible happening or as witness of some dire deed. In the waves their limbs were broken and guant and bitter they stood, but on the land their bare boughs yet sighed.

Then Ælfwine dropped the anchor and made her fast, and went upon the dead island. Grass grew long and brown amid the stony trees, and he climbed up through the salty grass and the sand lying thick at their roots, up to where the earth emerged and the grasses and grey moss grew thicker, and against the great mound was reared a shelter of boards, and a fire of driftwood was burning in it's cover, and about the fire were Eadwine and Ælfheath and six others of their crew, even as the ancient one had foretold. Very glad were they to see him again, and they told him how the ship had turned upon her head and how they had lashed themselves to the hull, and the wind suddenly shifting had driven them here. They had burned most of the wreck, for the strange trees were hard as stone and would not burn, nor could any strength of theirs sever a single bough, and were down in fact to their last wood before they burned the shelter. "And a sadness is upon this place," said Eadwine, "for we hear the memory of voices murmering from the mound at our backs of a night, and upon the stone set atop it are ancient runes cut into the rock, of a shape strange to our eyes, and worn now almost beyond reading." Then they swam to the ship and they loosed up her anchor, and a wind came from the east, and setting her red sails with the coiled serpent thereon they turned the dragon-prow again into the West.

Evening drew on, and water beneath and sunset vault above were equally clear and liquid a blue. The Evenstar grew amid the blueness as it deepened, till he shone clear and brilliant, as though he were a jewel and no star at all. And Ælwine cried out,

       "Éalá Earendel  engla  beorhtast
         ofer  middangeard  monnum  sended,
         ond  sóðfæsta  sunnan  léoma,
         torht  ofer  tunglas-þú tída  gehwane
         of  sylfum  þé symle  inlíhtes! 
        (Hail  Eärendil  of  angels  brightest

over Middle-earth to mortals sended, and the true light of sun's radiance, over-shining the stars-thou for ever of thyself every season illumines!)"

On into silent night they went, and the fiery stars wheeled above them in a vault of deepest blue, and under them the sea was like wine-hued glass. Yet still with neither wind nor sail the sturdy vessel passed across the calm sea as if pulled after the sun by an unseen rope. And the morning came at their backs, so that the sun was framed between the two high stemposts as between two horns; and she was a yellow as pure as lemons and as bright as snapdragons. And as she climbed toward the noon the brightness of that calm sea became as great as if the water had turned into light. No clouds were there to see. Now thin and white seemed the water they were on, yet not far down it changed back to it's accustomed hue.

"Father, it is a curious thing." said Eadwine. "Aforetime the horizons of the sea seem like to a circle around one on all sides. But not so now."

"I mark no difference." said Ælfwine after he had turned from west to west again. "But you see better and more than any of us ever have, for such is your gift."

"Look again, father." Eadwine said. "The sea is wider, it reaches further. We are on a sea, I think, that is truly flat and not a mere bending horizon."

"Then  if  such  is  where  we  walk,  where  now  lies  the  sea?"  said Ælfwine,  and  looked  over  the  side.  Eadwine  joined  him.  Far  below  them  in  the  thin  and  milky  sea  was  a  shore,  and  mountains,  shining  in  the  sun.  They  were  but  a  hundred  feet  above  the  peaks,  and  could  see  the  surf  foaming  upon  the  coast.  Farther  ahead  they  looked,  through  the  thin  white  surface  on  which  they  rode,  and  the  world  was  bending  downward  beneath  their  keel,  falling  away  like  the  bark  from  a  log.  The  surface  they  cleft  fell  back  without  sound,  the  waves  as  transparent  and  shapeless  as  the  substance  of  a  cloud;  they  were  the  only  solid  thing  upon  a  ghostly  sea.

And the air around them swiftly became thin as on a very high mountain, so that they felt ill, and Eadwine tried to leap overboard but was restrained by strong Ælfheath. And the sky that had been so clear a blue became quickly darker than the night sky, but still pale and faint the Straight Road gleamed as it cut through the airs that also were bent and entered the terrible voids that flesh unaided cannot endure. A faint blueness shone in a circle round their ship, a circle of air, thin and faint but enough to live. Great vessels of silver flame that shed a searing light swam in the blackness round about, and one seemed like to a mortal ship though wrought of glass and glowing metal, and for lantern it bore a single jewel upon the prow that gave an unutterable light, and a man in strange raiment glittering as if clothed in powdered stars stood by it's mast.

"O true flame of the sun's radiance." muttered Ælfwine.

Upon a sea as dark as unlit voids whose surface was overlaid with a pale glimmer and a ghostly outline of waves the ship still sailed, sailing upon a memory the world held of how it had been meant to be. The thin air was never enough, and one by one the mariners jumped overboard, faces blue and lungs heaving vainly, but Eadwine Ælfwine had bound to the mast with himself, and soon they alone remained. Eadwine was babbling and murmering, and Ælfwine felt his own mind becoming faint. He looked ahead, and lo! where had been only void blackness there now shone a sky, and a sea, and a green land amidmost, like to a vast globe that grew and encompassed the ship, and a marvellous smell of land and fragrance of unknown and wonderful flowers as keen and sweet as 0death came to him across the sea. Waves splashed upon the bow and the air could be breathed, indeed could be drunk like wine, it was of such surpassing scent. And before them was an island of a green long perished from Middle-earth, and a tower more fair than any built by men, and a city and haven from which fair and faint a lovely music wafted.

"Father," said Eadwine, "I think I would rather stay bound some time yet."

For the music coming very gently over the waters was now laden with unimagined longing, that Ælfwine leaned upon his ropes and wept softly for his heart's half-remembered hurts and memory of fair things lost, and he heard Eadwine sobbing likewise.

"It is the harps that are thrumming, and the songs they are singing of fair things, and the windows that look upon the sea are full of light." murmered Eadwine as the horned moon rose above them in the slowly dimming evening brightness.

"Their stringed violins complain the ancient woes of the immortal folk of Arda, and yet there is a strange and elvish joy therein." said Ælfwine softly. "Ah me. I hear the horns of the Fairies shimmering in magic woods--such music as I once dimly guessed long years ago beneath the elms of Mindon Gwar."

And as they thus spoke musing the moon shrouded himself in slow mist as if extinguished, and the brilliant stars were clouded, and the mists of time veiled the undying shore, and nought could they see and nought could they hear save the sound of the surf of the seas in the far-off pebbles of the Lonely Isle, and the music had ceased.

"Are we, then, to die after all, even as St. Brendan holiest of mariners, with but a distant glimpsing of the shores of our desire?" murmered Ælfwine.

Even as he spoke the ship rocked as great metal hooks were hurled aboard by skilled arms; hooks wrought of a curious pale metal wonderfully shaped. Strong arms drew the ship foward, and voices were raised, speaking in a melodious and beautiful language, clear strong voices fairer than men's. There was a gentle jar as she was made fast to a gleaming dock of white wood striped with grey bands, and then tall shining figures bearing torches that burned a wonderful silvery blue sprang lightly and easily onto the ship, walking on the ropes and bulwarks as children walk on stepping stones, marvelling to one another in their tongue. Ælfwine loosed the ropes that had fastened himself and his son to the mast, and stepping forth rather stiffly they bowed.

"I am Ælfwine of Lindon, from the mountains of Lune." he said, wondering to hear himself saying such strange names for the prosaic lands of his home. "With me is Eadwine my son. We come from Ancient, son of Eru."

And the Elves bowed in return and led him and Eadwine onto the shore.

Chapter Two

Tol Eressea

So came to pass that thing most strange, that mortal Men were allowed upon the shores of Tir-nan-Og, Eressëa the ever-fair, beyond the lands of mortal ken. As in a dream of walking wonder did Aelfwine and Eadwine follow after the feet of their guides, their eyes wide and dazzled as they gazed on every side. The sights that Bran or Brendan saw, the wonders Maelduin had told, all were paled by Eressea's glory. There grass did shift with golden lights that lingered on from touch of Sun, and trees more smooth and ancient-stemmed than the greatest trees of Middle-earth stood silent as hills, scraping the sky with leaves that seemed of silver and of green, yet clear as finest gems. There blooms unfading dwelt in glen and secret mead, and dews immortal dropped from leaves and brilliant waters plashed and flowed about the roots of mountain-trees. There elvish flames danced unkindled wandering quenchless, quickening flower, grass and stone as they passed by. Now and again upsoaring songs would shoot up sudden, and then the Men would halt, unmoving, for they could move their legs no longer for the spell of such beauty, and the Elves walked on and left them unnoticed in the wood.

But they returned soon enough, for Elves go faster than any man, and there came now with them a mighty lord of Elves, whose head was gold and who bore a crown wrought in form of sheaves of grain, and armour of gold was upon him set with gems of red and deepest green. And seeing him the spell was lifted from the sea-worn men, so that they came before him and knelt at his feet. He made them rise, looking at them long with strange eyes of great depth and power, and when at last he spoke they started, for he used the tongue of the Danes, but in a mode so antique it was difficult to follow.

Then said Aelfwine in that speech, "Lord, how came you by the tongue of the Norsemen?"

Then he answered, "I came among them in ages back, taking pity on uncultured Men in the hoar forests, kingless, cornless; nuts and fish and meat their only food. Lord they hailed me; king they called me, until I departed whence I came. But here I am Lindo, lord of Avallonë."

Then did they beseech him that they might linger here a while in Paradise, till age took them and death came at last upon them, but Lindo said that that he might not grant without the leave of the Valar.

And at that name a strange fear came upon Aelfwine, but he spoke not. And Lindo told them that he would not send them back yet, but they might abide with him and in his house, while he sent word to the Lords of the West. Then Aelfwine said he was content with that, and Eadwine likewise.

Then did Lindo take them to a high rock rising out of a hill, and bade them look out, and asked what they could see. And Eadwine who had keen sight answered that he saw a city, as it were of trees wrought of stone, or as of clouds made hard and given sculpt, or as of towers fair and graceful that seemed bright as if the very Moon had been poured into their stone in the time of their building. And a tower he saw amidmost, like a mountain of white crystal that has been whittled down by a knife into a slender horn. And Lindo said, "That is Avallonë, but that is not where we shall dwell, lest your hearts be whelmed by reason of the great loveliness we put into our works. I have another house, near at hand, and in the woods and rills of Eressëa is my delight and home. It is for there that we shall make."

And Lindo led Aelfwine and his son deep into the magic woods, and they followed winding paths whose sand sparkled like ground jewels, and hedges of niphredil and lavaralda rose up to fill the dimming air of endless evening with a scent so clear and delicate the mariners drank of it like wine. And they crossed over bridges of scarlet, and gold, and deep green stone that shone of themselves as if they were masoned with light. And the kerbs of those bridges were wrought of silver, and white metals Aelfwine had never seen, and they were all in flowing forms like vines and flowers, shapes of figures emerging therefrom. And they turned aside into an avenue that wound beneath great thick-grown old yews, and berries red as blood gleamed in the dark needles like strange stars. And then they breached a ring of graceful elms of great size and beauty by a gate of woven golden wicketwork, yet was that gate, so said Lindo, unpassable without his leave. "And though this wide korin of elms seemeth open to you, mariners, know that should any try to pass that are not of Elvish blood, they will find they are but walking again toward the house."

Then Aelfwine asked what a korin might be, and it was explained him that a korin was any circular barrier, be it of stone or thorn or even of trees, that encloses a green sward. Then the more did he wonder, for it was not open, but great gardens of ancient shrubs and flowers and hedges of box and holly rose to twice a man's height.

But Lindo led them down the winding ways among the hedges, bordered with smooth moss like the finest carpet, and they came out into an open sward of greenest grass, and there an ancient cottage lay. The walls of it were bent with age, and had twisted the many lattice-windows into strange and crooked shapes. Of what it was built Aelfwine never knew, but in the fair gloaming it shone with a pale light, as it were of pearl, and its' roof was a thatch, but a thatch of gold. Upon one side stood a thicket of lilac all in bloom, and pure white were their clusters and the fragrance of them overwhelmed even the lavaralda. On the other stood a mighty yew towering above the house like to a cedar tree, and his branches wore a polish upon their lengths and were often cut short at the lower ends.

Then Aelfwine at this did marvel, but he held his tongue, and it was Eadwine who asked their host, "What mean these shorn shoots and these smoothed boughs? For surely the Elves would not leave such marks."

And Lindo said to him, "They do not, for this house is set aside not for Elves but for the sons of Men. Yet these blemishes to our eyes are dear and fair, for this is the Cottage of Lost Play, and it is here you will be housed."

He smote upon the warped and beautiful door, and there opened to him an Elf old in appearance and grey of locks, and Aelfwine wondered from this if he be not sooth a Man grown old here, until he saw the Elven-light in the ancient eyes and knew his mistake. Then Lindo turned to the Men, and he said to them, "Are ye little, sons of Men? For all they who would enter here must be little as children, either in body or in heart, for else will they never know here peace."

"Never was I a child." said Eadwine. "It was the hard and lonely life that we lived, in flight or work all the days of our lives. Yet I would gladly be a child now, though of middle years am I."

Then said Aelfwine, "I too had a sore life of toil and battle, with Danes and with earth and with waves. Yet it is in my heart that I knew this place from long ago, from dreams I half-remember....yes, I have been here. Old though I am, gladly would I forget the cares of Middle-earth and be small and free, as I never was when waking."

Then Lindo smiled, and the doorward stood aside and bowing bade them enter. Inside it seemed far greater than it appeared from outside, and there was a wide hall with three high-piled fires, despite the warmth of the Eressëan climate. Save for their light all was in a warm gloom. But at Lindo's entrance many folks came forward and candles were lighted and borne to their places, and they were set in sticks of carven wood and beaten metals in many hues and strange patterns, and they set these about the hall in a design that Aelfwine knew, and yet did not recognise.

But while he cwas racking his brains to remember what they reminded him of, a great gong sounded far off in the house with a sweet noise, and there was at this the murmer of rustling feet and eerie, lovely laughter, and in at the carven doors came Elven folk of many kinds and faces, and some bore sign as of great age or scarring in some forgotten torment, and others were as youths and maidens of a surpassing fay-beautiness, and others again were like men of grown years but fair beyond mens' measure. But in two things they were all the same, for in every eye the light of the Eldar gleamed, and from every face shone the same delight of sympathy with mirth. Then was food brought in, and the mariners as they ate thought they were consuming flowers made into bread, and perfumes and subtle scents made incarnate and consumable, so far was the food of the Elves beyond the best of fare that kings could find in Middle-earth. But ere they ate all rose to face the West, and they bowed their heads, and stood in silence.

And when they resumed their seats and when the hunger of the Men had been sated, Lindo said to them, "The folk that gather here are my household, whose task it is to guard most zealously this Cottage and the Way that enters it, that the guests that come may play here in safety, and yet be unaware of guardianship; and none of the perilous wonder of Eressëa may damage them. Many of my people, though immortal, have endured great agony in Middle-Earth in the Elder Days of the height of Melkor, and they come here to be at rest and find peace."

Then said Aelfwine, "What manner of place is this Cottage, and how do Men come here? for you speak of Guests."

And Lindo answered, "They walk not here in body, for that is allowed only by a special grace, as to some of those Elf-friends in Numenor of long ago, or the weary Ring-bearers of divers peoples. But in the breaking of the world when Eru shut off the mortal lands from us and bent the ways, Lórien was distressed for that he could no longer teach Men by his dreams, and Manwë told him that a way was yet left by which Men could be taught. But come. We have lingered long enough, and dusk is passing to night, and none of us may disturb the children when they come."

Then they led the mariners out from that hall, and down a passage where the concourse seemed to melt away through one or another of the many doors that opened off it, yet when Aelfwine made to follow he was detained by one of the aged Elves. He was grey of locks with a face worn by weather and blue eyes of great merriment, and he bore with him a high candle of blue wax, and the flame was blue as well, for it was a candle of sleep. And he said in the speech of the Norse, "I am Ilverin, or Littleheart as you say it. You have come far and eaten much after long struggle, and mortals need their slumber. Keep this candle where I set it, and suffer it not to be quenched, for while it burns you will sleep peacefully and in your beds; and else will your dreams lead you to walk down the Way and mayhap never return." Then Eadwine would have questioned him further, but Aelfwine touched his arm and they suffered themselves to be led onward.

Littleheart took them down the corridor, and the walls were arrased to half their height, and on these tapestries were many stories that the Men could not guess the purport thereof. Above the tapestries it seemed there were paintings, but the light of the one candle was not enough to make them out. Then came a great stair of oak and up this they followed him as it wound round and up, until it brought them into a passage lit by small pendant lamps of coloured glass, whose swaying cast a spatter of bright hues.

In this passage their guide turned round a sudden corner and down a few dark steps. This part of the house was all of dark old woodwork, carved and wrought most beautifully, and the doors were of a lighter wood that was almost golden. One of these did Littleheart throw open, and going in he set the candle firmly into a sconce of wrought silver that stood above the open window. The room was small, yet there was a bed with rich covers and deep pillows set nigh the window, and here the night seemed warm and fragrant, though they had but come from rejoicing in the blaze of the fires. Here was all the furniture of dark wood, and as the candle of sleep flickered its' rays wrought a magic with the room, till it seemed that sleep therein was best of delights. Through the window came the scent of the flowering woods of Eressëa , of a sweetness like death.

Then Littleheart opened a connecting door to a similar delightful room nearby, and Eadwine was to sleep there, and there Littleheart set a second blue candle which he lit from the first. Then bade he fair sleep to them and goodly dreams, and left them to their slumber. And on each bed the men found laid for them thin nightrobes that felt like breezes against their flesh, and leaving their sea-stained garb upon the chairs they made ready to retire. But ere he laid him down Aelfwine looked out the window, and he saw below him a shadow-filled garden that was laced with trees, but its' spaces were barred with silver lights and black shadows by reason of the moon; but if moon it was unlike the one he knew, and marks though there were they were unlike the great dark blotches of the mortal orb, and it seemed the glow it shed was clearer and fairer than the light of moon on mortal earth. And he caught upon the wind the sound of laughter of children at play, and at that he smiled.

Then Aelfwine slept, and through his dreams there came a music thinner and more pure than any he heard before, and it was full of longing. Indeed it was as if pipes of silver or flutes of shape most slender-delicate uttered crystal notes and threadlike harmonies beneath the moon upon the lawns; and he longed in his sleep for he knew not what.

When he awoke the sun was rising and there was no music save that of a myriad of birds about his window. The light struck through the panes and shivered into merry glints, and that room with its' fragrance and its' pleasant draperies seemed even sweeter than before; but Aelfwine arose, and robing himself in fair garments laid ready for him while his raiment stained with travel were being cleansed, went forth and strayed about the passages of the house, until he chanced upon a little stairway, and going down this he came to a porch and a sunny court. Therein was a lattice-gate that opened to his hand and led into that garden whose lawns were spread beneath the window of his room. There he wandered breathing the airs and watching the sun rise above the strange roofs of that house, when behold the aged door-ward was before him, coming along a lane of hazel-bushes. He saw not Aelfwine, for he held his head as ever bent towards the earth, and muttered swiftly to himself; but Aelfwine spake bidding him good morning, and the Elf looked up with a start.

"Your pardon, sir!" he said. "I marked you not, for I was listening to the birds. Indeed sir you find me in a sour temper; for lo! here I have a black-winged rogue fat with impudence who singeth songs before unknown to me, and in a tongue that is strange! It irks me, sir, it irks me, for methought at least I knew the simple speeches of all birds. I have a mind to send him to Mandos for his pertness!"

At this Aelfwine laughed heartily, guessing Mandos to be some place of doom, but the door-ward went on with heat, "Nay, sir, may the Úvanimor take him for daring to perch in a garden that is in the care of Rúmil. Know you that I labored thrall under Belchor Morgoth and knew the dialects of his Black Speech, and that of wolves and of monsters, and I sailed with Eärendil himself on his journeys, even on that one where the gong of Littleheart woke the Sleeper in the Tower of Pearl; and now here comes a bird that I, who have dwelt upon the Isle of Seabirds, know not! Why but this morn I felt as Oromë the Vala who kenneth every beast; and now I am naught."

"Nay," said Aelfwine, "for this garden is fairer than any I heard tell about in lands of Men, even in the monasteries of Iráland, and one so skilled must know much, and much would I know. Who are the Valar, and who is Ylmir? What is Ainu, and who is Oromë?"

Now came those two to a green arbour and the sun was up and warm, and the birds sang mightily, but the lawns were spread with gold. Then Rúmil sat upon a seat there of carven stone grown with moss, and said he, "Very mighty are the things that you ask, and their true answer delves beyond the uttermost confines of the wastes of time, whither even the sight of Rúmil the aged may not see; and all the tales of the Valar and the Elves are so knit together that one may scarce expound any one without needing to set forth the whole of their great history."

"Yet," said Aelfwine, "tell me, Rúmil, I beg, some of what you know even of the first beginnings, that I may begin to understand those things that folk here mention so lightly."

But Rúmil said, "Ilúvatar was the first beginning, and beyond that no wisdom of the Valar or of Eldar or of Men can go."

"Who was Ilúvatar?" said Aelfwine. "Was he of the Gods?"

"Nay," said Rúmil, "that he was not, for he made them. Ilúvatar is the World-Father, who dwells beyond the World; who made it and is not of it nor in it, but loves it."

"Meseems I have heard something very like this." said Aelfwine.

"That may be," said Rúmil, "for the world of Men is drawing near to its' close, some tell me, and the Music of the Ainur may have passed from memory, yet linger on in the memory of Men."

"Tell me," said Aelfwine, "for I long to learn: what is the Music of the Ainur?"

(See The Silmarillion, Ainulindale [The Music of the Ainur] ) Then when Rúmil had finished and fell silent Aelfwine said after a pause: "Great are these tellings, and though we have somewhat of this tale among us yet never have we told it this way. But tell me, I pray, of this Mandos, and Valinor, and how the Gods came into the World and their great labours, for meseems ye have shortened it overmuch. How came the Sun and Moon, and what are the Stars?"

Then answered Rúmil, "Nay, but your questions are nigh as long and wordy as my tales---and the thirst of your curiosity would dry a well deeper than even my lore! None save the Halfling Samwise have asked so many things in one morning. Behold, the sun is well above the roofs and this is no hour of the day for the telling of tales. Rather is it time already, and something more, for the breaking of the fast." With these words Rúmil went down that lane of hazels, and passing a space of sunlight entered the house at great speed, for all he looked ever before his toes as he went.

But Aelfwine sat musing in that arbour, pondering what he had heard, and many questions came into his mind that he desired to ask, until he forgot that he was now very hungry. But now came Littleheart bearing covered dishes and linen, and said, "It is the words of Rúmil the Sage that you are fainting in the Arbour of the Thrushes for hunger and for weariness of his garrulous tongue---and thinking that very like to be, I have sped to thy aid."

Then Aelfwine thanked him, and Eadwine coming up at that moment, Aelfwine beheld his son with wonder, and for his part Eadwine did likewise. For each when they arose had found their sea-stained garments replaced with garments comforting to wear, but magnificent of weave, and neither had a mirror in his room. Now each saw the other as it were revealed, and Eadwine saw before him a wise and ancient king of men, whom sorrow and memory and longing had given a depth of wisdom few of Men could boast. But Aelfwine saw before him a fair prince among Men, his eyes wide and glad, rejoicing in bliss and in all he saw.

Then Littleheart said, "Come, and let us walk for a little after your fast is broken, and I will show you the garden, and why this place is called that of Lost Play." Then did both Men gladly eat and drink, and in the morning light upon the Insula Deliciarum it tasted even better than had the feast of last evening. Then Littleheart got up and wandered down the garden with them, and although it seemed enclosed within great stone walls covered with fruit trees or with climbing plants whose golden and red blossoms shone beneath the sun, yet were the nooks and corners of the garden, its' coppices and lawns, its' shady ways and flowering fields, seemingly without end, and fruit and flower gleamed in strange and lovely lights.

After rambling in much delight for well-nigh half the day, they came at length to the great korin of elms that circled the grounds, and here the gaps between the trees were warded with a high and dense wall of close-growing privet and box, and in it was set a high gate of lattice-work, and in the shadow of the elms it gleamed with a golden light.

Then said Littleheart, "This gateway opens upon a lane of deep banks and great overhanging hedges, and many ancient trees in which a perpetual whisper dwells, and the light there is always that of clear dusk, and great glow-worms often creep among the grassy borders. We do not go that way, for it is not in the Lonely Isle: for this is Olórë Mallë the Path of Dreams, and none of the Eldar may tread it, or any who are waking. In sleep alone can it be walked, and only by those who are little, or remain so in heart. By this way come from many lands the children of Men, and in the Cottage and its' grounds they play as they cannot do when they awake, for the life of Men is a hard one. And many children have there become comrades, who after met and loved in the lands of Men."

And Aelfwine said, "Gladly would I hear more of these children, and where they come, and of this Road of Dreams."

Then Littleheart smiled, and great ages of sorrow were within that smile, assuaged by the bliss of Elvenhome but never wholly forgotten. He answered not, but sang instead, his elvish voice low and clear under the korin-wall.

You and me—we know that land And often have been there In the long old days, old nursery days, A dark child and a fair. Was it down the paths of firelight dreams In winter cold and white, Or in the blue-spun twilit hours Of little early tucked-up beds In drowsy summer night, That You and I got lost in Sleep And met each other there--- Your dark hair on your white nightgown, And mine was tangled fair?

We wandered shyly hand in hand Small footprints in the golden sand, And gathered pearls and shells in pails, While all about the nightingales Were singing in the trees. We dug for silver with our spades, And caught the sparkle of the seas, Then ran ashore to greenlit glades and found the warm and winding lane that now we cannot find again, Between tall whispering trees.

The air was neither night nor day, An ever-eve of gloaming light, When first there glimmered into sight The Cottage of Lost Play. New-built it was, yet very old, White, and thatched with straws of gold, And pierced with peeping lattices That looked toward the sea; And our own children’s garden-plots Were there: our own forgetmenots, Red daisies, cress and mustard, And radishes for tea. There all the borders, trimmed with box, Were filled with favourite flowers, with phlox, With lupins, pinks and hollyhocks, Beneath a red may-tree; And all the gardens full of folk That their own little language spoke, But not to You and Me.

For some had silver watering-cans And watered all their gowns, Or sprayed each other; some laid plans To build their houses, little towns And dwellings in the trees. And some were clambering on the roof; Some crooning lonely and aloof; Some dancing round the fairy-rings All garlanded in daisy-strings, While some upon their knees Before a little white-robed king Crowned with marigold would sing Their rhymes of long ago. But here and there a little pair With rosy cheeks and tangled hair Debated quaint old childish things--- And we were one of these.

But why it was there came a time When we could take the road no more, Though long we looked, and high would climb, Or gaze from many a seaward shore To find the path between sea and sky To those old gardens of delight; And how it goes now in that land, If there the house and gardens stand, Still filled with children clad in white--- We know not, You and I.”

Chapter Three

Of The Building of Valinor

Now as evening came on, Aelfwine and Eadwine, alone as Littleheart had remembered the tray left on the seat and gone to take it within, heard borne on the wind from inside the ancient cottage the sound of a great gong that rang with a sweet noise. At once they saw a press of Elves from every side emerging from the byways of the garden and making for the house. These they joined, and came into the main hall within which was spread the feast.

Now when all had eaten and drank, Lindo rose, and all the folk rose with him, and mirúvor was poured into every glass. To the Men Lindo said, "Of this Elvish cordial I may only give to you a sip, for so potent is it that a greater draught might very well destroy you. Therefore do I dilute it with wine and water, lest your hearts break for the greatness of its' bliss" Then Aelfwine thanked him, and together with the Elves the two Men raised their glasses. Then Lindo said, "To the kindling of the Magic Sun." and all drank the toast. Seeing the wonder in Aelfwine's eyes at these words, Lindo said to him, "The sun which shines above Eressëa and illumines the dwellings of the Gods, and likewise the moon that graces our night, are not the true Sun nor the ancient Moon, for those circle above the lands of Men. Rather are they the memories of Sun and Moon as once they were, made incarnate by the power of the Gods, and hence we call it the kindling of the Magic Sun. So shall it ever be, while Arda is sundered and Valinor cut off, until the Second Music when all is made whole."

Then did the gong of Littleheart sound again, and Lindo smiled. "Hark!" he said. "It is a night for the telling of tales and answering of questions, and our mortal guests have many of both. Those who watch the children must make ready, alas, but we will leave the memory of our tales for them to walk within when they are free of duty. Let us go to the Tale-fire!"

Then all that company went down the hall of broidered stories, and came laughing and talking into one of the rooms opening off from it, out of which a red glow spilled. A fair room it was as might be felt even by the fire-flicker which danced upon the walls and ceilings, though deep shadows shifted in the corners. Round a great hearth soft rugs and fair-worked cushions lay strewed, and there were deep and ponderous chairs of carved wooden arms and feet, though soft were they to sit on. A brace of logs lay burning merrily, and Aelfwine stared enchanted at the hue and shape of the flames, that burned now white now yellow, fading into a deep red edged with blue, and from the logs came a scent like that of cedar nd applewood, yet more fair.

Now Lindo sat down nearest the hearth and began, "Our guest Aelfwine has begged of us to tell of the Gods, so Rúmil tells me; yet there are but few of us who know his tongue. Yet that of which I tell is known to all of you by heart, and so will you know what I say even as I speak in the tongue of these Men."

Then ceased he to speak in the Elven-tongue, and resuming in the speech of the Norse that the Men could understand, he said to them,

"It is told among the wise that the First War began before Arda was full-shaped, and ere yet there was anything that grew or walked upon earth; and for long Melkor had the upper hand. But in the midst of the war a spirit of great strength and hardihood came to the aid of the Valar, hearing in the far heaven that there was battle in the Little Kingdom; and Arda was filled with the sound of his laughter. So came Tulkas the Strong, whose anger passes like a mighty wind, scattering cloud and darkness before it; and Melkor fled before his wrath and his laughter, and forsook Arda, and there was peace for a long age. And Tulkas remained and became one of the Valar of the Kingdom of Arda; but Melkor brooded in the outer darkness, and his hate was given to Tulkas for ever after.

Now those were the days of Gloaming, for light there was, silver and golden, and it was not gathered together but flowed and quivered in uneven streams throughout the airs, or at times fell gently to the earth in glittering rain and ran like water on the ground; and thus was Arda warmed, for the inner fires were subdued and buried under the primeval hills, and these were highest where the fires had been greatest: the first mountains; and there was yet no Sun or constant bright in the heavens, and beyond Vaitya had been forged only a few ancient stars amid the Void without.

In this dimness the Gods stalked north and south and could see the bareness of the world. And Manwë strode about the airs, Vaiya which is wrapped dark and sluggish about the world and without it, and Ilwë which is blue and clear and flows among the stars, and lowest of all Vilna or Vista that is grey and therein may the birds fly safely. And Ulmo fared through Vai, the Outer Ocean, which is very thin and no fish may swim in it save Uin that draws Ulmo in his car; and this ocean is Vaiya, which is more like to air above the world and more like to water beneath it. But the other Gods stood upon the Earth and gazed at it.

In that time the Valar brought order to the seas and the lands and the mountains, and Yavanna planted at last the seeds that she had long devised. And since there was need of light for them to grow, the Gods gleaned radiance from heaven and pulled it gently from the water, and Aulë wrought two mighty lamps for the lighting of the Middle-earth which he had built amid the encircling seas. Like to tremendous vessels of gold and of silver were they, carved and wrought in strange devisings, but made to resist the heats of the gathered lights and yet to allow their radiance to blaze through their substance like to glass. Then Varda filled the lamps and Manwë hallowed them, and the Valar set them upon high pillars, more lofty far than are any mountains of the later days: save that one now called Taniquetil. One lamp of silver they raised far to the north of Middle-Earth, and it was named Illuin, but also Ringil the Cold Place, for the radiance had been gleaned heavily from those regions and they were cold. And Aulë found there that the ponds were overlaid with a substance that shone like pale blue crystal, and when he smote it with his hand it rang like metal, and he wondered at first if it might not be an imperishable substance of great strength that he might use, until he found the ice was growing wet beneath his hand, and then he laughed. And the lamp of gold he set far in the South, and it was named Ormal, but also Helkar; and the light of the Lamps of the Valar flowed out over the Earth, so that all was lit as it were in a changeless day.

Then the seeds that Yavanna had sown began swiftly to sprout and to burgeon, and there arose a multitude of growing things great and small, mosses and grasses and great ferns like towering trees, and tres whose tops were crowned with cloud as they were living mountains, but whose feet was wrapped in a green twilight. And beasts came forth and dwelt in the grassy plains, or in the rivers and the lakes, or walked in the shadows of the woods; and these were sang into life by Oromë in the power of Eru in the morning of the world, and never since has he been able to do so again, but must work upon whatso animals he hath before him, building and growing them into new. As yet no flower had bloomed nor any bird sang, for these things waited still their time in the bosom of Yavanna; but wealth there was of her imagining, and nowhere more rich than in the midmost parts of Earth, where the light of both the Lamps met and blended. And there upon the Isle of Almaren in the Great Lake was the first dwelling of the Valar when all things were young, and new-made green was yet a marvel in the eyes of the makers; and they were long content. Now it came to pass that while the Valar rested from their labours, and watched the growth and unfolding of the things that they had devised and begun, Manwë ordered a great feast; and the Valar and their host gathered at his bidding. But Aulë and Tulkas were weary; for the craft of Aulë and the strength of Tulkas had been at the service of all without ceasing in the days of their labour. And Melkor knew of all that was done, for even then there were some among the Maiair whose hearts were with him though they feigned otherwise, and they were spies and spoke by thought with him from afar. And from far off in the darkness he was filled with hatred, being jealous of the work of his peers, whom he desired to make subject to himself. Therefore he gathered to himself spirits out of the halls of Eä that he had perverted to his service, and they were many, though not as many as those of the Valar; yet he deemed himself strong. And seeing now his time he drew near again to Arda, and looked down upon it, and the beauty of Earth in its' Spring filled him the more with hate. Now therefore the Valar were gathered upon Almaren, fearing no evil, and because of the light of Illuin they did not percieve the shadow in the north that was cast by the glare of Melkor as he stood beyond the Wall of Night upon the north: for he was grown dark as the Night of the Void. And it is sung that in that feast of the Spring of Arda Tulkas espoused Nessa the sister of Oromë, and she danced before the Valar upon the green grass of Almaren. Then Tulkas slept, being weary and content, and Melkor deemed that his hour had come. And he passed therefore through the Walls of the Night with his host, and came to Middle-earth far in the north; and the Valar were not aware of him. Now Melkor began the delving and building of a vast fortress, deep under Earth, beneath dark mountains where the beams of Illuin were cold and dim. That stronghold was named Utumno. And though the Valar knew naught of it as yet, nothetheless the evil of Melkor and the blight of his hatred flowed out thence, and the Soring of Arda was marred. Green things fell sick and rotted, and rivers were choked with weeds and slime, and fens were made, rank and poisonous, the breeding place of flies; and forests grew dark and perilous, the haunts of fear; and beasts became monsters of horn and ivory and dyed the earth with blood. Then the Valar knew indeed that Melkor was at work again, and they sought for his hiding place. But Melkor, trusting in the strength of Utumno and the might of his servants, came forth suddenly to war, and struck the first blow, ere the Valar were prepared; and he assailed the lights of Illuin and Ormal. To Ormal he sent that spirit that after became known as Gothmog Lord of Balrogs, and that Maia named Sauron, and a host of evil was with them; but Melkor came to Illuin himself, and smote that pillar such a blow with his mind that huger than any mountain though it was it shattered in sunder as a pillar of ice shatters at the blow of a hammer; and Sauron and Gothmog did the same upon Ormal. But so strong were the Lamps wrought that though they tilted and spilled, they broke not and much radiance remained within them; and this the fell spirits would not abide, and they lifted the Lamps and overturned them completely, and broke them in fragments and strew the shards abroad. In the overthrow of the mighty pillars lands were broken from the impact of their peices and seas arose in tumult, and devouring flame poured out across the Earth from the spilled lamps. And light escaped, lying in great pools and rivers, or flying up as a mist and drifting in luminous clouds and banners across the darkened world. And the shape of Arda and the symmetry of its' waters and its' lands was marred in that time, so that the first designs of the Valar were never after restored. In the confusion and the darkness Malkor escaped, though fear fell upon him; for the Valar in their rage had hurled off all raiment and darted about as spirits of fury, and above the roaring of the seas he heard the voice of Manwëas a mighty wind, and the earth trembled beneath the feet of Tulkas. But he came to Utumno ere those twain could overtake him, and very mighty were those doors, warded so that no being clad or unclad might pass over them; and he shut them with great clangour in their faces. And the Valar could not at that time overcome him, for the greater part of their strength was needed to restrain the tumults of the Earth, and to save from ruin all that could be saved of their labour; and afterwards they feared to rend the Earth again, until they knew where the Children of Ilúvatar were dwelling, who were yet to come in a time that was hidden from the Valar. Thus ended the Spring of Arda. The dwelling of the Valar upon Almaren was utterly destroyed, and they had no abiding place upon the face of the Earth. Therefore they departed from Middle-earth and went to the Land of Aman, the westernmost of all hands upon the borders of the world; for its' west shores looked upon the Outer Sea, that is called by the Elves Ekkaia, encircling the Kingdom of Arda. How wide is that sea none know but the Valar; and beyond it are the Walls of the Night.But the east shores of Aman were the uttermost end of Belegaer, the Great Sea of the West; and since Melkor was returned to Middle-earth and they could not yet overcome him, the Valar fortified their dwelling, and upon the shores of the sea they raised the Pelóri, the Mountains of Aman, highest upon Earth. And above all the mountains of the Pelóri was that height upon which Manwë set his throne. Taniquetil the Elves name that holy mountain, and Oiolossë Everlasting Whiteness, and Elerrina Crowned with Stars, and many names beside; but the Sindar spoke of it in their later tongue as Amon Uilos. From their halls upon Taniquetil Manwë and Varda could look out across the Earth even into the furthest East. Behind the walls of the Pelóri the Valar established their domain in that region that is called Valinor; and there were their houses, their gardens, and their towers. In that guarded land the Valar gathered great store of light and all the fairest things that were saved from the ruin; and many others yet more fair they made anew, and Valinor became more beautiful even than Middle-earth in the Spring of Arda; and it was blessed, for the Deathless dwelt there, and there naught faded nor withered, neither was there any stain upon flower or leaf in that land, nor any corruption or sickness in anything that lived; for the very stones and waters were hallowed.

Chapter Four

The Two Trees

And when Valinor was full-wrought and the mansions of the Valar were established, in the midst of the plain beyond the mountains they built their city, Valmar of many bells. Their roofs were of gold and their floors silver and their doors of polished bronze; they were lifted with spells and their stones were bound with power. Before its' western gate there was a green mound, prepared by the Valar for their mightiest work yet. For underneath it they laid seven rocks of deep-sea gold, and three ancient pearls that Ossë gathered, and they cast in as well a fragment of each of the Lamps that had been broken, in memory of those forst Lights. Over these they poured great streams of light gleaned and gathered from air and ground, both silver and golden, and they breathed down foams and white mists and golden dews, and covered it with earths that Aulë created, and thus was raised that mound Ezellohar, that is named also Corollairë; and Yavanna hallowed it, and she sat there long upon the green grass and sang a song of power, in which was set all her thought of things that grow in the earth. But Nienna thought in silence, and watered the mould with tears. In that time the Valar were gathered together to hear the song of Yavanna, and they sat silent upon their thrones of council in the Máhanaxar, the Ring of Doom near to the golden gates of Valmar; and Yavanna Kementári sang before them and they watched. And as they watched, upon the mound there came forth two slender shoots; and silence was over all the world in that hour, nor was there any other sound save the chanting of Yavanna. The shoot that arose first shed a light of silver, and it had a bark of tender white that gleamed like pearls, and under her song its' stock grew shapely and slender, and its' rind like silk, but its' boughs above were thick and tangled and dense of twig, and they put forth masses of blueish green new leaves, that as they lengthened took the shape of spearheads, and dark green were they now above but beneath were as shining silver and shed a great light, and the earth beneath was dappled with shadows fluttering amid the pools of its' brightness. Then did the Valar stare in wonder, but Yavanna said, "Not yet has this tree ceased his growing." and behold as she spake blossoms broke out from his twigs, and they did not hang in clusters but were like seperate flowers growing each on fine stems that swung together, and were as silver and pearls and burnt with a white light. Light like liquid silver distilled from his bole and dripped to earth, and from each of his countless flowers a dew of silver light was ever falling. Then even as Yavanna turned her song to the other side of the mound, a second shoot emerged like a ray of fire, and yellow pierced the silver dawn of the Elder Tree. Strong and swift the second tree grew, and from its' bark pale gold effulgence poured; and in seven hours it had risen to a tree of mighty stature. Of a great shapeliness and goodly growth was that stock, and nought was there to break its' smooth rind for a vast height above the earth, and it glowed faintly with a yellow light. Then did fair boughs thrust overhead in all directions, and golden buds swelled from all the twigs and lesser branches, and from these burst leaves of a young green like a new-opened beech; their edges shone glittering gold. Already was the light that that tree gave wide and fair, but as the Valar gazed it put forth blossom in exceeding great profusion, so that all its' boughs were hidden by long swaying clusters of gold flowers like a myriad hanging lamps of flame, and light spilled from the tips of these and fell from their glowing horns in a golden rain with a sweet noise, and from those flowers came a great heat. And as it grew the glow of the Elder abated and his blossom shone less, till he glowed only gently as in sleep while the other rose to full brilliance. Then Yavanna said, "From these Trees and their waxing and waning shall the Years be measured, and let her of gold be named Laurelin, and he of silver Telperion." And thus there awoke in the world the Two Trees of Valinor, Telperion the White, and Silpion, and Ninquelote, and many names besides; and Laurelin the Golden, and Malinalda, and Culurien, and many other names in song. In seven hours the glory of each tree waxed to full and waned again to naught, and each awoke once more to life an hour before the other ceased to shine. Thus in Valinor twice every day there came a gentle hour of softer light when both trees were faint and their gold and silver beams were mingled. Telperion was the elder of the trees and came first to full stature and to bloom; and that first hour in which he shone, the white glimmer of a silver dawn, the Valar reckoned not into the tale of hours but named it the Opening Hour, and counted from it the ages of their reign in Valinor. Therefore at the sixth hour of the First Day, and of all the joyful days thereafter until the Darkening of Valinor, Telperion ceased his time of flower; and at the twelfth hour Laurelin her blossoming. And each day of the Valar in Aman contained twelve hours, and ended with the secpnd mingling of the lights, in which Laurelin was waning but Telperion waxing. But the light that was spilled from the Trees endured long, ere it was taken up into the airs or sank down into the earth; and the dews of Telperion and the rain that fell from Laurelin Varda hoarded in great vats like shining lakes, that were to all the land of the Valar as wells of water and of light. Thus began the days of the Bliss of Valinor, and thus began also the Count of Time. Now the dwellings of the Valar are after this wise. First upon Taniquetil was a great abode raised up for Manwë and a watchtower set. That house was builded of marbles white and blue and stood amid great slopes of ice; not snow, for no cloud might climb so high above Vilna and the ice that sheathed that mountain in purest white came rather from the condensing of moisture that abode in Ilmen. For roof that house bears a web woven of that blue air named ilwë, and Varda spangled it with stars, and Manwë dwells thereunder. There lingers an image of every star ever made, wheeling in their courses as they were wont to do without. Seperate from Valmar's houses and bordering upon the open vale was a great court, and this was Aulë's house, and it was filled with many lovely works of metals and of stones wrought and carved like wood in delicate shapes, and gems that he forged for the setting in the earth decorate the walls and carven doors. There too are his mighty forges and his strange tools, wrought of his own craft and power so as to be almost living things, and there he laboured long. For in the making of all things in that land he had the chief part, and he wrought there many beautiful and shapely works both openly and in secret. Of him comes the lore and knowledge of the Earth and of all things that it contains: whether the lore of those that make not, but seek only for the understanding of what is, or the lore of all craftsmen, the weaver and the shaper of wood and the worker of metals; though the tiller of earth and grower of fruit must look also to his spouse, Yavanna Kementari. In Valmar too is the house of Tulkas, who loveth games of running and leaping, twanging of bows and those songs that go with a swing and toss of a well-filled cup. His was a house of mirth and revelry, and it sprang high into the air in many storeys, and had a tower of bronze and pillars of copper in a wide arcade. Nearby is the house of Oromë, and those halls are wide and low, and skins and fells of great richness and price are arrayed in fearsome and marvellous patterns upon the walls or splayed upon the floor in flattened splendour, and there too is every weapon displayed that is needed in the hunt. In the midst of each room a living tree grows to uphold the roof, and its' bole is hung with trophies cunningly set and antlers of strange beasts that seem to grow from the trunk. Here is all Oromë's folk in green and brown, and there they make good cheer. Ossë dwells not in Valinor, for his tempestuous heart prefers to rage amid the sea, and Vana goes with him, and under the sea are the ancient halls of coral and sea-stone that he piled in those days. But Manwë Súlimo, highest and holiest of the Valar, sat upon the borders of Aman, forsaking not in his thought the Outer Lands. Soirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his throne set in majesty upon Taniquetil; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world. Thus they brought word to him of wellnigh all that passed in Arda; yet some things were hidden even from the eyes of Manwë and the servants of Manwë, for where Melkor sat in his dark thought impenetrable shadows lay. Manwë has no thought for his own honour, and is not jealous of his power, but rules all to peace. The Vanyar he loved best of the Elves, and of him they recieved song and poetry; for poetry is the delight of Manwë, and the song of words is his music. His raiment is blue, and blue is the fire of his eyes, and his sceptre is of sapphire, which the Noldor wrought for him; and he was appointed to be the viceregent of Ilúvatar, Elder King of the world of Valar and Elves and Men, and the chief defence against the vevil of Melkor. With Manwë dwelt Varda the most beautiful, she who in the Sindarin tongue is named Elbereth, Queen of the Valar, kindler of the stars. But Ulmo was alone, and he abode not in Valinor, nor ever came thither unless there were need for a great council; he dwelt from the beginning of Arda in the Outer Ocean, and still he dwells there. Thence he governs the flowing of all waters, and the ebbing, the courses of all rivers and the replenishment of springs, the distilling of all dews and rain in every land beneath the sky. In the deep places he gives thought to music great and terrible; and the echo of that music runs through all the veins of the world in sorrow and in joy; for if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its' springs are in the well of sorrow unfathomed at the foundations of the Earth. The Teleri learned much of Ulmo, and for this reason their music has both sadness and enchantment. Salmar came with him to Arda, he who made the horns of Ulmo that none may ever forget who has heard them; and Ossë and Unien also, to whom he gave the government of the waves and the movements of the Inner Seas, and many other spirits besides. And thus it was by the power of Ulmo that even under the darkness of Melkor life coursed still through many secret lodes, and the Earth did not die, though Melkor succeeded in staining all Arda save only for Valinor. To all who were lost in that darkness or wandered far from the light of the Valar the ear of Ulmo was ever open; nor has he ever forsaken Middle-earth, and whatsoever may since have befallen of ruin or of change he has not ceased to take thought for it, and will not until the end of days. And in that time of dark Yavanna also was unwilling utterly to forsake the Outer Lands; for all things that grow are dear to her, and she mourned for the works that she had begun in Middle-earth but Melkor had marred. Therefore leaving the house of Aulë she would come at times and heal the hurts of Melkor; and returning she would ever urge the Valar to that war with his evil dominion that they must surely wage ere the coming of the Firstborn. And Oromë tamer of beasts would ride too at whiles in the darkness of the unlit forests; as a mighty hunter he came with spear and bow, pursuing to the death the monsters and fell creatures of the kingdom of Melkor, and his white horse Nahar shone like silver in the shadows. Then the sleeping earth trembled at the beat of his golden hooves, and in the twilight of the world Oromë would sound the Valaróma his great horn upon the plains of Arda; whereat the mountains echoed, and the shadows of evil fled away, and Melkor himself quailed in Utumno, foreboding the wrath to come. But even as Oromë passed the servants of Melkor would gather again; and the lands were filled with shadows and deceit." Then as Lindo fell silent, and the Eldar around him still listened, treasuring the rough sounds of this speech of Men which they were hearing now for the first time (though Lindo had at times spoken it to them), Aelfwine said nothing but stared dreaming into the fire. But Eadwine spoke and said, "Often do you name the Gods, but these names I do not know, for we speak dimly of Thor the strong and angry, and Othin the wise and crafty, and many another that seems not to fit these Gods; yet we deemed them false, demons who tried to substitute themselves for He whom you name Eru. Who are the true Gods, those serve the One and may but be honored and never adored?" And Rumil said, "If you please, Lindo, I woukd have the telling of this." and Lindo said he might. Then Rumil began. (See The Silmarillion, Valaquenta) Then all fell silent, and a great and dreadful hush came over the room. And Eadwine said, (for his father still stared dreaming into the fire) "Who is Sauron, and wherefore is his rising?" but Lindo told him he knew as yet too little of the Eldar to be told that tale yet. "And here are borne the Candles of Sleep, so it is an end of tale-speaking for the night." Then looking upon Aelfwine he laughed and said, "Indeed you are one who dreams alone, Elf-friend!" and ever after Aelfwine was named in Tol Eressëa as Eriol, or He that Dreams Alone.

Chapter Five

Of the Chaining of Melkor

On the morning there was a great stir and cry of fair and haunting elvish horns, and Eriol and Eadwine sprang from their beds and craned from windows in vain to espy the cause. But by and by came Littleheart to bid them make a hasty meal, for a messenger from Valinor had arrived in Avallonë and they were bidden to meet him at the house of Meril-i-Turinqui, who presided over the rule of Tol Eressëa and was named the Lady of Eldamar. And Littleheart was to be their guide in this. Then the Men were sorely anxious, whether the Gods would allow them to linger all their days in bliss in Elvenhome, or whether they would be sentenced for setting foot upon immortal shores, or at the least sternly banished to the world of Men. But Littleheart did not know. And as they left by the golden wicket in which they had first entered, Eriol said to Littleheart, "Now do I remember the cottage, and the candles in the great dim room, and walking therein while others played outside. I saw it. I walked there in my dreams. Yet saw I no Elves." And Littleheart answered, "That may well be so, for our people guard the children zealously and watch them ever, yet so that they might never know of guardianship to ruin their play, For know that all the Elder Kindred can at great need conceal their bodies from the dim eyes of Men, and the more readily when we have endured so many long ages and our spirits begin to shine through our flesh. For Elves are made more like to the Ainur, though less in might; whereas to Men the One hath given strange gifts. "For it is said that after the departure of the Valar there was silence, and for an age Ilúvatar sat alone in thought. Then he spoke and said: 'Behold, I love the Earth, which shall be a mansion for the Quendi and the Atani! But the Quendi shall be the fairest of all earthly creatures, and they shall have and shall concieve and bring forth more beauty than all my Children; and they shall have the greater bliss in this world. But to the Atani I will give a new gift." Therefore he willed that the hearts of Men should seek beyond the world and should find no rest therein; but they should have a virtue to shape their life, amid the powers and chances of the world, beyond the Music of the Ainur, which is as fate to all things else; and of their operation everything should be, in form and deed, completed, and the world fulfilled unto the last and smallest. But Ilúvatar knew that Men, being set amid the turmoils of the powers of the world, would stray often, and would not use their gifts in harmony; and he said: 'These too in their time shall find that all that they do redounds in the end only to the glory of my work.' Yet the Elves believe that Men are often a grief to Manwe, who knows most of the mind of Ilúvatar; for it seems to the Elves that Men resemble Melkor most of all the Ainur, although he has ever feared and hated them, even the ones that served him." And Eriol said, "It is told among us that our first fathers were defeated by an ancient spirit of evil, and that he poisoned our very souls with his malice, and that none save Ilúvatar himself can free us from it." "Belike that is so," said Littleheart, "but Men remain, even so, utterly free. It is one with this gift of freedom that the children of Men dwell only a short space in the world alive, and are not bound to it, and depart soon whither the Elves know not. Whereas the Elves remain until the end of days, and our love of the earth and all the world is more single and more poignant therefore, and as the years lengthen ever more sorrowful. For the Elves do not die till the world dies, unless they are slain or waste in grief (and to both these deaths they are subject); neither does age subdue their strength, unless one grow weary of ten thousand centuries; and dying they are gathered to the halls of Mandos in Valinor, whence they may in time return. But the sons of Men die indeed, and leave the world; wherefore they are called the Guests, or the Strangers. Death is your fate, the gift of Ilúvatar, which in the wearing of time even the Powers shall envy. But Melkor has cast his shadow upon it, and confounded it with darkness, and brought forth evil out of good, and fear out of hope. Yet of old the Valar declared to the Elves in Valinor that Men shall join in the Second Music of the Ainur; whereas Ilúvatar has not revealed what he purposes for the Elves after the World's end, and Melkor has not discovered it."

Then said Eadwine as they passed out of the woodland paths and into a broad road, yet not dusty and bare as the roads of Men but mossy with deep and ancient banks, "What of the Dwarves? Our legends speak at times of them. Are they Eldar? or do they come from Men?"

"Neither," said Littleheart, "but from meddling.

(For the account of the Making of the Dwarves and the Shepherds of the Trees, see The Silmarillion Chapter 2 "Aule and Yavanna")

And even as he was done speaking they entered into the place outside the fair city where Queen Meril dwelt among the elms she loved. There was a wide grove of the most ancient and beautiful elms that all that city possessed. High to heaven they rose in three lessening storeys of bright foliage, and the sunlight that filtered through was very cool--a golden green. Amidst of these was a great green sward of grass smooth as a web of stuffs, and about it those trees stood in a circle, so that shades were heavy at its' edge but the gze of the sun fell all day at its' middle. There stood a beautiful house, and it was builded all of white and of as whiteness that shone, but its' roof was so overgrown with mosses and with houseleek and many curious clinging plants that of what it was once fashioned might not be seen for the glorious maze of colours, golds and red-russets, scarlets and greens.

Innumerable birds shattered in its' eaves; and some sang upon the housetops, while doves and pigeons circled in flights about the korin's borders or swooped to settle and sun upon the sward. Now all that dwelling was footed in flowers. Blossomy clusters were about it, ropes and tangles, spikes and tassls all in bloom, flowers in panicles and umbels or with great wide faces gazing at the sun. There did they loose upon the faintly stirring airs their several odours blended to a great fragrance of exceeding marvellous enchantment, but their hues and colours were scattered and gathered seeingly as chance and the happiness of their growth directed them. All day long there went a hum of bees among those flowers: bees fared about the roof and all the scented beds and ways; even about the cool porches of the house, and they bore no stingers and were tame as butterflies. Now Littleheart and Eriol climbed the hill and it was late afternoon, and the sun shone brazen upon the western side of the Tower of Avallone. Soon came they to a mighty wall of hewn stone blocks, and this leaned outward, but grasses grew atop of it, and harebells, and yellow daisies.

A wicket they found in the wall, and beyond was a glade beneath the elms, and there ran a pathway bordered of one side with bushes whle of the other flowed a little running water whispering over a brown bed of leay mould. This led even to the sward's edge, and coming thither said Littleheart pointing to that white house: "Behold the dwelling of Meril-i-Turinqui, and as I have no errand wth so great a lady I will get me back again." Then Eriol and his son went over the sunny lawn until they were nigh shoulder-high in the tall flowers that grew before the porches of the door; and as they drew near a sound of music came to the, and a fair lady and many maidens of surpassing Elvenm loveliness stepped forth to meet the.

Then said that lady smiling, "Welcome, O mariners of many seas, though I fear the pleasure of my quiet gardens and their gentle noise may be little to your taste, who have long had joy of the salt breezes of the sea and the snuff of winds and swaying boats." And she spoke not in the tongue of Norse, but in Latin, and greatly did Eriol wonder thereat, but neither he nor Eadwine might say anything for some time, being tongue-tied for the greatness of the beauty of those maids.

"Speak, Aelfwine and Eadwine," Meril said, smiling yet more, "and do not fear me, for I deem I am no bog-elf to fly into a rage at the wrong manner of speech."

"Nay, lady," said Eriol, "but our tongues are fastened with the greatness of your beauty and that of your maidens, for women of the people of Men have little time to grow beautiful in the hard days in which we live. But I would know, how come you by Latin? for Lindo spoke the tongue of the Norse."

Then said Meril, "Know that Elves have continued to build ships and sail them upon the Straight Road long after the passing of Cirdan the Shipwright over-sea, and from the latest of these learned I Latin, for they used it to converse with Men. But Lindo knows it of a sooth as well, yet he deemed thou knewest it not, being from the north-parts of Middle-earth. But what is your desire, that brought you so far over endless seas?"

"Our desire is fixed and as one," said Eadwine, "to end our weary days within this place of bliss."

Then did the face of Meril become grave, and she bade them walk with her to where the Messenger awaited. And they passed over cool grass not very short and entered among ancient fruit trees under the elms. About the roots of one, an apple of great girth and age, the soil was piled so that there was now a broad seat around its' bole, soft and grass-covered. There sat Meril and she gazed upon Eriol and said, "Know you then what it is that you ask?" and he said, "We know nought save that we have always sought and longed for this place, and we desire to be in fellowship and kinship with this wondrous people of the Eldar, and to be free of unquenchable longing."

But Meril said, "Fellowship is possible, maybe, but kinship not so, for Man is Man and Elda is Elda, and what Iluvatar has made unalike may not become alike while the world remains. It is true that Tuor is now reckoned of the Elder Kindred, yet Luthien also forsook her kindred and became a mortal Man, and thus one answered for one, and such will never happen again. Even did thou abide in Paradise the rest of thy days, and for the strength of our food and drink lived far longer than thou might otherwise have, think not thou would escape thy longing, for desire unsatisfied dwelleth in the hearts of Men, and they seek and find not, nor ever will within the Circles of the World."

"That may be," said Eriol, "yet if I must wander in longing wheresoever I fare, then rather would I end my days in the bliss of Elvenhome than in the great labours of the seas or in the suffering of Middle-earth and the bitter wars of Men."

Then Meril arose from the seat, and her gown seemed to flow as liqid about her. "Then let us hear the words of the Valar." she said only.

Then they followed after her to another space in that korin of elms, and here the great trees arched overhead and cast all that glade into a wondrous gloom, and deep moss mingled with the elvish grass and tiny red stars bloomed amid its' furred green, and moss was on each bole and bough. Here cropping the grass wandered a horse of such splendid size and stature that the Men were astounded for the sheen of his silver coat and the intelligence in the great eyes. But near at hand upon a seat of ancient rock nigh-consumed by the roots of a massive elm sat a figure in white robes, and he was plainly not of Elven kind. A king perhaps of some vanished people he looked, with his mighty shoulders and hair like snow that mingled with his beard, and he held a white staff of ash smoothed by age until it gleamed like polished stone. An ancient sword that was white with a hilt of gold was girt about his waist, and his eyes were deep and twinkled as he watched them.

He rose to greet them as was the custom among the Elves, and not knowing what else to do the two mariners bowed and went upon one knee.

"Welcome, Elf-friends." said the one in white. "I am Olórin, and I am a messenger from Valinor, sent to speak with you. For I walked on Middle-earth for three thousand years of men in the Third Age that is forgotten, and hence it is that I was chosen."

"Then what is the word of the Lords of the West, and what is our fate to be?" asked Eriol.

"Be of good cheer," Olórin made answer dryly, "for you must abide here many years yet. For it is the purpose of Ulmo who sent ye here that you learn our speech and much of our lore, and that when you voyage back (for aye, back indeed you must return) you take with you great store of learning, that the sons of Men may remember us in the Age of Ending Light that has come to the world."

Then were the hearts of Eriol and Eadwine greatly cast down, yet were they gladdened that they might abide here a while. And Eriol said, "But, lord, do not the sons of Men even now gambol within the Cottage of Lost Play, and might not tales be told them?"

Then grew the face of Olórin sad and cast down, and he told them, "Alas, thy coming heraldeth the end of the Cottage of Lost Play, for another way has been devised to teach the sons of Men, and it shall go into their lands and call them forth on winter nights, and no need will there be of this fair Cottage, and Lost indeed will be its' play. Even the lore thou bring back to Middle-earth shall perish, till in our last resort one shall be sent down the sealed Path of Dreams, to have breathed into him all the story of the World, that he may labor his life in the writing of it and in so doing transform the imagery of Men, and yet in the end leave it incomplete, for another to finish. But come, these are deep matters and no concern of yours, let us rejoin our fair Queen and break bread with her, ere we pass our ways."

Then Olórin rose from his seat, and Eadwine whose eyes were keen marked a ring upon his finger, and the stone in that ring burned as deep and red as flame. Then said he, "My lord Olórin, what manner of ring is this?" and then Aelfwine too could see it, but Olórin only laughed and would not answer. Then Eriol said, "How marvellous a steed is this!" and Olórin smiled and answered, "Well may you say so, for his like does not now walk in Middle-earth."

And when they came to where Meril-i-Turinqui awaited them with all her maids, they saw that fair green rugs and silken cushions had been spread upon the undying grass, and there Meril and her maids reclined, many lovely Elven-girls of such splendour that the two Men felt rough and common, for all the glory of their own apparal; yet was none of them so beautiful as their Queen. And they rose at Olórin's coming, and the maids set out a marvellous repast which had been awaiting them, and Olórin bade the Men sit beside him. And as they ate he asked them much about Saxony and King Eadweard and the fair place of Iraland, and they told him what they knew. He seemed to know already much of what they said, of religion and of war and of slow collapsing decay. "The monasteries alone will endure," he said, "for is it not written that the meek shall inherit the earth?"

Then Meril said that since it was the Valar's will that Eriol hoard their stories, that with Olórin's leave she would tell them one. And Olórin said that here he was but a messenger, and it was she who gave or withheld leave. At that Meril laughed, and began.

"Through long ages the Valar dwelt in bliss in the light of the Trees beyond the Mountains of Aman, but all Middle-earth lay in a twilight under the stars. While the Lamps had shone, growth began there which now was checked, because all was again dark. But already the oldest living things had arisen: in the seas the great weeds, and on earth the shadow of great trees; and in the valleys of the night-clad hills there were dark creatures old and strong. To those lands and forests the Valar seldom came, save only Yavanna and Oromë; and Yavanna would walk there in the shadows, grieving because the growth and promise of the Spring of Arda was stayed. And she set a sleep upon many things that had arisen in the Spring, so that they should not age, but should wait for a time of awakening that yet should be.

But in the north Melkor built his strength, and he slept not, but watched, and laboured; and the evil things that he had perverted walked abroad, and the dark and slumbering woods were haunted by monsters and shapes of dread. And in Utumno he gathered his demons about him, those spirits who first adhered to him in the days of his splendour, and became most like him in his corruption: their hearts were of fire, but they were cloaked in darkness, and their whips were of flame and they bore burning swords. Balrogs they were termed in Middle-earth in later days. And in that dark time Melkor bred many other monsters of divers shapes and kinds that long troubled the world, until the mighty hunters of the Men of old destroyed many of them, and the Great Sea drowned the rest. And his realm spread now ever southward over Middle-earth, and he made also a fortress and armoury not far from the north-western shores of the sea, to resist any assault that might come from Aman. That stronghold was commanded by Sauron lieutenant of Melkor; and it was named Angband.

It came to pass that the Valar held council, for they became troubled by the tidings that Yavanna and Oromë brought from the Outer Lands; and Yavanna spoke before the Valar, saying: "Ye mighty of Arda, the Vision of Ilúvatar was brief and soon taken away, so that maybe we cannot guess within a narrow count of days the hour appointed. Yet be sure of this: the hour approaches, and within this age our hope shall be revealed, and the Children shall awake. Shall we then leave the lands of their dwelling desolate and full of evil? Shall they walk in darkness while we have light? Shall they call Melkor lord while Manwë sits upon Taniquetil?"

And Tulkas cried: "Nay! Let us make war swiftly! Have we not rested from strife overlong, and is not our strength now renewed? Shall one alone contest with us forever?"

But at the bidding of Manwë Mandos spoke, and he said: "In this age the Children of Ilúvatar shall come indeed, but they come not yet. Moreover it is doom that the Firstborn shall come in the darkness, and shall look first upon the stars. Great light shall be for their waning. To Varda ever shall they call at need."

Then Varda went forth from the council, and she looked out from the height of Taniquetil, and beheld the darkness of Middle-earth beneath the ancient stars, faint and far. Then she began a great labour, greatest of all the works of the Valar since their coming into Arda. She fared with all her maidens to that pool called Silindrin where Lórien dwelt with Nienna and his shadowy people, and there in the deep shade of cypress and of laurel and under hedges of yew do they weave dreams of subtle essences for the teaching of Elves, and afterwards of Men as well. Now has Lórien in the course of hoarding the copious streams of cool light that Telperion brings forth, has fashioned upon beds of hard stone interlaced with silver so that the light can neither sink nor escape, a deep river that issues from under the earth and pours everlastingly over a mighty falls, into the deep vale in which abides Silindrin. Then does that river of light flow until it meeteth the rise of the vale, at which it disappears into great cisterns underground that spew it as a fountain from above the cliff, thus feeding the great waterfall. Thither also fares many another of the Maiar of Yavanna and of Aulë, but of the great Aratar none save Lórien and Nienna and Varda are there. And in every hand the greater Maiar, and Curumo, and Alatar, and Olórin and many another, bear mighty pitchers used to ferry that silver light from the vats beneath the Trees to the places of its' using, and those pitchers are all of mithril which Aulë made, and he knew not then that Iluvatar had set great veins of that within Caradhras.

Then did those Gods stand beside the pool of Silindrin, and they took seven of the fairest diamonds Valinor yet held, and they took seven ancient pearls from the deepest oceans and cast them into Silindrin. Then they poured into the pool of light, vials of bottled cold, and clouds from the misty heights of Vilna, and streams of that blue air of Ilmen. And Lórien cast therein wispy dreams snagged in webs of dew, and dews shed by the Ilurambar at the edge of the World, and with rods of silver did they trouble this mixture. And they sang as they stirred, and the maidens wept their tears into the pool for the beauty of that singing.

Then did the Gods dip their pitchers, and Silindrin was dry when they had done, and they stood upon the edge of the cliff where pours the falls, and they cast the contents of their pitchers out upon the air, and they gave a mighty cry as they did. And the fluid hung suspended, bright against the dark air, for it was Mingling and Valinor was dim, and every droplet flew apart and grew into a figure, and armour was upon them and light blazed out of them. Then did Varda standing alone cast her power into them, and they kindled, and to the amazement of Varda and all the Gods they lived, for such was the will of Eru. And the Stars bowed before her and called her Mother.

Then Varda set them in places fixed and ordered, as Eru spoke into her heart to do, that they might measure out time even when no other counting existed; and she set them in patterns and pictures, the Sword and the Sickle, and last that stern figure whose head is hidden and bow is bent toward the Star of the North, as a challenge to Melkor and a foreboding of she knew not what, Menelmakar the Herald.

It is told that even as Varda ended her labours, and they were long, when first Menelmakar strode up the sky and the blue fire of Helluin flickered in the mists above the borders of the world, in that hour the Children of the Earth awoke, the Firstborn of Ilúvatar. By the starlit mere of Cuivienen, Water of Awakening, they rose from the sleep of Ilúvatar; and while they dwelt yet silent by Cuivienen their eyes beheld first of all things the stars of heaven. Therefore they have ever loved the starlight, and have revered Varda Elentari above all the Valar.

In the changes of the world the shapes of lands and of seas have been broken and remade; rivers have not kept their courses, neither have mountains remained steadfast; and to Cuivienen there is no returning. But it is said among the Elves that it lay far off in the east of Middle-earth, and northward, and it was a bay in the Inland Sea of Helcar; and that sea stood where aforetime the roots of the mountain of Illuin had been before Melkor overthrew it. Many waters flowed down thither from heights in the east, and the first sound that was heard by the Elves was the sound of water flowing, and the sound of water falling over stone.

Long they dwelt in their first home by the water under stars, and they walked the Earth in wonder; and they began to make speech and to give names to all things that they percieved. Themselves they named the Quendi, signifying those that speak with voices; for as yet they had met no other living things that spoke or sang.

And on a time it chanced that Oromë rode eastward in his hunting, and he turned north by the shores of Helcar and passed under the shadows of the Orocarni, the Mountains of the East. Then on a sudden Nahar set up a great neighing, and stood still. And Oromë wondered and sat silent, and it seemed to him that in the quiet of the land under the stars he heard afar off many voices singing.

Thus it was that the Valar found at last, as it were by chance, those whom they had so long awaited. And Oromë looking upon the Elves was filled with wonder, as though they were beings sudden and marvellous and unforseen; for so it shall ever be with the Valar. From without the World, though all things may be forethought in music or foreshown in vision from afar, to those who enter verily into Ea each in its' time shall be met at unawares as something new and unforetold.

In the beginning the Elder Children of Iluvatar were stronger and greater than they have since become; but not more fair, for though the beauty of the Quendi in the days of their youth was beyond all other beauty that Iluvatar has caused to be, it has not perished, but lives in the West, and sorrow and wisdom have enriched it. And Oromë loved the Quendi, and named them in their own tongue Eldar, the people of the stars; but that name was after borne only by those who followed him upon the westward road.

Yet many of the Quendi were filled with dread at his coming; and this was the doing of Melkor. For by after-knowledge the Wise declare that Melkor, ever watchful, was first aware of the awakening of the Quendi, and sent shadows and evil spirits to spy upon them and waylay them. So it came to pass, some years ere the coming of Oromë, that if any of the Elves strayed far abroad, alone or few together, they would often vanish and never return, and the Quendi said that the Hunter had caught them, and they were afraid. And indeed the most ancient songs of the Elves, of which echoes are remembered still in the West, tell of the shadow-shapes that walked in the hills above Cuivienen, or would pass suddenly over the stars; and of the dark Rider upon his wild horse that pursued those that wandered to take them and devour them. Now Melkor would gladly have consumed all the Quendi, but too great in power and light even then were that people in numbers for any of even the Balrogs to overcome, unless many had advanced at once to encompass them; and this Melkor feared to do, for the frequent riding of Oromë which he greatly dreaded, and unwilling to take strength from Utumno. Thus he instead contrived to spread fear among the Quendi, that they should shun Oromë if ever they should meet.

Thus it was that when Nahar neighed and Oromë indeed came among them, some of the Quendi hid themselves, and some fled and were lost. But others were braver, and banded to destroy this Rider; and swiftly they percieved that this Great Rider was no shape out of the darkness, for the light of Aman was in his face, and all the noblest of the Elves were drawn towards it.

"Who are you?" said one, and he answered, "Oromë." And they asked him what that meant, and he answered again, "Oromë. To me alone is it given, for I am Oromë."

But of those unhappy ones who were ensnared by Melkor little is known of a certainty. For who of the living has descended into the pits of Utumno, or has explored the darkness of the counsels of Melkor? Yet this is held true by the wise of Eressëa, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor ere Utumno was broken and his power became less, were put there in prison and by slow arts of cruelty were tormented and destroyed, their very souls enslaved: and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes. For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar; and naught that had life of its' own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindale before the Beginning: so say the wise. And deep in their dark hearts the Orcs loathed the Master whom they served in fear, the maker only of their misery. This it may be was the vilest deed of Melkor, and the most hateful to Iluvatar.

Oromë tarried a while among the Quendi, and then swiftly he rode back over land and sea to Valinor and brought the tidings to Valmar; and he spoke of the shadows that troubled Cuivienan. Then the Valar rejoiced, and yet they were in doubt amid their joy; and they debated long what counsel it were best to take for the guarding of the Quendi from the shadow of Melkor. But Oromë returned to Middle-earth and abode with the Elves.

Manwë sat long in thought upon Taniquetil, and he sought the counsel of Iluvatar. And coming down then to Valmar he sumoned the Valar to the Ring of Doom, and thither ame even Ulmo from the Outer Sea.

Then Manwë said to the Valar: "This is the counsel of Iluvatar in my heart: tht we should take up again the mastery of Arda, at whatsoever cost, and deliver the Quendi from the shadow of Melkor." Then Tulkas was glad; but Aulë was grieved, foreboding the hurts of the world that must come of that strife.

Behold, Aulë now gathered six metals of the essence of Arda, in each of which is set a virtue; lead, mithril, copper, silver, gold and iron, and taking these he mingled their substance with his unimaginable power, and did then fuse the enchanted metals into a seventh, which had never existed till then, and he named it tikal, and it had new properties possessed by none of the six that made it. Bright green was it or red, and it could not be broken, and whatso being was enbound by it could not escape from it, not by shifting of form nor forsaking of body; be he spirit, Elf or Man he would be trapped by it forever unless Aulë bade him be loosed. Of this substance he forged a mighty chain, of an uttermost hardness and brightness and smoothness, and two manacles were with it, and four great fetters. Angainor the Oppressor was named the chain, and the manacles Vorotemnar that bind for ever, but the fetters Ilterendi for they might not be filed or cleft, not by blade nor thrust of power.

Now the Valar made ready, and Manwë bore a great white bow whose arrows had the power of a hundred winds, and Oromë bore a spear that burned with his anger, and the Valaroma swung at his side; and Tulkas strode beside him, bearig no weapon save the iron guantlet on his fist. And the Feanturi came as well, and Lórien was girthed in robes of shadows and mists writhed inside his staff, but Mandos was all in utter black. And Aulë came last, and he bore only his terrible hammer, that causes lightning when it swings and thunder when it smites. And after them came the hosts of the Maiar like an array of winged clouds that are on fire with the sunset, and behind Aulëflew at his bidding that dreadful chain Anginor. Then the Valar came forth from Aman in strength of war, and they strode upon the waves in the strength of their fury and Ossë walked before them in shimering mail shovelling waves out of the way with his trident so that the deep was lvel as a floor, and Ulmo far ahead fared roaring in his sea-car and sounding upon a horn of mighty conch the wrath of the Valar.

Thus the Gods came in great strength over the seas of Middle-earth, and the setting of their feet upon the shores of the land was like the oncoming of a wall of thunder and light. And they marched in great power and anger into the North, and the monsters of Melkor that stood in their path they ground under their feet and strode on unhindered. But as they reached Angband Sauron caused the very earth to shake beneath them, and the snow-covered mountains all belched sudden flame, but even this might not avail to hinder the Valar.

Then the Valar passed over Middle-earth, and thy set a guard over Cuivienen; and thereafter the Quendi knew nothing of the great Battle of the Powers, save that the earth shok and groaned beneath the, and the waters were moved, and in the north there were lights as of mighty fires. Long and grevious was the seige of Utumno, and many batles were fought before its' gates of wih naught but the rumor is known to the Elves. In that time the shape of Middle-earth was changed, and the Great Sea that sundered it from Aman broke in upon the coasts and made mighty gulfs and bays. The lands of the far north were all made desolate in those day; for there Utumno was delved exceeding deep, and its' pits were filled with fires and with great hosts of the servants of Melkor.

Thus at last in the deepest North in the darkness and ice, when the forces of Melkor were utterly exhausted, the Valar came up to the huge gates of deep Utumno, wrought of iron and stone and ice like metal; and they were tremendously strong, yet with none to defend them.

Then Tulkas smote them thunderously with his iron fist, and they rang and stirred not. But then Ulmo lifted the Ulmonan, and Oromë his Valaróma, and together they sounded so terrible a blast upon those divine trumpets that the gates flew up in sunder, and Manwë raised his immeasureable voice and bade Melkor come forth.

Then in his deep pits Melkor heard him and he came not, but retreated down into the uttermost pit, shutting himself behind doors that were wrought in fearsome magic so that no being nor spirit should touch or pass them once they were shut, and he defied them. Then the Valar descended into the terrible pits, and they beat upon the sorcelled doors and drew back aghast from the evil that blasted from them and seared those good Ainur with its' touch. And at first they were stymied how to pass those doors, until Mandos said to them, "Melkor is a spirit, and no form of body can pass these doors; for we love too well the forms in which we walk." And then did the Valar lay aside their raiment of form, and putting out their united strength they walked unclad through the bitter doors, and then calling to their raiment resumed appearance, standing in a ring around Melkor so that he was unable to flee.

And Manwë was astounded at what he found there before him. For in their wars in the beginning of Time, Melkor had been of immeasureable might, greatest of all creatures that ever came from Eru, and his taking form had been as a mountain that strides in the sea and has its' crown among the clouds and spews forth fire and flame, and not all the Valar united, until the coming of Tulkas, had been able to overcome him. Thus in their assault upon Utumno the Valar had thought to go to near certain defeat, a diversion while they evacuated the Quendi, as it may be. But they found that he was no longer what he had been.

For Melkor had poured out his power into the very substance of Ea, and into his armies, and his fortresses, and his slaves; and his power dwelt in them as a stain and a corruption, but could not return to him, and thus he lessened, and was no longer what he had been. But he knew it not yet.

And Melkor said, "How dost thou trespass in violation unprovoked upon the halls of Melkor, eldest in the thought of Iluvatar and of the Ainur chief in strength?"

And Manwësaid, "Because it comes to our ears that thou hast trespassed foully upon the innocence of the Quendi, the Firstborn of Iluvatar. Wherefore tht the Children may have peace from thee, and that thou may be chstised for thine iniquity, we hve come to carry thee bound into Valinor."

And Melkor said, "Windy words, smaller brother! And wouldst thou lay hands then upon the highest of the Ainur, and pit thy own power against He who Arises in Might?"

Then Manwë answered him not, but turned to Tulkas whom Melkor feared, and said, "Be thou the champion of the Valar." But Melkor in great fear did not abide his coming but leaped forward, and lashed he at the Elder King with a flail of iron spell-encrusted, and with his other hand he hurled a blast of thunder into the face of Tulkas. But Manwë breathed gently upon the flail and the thongs were blown backward, and Tulkas caught the thunder and crushed it in his fist, and with his other hand he smote Melkor in the teeth with his fist of iron. Then as Melkor stood reeling, Tulkas stood forth for the Valar and grappled with him, and they staggered back and foth about the bitter halls, so that rocks snapped under their feet and fissures broke in the wall where the combatants crashed against them, and Aulë was eager to step forth with his hammer and smite down Melkor, but Manwë would not have it.

And Melkor had thought to crush him with his overwhelming might, but he now percieved of a sudden his own weakness, and knew then the price laid on him for his power over the substance of Earth. And Tulkas was stronger than Melkor and cast him on his face, and at once Aulë sprang forth with the chain like a serpent leaping behind him, and straight he was wrapped thirty times in the coils of Angainor. Then did Aulë clasp those fetters on him, and tikal went red at the touch of Melkor, and on his face he was dragged out of Utumno and led captive, and the world had peace for a long age.

Nontheless the Valar did not discover all the mighty vaults and caverns hidden with deciet far under the fortresses of Angband and Utumno. Many evil things still lingered there, and others were dispersed and fled into the dark, and roamed in the waste places of the world, awaiting a more evil hour; and Sauron they did not find.

But when the Battle was ended and from the ruin of the North great clouds arose and hid the stars, the Valar drew Melkor back to Valinor, bound hand and foot, and blindfold; and he was brought to the Ring of Doom. There he lay upon his face before the feet of Manwë and sued for pardon; but his prayer was denied, and he was cast into prison in the fastness of Mandos, whence none can escape, neither Vala, nor Elf, nor mortal Man. Vast and strong are those halls, and there was Melkor doomed to abide for three ages long, before his cause should be tried anew or he should plead again for pardon.

Chapter Six

The Coming of the Elves

(For the story of the March of the Elves and their coming to Valinor, see The Silmarillion p.51-54)

Then Eriol said, "Of Ingwë I heard mention in the house of Lindo, as of a great king far off in Valinor; but never heard I of Elwë, nor of Finwë."

And Miriel said, "That is not strange for Finwë is slain, and Elwë was known in Middle-earth under another name, and he was called Thingol which is Greycloak, and Melian the Maia was his wife."

Then Eadwine in great amaze said, "Do then the great spirits come down to Middle-earth and make love to the dwellers, as our mythmakers sing?" and Miriel held her peace and gazed upon Olórin. And he answered "Nay, for the ones they held were gods were not always so, and there are many beings of power in the World that are not of the Ainur. But the Maiar may if they so choose incarnate in raiment that is in all respects a body, not to be forsaken save by death; subject to pain, to hunger, and to even the bearing of children, yet this has hapened ut once in all the days of MIddle-earth.

"Hear then the story of the love of Thingol the Elf and Melian of the people of Lórien."

(See The Silmarillion Ch. 4 "Of Thingol and Melian.")

Then as the shadows began to grow long and the Magic Sun grew low in the great trees on its' way down to Valinor, Meril arose and said to the Men, "Now, O Aelfwine Eriol and Eadwine his son, comes it time for us to part for a whle. For in the Cottge is where you shall be lodged, and there you will hear the tales of our history, and when your knowledge is complete you may again fare hither. For Pengolod the Loremaster is in my household, though he dwells in Avallonë where are kept our scrols and devices of lore, and he will be wroth if he is to have the teaching of one ignorant of most of our history."

"Aye," said Olórin, "and I shall come again ere very long, and I will tell you a tale of my own when you have heard the rest."

Now came Eriol and Eadwine to the Cottage of Lost Play, and they had as guide a fair elven-maid of the household of Miriel, and she was named Vairë in honor of that Vala and was exceeding lovely, yet was she least so of all that household. And as they travelled the strange ways of Eressëa, going not by the same way Littleheart hd taken them, that the Men might see as much of the Insula Deliciarum as they may, they came to the trees of silver on the shores of emerald shale, and there first did Eriol behold the Wandering Fire dance amid the forest, and fain would he have followed after, but Vaire laid a hand upon his arm and stayed him. "It is not a thing wise to pursue." she said.

Then Eadwine would hear why, and what manner of wonder was this silent floating flame, but Vairë threw up her hands and laughed aloud. "Five thousand years and ten have I dwelt upon this isle," she exclaimed, "and not even among the Elf-children have I heard so many questions as in one hour from this Man!"

"That is little to wonder at," said Eriol, "for short is our sojourn, and we would learn as much as we may we are constrained to depart."

Then Vairë would not answer Eadwine's renewed questioning, but instead began to sing the a song as they resumed their walk, and so sweet was the sound both Men were fain to be silent.

"In the vales of Aryador

By the wooded inland shore

Green the lakeward bents and meads

Sloping down to murmerous reeds

That whisper in the dusk o'er Aryador:

"Do you hear the many bells

Of the goats upon the fells

Where the valley tumbles downward from the pines?

Do you hear the blue woods moan

When the Sun has gone alone

To hunt the mountain-shadows in the pines?

"She is lost among the hills

And the upland slowly fills

With the shadow-folk that murmer in the fern;

And still there are the bells

And the voices on the fells

While Eastward a few stars begin to burn.

"Men are kindling tiny gleams

Far below by mountain-streams

Where they dwell among the beechwoods near the shore,

But the great woods on the heights

Watch the waning western light

And whisper to the wind of things of yore,

"When the valley was unknown,

And the waters roared alone,

And the shadow-folk danced downward all the night,

When the Sun had fared abroad

Through great forests unexplored

And the woods were full of wandering beams of light.

"There were voices on the fells

And a sound of ghostly bells

And a march of shadow-people o'er the height

In the mountains by the shore

In forgotten Aryador

There was dancing and was ringing

There were shadow-people singing

Ancient songs of olden gods in Aryador."

And when they had been welcomed back, and fain was Lindo and all his house at the judgement of the Gods, at the Tale-fire on the next day, Lindo said, "Now what tales heard you in the house of Meril, and of what would you hear now?" and Eriol said, "We have heard of the March of the Elves, and of the love of Thingol and Melian, but we know not how the Elves came to Valinor."

Then said Lindo, "That tale will I then speedily tell. But first, have ye heard of the Awakening of the Elves?"

And Eriol said, "Nay, save in brief; yet Meril said that little is now remembered."

"By those who came to Middle-earth, yea; but does not Ingwë reign in Valinor, who was from Cuivienen itself? But that would be for Rumil to relate, I deem, for he is far older than I, and knew Valinor when the Trees still glowed upon Ezellohar."

Then Rumil bowed, and said, "Something do I know of the Awakening, it is true. It was still told to Elf-children in the Bliss of Valinor in the form I will give it; let none laugh on that account." And they all shook their heads. Rumil went on,

"While their first bodies were being made from the flesh of Arda, the Quendi slept in the womb of the Earth, beneath the green sward, and awoke when they were full-grown. But the First Elves, whom we name the Unbegotten, for Eru made them, did not all wake together. For He had so ordained that each should lie beside their destined spouse, and he awoke three first of all; and they were elf-men, for elf-men are more strong in body and more eager and adventurous in strange places. These Three Fathers are named in the ancient tales Imin, Tata, and Enel. They awoke in that order, but with little time between each; and from them, say the Eldar, the words for one, two, three were made: the oldest of all numerals. For when they found speech in their hearts and began to devise sounds, the sounds Imin and Tata and Enel seemed to each to fit himself most perfectly, and afterwards were given the meanings of One, and Two, and Three, which they now bear.

Now these three awoke before their spouses, and the first thing that they saw were the stars. And it was not dark there, for much light yet lingered in the air and water, and especially there at the Waters of Awakening, and colors abode, although not the fullness that they have under Sun. And the next thing that they saw was their destined spouses lying asleep on the green sward beside them. Then they were so enamoured of their beauty that their desire for speech was immediately quickened and they began to think of words to speak and sing in. And being impatient they could not wait but woke up their spouses. Thus, the Eldar say, the first thing that each elf-woman saw was her spouse, and her love for him was her first love; and her love and reverence for the wonders of Arda came later.

Now after a time, when they had dwelt together a little, and devised many words, Imin and Iminyë, Tata and Tatië, Enel and Enelyë walked together, and left the green dell of their waking, and they came soon to another dell that was larger and found there six pairs of Quendi, and the stars shone above them and the elf-men were just waking.

Then Imin, who woke first and had devised his name, said "I am First, and I have the right of first choice" (and it was then that his brothers first gave to his name the meaning One) "and I choose these twelve to be my companions." And the elf-men woke their spouses, and when the eighteen Elves had dwelled together a little and had learned many new words and devised more, they walked on together, and soon in another and even deeper and wider hollow they found nine pairs of Quendi, and the elf-men had just waked in the starlight.

Then Tata claimed the right of second choice, and he said: "I choose these eighteen to be my companions." And it was at this time that the jesting of the three brothers over the meaning of Imin became serious, and they gave to their names the meanings One, Two and Three. Then again the elf-men woke their spouses, and they dwelt and spoke together for many wheelings of the stars, and devised many new sounds and longer words that grew from those they had before; and then the thirty-six walked abroad together, until they came to a grove of birches by a stream, and there they found twelve pairs of Quendi, and the elf-men likewise were just standing up, and looking at the stars through the birch boughs.

Then Enel claimed the right of third choice, and he said: "I choose these twenty-four to be my companions." Again the elf-men woke their spouses; and for many wheelings of the stars the sixty Elves dwelt by the stream, and soon they began to make verse and song to the music of the water.

At length they all set out together again. But Imin noticed that each time they found more Quendi than before, and he thought to himself: "I have only twelve companions (alhough I am the eldest); I will take a later choice." Soon they came to a sweet-smelling firwood on a hill-side, and there they found eighteen pairs of Quendi, and all were still sleeping. Clouds were in the night sky now. But before long a wind came, and roused the elf-men, and they woke and were amazed at the stars; for all the clouds were blown away and the stars were bright from east to west. And for a long time the eighteen new Quendi took no heed of the others, but looked at the lights of Menel (which is heaven, O Eriol). But when at last they turned their eyes back to earth they beheld their spouses and woke them to look at the stars, crying to them elen, elen! And so the stars got their name.

Now Imin said: "I will not choose again yet"; and Tata, therefore, chose these thirty-six to be his companions; and they were tall and dark-haired and strong like fir-trees, and from them most of the Noldor later were sprung.

And the ninety-six Quendi now spoke together, and the newly-waked devised many new and beautiful words, and many cunning artifices of speech; and they laughed, and danced upon the hill-side, until at last they desired to find more companions. Then they all set out again together, until they came to the great lake near which all of them had awakened, though they knew it not till then, for hills had lain between. And that lake was broad and dark in the twilight, and very beautiful; and there was a great cliff about it upon the east-side, and a waterfall came down from the height, nor was it the only one for many other streams fell down the hills and into the lake; yet was it the chief and greatest, and the stars glittered on the foam. But the elf-men were already bathing in the waterfall, and they had waked their spouses. There were twenty-four pairs; but as yet they had no formed speech, though they sang sweetly and their voices echoed in the stone, mingling with the rush of the falls.

But again Imin withheld his choice, thinking "next time it will be a great company." Therefore Enel said: "I have the choice, and I choose these forty-eight to be my companions." And the hundred and fourty-four Quendi dwelt long together by the lake, until they all became of one mind and speech, and were glad.

At length Imin said: "It is time now that we should go on and seek more companions." But most of the others were content. So Imin and Iminyë and their twelve companions set out, and they walked long by twilight in the country about that lake, and found then that they could not compass it, for a wide mouth opened from it into a great water which was the Inland Sea of Helcar, and returned to their companions. But no more Quendi did they find; for the tale of the First Elves was complete.

And so it was that the Quendi ever after reckoned in twelves, and that 144 was for long their highest number, so that in none of their later tongues was there any common name for a greater number. And so also it came about that the "Companions of Imin" or the "Eldest Company" were nonetheless only fourteen in all; but the Companions of Tata were fifty-six in all, and the Companions of Enel were the largest, and they were seventy-four in all. Now from those of Imin are come the Vanyar, and from those of Tata are come the Noldor, and those of Enel form the Teleri."

Then Rumil fell silent and sat there with his mouth held tight shut, till at length Lindo said, "and is thy tale done?" to which Rumil answered, "Did you not come to guess at that yet?" and there was laughter in the company. But Lindo said, "Now will I tell then of how the Elves came to Valinor, and of the history of this island on which we stand.

"In time the hosts of the Vanyar and the Noldor came to the last western shores of the Hither Lands. In the north these shores, in the ancient days after the Battle of the Powers, bent ever westward, until in the northernmost parts of Arda only a narrow sea divided Aman, upon which Valinor was built, from the Hither Lands; but this narrow sea was filled with grinding ice, because of the violence of the frosts of Melkor. Therefore Oromë did not lead the hosts of the Eldalië into the far north, but brought them to the fair lands about the River Sirion, that afterwards were named Beleriand; and from those shores whence first the Eldar looked in fear and wonder on the Sea there stretched an ocea, wide and dark and deep, between them and the Mountains of Aman.

Then did Ulmo, yielding to the counsel of the Valar, set out to bring the Elves from Middle-earth. To those dark shores fared Ulmo, and strange was the roaring of the unlit Sea in those mot ancient days upon that rocky coast that bore still the scars of the Battle of the Powers. Now Ulmo stands there and there comes a glint in the woods that marched down even to the sea-foam in those days, and behold he hears the footsteps of the Vanyar and the Noldor crackle in the forest, and they had seen him and hoped he was Oromë. Then Ulmo seeing for the first time the multitude and beauty of the Quendi, made his form smaller and less terrible to look upon, so that he seemed as an anient man of huge stature bent leaning on a staff and gazing out upon the Sea. And the companies, some Vanya and some Noldo, that had sighted him, drew hesitantly nigh, ready to flee and vanish like ghost-wraiths in the deepest woods if he was of ill-will.

Then one of that host spoke and asked him, "Whom art thou, Stranger of the Sea?" and Ulmo answered in his voice that was deep as the uttermost depths of the sea, "I am Ulmo, and water is my command, and in the Sea do I delight. Oromë is my brother." Then as the Elves hearkened, still fearful, Ulmo turned at last his majestic bearded face to them, and to his lips he held his horns of shell, and at the beauty of them the Eldar wondered greatly and did not flee. Then Ulmo played for them upon his conches, and of the music of the waves did he sing, and the silver mail of the ancient fish that wander in the distant depths, and of the secret pearl that the oyster nourishes within his heart, and of hidden islands mist-enmantled that hold on touchless shores unthought-of beauty, until the Sea-longing was awakened in their hearts and their fear of the darksome deep was turned into desire.

He walked among them for many whiles as the stars gleamed and wheeled far above them, and hey besought him now to bring them to the light of which he oftenest sang. Then glad indeed was Ulmo's heart, seeing the Quendi choose Valinor freely, and he fared out into the gloomy seas and passed among the islands, until he found at last one that long had stood alone amid the ocean, part of no other chain, that was broad enough to bear upon it every Elf that had there gathered on the coast lands, and it was even then called the Lonely Isle. Then thrusts he his trident into the roots of that island, and his power courses into rock and stone, so that its' foundations are overturned and that island uprooted, yet it does not sink, for a command of buoyancy has he laid upon it, and he summons his servants from the confines of the sea, but Ossë sulks at the taking of an island and does not come. Then Ulmo fastens to that island Uin the mightiest and most ancient of whales, and in the form of great fishes his servants fasten themselves also, ad he bids them put forth their strength. Then does that island move across the water as if it were a mighty ship, and Ossë is curious at that sight and watches, but seeing Ulmo himself striding in the wake and lending his own Valian strength, Ossë cries, "None are stronger in the water than is Ossë!" And coming beside Ulmo he pushes with such might that Uin is no longer pulling and the servants of Ulmo no more have work, and then Uin gives a great cry and flees to the side, and the island crashes with a mighty shock into the shoal waters of the Bay of Balar, and one horn is driven so deep it is well-nigh fused into the seafloor. Then Ulmo saith, "A mighty pusher art thou, Ossë." and Ossë fares about the bay and makes no answer.

Then the Vanyar and the Noldor embark upon that island, and many though they are the island is not crowded, and Ulmo bids them stay off that horn which is deep-grounded. Then fastens he Uin and all his own servants to the front of the island, and Ossë he bids push from the back. But mighty as he is the island stirs not, for it is anchored deep, and Ulmo now steps in and lends his own power, and behold that island rushes forward with such speed that fast as he might swim Uin can scarce stay ahead, and Ossë falleth flat, but Ulmo sees that that deep-grounded horn has broken off and remains as an island off the Mouths of Sirion, and that was the Isle of Balar to which Ossë often came.

Then is that island drawn full swiftly across the water until it comes to the Bay of Eldamar, and there Ossë is able to stop it ere it strikes amid the shallows, and Ulmo fares inland to bring word to the Gods. But the Teleri remained still in Middle-earth, for they dwelt in East Beleriand far from the sea, and they heard not the summons of Ulmo until too late; and many searched still for Elwë their lord, and without him they were unwilling to depart. But when they learned that Ingwë and Finwë and their peoples were gone, then many of the Teleri pressed on to the shores of Beleriand, and dwelt thereafter near the Mouths of Sirion, in longing for their friends that departed; and they took Olwë, Elwë's brother, to be their king. Long they remained by the coasts of the western sea, and Ossë and Unien came to them and befriended them; and Ossë instructed them, sitting upon a rock near to the margin of the land, and of him they learned all manner of sea-lore and sea-music. Thus it came to be that the Teleri, who were from the beginning lovers of water, and the fairest singers of all the Elves, were after enamoured of the seas, and their songs were filled with the sound of waves upon the shore.

When many years had passed, Ulmo hearkened to the prayers of the Noldor and of Finwë their king, who grieved at their long sundering from the Teleri, and besought him to bring them to Aman, if they would come. And most of them proved now willing indeed; but great was the grief of Ossë when Ulmo returned to the coasts of Beleriand, to bear them away to Valinor; for his care was for the seas of Middle-earth and the shores of the Hither Lands, and he was ill-pleased that the voices of the Teleri should be heard no more in his domain. Some he persuaded to remain; and those were the Falathrim, the Elves of the Falas, who in after days founded the Havens of Brithombar and Eglarest, the first mariners in Middle-earth. Cirdan the Shipwright, of the house of Elwë and who like him had silver hair, they took to be their lord.

For the kinsfolk and friends of Elwë also remained in the Hither Lands, seeking him yet,, though they would fain have departed to Valinor and the light of the Trees, if Ulmo and Olwë had been willing to tarry longer. But Olwë would be gone; and at last the main host of the Teleri embarked upon the isle, and Ulmo drew them far away. Then the friends of Elwë were left behind, and they called themselves Eglath the Forsaken People. They dwelt in the woods and hills of Beleriand, rather than by the sea which filled them with sorrow; but the desire of Aman was ever in their hearts.

But when Elwë awoke from his long trance, he came forth from Nan Elmoth with Melian, and they dwelt thereafter in the woods in the midst of the land. Greatly though he had desired to see again the light of the Trees, in the face of Melian he beheld the light of Aman as in an unclouded mirror, and in that light he was content. His people gathered about him in joy, and they were amazed; for fair and noble as he had been, now he appeared as it were a lord of the Maiar, his hair as grey silver, tallest of all the Children of Iluvatar; and a high doom was before him.

Now Ossë followed after the island-ship, and when they were come to the Bay of Eldamar, he called to them; and they knew his voice, and begged Ulmo to stay their voyage. And he halted the island, and nodded to Ossë; and Ossë takes giant ropes of those leather-weeds and kelps that in those dark days had grown already in slow centuries to unimagined girth upon the floor of the sea, thriving on the faint light that escaped over the Pelori and lit the Bay. And he fastens those weeds immovably to the bottom of the island, and around them he builds heavy masonry of mighty rocks he refts from the nearby seafloor, and upon them he planteth every kind of deep-sea creature that builds upon it a house of stony shell. He bids the corals and the barnacles, the conches and the sponges like stone, to build and fasten the huge rocks together so that no tempest nor violence might sunder them. Ulmo gave leave the more readily, for he understood the hearts of the Teleri, and in the council of the Valar he had spoken against the summons, thinking that it were better for the Quendi to remain in Middle-earth. The Valar were little pleased to learn what he had done, and Finwë grieved when the Teleri came not, and yet more when he learned that Elwë was forsaken, and knew that he should not see him again, unless it were in the halls of Mandos. But the island was not moved again, and stood there alone as it stands now, and it was called Tol Eressëa the Lonely Isle, and Elvenhome, and other names Men have given it in song. There the Teleri abode as they wished under the stars of heaven, and yet within sight of Aman and the deathless shore; and by that long sojourn apart in the Lonely Isle was caused the sundering of their speech from that of the Vanyar and Noldor.

To these the Valar had given a land and a dwelling-place. Even among the radiant flowers of the Tree-lit gardens of Valinor they longed still at times to see the stars; and Aulë took his great hammer and smote with it upon the walls of the Pelori. Then fire and thunder leaped up, and behold there was a cleft made in those high mountains, and putting into it his hands Aulë put out both strength and power and crowded them to left and right and a great gap was made, looking upon a deep valley that ran in from the sea. There in the trouble of the ancient seas a shadowy arm of water had groped in toward Valinor, but now is it bright in the radiance of the Trees that pours therefrom; and there the Eldar raised a high green hill: Tuna it was called. From the west the light of the Trees fell upon it, and its' shadow lay ever eastward; and to the east it looked toward the Bay of Elvenhome, and the Lonely Isle. Then through the Calacirya, the Pass of Light, the radiance of the Blessed Realm streamed forth, kindling the dark waves to silver and gold, and it touched the Lonely Isle, and its' western shore grew green and fair. There bloomed the first flowers that ever were east of the Mountains of Aman; for even in the Spring of Arda nothing had bloomed ere it ended.

Here was the place that those fair Elves were to dwell, and they chose for a city the hill Tuna, and that hill was builded in great part of the dust of magic metals and gems that had grown into glittering mountains in the yards of his forges from the multitude of his great works, and Aulë piled it there, and a sand of gold stretched away from the feet of Tuna. And that hill was covered now with a deep green turf, and in the Calacirya a marvellous vigour of new trees is springing up in the light that spills from Valinor. Upon the hill-top the Noldor built fair abodes of shining white, of marbles and stones quarried from the Mountains of Valinor that glistened wondrously, silver and gold and a substance of great hardness and white lucency that they contrived of shells melted in the dew of Silpion, and white streets there were bordered with dark trees that wound with graceful turns or climbed with flights of delicate stairs up from the floor of the pass to the top of Tuna; and all those shining houses clomb each shoulder higher than the others till the house of Ingwë was reached that was upon the summit, and had a slender silver tower shooting skyward like a needle, and a white lamp of piercing ray was set therein that shone out upon the shadows of the bay: Mindon Eldalieva. Few are the ships of mortal Men that have seen its' slender beam."

"Methought a piercing star did seem to burn low down amid the mists ere we touched upon Eressëa." said Eriol.

"Fountains there were of great beauty and frailty and roofs and pinnacles of bright glass and amber that was made by Yavanna and by Ulmo, and trees stood thick on the white walls and terraces, and their golden fruit shone richly. And about them the Vanyar sang songs of happiness, and others singing also fared up and down the marble flights and the wistful voices of the Noldor were heard about the courts and chamers. And since of all things in Valinor they loved most the White Tree, Yavanna gave to them the one fruit that ever Telperion put out, and planted it in the courts beneath the Mindon and watered it with blessing. And there grew from it a tree like to a lesser image of Telperion, save that it did not give light of it's own being; Galathilion it was named in the Sindarin tongue, and its' seedlings were many in Eldama. Indeed so unlooked-for had been the bearing fruit of one of those Two Trees that the Gods had been full of doubt, but Mandos spoke, foretelling that once alone would either Tree bear fruit. So it was planted, and of it one fruit was after planted in Tol Eressëa, and it prospered there and was named Celeborn; thence came in the fullness of time Nimloth, the White Tree of Numenor."

Then did Eriol leap as had he been stung, and eagerly asked what might Numenor be; and Lindo looked grave and told him that was a tale of another age, and a matter more for Pengolod than himself. He went on and said, "Now does Ossë grow weary of his slver and dark fish silent and strange amid the deep waters, and he longs for birds. On a day as he sits upon a reef watching the flitting dances of the Teleri upon the shore, some birds fare flying high from the gardens, some white and some black and some a mix of both; and they were confused amid the shadows and knew not where to light, but Ossë coaxed them and they settled about his mighty shoulders. And he taught them to swim and gave them great strength of wing; and he poured fishy oils upon their feathers that they might bear the waters, and he fastened their pinions into webs that they might swim better, and taught them to love small fish. Then did he show them how to dive from the cliffs and to spear the fish that thrived on the plant life growing now in the Bay of Eldamar. But their voices grew strange and weird from the manner of their life, and those that heard them were filled with unquiet and wonder; for their voices were of Sea.

Manwë and Varda loved most the Vanyar, the Fair Elves; but the Noldor were beloved of Aulë and he and his people came often among them. Great became their knowledge and their skil; yet even greater was their thirst for more knowledge, and in many things they even surpassed their teachers. They were changeful in speech, for they had great love of words, and sought ever to find names more fit for all things they knew or imagined. And it came to pass that in the great quarrying and delving for the building of Tirion that they discovered the fairest works of Aulë: the earth-gems with which he had seeded most liberally the Pelori, and many others there were that were not of his devising but formd by the stresses of the piling of those mountains, and great was Aulë's wonder thereat. And he taught the Noldor how he had wrought those gems, of the secrets of blending light with hard stone and tinting it with the essence of metals and of blossoms, and the Noldor made tools for the shaping and cutting of gems and carved them in many forms. And even as he they hoarded not but gave freely, and all Valinor was enriched by their labour; and the dust of Tirion was a dust of gems.

And the Noldor built on what Aulë had taught them, and they went yet further, and they captured the starlight and harnessed strands of Ilmen's blue air (which stranded air they named Ilwë), and they took water from the crystal drops of sparkling founts and the fluid light shed by the Trees. And they gathered dews from the gardens of Lorien, and they took shells from the bay and the lustrous pearls these produced. And they wrought gems geater and more wonderful still, each work more marvellous than the last; and jewels with hearts of fire and of cold light flamed beneath their hands, and they blended the essences of every major jewel with those of pearls and produced opals of milky pallors shot through with gleams of all other gems; but no gem that they could work ever surpassed the diamond in hardness. But Fëanor it is said wrought yet further than any other, so that not even Aulë himself might have bested him, and of him comes the adamant, which is exceeding rare and cannot be broken by any violence that comes of Arda.

Through a long age the Teleri dwelt in Tol Eressëa; but slowly their hearts were changed, and drawn towards the light that flowed out over the sea toward the Lonely Isle. They were torn between the love of the music of the waves upon their shores, and the desire to see again their kindred and look upon the splendour of Valinor; but in the end desire of the light was stronger. Therefore Ulmo, submitting to the will of the Valr, sent to them Ossë their friend, and he though grieving taught them the craft of ship-building; and when their ships were built he brought them as his parting gift many strong-winged swans. Then the swans drew the white ships of the Teleri over the windless sea; and thus at last and latest they came to Aman and the shores of Eldamar.

But now comes that strange fleet, and those aboard look eagerly out. There stands Taniquetil and he is purple and dark of one side with gloom of Araman and the shadowy seas, and lit in glory of the other by reason of the light of the Trees of Valinor. And there stands the hill of Tuna, and the white sand runs up the creek to meet it, but it's feet are in green water, and behind spreads the sand of gold. And there is a running and a joyous concourse as all the people of Vanyar and Nolor stream out of the gates and wait to welcome the coming of the first ships upon the shore.

There they dwelt, and if they wished they could see the light of the Trees, and could tread the golden streets of Valmar and the crystal stairs of Tirion upon Tuna the green hill, but most of all they sailed in their swift ships on the waters of the Bay of Elvenhome, or walked in the waves upon the shore with their hair gleaming in the light beyond the hill. Many jewels the Nolor gave them, opals and diamonds and pale crystals, which they strewed upon the shores and scattered in the pools; marvellous are the beaches of Elendë. And they won wealth of the slim shells of those magic waters and uncounted store of pearls of a most pure and starry luster, and their halls were of pearl, and of pearl were the mansions of Olwë at Alaquondë, the Haven of the Swans, lit with many lamps. For that was their city, and the haven of their ships at the mouth of that arm of water calld the Shadowmere. And those ships were made in the likeness of swans, with beaks of gold and eyes of gold and jet. The gate of that harbour was an arch of living rock sea-carved; and it lay upon the confines of Eldamar, north of the Calacirya, where the light of the stars was bright and clear."

Then Eriol said, "Who is Fëanor?" and Lindo answered, "That begins a new range of tales, falling from the heights of our ancient bliss down into the wars and bitter overwhelming of Beleriand, and many nights will these take in the telling. But now will I tell of the princes of the Noldor, of whom was Fëanor.

"Finwë was King of the Noldor. The sons of Finwë were Fëanor, and Fingolfin, and Finarfin; but the moher of Fëanor was Miriel Serindë, whereas the mother of Fingolfin and Finarfin was Indis of the Vanyar. Fëanor was the mightiest in skill of word and of hand, more learned than his brothers; his spirit burned as a flame. Fingolfin was the strongest, the most steadfast, and the most valiant. Finarfin was the fairest and the most wise of heart.

The seven sons of Fëanor were Maedhros the Tall; Maglor the mighty singer; Celegorm the fair, and Caranthir the dark; Curufin the crafty, who inherited most his father's skill of hand; and the youngest Amrod and Amras, who were twin brothers, alike in mood and face. The sons of Fingolfin were Fingon and Turgon; their sister was Aredhel the White. The sons of Finarfin were Finrod the faithful (after named Finrod Felagund), Orodreth, Angrod and Aegnor. A sister they had, Galadriel, most beautiful of all the house of Finwë; her hair was lit with gold, as though it had caught in a mesh the radiance of Laurelin.

(For the story of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor, see The Silmarillion p.61-72)

Chapter Seven

Of the Darkening of Valinor

Lindo continued and said, "Now shall I tell that tale most grevious, of the death of the Trees and the Darkening of Valinor.

"When Manwë heard of the ways that Melkor had taken, it seemed plain to him that he purposed to escape to his old strongholds in the north of Middle-earth; and Oromë and Tulkas went with all speed northward, seeking to overtake him if they might, but they found no trace or rumour of him beyond the shore of the Teleri, in the unpeopled wastes that drew near to the Ice. Thereafter the watch was redoubled upon the northern fences of Aman; but to no purpose, for ere ever the pursuit set out Melkor had turned back, and in secrecy passed away far to the south. For he was as yet as one of the Valar, and could change his form, or walk unclad, (although with pain now) as could his brethern; though that power he was soon to lose forever.

Thus unseen he came at last to the dark region of Avathar. The Mountains of the Pelori are in a great crescent across Aman, and where the crescent draws away from the sea in the south is a narrow land between crag and coast, and this is Avathar, eaten away by the Sea and long forsaken, and its' long and mournful shores stretched away into the south, lightless and unexplored. There, beneath the sheer walls of the mountains and the cold dark sea, the shadows were deepest and thickest in the world; and there in Avathar, secret and unknown to all save Melkor, Ungoliantë had made her abode.

It is not known whence she came, though among us it is said that she was from before the World, and one of those whom in the beginning Melkor corrupted to his service; though others say she was born of the primeval darkness that lies outside Ea, whom Melkor met as he walked there and looked down in envy upon Arda. But she had disowned her Master, desiring to be mistress of her own lust, taking all things to herself to feed her emptiness; and Light she desired most of all. And she fled to the South, even to the farthest confines of Arda, when the Valar made war; for their attention was on the North, and the South went for long unheeded. There she took form as a spider of monstrous shape, and she sucked the light that still drifted in air and gleamed in water in those days, till the entire confines of the Utter South were dark as the very Voids, for she excreted forth not light but clinging darkness, and the earth began to freeze for light no longer warmed it, and even as the presence of Melkor bred the great frosts of the north, so did the hunger of Ungoliantë breed the ice of the Utter South. And becoming famished for the darkness she had made, she saw from afar the Blessed realm, and slowly she crept toward it, hungering for light and hating it.

In a ravine she lived, and wove her black webs in a cleft beneath the mountains. All light she sucked up and spun it forth again in dark nets of strangling gloom, until no light more could come to her abode and all living things had fled far away, and her own webs suffocated her, for no light could pass them, whether light of Aman or lingering radiance of stars. And weakened with her great hunger she no longer had the strength or will to depart.

Now Melkor came to Avathar and sought her out; and he put on again the form that he had worn as the tyrant of Utumno: a dark Lord, tall and terrible. In that form he remained ever after. And when Ungoliantë saw him coming she was afraid, knowing his hatred for all who tried to escape from him. She shrank into her deepest lair, and tried to shroud herself in new shadow; but such darkness as in her famine she could weave was no defence against the eyes of Melkor, Lord of Utumno and Angband.

"Come forth!" he said. "Thrice fool: to leave me first, to dwell here languishing within reach of feasts untold, and now to shun me, Giver of Gifts, thy only hope! Come forth and see! I have brought thee an earnest of greater bounty to follow."

But Ungoliantë made no answer, and retreated deeper into the cloven rock. Then Melkor was angered, for he was in haste, having reckoned his times to a nicety. "Come out!" he cried. "I have need of thee and will not be denied. Either thou wilt serve me, or I will bury thee here and under black stone thou shalt wither into naught." Then suddenly he held up in his hands two shining gems. They were green, and in that lightless place they reflected the dreadful light of his eyes, as if some ravening beast had come hunting there. Thus the great Thief set his lure for the lesser.

Slowly Ungoliantë came forth; but as she drew near Melkor withheld the lure. "Nay, nay." he said. "I do not bring thee these Elvish sweets in love or pity; they are to strengthen thee, when thou hast agreed to do my bidding."

"What  is  your  bidding,  Master?"  she  said  and  her  eyes  gloated  upon  the  gems. 

There in the black shadows, beyond the sight eve of Manwë in his highest halls, Mekor with Ungoliantë plotted his revenge. But when Ungoliant understood his purpose, she was torn between great lust and great fear. She would not dare the perils of Aman, or the power of the dreadful Lords, without a great reward; for she feared the eyes of Manwë and Varda more even tha the wrath of Melkor. Therefore Melkor sad to her: "Do as I bid, and if thou art still hungry when we meet again, then, I vow, I will give to thee whatsover thy lust may demand. Yea, with both hands!" Lightly he made this vow (as he ever did), thinking little of its' fulfillment, and he laughed in his heart; for if she achieved his design, he would have no need, he thought, to appease her, or anyone else in Arda, great or small.

"Come, then!" he said. "Here is the earnest." And he delivered the gems to her, not only the first two but many others that he had stolen in Valinor. Then swiftly Ungoliantë began to grow again and find new strength. A cloak of darkness she wove about them; an Unlight, in which things seemd to be no more, and which eyes could not pierce, for it was void. Then slowly she wrought her webs: rope by rope from cleft to cleft, from jutting rock to pinnacle of stone, ever climbing upwards, crawling and clinging, until at last she achieved the very summit of Mt. Hyarmentir, the highest mountain in that region of the world, far south of great Taniquetil. There the Valar were not vigiliant; for west of the Pelori was an empty land in twilight, until northward one came to the tall fences of the woods of Oromë, and eastward the mountains looked out, save for forgotten Avathar, only upon the dim waters of the pathless sea.

But now upon the mountain-top dark Ungoliant lay. For awhile she rested, and with eyes faint from labour she saw the glimmer of the stars in the dome of Varda and the radiance of Valmar far away. Slowly her eyes wakened and took fire, and her lust increased until it overcame her fear. She began in stealth to creep down into the Blessed Realm.

Still in the dark depths Melkor stood, gnawing his mind, between evil hope and doubt; but when he had stood, revoling his chances, as long as his urgency allowed, he turned away and stepped down to the shore. There he cursed the Sea, saying "Slime of Ulmo! I will conquer thee yet, shrivel thee to a stinking ooze. Yea, ere long Ulmo and Ossë shll wither, and Unien crawl as a mudworm at my feet!" Then he glared up to the mountain, and Ungoliantë cast down a ladder of woven ropes of shadow she had spun, and he mounted these swiftly and stood beside her as she began to creep downward. And he looked out, and saw the land dim in the Mingling of the Trees, and he laughed, and leaped swiftly down the long western slopes, and Ungoliantë was at his side, and her darkness covered them.

Now it was a time of festival, as Melkor knew well. Though all tides and seasons were at the will of the Valar, and in Valinor there was no winter of death, nonetheless they dwelt then in the Kingdom of Arda, and that was but a small realm in the halls of Ea, whose life is Time, which flows ever from the first note to the last chord of Eru. And even as it was the delight of the Valar to clothe themselves as in a vesture in the forms of the Children of Iluvatar, so also could they eat and drink, and Yavanna had set times for the ripening and flowering of all things in Valinor; and at each first gathering of fruits Manwë made a high feast for the praising of Eru, when all the peoples of Valinor poured forth their joy in music and song upon Taniquetil. This now was the hour, and Manwë decreed a feast more glorious than any that ha been held since the coming of the Eldar to Aman. For though the escape of Melkor portended toils and sorrows to come, and indeed none could tell what further hurts would be done to Arda ere he could be subdued again, at this time Manwë designed to heal the evil that had arisen among the Noldor; and all were bidden to come to his halls upon Taniquetil, there to put aside the griefs that lay between their princes, and forget utterly the lies of the Enemy.

A road had been laid against this festival from the westward gte of Tirion even to the turrets of the mighty arch which opened in the walls of Valmar. Of white marble it was and many a gentle stream flowing from the far mountains crossed its' path. Here it would leap into slender bridges marvellously fenced with delicate balustrades that shone like pearls; scarcely did those clear the water, so that lilies of great beauty growing upon the bosom of the streams that fared but gently in the plain, thrust their wide blossoms about its' borders and iris marched along its' flanks; for by cunning delving runnels of clearest water were made to flow from stream to stream bordering that whole long way with the cool noise of rippling water. At places mighty trees grew to either side, or at places the road would open to a glade and fountains spring by magic high into the air for the refreshment of all who sped that way.

There came the Vanyar, and there came the Noldor of Tirion, and the Maiar were gathered together, and the Valar were arrayed in their beauty and majesty, and they sang before Manwë and Varda in their lofty hall, or danced upon the green slopes of the Mountain that looked west toward the Trees. In that day the streets of Valmar were empty, and the stairs of Tirion were silent; and all that land lay sleeping in peace. Only the Teleri beyond the mountains still sang upon the shores of the sea, for they recked little of seasons or times, and gave no thought to the cares of the Rulers of Arda, or the shadow that had fallen on Valinor, for it had not touched them, as yet.

One thing only marred the design of Manwë. Fëaor came indeed, for him alone had Manwë commanded to come; but Finwë came not, nor any others of the Nolor of Formenos. For said Finwë: "While the ban lasts upon Fëanor my son, that he may not go to Tirion, I hold myself unkinged, and I will not meet my people." And Fëanor came not in raiment of festival, and he wore no ornament, neither silver nor gold nor any gem; and he denied the sight of the Silmaril to the Valar and the Eldar, and left them locked in Formenos in their chamber of iron. Nevertheless he met Fingolfin before he throne of Manwë, and was reconciled, in word; and Fingolfin set at naught the unsheathing of the sword. For Fingolfin held forth his hand, saying "As I promised, I do now. I release thee, and remember no greviance."

Then Fëanor took his hand in silence; but Fingolfn said, "Half- brother in blood, full brother in heart will I be. Thou shalt lead and I will follow. May no new grief divide us."

"I hear thee." said Fëanor. "So be it." But they did not know the meaning that their words would bear.

It is told that even as Fëanor and Fingolfin stood before Manwë there came the mingling of the lights, when both Trees were shining, and the silent city of Valimar was filled with a radiance of silver and gold. And in that very hour Melkor and Ungoliantë came hastening over the fields of Valinor, as the shadow of a black cloud upon the wind fleets over the sunlit earth; and they came before the green mound Ezellohar. Then the Unlight of Ungoliant rose up even to the roots of the Trees, and Melkor sprang upon the mound; and with his black spear he smote each Tree to its' core, wounded them deep, and light poured forth from them like their sap, or their blood; and it was spilled upon the ground. But Ungoliant sucked it up, and going then from Tree to Tree she set her black beak to the wounds, till they were drained; and the poison of Death that was in her went into their tissues and withered them, root, branch and leaf; and they died. And still she thirsted, and going to the Wells of Varda she drank them dry, but those deep rivers and wells of Sillindrin and Kulullin she did not discover, for Melkor had not told her, not wishing her to become too powerful. But even the Trees and the vats were more than he had reckoned, and Ungoliant belched forth black vapours as she drank, and swelled to a shape so vast and hideous that Melkor was afraid.

So the great darkness fell upon Valinor. The Light failed; but the Darkness that followed was more than loss of light. In that hour was made a Darkness that seemed not lack but a thing with being of its' own; for it was indeed made by malice out of Light, and it had power to pierce the eye, and to enter heart and mind, and strangle the very will. But Melkor said to Ungoliant, "Hasten on north, and I will overtake ye, for I desire to overthrow the thrones of my brothers whom I hate, and I would not expose ye to their wrath." And Ungoliant bent on him a suspicious stare, but she made her way north; yet ever her thought was upon him. Then through the gates of Valimar he came striding back, Lord of Utumno, a black shape of hate, visiting the places of his humiliation with revenge. And he stood within the Ring of Doom and blasted it, and he defiled the judgement seat of Manwë and threw down the thrones of the Valar.

Then he went on to his second mark, which he had kept secret in his mind, ere he turned again to the north and a tyrst he did not intend to keep. But Ungoliant was aware of him, and she sped down and overtook him. Aghast indeed was Melkor to see her, monstrous, grown to a lust and power that he could no longer contend with, for power had gone out of him. He tried to cast down his form and flee unclad from her sight, but he could not; and her unlight took him, and they went on together to the one place in the land of the Valar that he would have hidden from her.

Varda looked down from Taniquetil, and beheld the Shadow soaring up in sudden towers of gloom; Valinor had foundered in a deep sea of night. Soon the Holy Mountain stood alone, a last island in a world that was drowned. All song ceased. There was silence in Valinor, and no sound could be heard, save only from afar there came on the wind through the pass of the mountains the wailing of the Teleri like the cold cry of gulls. For it blew chill from the East in that hour, and the vast shadows of the sea rolled against the walls of the shore.

But Manwë from his high seat looked out, and his eyes alone pierced through the night, until they saw a Darkness beyond dark which they could not penetrate, huge but far away, moving now northward with great speed; and he knew that Melkor had come and gone.

Then the pursuit was begun; and the earth shook beneath the horses of the host of Oromë, and the fire that was stricken from the hooves of Nahar was the first light that returned to Valinor, and the second was the flame of the eyes of the pursuing Lords. But so soon as any came up with the Unlight the riders of Valinor were blinded and dismayed, and they were scattered, and went they knew not whither; and the sound of the Valaroma faltered and failed. And Tulkas was as one caught in a black net at night, and stood blinded and beat the air in vain. But when the Darkness had passed, it was too late: Melkor had gone whither he would, and his vengeance was achieved.

When the Trees should have flowered for yet one more day, but time was blind and unmeasured, the Valar returned to the Ring of Doom. They sat upon the ground, for their thrones were defiled, and they had changed their vesture to dark raiment of grief. About them was a great concourse of folk, hardly to be seen; for it was night. But the Stars sang far overhead, and sent out their brightest rays, and the winds of Manwë were joined to them and together rolled away the deadly vapours and Shadows to the remoter forests, until they were gathered and spread upon the Shadowy Seas. Now Yavanna arose and stood upon the Mound, but it was bare and black and green no longer. She laid her hands upon the Trees, but they were dead and dark, and each branch that she touched broke and fell lifeless at her feet. Then the voices of that host were lifted in woe, yet they had not drained to the dregs the cup that Melkor made for them.

(See The Silmarillion, p. 78-79)

For the messengers came up from Formenos, and they bore bitter tidings. "My lord," said Maedhros to Manwë, "it was the day of festival, but the king was heavy with grief at the departure of my father, a foreboding was on him. He would not go from the house. We were irked by the idleness and silence of the day, and we went riding towards the Green Hills. Our faces were northward, but suddenly we were aware that all was growing dim. Light was failing. In dread we turned and rode back in haste, seeing great shadows rise up before us. But even as we came near to Formenos the darkness came upon us, and in the midst was a blackness like a cloud that enveloped the house of Finwë.

"We heard the sound of great blows struck. Out of the cloud we saw a sudden flame of fire. And then there was one piercing cry. But when we urged our horses they reared and cast us to the ground, and they fled away wild. We lay upon our faces without strength; for suddenly the cloud came on, and for a while we were blind. But it passed us by and moved away north at great speed. Melkor was there, we do not doubt. But not he alone! Some other power was with him, some huge evil: even as it passed it robbed us of all wit and will.

"Darkness and blood! When we could move again we came to the house. There we found the king slain at the door. His head was crushed as with a great mace of iron. We found no others: all had fled, and he had stood alone, defiant. That is plain; for his sword lay beside him, twisted and untempered as if by lightning-stroke. All the house was broken and ravaged. Naught is left. The treasuries are empty. The chamber of iron is torn apart. The Silmarils are taken!"

Meanwhile, it is told, Melkor escaping from the pursuit of the Valar came to the wastes of Araman. This land lay northward between the Mountains of the Pelori and the Sea, as did Avathar to the south, but was far wider, and at the very farthest north drew so nigh to Middle-earth that only a thin strait separated the two continents. And between mountain and shore were long and dreary plains without hindrance to passage, but bleak, and ever colder as the Ice drew near.

Through this dim land Melkor and Ungoliant passed in haste, and so through the great mists of Oiomurë came to the Helcaraxë, or the Grinding Ice; and they crossed over and came back at last to the North of the Outer World. Together they went on, for Melkor could not elude Ungoliant, and her cloud was still about him, and all her eyes were upon him. But when they had come to that region that was after called Lammoth, north of the Firth of Drengist, Melkor grew more hopeful; for they were drawing nigh to the ruins of Angband where his great western stronghold had been; and much power had he poured there into the earth, and there she would be weaker and he better able to resist. But Ungoliant knew this, and percieved that he would soon try to escape and defraud her, if he could. Therefore she stayed him, and demanded that he should now fulfill his promise.

       "Black-heart!"  she  said  (and  no  longer  called  him  "Master")  "I  have  done  your  bidding.  But  I  hunger  still."
      "What  wouldst  thou  have  more?"  said  Melkor.  "Dost  thou  desire  all  the  world  for  thy  belly?  I  did  not  vow  to  give  thee  that.  I  am  its'  Lord."

"Not so much." said she. "But there was a great treasury, of which you said naught to me, and would have said naught even now, if I had not watched you. I will have all that. Yea, with both hands shalt thou give it!"

"Thou hast had the half already." said Melkor. For he had led her first to the chamber of gems, and let her feast awhile on the jewels of Fëanor, to delay her while he entered the chamber of iron.

"I hunger." she said. "I will have the other half!"

Then perforce Melkor surrendered to her the gems that he bore with him, one by one and grudgingly; and she devoured them, and their beauty perished from the world. Huger and darker yet grew Ungoliant, but her lust was unsated.

       "With  one  hand  you  give,"  she  said,  "with  the  left  only.  Open  thy  right  hand!"

In his right hand Melkor held close the Silmarils that he had taken from the chamber of iron; and though they were locked in a crystal casket, they had begun to burn him, and his hand was clenched in pain. But he would not open it. "Nay!" he said. "These things thou shalt not have, nor see. I name them unto myself for ever. Thou hast had already more than thy due. For with my power that I put into thee thy work was accomplished. I need thee no more. Go, filth! Gnaw thy lust in some hole far away, or I will put a fire in thy maw that shall burn thee for ever!"

But Ungoliantë was not daunted. She had grown great, and he less by the power that had gone out of him. Now she rose against him, and her cloud closed about him, and she cast upon him a hideous web of clinging thongs to strangle him. Then Morgoth sent forth a terrible cry that echoed in the mountains; and Lammoth the Great Echo was it called, for the echoes dwelt there ever, so that any who walked there and cried aloud awoke them, and all the waste between the hills and the sea was filled with a clamour as of voices in anguish.

For the cry of Morgoth in that hour was the greatest and most dreadful that was ever heard in the northern world: the mountains shook, and the earth trembled, and rocks snapped assunder. Deep in forgotten places that cry was heard. Far beneath the halls of Angband, in vaults to which the Valar in the haste of their assault had not descended, the Balrogs lurked still, awaiting ever the return of their lord. Swiftly they arose, and they passed with winged shadow in terrible speed over Hithlum, and they descended upon Lammoth as a tempest of fire.

Then Ungoliant quailed, and she turned to flight, belching black vapours to cover her; but the Balrogs pursued her with blasting flame into the Mountains of Shadow, and would have hunted her down and destroyed her, had not Morgoth called to them. For he was still bound with the strangling thongs and in torment. Then they returned and shore asunder her webs with their whips of flame, and Morgoth was released, and returned into Angband. But Ungoliant fled down into Beleriand, over Dorthonion; where stayed by the Girdle of Melian she took refuge in the Ered Gorgoroth, and there she lurked and healed her hurts as best she could. And she spawned there a foul brood with the monsters of Angband that had hidden in those mountains after Angband's fall; some were in form of great spiders like herself but far less, and she mated with them and devoured them. And after a time she found her way around the Girdle, and passed into the darkness of the South, and of her end no tale tells. But some have said that she ended long ago, when in her uttermost famine she devoured herself.

Now when it was known that Morgoth had escaped from Valinor and pursuit was unavailing, the Valar remained long seated in darkness, and the Maiar and Vanyar stood beside them and wept; but the Noldor for the most part returned sadly to Tuna. Dark now was the fair city of Tirion, and fogs drifted in from the Shadowy Seas, and mantled its' towers, and the lamp of the Mindon burned pale in the gloom.

Then suddenly Fëanor appeared in the city and called on all to come to the high court of the King upon the summit of Tuna; but the doom of banishment that had been laid upon him was not yet lifted, and this was in defiance of the Valar; a great multitude came, therefore, to see what he would say, and the hill and all the stairs and streets that climbed upon it were lit with the light of many torches that each one bore in hand. Fëanor was a master of words, and his tongue had great power over hearts when he would use it; and that night he made a speech before the Noldor which they ever remembered. Fierce and fell were his words, and filled with anger and pride; and they moved the people to madness like the fumes of hot wine. His wrath and his hate were given most to Morgoth, and yet well nigh all that he said came from the very lies of Morgoth himself; but he was distraught with grief for the slaying of his father, and with anguish for the rape of the Silmarils. He claimed now the kingship of the Noldor, since Finwë was dead, and he scorned the decrees of the Valar.

" 'Why, O my people,' Fëanor cried, 'why should we longer serve these jealous gods, who cannot keep us, nor their own realm even, secure from their Enemy? And though he be now their foe, are not they and he of one kin? Vengeance calls me hence, but even were it otherwise, I would not dwell longer in the same land with the kin of my father's slayer and the thief of my treasure. Yet I am not the only valiant in this valiant people. And have ye not all lost your king? And what else have ye not lost, cooped here in a narrow land between the jealous mountains and the harvestless Seas? Here once was light, that the Valar begrudged to Middle-earth, but now dark levels all. Shall we mourn here deedless for ever, a shadow-folk, mist-haunting, dropping vain tears in the salt thankless Sea? Or shall we go home? In Cuivienen sweet ran the waters under unclouded stars, and wide lands lay about where a free folk might walk. There they lie still and await us who in their folly forsook them. Come away! Let the cowards keep this city. But by the blood of Finwë! unless I dote, if the cowards only remain, then grass will grow in the streets, yea, and rot and mildew and toadstool.

" 'Fair shall the end be! though long and hard be the road. Say farewell to bondage! But say farewell also to ease! Say farewell to the weak! Say farewell to your treasures---new ones shall we make! Journey light. But bring with you your swords! For we will go further than Tauros, endure longer than Tulkas; we will never turn back from pursuit. After Morgoth to the ends of the earth! War shall he have and hatred undying. But when we have conquered and have regained the Silmarils that he stole, then behold! We, we alone, shall be the lords of the unsullied Light, and masters of the bliss and beauty of Arda! No other race shall oust us!'

Then Fëanor swore a terrible oath. His seven sons leaped straightaway to his side and took the selfsame vow together, and red as blood shone their drawn swords in the glare of the torches. They swore an oath that none shall break and none should take, whether in evil or in good, for such an oath may not be broken, and it shall pursue oathbreaker and oathkeeper to the world's end.

'Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean, brood of Morgoth or bright Vala, Elda or Maia or Aftercomer, Man yet unborn upon Middle-earth, neither law nor love, nor league of swords, dread nor danger, not Doom itself, shall fend from Fëanor and his kin whoso hideth or hoardeth, or in hand taketh, finding keepeth or afar casteth a Silmaril. This swear we all: death we deal him ere Day's ending, woe unto world's end! Our word hear thou, Eru Allfather! To the everlasting Darkness doom us if our deed faileth. On the holy mountain hear in witness, our vow remember, Manwë and Varda!' "

         Thus  spoke  Maedhros  and  Maglor,  Celegorm  and  Curufin  and  Caranthir,  Amrod  and  Amras,  princes  of  the  Noldor;  and  many  quailed  to  hear  the  dread  words.  Fingolfin  and  Turgon  his  son  therefore  spoke  against  Fëanor,  and fierce  words  awoke,  so  that  once  again  wrath  came  near  to  the  edge  of  swords.  But  Finarfin  spoke  softly,  as  was  his  wont,  and  sought  to  calm  the  Noldor,  persuading  them  to  pause  and  ponder  ere  deeds  were  done  that  could  not  be  undone;  and  Orodreth,  alone  of  his  sons,  spoke  in  like  manner.  Finrod  was  with  Turgon,  his  friend;  but  Galadriel,  the  only  woman  of  the  Noldor  to  stand  that  day  tall  and  valiant  among  the  contending  princes,  was  eager  to  be  gone.  No  oath  swore  she,  but  the  words  of  Fëanor  concerning  Middle-earth  had  kindled  in  her  heart,  and  she  yearned  to  see  the  wide  unguarded  lands  and  to  rule  there  a  realm  at  her  own  will;  and  she  was  minded,  as  well,  that  the  Valar  had  brought  them  freely  and  they  were  therefore  free  to  leave. 

(See The Silmarillion p. 84-85)

Now Swanhaven of the Teleri was like a bason of quiet waters, save that towards the eastward and the seas the ring of rocks that enclosed it sank somewhat, and there did the sea pierce through, so that there was a mighty arch of living stone. So great was this that save of the mightiest ships two might pass therethrough, one going out maybe and another seeking inward to the quiet blue waters of the haven, nor would the mast-tops come nigh to grazing on the rock. Not much of the light of the Trees came thither aforetime by reason of the wall, wherefore was it lit ever with a ring of lamps of gold, and lanterns there were too of many colours tokening the wharves and landings of the different houses; but through the arch the pale waters of Eldamar could be glimpsed, lit faintly with the shining of the Trees. Very beautiful was that harbour to gaze upon, what time the white fleets came shimmering home and the troubled waters broke the mirrored radiance of the lamps into rippling lights, weaving strange patterns of many twinkling lines. But now were all those vessels lying still, and a deep gloom was settled on the place at the fading of the Trees.

But the Teleri were unmoved by aught that Fëanor could say.

(For the Kinslaying see The Silmarillion, p.86-87)

After they had marched for a great while in the unmeasured night, they came at length to the northern confines of the Guarded Realm, upon the borders of the empty waste of Araman which were mountainous and cold. There rose a mighty rock that looked down frowningly upon the shore, so that the Noldor would have to pass beneath it's looming shadow, and it seemed very tall and slender to look upon, as though it were carven in likeness of one watching. Then fear came to them, for the horn of the rock lifted one great hand and held it out against them; and they percieved then upon the rock a dark figure standing. Whom it was they knew not then, but after realised that it was Mandos himself, and no lesser herald. And they heard a voice, solemn and terrible, that bade them stand and give ear.

All halted and stood still, and from end to end of the hosts of the Noldor the voice resounded, speaking that prophecy which is called the Prophecy of the North, and the Doom of the Noldor; but more often the Curse of Mandos. "Turn back! Turn back! Seek the pardon of the Valar lest their curse fall upon you!

"Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, if you go further; so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the house of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. The Dispossessed shall they be forever. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by the treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. Great is the fall of Gondolin!

"Ye have spilled the blood of your kindred unrighteously and have stained the land of Aman. For blood ye shall render blood, and beyond Aman ye shall dwell in Death's shadow. For though Eru appointed to you to die not in Ea, and no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and by grief, and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies, and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you. And those that endure in Middle-earth and come not to Mandos shall grow weary of the world as with a great burden, and shall wane, and become as shadows of regret before the younger race that cometh after. The Valar have spoken."

(For the forsaking of the host of Fingolfin, see the Silmarillion p. 88-90)

Then did Fingolfin and his host stand in grim misery and silence before that dreadful place; for ahead their keen far-sighted eyes could see that Aman came to an utter end, and the water was thin and the sky churned to meet it in dreadful smoking mists, and the Stars were hidden, and the waters of Belegaer boiled outward and were lost. Then turned they to the strait in despair, and on the far side they beheld the ice-buried capes of Forodwaith; but between where those two oceans met, the heavy and the thin, that strait was choked with mighty rocks of ice like hills all crushed together, and they never ceased to move like hungry teeth, like great cliffs all grey and dirty black in the gloom that clashed and ground, and the air was filled with the roar of the seas and the grinding of ice deep-sunken.

Then said Fingolfin, "What choice have we? We shall brave the Grinding Ice, and we shall cross it!"

Few of the deeds of the Noldor thereafter surpassed that desperate crossing in hardihood or in woe. Many there perished, for cliffs of ice would slam together or shatter underfoot, and chasms would sudden open with water kept only from freezing by never staying still, boiling at the bottom. Many there perished, and among them was the wife of Turgon, and it was with a lessened host that Fingolfin set foot at last upon the Northlands of Endar. Little love for Fëanor or his sons had those that then marched behind him.

Chapter Eight

The Tale of the Sun and Moon

Now Eriol and Eadwine dwelt in great happiness in the Cottage of Lost Play, and they spoke with those few that knew their speech, and slowly were taught the fair tongue of Eressëa. Vairë was their teacher in this, but of Rumil they learned the writing-letters, both those that he had devised long ages ago in the Bliss of Valinor and those Fëanor devised, the Tengwar that now most Elves wrote in. And Eriol learned the speech more swift than Eadwine, whose mind was given less to tongues and more to seeing and revelling; yet under the delight of Vairë's company he came at last to speak it after a fashion. But Aelfwine his father could speak now with fluency, and would often linger long hours in the woods among the Eldar there, and at times would leave the Cottage and roam the Lonely Isle.

And Vairë was curious about Men, and under her prompting Eadwine told her many myths and tales of what she named the New Men, for they were those that had awoken from the seed of that mariner who alone survived the drowning of the ancient world, and were strange to the Eldar.

"I wonder much about Death." she said to Eadwine on a time. "The Valar say that Men die indeed, and leave the world forever, save some few whose natures have been changed to become Elves; but you say new tidings have come to Men."

"Aye," said Eadwine, "as is said among us in teaching and in song. But I will sing to you one that I know; my father has many more in his heart, but he sings little, preferring to learn other songs.

"In Habbaman beneath the skies Where all roads end however long There is a sound of faint guitars And distant echoes of a song, For there men gather into rings Round their red fires while one voice sings--- And all around is night.

Not night as ours, unhappy folk, Where nigh the Earth in hazy bars, A mist about the springing of the stars, There trails a thin and wandering smoke Obscuring with its' veil half-seen The great abysmal still Serene.

A globe of dark glass faceted with light Wherein the splendid winds have dusky flight; Untrodden spaces of an odorous plain That watches for the moon that long has lain And caught the meteors' fiery rain---- Such there is night.

There on a sudden did my heart percieve That they who sang about the Eve, Who answered the bright-shining stars With gleaming music of their strange guitars, These were His wandering happy sons Encamped upon those aëry leas Where God's unsullied garment runs In glory down His mighty knees."

"But these do not leave the World." said Vairë, perplexed.

And Eadwine smiled. "They are manimo, and their state is in manimune."

"These are new words in our old language, which I did not teach you." Vairë reproved.

"And liberty do I take thereat; but they express what I mean." said Eadwine. "They are Waiting. They leave indeed, but first must Wait. Such is what is sung among Men."

Now it came about that Eriol returned from wandering, and his hair which had been like dirty snow with his years and long toils, now gleamed a soft pure silver that seemed almost to shine, and there was a brightness in his eyes and many lines of age and woe had gone from his face, and vigorous he seemed more than he had been. For he that drinks the miruvor and eats often with the Elves grows old not swiftly as he might on Middle-earth. And at the Tale-fire Lindo said, "How now, Eriol, have you wearied of tales, and learned yet all that you wish?"

But Eriol said nay, for many songs had he heard sung by hidden singers the purport of which was an utter mystery, for he had as yet only heard related up to the Flight of the Noldor. And he had made for the Cottage, but drew aside after the Wandering Fire and wandered lost among deep gleaming glades where fay-beings dwelt that mocked and wildered him, "and never might I have found my way but for one Gilfanon of Tavrobel, who brought me to this gate." Wherefore Eriol begged that he might hear why the Trees were said to bear the Sun and Moon when they were dead.

And Lindo said, "This is a great story, and of much importance; for though Men sometimes worship the Sun, she is not a divine object, but a sign of fading, and a memory of that Light which was before the beginning of Days. I will now tell therefore the Tale of the Sun and Moon.

"Now after the flight of Melkor the Valar sat long unmoved; but they were not idle, as Fëanor declared in the folly of his heart. For the Valar may work many things with thought rather than hands, and without voices in silence they may hold council one with another. Thus they held vigil in the night of Valinor, and their thought passed back beyond Ea and forth to the End; yet neither power nor wisdom assuaged their grief, and the knowing of evil in the hour of its' being. And they mourned not more for the death of the Trees than for the marring of Fëanor: of the works of Melkor one of the most evil. For Fëanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind, in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill strength and subtlety alike, of all the Children of Iluvatar, and a bright flame was in him. The works of wonder for the glory of Arda that he might otherwise have wrought only Manwë might in some measure concieve. And it was told by the Vanyar that when the answers of Fëanor to the heralds, and lastly to Mandos himself, were brought to him, Manwë wept and bowed his head. But at the word of Mandos, that at the least the Noldor should do deeds to live in song forever, he raised his head as one that hears a voice afar off, and he said. "So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before concieved be brought into Ea, and evil yet be good to have been."

But Mandos said: "And yet remain evil. To me shall Fëanor come soon."

But  when  at  last  the  Valar  learned  that  the  Noldor  had  passed  out  of  Aman  and  were  come  back  into  Middle-earth,  they  arose  and  began  to  set  forth  in  deeds  those counsels  which  they  had  taken  in  thought  for  the  reddress  for  the  evils  of  Melkor.  Then  Manwë bade  Yavanna  and  Nienna  to  put  forth  all  their  powers  of  growth  and  healing  upon  the  Trees;  but  the  tears  of  Nienna  availed  not  to  heal  their  mortal  wounds.

Then sorrowfully Yavanna stood upon the Mound, and her raiment of form trembled and flickered for the greatness of the effort that her being put forth, striving against fate. A phial of golden light of Laurelin she held in her right hand and one of the silver light of Telperion in her left, and standing between the Trees she lifted them on high, and flames of red and of white arose from each like flowers, and the ground shook, and the earth opened, and a growth of flowers and plants leaped up therefrom about her feet, white and blue about her left side and red and gold about her right, and the Gods sat still and in amaze. Then tilting each vessel she poured it upon the roots of each Tree, and they seem to drink what she pours, yet is there no sign of life. And then in the silence Yavanna began to sing her greatest song that she has ever sung, for she remembered that part of the Music where the Trees died and how she sang, though she comprehended not till now the meaning of her song.

But even as her song faltered and fell behold a sudden pale gleam arose in the darkened places of their boles. And a bare bough of Telperion the Elder Tree burgeoned suddenly, and leaves of a very dark green, long and oval, budded and unfolded upon it, yet was all the Tree beside bare and dead and has been so ever since.

Lo, it's new leaves were crusted with a silver moisture, and their undersides were white and set with pale gleaming filaments. Buds there were of flowers also upon the bough, and they opened; but a dark mist rose from the poisoned ground, and the air grew bitterly cold as it never had in Valinor, and down fell the fading blossoms. All save one at the branch's end that opening shone of it's own light and neither the unnatural mist nor the uncanny cold harmed it, but it seemed to suck the very vapours and transform them subtly into the silver substance of it's own body; and it's size increased, a very pale and wondrous glistering flower, nor did even the purest snow of Taniquetil outrival it, and it's nectar was like a heart of white flame that throbbed. To such a size it grew that the Gods in alarm supported it, nor were they mistaken, for the withered bough began to groan. Ten thousand crystal petals were in that flower, and it was drenched in a fragrant dew like honey; but this dew was light itself.

And then behold there was a glow of gold within the blistered roots of the Younger Tree where the tears of Nienna had fallen, and as the Gods watched in amaze and great joy a shoot sprang from Laurelin, and it budded, and the buds were all of gold, and there came light therefrom like a ray of sunlight beneath a cloud. And behold they opened and put forth leaves, and these were of finest gold and of other kind to those it grew of old, and even as they watched the branch bore golden blossom, and it was thronged with flowers. Now as swiftly as it's blossoms opened full it seemed a gust of bitter wind came suddenly and shook them from their slender stems, blowing them about the heads of the watching Immortals like jets of fire, and many thought there was evil in that; but the Eldar chased down and captured the shining petals, yet save such as were of golden threads or of other metals their containers might not contain those ardent blooms and were all consumed and burnt.

One flower there was however greater than the others, more shining and more richly golden, and it swayed but fell not, and it grew and fructified of it's own radiant warmth. Then as it's petals fell and were treasured a fruit there was of great beauty hanging from that bough of Laurelin, but the leaves of the bough grew sere and they shriveled and shone no more. Even as they dropped to earth the fruit waxed wonderfully, for all the last sap and radiance of the dying Tree were in it, and the juices of that fruit were like quivering flames of amber and of red and it's pips like shining gold, but it's rind was of a perfect lucency smooth as a glass whose nature is transfused with gold and therethrough the moving of it's juices could be seen within like throbbing furnace-fires. So huge became the globe and so great it's weight that even that new tough bough bent, and Aulë hewed the bough while Tulkas bore it up, and in a mighty corbel of twisted gold strewn with it's own petals they laid therein the fruit of noon and bore it to the forges of Aulë with much singing and great hope. And beside it they bore the severed bloom of Telperion, that mighty Rose but little smaller than the Fruit.

Then Manwë said, 'Hear now, O ye Lords of the West and ye Powers of the World, the bidding I have received from Eru the One. Terrible and unforeseen is the disaster that us hath befallen, and terrible is the response thereto that Eru hath poured out through the last gasps of the Trees. For the ages of twilight are gone, and Men are coming, and we shall send Light into the world to confound the Enemy. Let us make the Sun and Moon!'

Of this did Manwë shape his plan, and it was born from those ancient stars the Gods had set when first they came, ere Melkor began to war against them. To each of these had Varda given a heart of silver flame set in vessels of crystals and pale glass and unimagined substances of faintest colors; and buoyed by their hearts of light they floated like translucent lamps set quivering above the world in the blue air of Ilmen, and they abode where they hung and moved not, as the later Stars were made to do in their wheelings of years: Morwinyon the Glint at Dusk, and Nielluin who is the Bee of Azure, burning nigh the foot of that Herald whom ye call Orion.

This then was the manner of the shaping of the Moon; for Aulë brought into being a substance thin as the petal of a rose, clear as the most transparent elfin glass, and very smooth, yet might he of his skill and power bend and fashion it, and naming it he said 'vírin'. Of this he built now a marvellous vessel, like an island of pure glass; and tiny lakes there were bordered with snowy flowers that shone; for the water of those lakes was the sap of Telimpë the Rose of Silver and was of pure light. Amid them reposed in a cup of crystal the gigantic Rose, and the glassy ship sparkled wonderfully as it gleamed therein. For that living Rose continued to give forth a honey as of light that distilled upon the isle of glass, like a dew of moonbeams, and the excess of this is unladen in Valinor and stored against dark days. Yet is it not so brilliant and strong as was the light Telperion gave of old, and the two lights are kept in separate places, that of the Moon being stored in a pool by the southern wall of Valmar, and of silver and white marbles were its' walls, but dark yews shut it in. And one of the lesser Powers climbed upon the Moon to bear it up and steer it, Tilion of the silver bow of the people of Oromë. He was a lover of silver, and when he would rest he forsook the woods of Oromë, and going into Lorien he lay in dream by the silver pools, or in Telperion's flickering beams; and he begged to be given for ever the task of steering the last Flower of Silver. And there abides as well in a small tower an aged and hoary Elf to tend the Rose, and he is called the Man in the Moon.

First wrought was the Moon of the two lights of heaven, and he rose into the heavens, and the earth was filled with slender lights and deep quick-moving shadows, and many things stirred and woke that had waited long in the sleep of Yavanna. The servants of Morgoth were filled with amazement, but the Elves of the Outer Lands looked up in delight. For the Moon was set as a sign of memory for the Elves, but the Sun for the coming of Men. And even as the Moon rose above the darkness in the west, Fingolfin let blow his silver trumpets and began his march into Middle-earth, and the shadows of his host went long and black before him.

Now began the great smithying of the Sun, most marvellous of all the works of Aulë Talkamarda. Of the Fruit's perfect rind a vessel did he make, diaphanous and shining, yet of a tempered strength, for with his power he banished it's brittleness without diminishing in any way it's subtle delicacy. And he fashioned the vessel like a great ship broad of beam, and so buoyant was the light that poured therefrom that it rose from the frames holding it and had to be bound with ropes of the golden hair of Vana, more strong than any mariner has seen. The unfading petals were gathered like a star at her prow, and tassels and streamers of glancing light were hung about her bulwarks, and a flash of lightning was chained to the mast as pennant, and to the brim was it filled with the blazing radiance of the fruit of noon, and it's drops were intensely hot; and she leaped at her cords like a captive bird.

Then for the light that abode still in the Pool of Killindrin the Valar fashioned a mighty beson; its' floor they made of gold and its' walls of polished bronze, and an arcade of golden pillars topped with fires encircled it, save only on the East, and therein was poured great store of golden light so that it became as a bath of fire. Here would the Sun be refreshed when she set in Valinor, ere she set forth under the Earth to rise again. Then did Arien Urwendi, whose eyes were brighter than flame and could not be endured, beg leave to guide that vessel. And with many of her maidens they went to that bath of flame, and they cast aside their vesture and went down into the fiery light like bathers into the sea, and its' golden foams went over their bodies, and the Elves feared for them. But then they arose out of the fire, and they were grown lucent and shone from within, and light flashed and dripped from their limbs as they moved, nor might any raiment endure to cover their glorious bodies. They trod like air, and saying no word they climbed upon the vessel of the Sun.

Then did the Valar mount the slopes of Taniquetil, drawing behind them the buoyant ship trembling and tugging at it's ropes of gold, and the snows burned white, and the heavens began to grow blue overhead as the radiance neared them; but the stars were outshone and paled and were hidden. Beams rayed forth and smote the sad land, and the Shadowy Seas were touched with such fire as they never yet had seen, and all creatures in the world saw the new and terrible light growing in the West, and stood and wondered.

"Look, O Manwë," Ossë cried, "but the sea is blue, as blue wellnigh as Ilmen that thou lovest!"

"Nay," said Manwë, "envy we not Ilmen, for the sea is not blue alone, but grey and green and purple, and most beauteous-flowered with foaming white. Nor jade nor amethyst nor porphry set with diamonds and with pearls outrival the waters of the Seas beneath the light of the Sun. Not even under the Lamps was it so."

Seven times had the Moon sailed across the earth and was now in the furthest East about to rise; when a great fire leaped up upon the towers of the Pelori, and the wan clouds of Middle-earth's endless night were kindled red and gold, and mists rose and smoked white and pink in the morning, and the sky became blue, and light flooded upon the earth. Then Morgoth was cast into uttermost dismay, and belching out glooms and smokes he and his slaves buried themselves in the earth from this unlooked-for stroke of the Valar. And from the West the Sun sailed into the East, and even as it first rose Men awoke in the Vale of Hildorien in the northern East of Middle-earth; and their eyes were turned ever west from that moment, and when it returned out of the east and sailed to the West they followed it."

Then as Lindo fell silent Aelfwine said, "But how then comes it to pass that the Moon bears markings on her face and waxes and wanes through a month? And if their courses were fixed and set, why is the Moon so unequal to the Sun that he is often in the sky with her?"

"Deep questions you ask!" laughed Lindo, "but we do not know. The Magic Sun and Moon keep a perfect course, for are they not memories of what has been? but the mortal vessels of heaven, ah, those we could not explain. Some of us have said

(See The Silmarillion, p.100-101, for the Elvish mythical explanation of waning and eclipses)

but Olorin has told different, and that the Moon tilts yet spills nothing, and does this that the month be measured, and that his speed is fixed at a different rate than the Sun; for one is for days and hours, the other for months and years.

Now when she sets Anar resteth therefore a while in Valinor, lying upon the cool bosom of the Outer Sea; and Evening, the time of the descent and resting of the Sun, was the hour of greatest light and joy in Aman. But soon the Sun would set sail, and went then in haste to the Door of Night and traversed the Outer Void, and so came unseen to the east and there mounted the heaven again, lest night be overlong and evil walk under the Moon. But by Anar the waters of the Outer Sea, which is thin and not like the heavy waters of Earth, were made hot and glowed with colored fire, and Valinor had light for a while after her passing. Yet as she journeyed under the world and drew toward the east the glow faded and Valinor was dim, and the Valar mourned then most for the death of Laurelin. At dawn the shadows of the Mountains of Defence lay heavy on the Blessed Realm. And the Moon comes and rests in his turn upon the Outer Sea, and those thin waters gleam softly silver for a time. But soon he is drawn down by the servants of Ulmo, and journeys thence under the world to arise from the Outer Sea and enter his haven, ere he rises into the sky.

But Morgoth hated the new lights, and after pondering in dark thought for some time he summoned his black Maiar, whom he had corrupted at one time or another, and they were numerous and of varying strengths, from Sauron who is their greatest to the Seven Balrogs to many lesser spirits that took the form, some of fell beasts, some of wolves, some of Orc-chieftains or lesser Balrog-shapes made in likeness and flattery of their seven great lords. And he made them cast off their raiment as he could not, and sent them aloft into the airs to assail Tilion with darkness and bitter magic, "for is he not one, and are ye not many, and strong with the strength I have put into you? Go, therefore, and quench him!"

Then was there battle and strife in the pathways of heaven. Tilion saw the spirits coming, like a stain rising up through the blue airs, and he shouted to the Elf, "Gird thee, Uolë Kuvion, for we are hard-pressed!" Then the spirits of shadow came upon them, and Tilion battled with blades of living light that sliced every way at once and Uolë girt him with a sword, and mounted his small tower. There he seized balls of that radiant light and hurled them wth Elvish aim into the midst of the Shadows, and the light hurt those dark spirits and drove them back. Yet were they hard-pressed, and Tilion fled through the darkened airs, as the spirits spat curses against the hull of his ship; and though he tilted Rana like a shield so that the evil was foiled against the glassy hull, still their power staggered him and he was at a loss what to do. But then he bethought him of the power that dwelt in his Rose, and casting down his raiment he slipped inside it, and he spoke to the light, and it answered him, sending out rays of such brightness as it never had before, nor ever will; and the shadows were vanquished and fell wounded to the Earth, and Tilion was victorious.

Now can the markings be explained, Eriol, for in the great fight the Moon was scarred, and although no damage did it take, the black curses left stains like to mighty spots, and though the Valar cleansed the virin that it might let light through again, darker was it in those places. But I have journeyed to your lands, and I am troubled; for it seems to me your Moon and Sun have vastly changed, and though in sleep was I borne over the Straight Road, still the face of Sun and Moon were stranger than my memory, or than the Magic Sun above us, and I greatly fear that Melkor has worked some dreadful stroke from afar, for all he is bound in the Void. But the Valar alone know the answer, I deem."

Then Vairë begged leave to tell of how Valinor was shut and fenced, and Lindo laughed and gave leave, and all that company was glad but Eriol and Eadwine most of all. Then said she, "Lo, tales I tell of the deep days, and the first is of the Hiding of Valinor.

"Indeed if the Gods forgot not the folly of the Noldor and hardened their hearts, yet more so were the Elves, and the Teleri most of all, the Solosimpsi that pipe upon the shore, for many of them had fallen. And the Valar saw the assault upon Tilion and were full of doubt, for until now Melkor had had no power in the air, and they wondered if perhaps the fell stain which they percieved he had infected all matter with, had penetrated even those high airs and enabled his servants there to walk. But Manwë gave to Tilion greater strength than ever before, and he bore mighty blessings strung about his hulls and fastened like spears of light to his masts, and Melkor saw this and did not attack Tilion again. But the Valar remembered the ruin of Almaren and the fall of the Lamps, and they resolved the like should not befall Valinor, nor should any servant of Melkor pass over the seas. The stain of Melkor had marred all Arda, but the person of Melkor they could yet fence out.

Thus began the Hiding of Valinor, and the Gods set themselves to new and mighty labours such as had not been seen among them since the days of the first building of Valinor. The walls of the Pelori they raised up to sheer and dreadful heights, more utterly impassable upon the east than they had ever been before, and such commands of power were wrought into the cliffs and the fell summits that no being, not spirit nor beast nor man nor elf, might walk thereon without leave of those who laid the spells. They fell in sheer precipieces with faces hard as glass, and rose up to towers with crowns of white ice. A sleepless watch was on them, and no pass led through them, save only at the Calacirya; but that pass the Valar did not close, because of the Eldar that were faithful, and because of the city of Tirion so beautiful where Finarfin yet ruled the remnant of the Noldor in the green mountain-cleft. For all those of elven-race, even the Vanyar and Ingwë their lord, must breathe at times the outer air and the wind that comes over the sea from the land of their birth; and the Valar did not wish to bring the Teleri away from the sea. But in the Calacirya they set strong towers and many sentinels, ad a host was encamped upon the sand of gold, and not even bird or beast could pass their leaguer.

Then the Valar turned to the Great Sea, over which they had strode upon the very water; and if they could do so, then so could the Enemies. Therefore they gathered the piled glooms of Ungoliantë that she had belched forth, which now lurked about the great forests, and uprooted them, clinging as they were, and dragged them out through the high airs, and flung them upon the Shadowy Seas. There they spread out like mists and fogs, clinging to the water, and the Valar bound them in place lest they blow in upon Valinor, and going into Avathar they tore loose from those foul glens all the clinging darkness of Ungoliant, until the land was clean once more, though bare and open and every ravine blasted so that there was no place to lurk; and they added these glooms to those already upon the seas. Then did the Shadowy Seas become shadowy indeed, and Ossë dragged all his islands that were not yet fastened to the floor and set them in three mighty rings, curving from north to south under the glooms, from Araman in the North to Avathar in the South.

First are the Magic Isles just east of Eressëa, and albiet in those days the huge glooms of that far water overreachd all the Shadowy Seas and stretched forth tongues of darkness around them, still were they themselves surpassing fair to look upon. And such ships as fare that way must needs espy them ere ever they reach the last waters that wash the elfin shores, and so alluring were they that few had power to pass them by, and were any doughty enough to resist the call of the isles then sudden storms drove them perforce against those beaches whose pebbles shone like silver and gold, and there the spells took them. Next are the Twilight Isles in the deep glooms, and twilight are they indeed, for even at highest noon is everything in a grey gloom. And these islands were strung as a net in the Shadowy Seas, and hardly might any vessel pass between them, for in the dangerous sounds the waves sighed for ever upon dark rocks shrouded in mist. And in the twilight a great weariness came upon mariners and a loathing of the sea; but all that ever set foot upon the islands were there entrapped, and in nets of the hair of Unien lay in agelong slumber on the margin of the waves, as those do who being drowned are cast up once more by the movements of the sea; yet rather did these hapless ones sleep unfathomably and the dark waters laved their limbs, but their ships rotted, swathed in weeds, on those enchanted sands, and so it remained until the Change of the World. And last of all are the Harbourless Isles that draw all ships toward them with perilous eddies or with streams of overmastering strength to be ground upon tooth of rock or swallowed by soft and hungry sands. And spirits of sudden storms and winds unlooked-for brooded there by Ossë's will, and others of inextricable mist.

And Ulmo was saddened by this, for alone of the Valar he had ever urged mercy on the Exiles, and he saw that this might not be, yet he did not forsake them in his thought. And he spoke in the councils of the Valar, saying "How shall the Eldar now be guided in the way of right, or aided in their war, as is our purpose and our office in the appointing of Eru?" And Manwë answered, "Our face is set against them for the deeds that they have done. Yet thou sayest rightly, Ulmo, and thou also, Lorien Dreamweaver; wherefore two roads there shall be by which the Valar can pass into the Hither Lands an they wish."

Then Lorien wove a road that does not pass through the matter of Arda, nor through the space that lies between, but fares behind the world like a secret thought, like the whisper of dreams, beyond the discovering of any craft however subtle or any magic most deadly that Melkor might devise; and indeed he knew never of it. Down this road he would walk into the minds of Elves, and in latter days the dreaming sons of Men he allowed to walk this same Way of Dreams, and by this means he continued to guide the dwellers of Middle-earth in utter secret. Oromë's work was other, for he begged of Vana a length of her radiant hair of gold, and she offered it to him, and of its' powerful strands he wove a leash immeasureable and he steeped it in the radiance of Kulullin, and then strode to Taniquetil and called loudly for the Valar to behold. And he showed to them the thong of gold, and they knew not his purpose, but Oromë bade them cast their eyes upon that hill that is called Kalormë standing hugely in the farthest east of the World, and is most lofty of all hills save Taniquetil alone. And Oromë cast forth his power in a single throw, and the noose sped in winged flight into the East, and caught upon the pinnacle of that distant mountain, and with such power had it been wrought, it floated upon the air and neither curved nor sagged, but instead rose like a gentle arch. And Oromë fastened the end he held to Taniquetil and said, "Whoso wisheth to enter the Hither Lands, follow me." and sped along that rope like a thunderbolt. Then he unloosed it from the peak, yet the rope did not droop and he sped back along it, winding it as he came.

And of this comes that mighty wonder of the heavens that all men look upon and marvel at; yet doth that bridge gleam with such subtlety that seldom is it visible unless the Sun shineth upon it after rain hath misted it, and then it glistens most marvellously and the gold light breaks into many hues of purple, green and red and others besides, and men name it Rainbow. But no mortal may tread those slender threads, and few of Eldar have found it ere its' furling after the passage of the Gods. And although Valinor is gone from the Earth and the Gods fare thence no more by such means, still do the airs remember that bridge, and in certain lights this memory shines forth as an arch of color that swiftly fades, a sign of that which was.

"Now is to tell of those means whereby ere the forging of the Sun and Moon the Gods had already devised a way for their courses. It was in solemn council that they sat, and many of the most learned and noble of the Eldar sat there as well, listening to the high speeches they understood little of which, yet would the Gods at times explain things known to all of them. Thus even though they knew already what was in the utter East, Manwë bade Oromë tell of what he saw, and Oromë said, "At the end of the world, in the East there is a silent beach and a dark and empty sea." And seeing that the Eldar were bemused, Ulmo expounded to them as follows.

"Lo, there is but one Ocean, and it is Vai, for those that Ossë esteemeth as oceans are but seas, waters that lie in the hollows of the rock of Arda; but Vai runneth from the Wall of Things to the Wall of Things wheresoever thou farest. Now to the North is it so cold by reason of Melkor that Grinding Ice filleth the strait and Grinding Ice clashes and churns to depth uncountable; and in the South the ancient glooms of Ungwë have made it also of bitter coldness, yet not so great as the places where Melkor walked. In this thin water floateth the Earth upheld, and no fish nor bark may swim therein save those to whom I have spoken the great word that Iluvatar said to me. Yet Valinor is part of the Earth, and the Seas are pools in its' hollows, with the islands like pinnacles from the weedy depths."

But Manwë said, "True is that, O Ulmo; yet what is it to our present purpose?" and Ulmo, who with Manwë had in their thought devised this speech even as the council gathered, responded, "Lo, I will take Aulë the smith with me under the Earth in my deep-sea car, even to the Eastern shores, and there will we build havens for the Ships, so that they may arise from thence without danger from assault of Melkor."

So Aulë and Ulmo builded great havens for the Sun and Moon in the East beside the soundless sea, and the haven of the Sun was wide and golden, but the haven of the Moon was next to it yet within the same wall, and it was white, having gates of silver and of pearl that shone faintly so soon as the Sun sank from the heavens into Valinor; at that hour do those gates open of themselves before the issuing Moon.

Now at first the Valar purposed to draw the Sun and Moon beneath the Earth, speaking the great word that they might not be harmed; yet they found that she of the Sun was too frail for this, and much precious radiance was spilled in their struggle with the dreadful currents and roots of Arda, escaped to linger as secret sparks in many an unknown ocean cavern.

Then did the Gods remember that in that part of the Song which had been embroidered by Mandos, he had mentioned a Door in the very Ilurambar that encircle the Universe of Ea, that Rambar that has now been thrust in the days of the bending of Arda to an immeasureable distance, and the world made vast by the hand of Iluvatar. But in those days it was small, and the Wall of Night rose black and forbidding out beyond Utumno, and beneath the deepest South, and past the Outer Seas of Aman in the West and Palisor in the East: very close and black as death, nor shall they be so close again until they close in over Arda at the last End of the World. They are as ice and glass and steel, being beyond all imagining of the Children of Iluvatar cold, transparent and hard. They cannot be seen, nor can they be passed, save by the Door of Night.

Then striding upon the thinness of Vai do the Gods come at last to the Wall, and there they set forth such power as they have never done since they builded the Earth amid the turmoils of Melkor; and raiment of form shatters and falls as they unite their power, and as one do they force that imperishable substance to yield, and that arheled, that crystal most noble, parts and falls into Ea, and there is a great square door between Nothing and Something.

Then wrought the Gods that portal most dreadful that is named the Door of Night, Moritarnon, Tarn Fui of many names. Utterly black and huge it still stands against the walls, deep-blue now with the light of the Sun. Its' posts are pillars of the mightiest black basalt, the lintel likewise, but great dragons of black stone are carved thereon, and shadowy smoke pours slowly from their jaws. Gates it has unbreakable, and none know how they were made or set; and not the onset of the world will force that door, which opens to a secret word alone. That word Urwendi only knows and Manwë who spake it to her; for beyond the Door of Night is Kuma, the Void of Nonbeing, and Time does not exist there unless one ruled by Time should enter it.

In the East however was the work of the Gods of other sort, and the Gates of the Morning are a great arch that is made of shining gold and barred with silver gates, yet few save the greatest mariners of Numenor have beheld it for the wealth of glowing vapours that swath about it. Now these open also before Urwendi only, and the word she speaks is the same that she utters at the Door of Night but it is reversed." Then Vairë made an end of her tale.

Chapter Nine

Of the Coming of Men

Now had Aelfwine and Eadwine his son abode in the Cottage of Lost Play for a sixmonth, but in the timelessness of Eressëa they seemed to have been there always. Now the season in Middle-earth would have been drawing on to winter, but here in Paradise cut off from mortal shores no cold could bite where the Magic Sun fell. Thus it came that though no tree dropped their leaves nor snow fell save on the high mountains in the midst of Eressëa, yet there was a cool quiet and deep thoughtfulness of rest that belongs to warmer days of winter thaw. And in the midst of this befell the feast of Turuhalmë which is called Yule among Men, and at that time the Tale-fire which was suffered never to go out, did dim into red coals and great lined embers half red and half black that tinkled with their slow combustion. Then Lindo and that household fared outward to the woods, and the leaves were speckled with spots of color, and the mallorns were gold for much of their height, and leaves fared softly down now and again, even as new ones budded from the twigs thus left forsaken. There in a deep dell grows a fair mallorn more great and splendid than any in all that wood, and they are trees of such surpassing height they seem rather towers or hills than trees.

And  on  this  day  each  mallorn  lets  fall  one  dead  bough,  and from  the  wood  of  this  a  large  log  is  chosen,  and the  remainder  is  cut  up  into  a  store  of lesser  logs,  as  are  the  dead  limbs  from  the  other  trees;  and  from  these  stores  logs  are  taken  into  every  home  in  Eressëa.  There Lindo hallows  the  log  in  the  names  of  the  Valar,  and  declares  it  holy  to  the  One,  and  blessing  it  that  it  might  burn  the  year  long  and  die  not  out until  next  Turuhalmë eve  he  lays  it  on  the  coals  of  the  old  log,  and  it  blazes  anew;  and  this  is  done  in  every  house  across  Eressëa  and  Valinor.  Then  with  ash of  the  old  log  Lindo  traces  runes  of  blessing  upon  door  and  lintel,  and  gives  the  key  to  Rumil  and  makes him  once  again  the  Doorward,  and  gives  back  to  Littleheart  the  hammer  of  his  gong.

As it was a great feast the tales and singing of the Elves would often carry to the ears of the dreaming children in their play in the gardens, and then too were they likely to see perchance a fair elfin figure passing in the garden, and of such strange glimpses is wrought the poetry of Men.

Then Gilfanon, who was visiting that day, began to tell them of the travails of the Noldor and the Coming of Men, and these were long tales and all Yuletide was expected to pass in the telling. So sitting in the chair he began,

"Here will I begin these tales by telling of the Awakening of Men, and of the Shadow upon them.

"Now many of the most ancient things of the Earth are forgotten, for they were lost in the darkness that was before the Sun, and no lore may recover them; yet mayhap this is new to the ears of many here that Men were made long before their Awakening, but such is the realisation of many of the loremasters of Valinor. Now after the March of the Elves had left Cuivienen, many of the Dark-elves abode still thence in the pine-woods of Palisor. And ages passed over them and the coming of Oromë faded to a distant memory of dream, and they said one to another that their brethern had gone westward to the Shining Isles. There, said they, the Gods do dwell, and they called them the Great Folk of the West, and thought they dwelt on firelit isles in the sea; yet they knew of that great water only by rumor, having known nothing greater than the Inland Sea of Helcar. Now were they become a fearsome people, for the Úvanimor had never ceased to prowl, and the swords and spears that Oromë had brought out of Valinor for the defence of the Quendi while he was away were never suffered to grow dull, but they were ever fewer as Elves increased.

Now the tale tells of a certain fay, from what race or strange form of being yet unknown is not now remembered, for he told none, and the tale names him Tû the wizard, for he was greater in craft and art of magic than any that dwell outside Valinor. And wandering about the world he found the Dark-Elves and drew them to him and taught them many deep things, and he became as a mighty king among them, and their tales name him the Lord of Gloaming and all the fairies of his realm Hisildi or Twilight-people. And he made for them better weapons, increasing the small store of blades from the land of the Gods, and the Monsters were afraid and came not so near. Now the places about Cuivienen the Waters of Awakening are rugged and full of mighty rocks, and the stream that feeds that water falls therein down a deep cleft as a pale and slender thread, but the issue of the dark lake was beneath the earth into many endless caverns falling ever more deeply into the bosom of the world. There was the dwelling of Tû the wizard, and fathomless hollow are those places, yet in the many changes of the world they have long been lost, and to Cuivienen there is no returning.

There was a pallid light of blue and silver flickering ever, nd many strange spirits fared in and out beside the numbers of the Elves. Now of those Elves there was one Nuin, and he was very wise, and he loved much to wander far abroad, for the eyes of the Tavari were become exceeding keen in those starless days and they might follow very faint paths. On a time did Nuin wander into the north and east of Palisor, and few of his folk went with him, nor did Tû send them ever to those regions on busness and many strange tales were told as to why; but now curiosity overcame Nuin and journeying far he came to a strange and wonderful place the like of which he had not seen before. A mountainous wall rose up before him, and nameless rivers foamed about it's feet, vanishing sudden into the earth or emerging therefrom in pathless ravines. And for long he sought to find a way, and at last he came upon a narrow and dangerous fissure, and it was very dark and rough, piercing the great cliff and winding ever down. Now daring greatly he followed this slender way, and one of the lost rivers roared beside him as he went; until suddenly the walls dropped upon either hand and he saw that he had found entrance to a great bowl set in a ring of unbroken hills whose compass he could not determine.

Sudden about him there gushed the sweetest odours of the Earth, nor were more lovely fragrances ever upon the airs of Valinor, and he was aware of soft light growing amid the twilight, for the trees shone gently of themselves and there were many fruits that gleamed like fire, and flowers softly luminous upon the shining shrubs. And he stood drinking in the scents with deep delight, and amid the fragrance of the flowers came the deep odours that many pines loosen upon the midnight airs. Suddenly afar off in the bright woods that lay about the banks of a winding river---which seemed to issue from the vale in divers directions ere it plunged into the earth---nightingales sang, and others answered palely afar off, and Nuin well-nigh swooned at the loveliness of that dreaming place.

Now did he descend deeper into the vale, treading softly by reason of some unknown wonder that possessed him, and lo, beneath the trees he saw the warm dusk full of sleeping forms, and some were twined each in the other's arms, and some lay sleeping gently all alone, and Nuin stood and marvelled, scarce breathing.

Then seized with a sudden fear he turned and stole from that hallowed place and finding again the strange rift he passed to the cave of Tû and confessed his trespass, and described to him the sight he had seen, "and methought that they were children, yet was their stature that of grown neri."

Then did Tû fall into fear of the Elder King, nay even of Iluvatar the Lord of All, and he said to Nuin, "They are Men, the Other Kindred, who have walked in the world many years now, yet have ye never known this, because I gathered ye away from there by command of He who set me to guard them.

"Yet Melkor was aware of their making ere any of the Valar, and this seemed to him so great a matter that secretly under shadow he left his halls, from whence he comes not again, and passed in darkness into the light of the garden. What he did there, and what befell, I do not know, for soon he came out and passed back into the West like a slow cloud, and there were confusions and murmers in the earth, and suddenly fire seemed to descend into the Vale from the farthest parts of the sky, and all light was dimmed from thence.

"Now I too have travelled by that secret rift ye found, Nuin, and I too came out into the hallowed place, and beheld the last sons of Men laid to sleep, who had fled thence from ruin but had passed at great peril, and all was taken from them, even their speech, so that when they entered the vale they fell cast down into slumber. What Men did in the darkness of those mountains I do not know, but I heard blood cry out from the earth as I passed over it, and the stones spoke to me of dreadful rites carried out in the blackness. There now are laid their sons, to await perhaps a better hour in the design of Iluvatar. Go not there, Nuin, nor seek to rouse them from their forgetfulness; lest we anger the One who laid them there in mercy."

But Nuin was overcome with longing to behold those strange sleepers, and saying to himself that he would guard them he passed again into the vale, and sitting on a rock all grown with blue moss would gaze lovingly at them, and once he stumbled against a sleeper and the youth stirred but did not wake. Now even as the Moon was sailing across Middle-earth, yet it might not be seen from Murmeralda by reason of a thick band of cloud and the great highness of those walls, Nuin overwhelmed with curiousness shook two male youths awake. And they were dumb and very much afraid, and seeing that Tû spoke truly and all tongue had gone from them he named them Ermon and Elmir and taught them the language of the Dark-elves. For which reason they named him Nuin Father of Speech.

Now after seven days the Moon was in the far East, though the clouds that Iluvatar cast about that region kept him swathed from their eyes, when the first rising of the Sun came to pass, and color and hue awoke in the world and in the increasing light Ermon gave a great cry, and all the sleeping Fathers of Men leaped to their feet.

And behold even as Men opened their eyes, up above the high walls of the Vale of Sleep came the first rising of the Sun in the West. Then did Men stand in silence but as the Sun rose higher they moved toward her, raising a dumb clamour. And she passed overhead to the Gates of the Morning, and sitting red upon the east horizon she then proceeded to rise yet again, to take up the Count of Days. And thus for twice twelve hours the Murmeralda was lit with sun, and the Fathers of Men wandered about, touching all things and crying with dumb joy. None of them were small, nor were any full-grown, and half were boys and half were girls, and they bore no cloth or raiment, and were not aware of this at first. But when they had looked at all things around them, they beheld each other naked, and Nuin saw shame in their eyes at this. And behold even as Nuin wondered how he was to leave them, Tû arose out of the earth, and looked in wonder on the Fathers of Men. Then he said to Nuin, "Haste! We must guide them out of this vale, for only those as innocent as children are permitted to walk here, for such is the mandate of the grim watcher that protects it." And Tû conjured raiment upon them, and he invented for them at that time the first velvet that was seen outside Beleriand, and they were greatly delighted at being clothed. Then Nuin and Tû led them under the earth, and Tû made light for their way, and they issued from the earth like a flock of sleepy children, and when they saw the Sun again they followed after it as she went into the West, and they were greviously afraid of the first Night. But Tû made fire for them, and Nuin fared among them teaching them speech and telling them of the world, but ever they desired to hear of what lay West. But Tû saw that they were weak yet and not full-grown, and he made them abide while he taught them how to live and fend, and made food for them in the meantime.

And Nuin said to Ermon and Ernil, "Tell me, if you can, how you came; and how ye found the vale, and what your fathers were like, if indeed anything lingers in you; even of your dreams I would hear."

And Ernil said, "Lo! Father of Speech, whence indeed come we! For meseems I awoke but now from a sleep eternally profound, whose vast dreams already are forgotten." And Ermon added that his heart told him he was new-come from illimitable regions, yet he might not recollect by what dark and strange paths he had been brought; "and knowing neither whence I come nor by what ways nor yet whither I go, the world that we are in is but one great wonderment to me, and methinks I love it wholly; yet it filleth me with a desire for I know not what."

Then Nuin percieving that Iluvatar had in his mercy taklen from their minds all knowledge of whatever darkness lay in their past, was filled with deep astonishment; yet knew he no more than Tû had told him, and he had it from the Voice of Eru.

But not unmarked was the Awakening of Men. Even as the Fathers were growing to full stature and learning much of the Dark-Elves and Tû the wizard, Nuin was aware one night of a shadow circling through the trees around the encampment of Men. And with his elven-skill he approached the stalking darkness and suddenly springing upon it bound it tightly with thongs of braided cedar-bark rope. Then he made his hands to glow with light, and beheld there a face hideous and evil, a monster such as had fled at the coming of the Sun; but intelligence was in it's eyes and great malice and power, and the hands of Nuin dimmed as he drew back in horror.

"What art thou, and why prowlest thee hither?" Nuin demanded.

Then said that monster, "I am Fankil son of Melkor. I come because I wish to come. For though the cowardly Gods think that by sending Light into Arda they can cow us, they are mistaken."

And Nuin said, "I will hale thee before Tû, and he will swiftly cast you from your body. The Atanati are well protected. Melkor will never touch them!"

Then did those tough plaits part like thread as Fankil put forth his magic, and his eyes gleamed a fell green in the darkness as he looked down on Nuin. "Men are already ours. Ere ever these children were hidden in slumber, even in the bright garden we subdued their weak parents, and Melkor sitteth within them."

"Thou liest." said Nuin. "Melkor is penned by the Gods behind his hellish hills!"

And Fankil laughed. "Know then that Melkor knew when the First Father was moulded, and he walked at their side and no Gods came to stop him. And he conquered. Man yielded to us, and inside every Man is the curse Melkor seeded in him. Trust them and they will turn on you. Rely on them and they will break beneath you. All that is fair they destroy. All they begin well turneth to evil."

Then passing over Nuin like a black wave that monster left him bruised and prone upon the needles. But Ermon came to Nuin and lifted him up, and there was anger in the young man's eyes.

"Know that he is wrong." said Ermon. "I will never serve Melkor, nor betray thee, Father of Speech!"

"That remains to be seen." said Tû, coming toward them. Unseen by any save Fankil he had arrived, and it was for fear of him that Fankil left, else had Nuin swiftly perished.

But many years pass, and wives are taken and children grow up, until the first Men are numerous. There was moreover a falling out between Ermon and Elmir for reasons that Nuin could not understand. They seemed to be things so petty that an Elf would laugh if it were suggusted he regard them as greviances, yet were they taken very much so by those twain; and this was the first sign Nuin had of the truth of Fankil's words.

So the people of Elmir left the settlement of Men, and Ermon grew restless, for he desired to go into the West and find the Gods. But few others hearkened, and he did not go: nonetheless, many deemed him to be but a fickle leader and murmered against him, and fights broke out, and in one of these knives were drawn and both men were badly wounded.

Then Ermon was appalled, for such grevious matter had never yet occurred among Men since the Sun's arising. And the people were divided among themselves, some holding that the wounds were punishment enough, and others arguing for some form of penalty, lest further such fights be encouraged. And Ermon sought counsel of Tû, but the wizard was curt, saying that Men were not his to govern. "Children ye were when sleeping, and children ye are even when full-grown!" he chid. And Ermon came out from Tû's caves angry, and going to the injured men he told them that once their wounds healed he would beat them with ropes for drawing knives on each other.

And when the beatings were administered, Ermon found all hands against him. For some held him too harsh, and others again too lenient. Many appealed to Nuin against Ermon. And Nuin said that Ermon had done right. "What evil gnaws at thy hearts, children of Men?" he cried. "Whatever is done may not please you, and at the slightest cause ye seek each other's downfall! Have ye forgotten that ye are all Men, and brothers? Or be you only infants that have never grown up, claiming your petty rights and opinions, squabbling like squirrels over a pine-nut!"

Then some were abashed and begged pardon of Ermon, and he forgave them, but the rest cast Ermon and Nuin and any on their side out of their midst. Yet for fear of Tû the wizard they dared do them no outright harm, and permitted them to take their possessions and depart in peace; but Tû had grown increasingly to shun the dayglare and preferred his underground fastnesses. Thus it came about that Men were divided, and all three divisions mistrusted the others, and stayed far away.

Now it came to pass that about this time the Úvanimor reappeared in the far east of Palisor, and these were fell monsters that Melkor had bred out of the earth, and there were spirits walking among them in dreadful forms, and there were werewolves, and creatures of bone and claw that spewed flame when they snorted, and Fankil led them. And at first Men were united in their own tribes, now grown very numerous and already differing in dialect, and Ermon was become old and Elmir also; yet did fear soon begin to unlock that mysterious darkness of which Fankil taunted all Men bore, and men suspected one another and especially Tû and the Elf-folk that dwelt in that part of Palisor, of dealing with the Monsters.

Thus befell the dreadful Battle of Palisor, for the people that cast off Ermon were led now by one called Atrai, and that name has endured in all tongues as a curse among Men. He armed his people, and led them out to do battle against the Úvanimor; but the monsters eluded him, and in the darkness of a sudden storm of ice that Fankil summoned at the opening of summer, the monsters passed unseen through their midst and left behind a trail of dead. And among the dead Fankil seeded elf-arrows, and spears stolen from Ermon's folk. Then that host was thrown in confusion, and some cried that the Ermonites were allied with Tû and the Witch-Elves to manufacture false Úvanimor, when it was really themselves that were the foes. Others again held the Úvanimor real, but no less on the side of Ermon and Tû. And so in debate the host marched on towards the caverns of the wizard; and that night the monsters passed among them openly, and there were Orcs with them, and some have said Dwarves aided them, but I think that like to be a lie of Melkor. Even though Dwarves in some places have sunk low enough to aid Goblins, ever few have they been. And the frail weapons of Men availed not against any save Orcs, who were crudely armed even as the Men. Then scattered many, fleeing some here, some there, and Atrai tries to rally the others but all are filled with panic.

In the turmoil and firelit confusion, Atrai finds himself face to face with Fankil, and from the horror of that fiend's aspect he barely stands upon his feet, and weapon falls from his hand. Then Fankil smiles horribly upon him and leaves, and the monsters withdraw, and the disordered host mills in panic about its' own fires and passes an ill night. And the next night all is still, and not a monster shows itself, and for suspense and fear Atrai can hardly endure to live. Then a dreadful thought comes to him, and secretly he goes to the dwelling of Nuin in a deep forest. Some days is he in the journey, and though he is faint with fear no monster shows itself, and he comes to Nuin and babbles to him that Úvanimor have been hunting him, and so with a well-spun tale he decieves that kindly Elf. And Nuin takes up a heavy square-bladed sword that came once from the treasuries of the Gods, and well was it for him that he did, yet it availed him not.

For Atrai has it in mind to seek for Fankil, who he knoweth in his head is the prince of Úvanimor, and appease him and win his good will by offering Nuin in sacrifice to him as were he a god. And Fankil who gave him the thought (but could do little more in him, so guarded and strong are the impenetrable hearts of Men) had shadowed him, and called silently to him, and Atrai got behind Nuin and smote him powerfully in the back of the head with a club. And Nuin stumbled, but Elves have greater hardihood than Men and can endure wounds that would kill a Man ten times over.

Then Fankil showed himself, and said, "Well, Atrai son of Nabin, what hast thou here?" and Atrai upon his face cries out, "I worship thee, O Fankil Son of Melko, and I offer thee this Elf in sacrifice and appeasement." And Fankil smiles again and advances toward the fallen Nuin.

Then Nuin rises to his feet and forgets the blood that comes from his wound, and as Fankil comes toward him Nuin draws his sword. And that blade suddenly burns all it's length a bright blue with his power, and Fankil feared, but only for a moment. Great is their battle back and forth, yet the magic of Fankil is mightier than the Moriquendi's anger and he beats him ever back. Then Atrai takes up a great stone, and heaves it so it smites Nuin, and Nuin reels, and in that moment Fankil shatters his sword. Then he casts Nuin down, and with his claw he rends out Nuin's heart and consumes it beating, and with a mocking bow to Atrai he vanishes into the woods.

Now does Atrai do the bitterest deed of his whole evil life. And the betrayal of Nuin might have been done merely through fear, but the betrayal of his kin was done through malice alone.

For taking the head of Nuin he sticks it upon a pike with the mark of Elmir and throws it into the village of Ermon, and makes certain he is spotted, and in the forehead of Nuin is cut besides the mark of his own people. Then he returns to his folk, and rouses what remains of it with lies of his duel with Fankil. And much cheered, and still a great host, they come out of the woods and fall upon the Elves. And many of Ermon's people come up on the way to avenge Nuin, and they fight beside the Elves.

But Ermon is not there, for he has taken the rest of his people and led an assault on the folk of Elmir. Many days does it take for them to reach the place whence Elmir removed, and they are unprepared. Then the people of Ermon slay the people of Elmir, and they of Elmir do battle in return, and men slay those who once were neighbors, friends and kinsmen with utter hate in their hearts. And at the last Ermon comes to Elmir with his sword red with blood, and Elmir has yet taken no part in the fight but taunts Ermon, reproaching him with so cowardly a sudden assault. Then do those two engage in most bitter combat, these two brothers, and both wound each other many times. And at the last Elmir has the mastery, and Ermon shouts that Nuin, whom Elmir slew, will yet be avenged.

Then Elmir thrusts his sword deep into Ermon, yet is Elmir himself red with his own blood, and as his brother gasps away his life Elmir sneereth, "Thou fool! I slew not Nuin! No folk of mine are guilty of that deed; but thou came upon us, and thou slaughtered us, and now dying we both die, and just is it that we do so."

Then the folk of Ermon were driven bloodied from the lands of Elmir; yet he did not survive his wounds. And the Elves of Tû fell before the sword of Atrai, and the folk of Ermon wih them that fought beside the Elves. And at the last the ground shakes, and the caves blast assunder, and Tû comes forth upon the field. And grieving at the terrible pass to which he has come he casts his magic into the battle so that the armies are driven apart.

Thus ended the dreadful Battle of Palisor. And swift indeed was the descent and fall of those Men afterwards; for there came among them Fankil and others, and they breathed whispers in their wake, and the folk of Elmir bowed down to them and did them worship, and won thus favour and much-needed help; but the rule of Fankil soon descended into darkness, and he withheld his gifts, unless they offered foul sacrifice; and this they did and more. And the folk of Atrai under his tutelage fell swiftly into darkness, offering up at the end their own sons upon altars to appease Fankil when he walked among them.

But the folk of Ermon (such, that is, as had not gone upon that dreadful kinslaughter, for those were ever haunted by that memory, and striving to deny the shadow but in vain, fell swiftly under the domain of the Úvanimor and the black worship of their neighbors), listened not to the whispers of darkness when these passed among them. They took counsel together, and they rejected all the works of Fankil and his father the Morgoth. Then the Monsters came among them and oppressed their homes and fields with terror; and such as remained of the people of Ermon took up their goods and departed into the west, and they were armed, and their host was too fell for the Monsters to assail them. Slowly over many lives of Men they passed westwards, ever seeking for the Sea and the land of the Gods, and ever pushed on by the black descendants of Atrai and his people, and they were very numerous; until they came at last to the Sea and could flee no farther from the Shadow of Morgoth; and behold, there he was before them.

And Tû bore ever after a deep hatred of Men, and issuing from his caves once more he scattered that people of darkness, and coming upon Atrai he flayed the skin from him and hung him up for his own crows; and then Fankil came up from the pines.

And Fankil said, "So, Tû the fay-witch, thou fallest at the last to the selfsame deeds as them thou hate! Well-pleased is Melkor with thee. Come with me to Angband, for fell Elf-lords have arrived out of Valinor and every Orc is needed. We hate Men even as much as thou. Great will be my Master's favor, and thou shalt have power, mayhap, more even than Sauron at whom the Balrogs quiver."

Then Tû answered, "I hate Atrai, and I hate his people; but thy Master I hate more, and thee most of all, who brought down this shadow upon Men! I have flayed Artrai; thee I will torment unendingly in my deepest caves, where not even thy Master can reach thee, or answer thy howls!"

And Fankil laughed. "My Master has spread his essence through the very fabric of the Earth into which thou descendeth. Though you flee from Melkor, ever is he before you. Think you to overcome the servant of Him who Ariseth in Might?"

Then did Fankil conjure a sword of red flame, and Tû drew from his cloak a blade most fell, brought originally out of Valinor but made anew and more cunning yet with the fell arts and subtle crafts that he wielded; and it burned with many hues, green and palest blue and faint purple, and he advanced to do battle with Fankil. It is said that hills were smashed to ruin beneath the clash of their power, and lakes went up in steam before the blasts of their magic, and mountains tumbled in ruin and that part of Palisor was laid waste, and Cuivienen was destroyed. Yet at the last Tû had the victory, and he cast out Fankil from his house, so that dark spirit had no choice but to slink back to his Master and attempt to clothe himself anew, and he took shape as a lesser image of the Balrogs, and as such was present in the Fall of Gondolin. But Tû was greviously wounded, and he retired under the earth, and what became of him no tale tells, whether he faded in slow years before the Sun, or was sealed underground, or perished in the many long tumults of the World. And among men the name of Atrai is become a curse, and a byword for treason, and "to act as Atrai" is held the most contemptible of sins."

(See The Silmarillion, p.103-105, for Gilfanon's commentary on the relation of Men and Elves. For the account of the Sindar in Beleriand, and the Noldor after their coming, and of Maeglin, and the coming of Men into Beleriand, see The Silmarillion, Ch. 10, Ch. 13, Ch. 14, ch. 15, ch. 16, ch. 17)

Now was it the last days of Yuletide, and Gilfanon's tales were drawing to a close; and Eriol wondered why these tales were called Travails of the Noldor, when all in Beleriand seemed so fair. Then Gilfanon's face grew terrible to look upon, and he said, "Because I have not yet begun to tell of the fall of all these things into ruin, nor of the inexorable triumph of Morgoth and the thralldom of our folk, so that those few of us who escaped, such as myself, were like aged bent Men, and Gnomes we were often called.

"Hear now the Tale of the Ruin of Beleriand."

(For the Battle of Sudden Flame and the terrible combat named the Fall of Fingolfin, when the Elven-king duelled Morgoth himself and gave him seven dreadful wounds ere he was overborne, see The Silmarillion Ch. 18)

"Great was the power of Morgoth for ill," said Eriol, "if he could so overwhelm even the greatest strength of the Noldor."

But Gilfanon would tell no further, for, as he said, "The rest of those days I passed under brought no joy, and here in the bliss of Elvenhome would I gladly forget."

And the day following Eadwine was walking in the gardens, and Vairë was with him, for she had prolonged her stay on his account. And she said to him, "Tell me of the lands of Men, young mariner."

And Eadwine told her of his home that was in an old town of Men girt with a wall now crumbled and broken, and a river ran thereby over which a castle with a great tower hung. "A very high tower indeed," said he "and the moon climbed high or ever he thrust his face above it" yet he knew not whether it was in truth of great tallness, now that he had seen towers of real height, "for I lived there many years ago, and I was but a boy when I left it. Now my mother died in a cruel and hungry seige of that old town, and many of us were slain in bitter fight about the walls, but my father gat me out in a boat ere the town fell."

"Cruel are the wars of Men," said Vairë, "but thou art not of them---or hast thou gone to one?"

"Aye, oft enough." said Eadwine, "but not to the great wars of lord against lord, which are cruel and bitter, and fair lands and lovely things, aye even the women and sweet children, and maids as lovely as yourself, are not spared. And in the constant assault of the sea-pirates I have seen much action, and taken many tall ships, and escaped from some ships of ours that were taken in turn. Yet gallant affrays have I seen wherein brave men sometimes meet and swift blows are dealt, and strength of body and heart are proved, and these are glorious. But soft! Here is my father, dreaming alone as he has ever done, and such peace on him as warms my heart to see." And Vairë said, "Let us sit with him and talk, and then to lift the oppression of the sad tales we have heard, I will tell you of Tinuviel."

And Eriol said, "Who is Tinuviel? is she that daughter of Melian of which mention was made before?" And Vairë said it was. Then Eadwine said, "What was Melian like, have you heard from they that know her?" and Vairë said that she had set eyes on Melian herself on a trip to Lorien, for that Maia was of his people. "Slender and very dark of hair was she, and her skin was white and pale, but her eyes shone and seemed deep, and she was clad in filmy garments most lovely yet of black, jet-spangled and girt with silver. If ever she sang, or if she danced, dreams and slumbers pass over your head and make it heavy, yet is her song full of sorrow and beauty like tears. And well may that be so, as you will see when I tell you of Beren and Luthien."

(See The Silmarillion p.162-188)

Then said Eriol, fo he had been brooding, "What of Glaurung the Dragon, who came forth oversoon? Did he come again?"

And Vairë grew sad, and said that tale was least to her liking, "nor will any Elf in the Lonely Isle tell it by their fires, though all know it, for it rends the hearts that hear it, the tale of the Hapless and the unmatched power of Morgoth. Yet written indeed is it, and a ballad of it there is which is sung on solemn occasions of a time, for we will not let the Hapless pass from our memories and hearts."

"Great is my desire to see that tale," said Eriol, but Eadwine said that of tragedy he had drunk his fill, and if indeed it was his doom to return at last to the realms of tragedy, then would he fain forget all such for a time. Then Vairë got up to walk with him, and said to Eriol, "If thou wish to see that Tale, time is it then to get ye to the Queen Meril."

So Eriol came again to the house of Meril, and glad were they of the meeting. And when Meril heard he sought to hear the Lay of Turambar, she was pleased, for this was Pengolod's province and in this he would not grudge giving instruction. "But first," she said, "let me tell you of that battle most grevious, of Nirnaeth Arnoediad; of Tears Unnumbered, else will the tale of those days pass you by."

(For the Battle of Tears Unnumbered, see The Silmarillion, Ch. 20.)

Then with one of her maidens to guide him Eriol came at last into the marvellous city of Avallonë. For the marvel of the Elf-wrought walls and masonry in which light itself seemed to have been the cement, and for the many spires and arches and slener towers and the glory of the trees that grew among them he might well have wandered witless, but with her sharp and eerie humor and haughty mein the Elven-lass who led him piqued him enough to keep his wits. Thus they reached the horn of that whittled tower and entered at its' base, and up many narrow stairs of greeny-white and through many doors of white and faint-blue metals wrought in splendid forms, and at the last they found a lovely eyrie of a study with walls of white and two high, narrow, pointed windows, and amid a mass of ancient books and scrolls imperishable, sat a bent little Elf with a beard, unusual among the Eldar.

Then the maid left him, and Pengolod peered sharply at Aelfwine through peculiar orbs of crystal in silver frames that sat over his eyes; yet these spectacles he needed not because of ill vision, but because he that looked through them could see all forms of hidden writing, whether by cunning or by spell concealed. And he said, "Ah, here is the great mortal scholar, the sudent of the Elves, who fares about the isle like Earendil himself and seeks to plumb our stories!" He snorted. "Yet they tell me you have not even heard of the Fall of Gondolin, or of the Nauglamir, and the deeds of Turambar are dark to you." Then Aelfwine said quickly, "Aye, and for that very cause am I come, for heard I of Meril that none know of Turambar as much as do yourself, and none will sing of him."

Then said Pegolod, "The Tale I have indeed, both the strange versions that came to the Edain and which we heard from Numenor, and that is of Turambar and the Foalokë; and the Lay of Turambar, which yet has not heard the whole; and last have I the Narn itself, told in its' fullness, and other scrolls that speak further of Hurin. Now I will give ye the Narn, but read it with care, for the pages are very fair and I would fain they be unspoiled."

Then did he hand to Eriol a volume bound in leather of delicate purple, and patterns in red wound thereto, and letters of gold said thereon, NARN I CHIN HURIN, the Tale of the Children of Hurin.

Chapter Ten

Of Turin Turambar

(For the beginning of the tale of Túrin Turambar, see "Narn", UNFINISHED TALES p. 56-104)

Now Beleg returned to the Thousand Caves, and coming before Thingol and Melian he told them of all that had befallen, save only of his evil handling by Túrin's companions. Then Thingol sighed, and he said, "What more would Túrin have me do?"

"Give me leave, lord," said Beleg, "and I will guard him and guide him as I may: then no man shall say that elven-words are lightly spoken. Nor would I wish to see so great a good run to nothing in the wild."

Then Thingol gave Beleg leave to do as he would, and he said, "Beleg Cuthalion! For many deeds you have earned my thanks; but not the least is the finding of my fosterson. At this parting ask for any gift, and I will not deny it to you."

"I ask then for a sword of worth," said Beleg, "for the Orcs come now too thick and close for a bow only, and such blade as I have is no match for their armour."

"Choose from all I have," said Thingol, "save only Aranruth, my own."

Then Beleg chose Anglachel; and that was a sword of great worth, and it was so named because it was made of iron that fell from heaven as a blazing star; it would cleave in sunder all earth-delved iron. One other sword only in Middle-earth was made like to it. That sword does not enter into this tale, though it was made of the same ore by the same smith; and that smith was Eol the Dark-elf, who took Aredhel Turgon's sister to wife. He gave Anglachel to Thingol as fee, which he begrudged, for leave to dwell in Nan Elmoth; but its' mate Anguirel he kept, until it was stolen from him by Maeglin, his son.

But as Thingol turned the hilt of Anglachel towards Beleg, Melian looked at the blade, and she said, "There is malice in this sword. The dark heart of the smith lives on in it. It will not love the hand it serves; neither will it abide with you long."

"Nonetheless I will wield it while I may." said Beleg.

"Another gift will I give you, Cuthalion," said Melian, "that shall be your help in the wild, and the help also of those whom you choose." And she gave him store of lembas, the waybread of the Elves, wrapped in leaves of silver, and the threads that bound it were sealed at the knots with the seal of the Queen, a wafer of white wax shaped as a single flower of Telperion; for according to the customs of the Eldalie the keeping and giving of lembas belonged to the Queen alone. In nothing did Melian show greater favor to Túrin than in this gift; for the Eldar had never before allowed Men to use this waybread, and seldom did so again.

Then Beleg departed with these gifts from Menegroth and went back to the north marches, where he had his lodges, and many friends. Then in Dimbar the Orcs were driven back, and Anglachel rejoiced to be unsheathed; but when the winter came, and war was stilled, suddenly his companions missed Beleg, and he returned to them no more.

Now for a long while the life of Túrin's outlaws went well to their liking. Food was not scarce, and they had good shelter, warm and dry, with room enough and to spare; for they found that the caves could have housed a hundred or more at need. There was another smaller hall further in. It had a hearth at one side, above which a smoke-shaft ran up through the rock to a vent cunningly hidden in a crevice on the hillside. There were also many other chambers, opening out of the halls or the passage between them, some for dwelling, some for works or for stores. In storage Mîm had more arts than they, and he had many vessels and chests of stone and wood that looked to be of great age. But most of the chambers were now empty: in the armouries hung axes and other gear rusted and dusty, shelves and armouries were bare, and the smithies were idle. Save one: a small room that led out of the inner hall and had a hearth which shared the smoke-vent of the hearth in the hall. There Mîm would work at times, but would not allow others to be with him.

During the rest of that year they went on no more raids, and if they stirred abroad for hunting or gathering of food they went for the most part in small parties. But for a long while they found it hard to retrace their road, and besides Túrin no more than six of his men became ever sure of the way. Nonetheless, seeing that those skilled in such things could come to their lair without Mîm's help, they set a watch by day and night near to the cleft in the north-wall. From the south they expected no enemies, nor was there fear of any climbing Amon Rudh from that quarter; but by day there was at most times a watchman set on the top of the crown, who could look far all about. Steep as were the sides of the crown, the summit could be reached, for the east of the cave-mouth rough steps had been hewn leading up to slopes where men could clamber unaided.

So the year wore on without hurt or alarm. But as the days drew in, and the pool became grey and cold and the birches bare, and great rains returned, they had to pass more time in shelter. Then they soon grew weary of the dark under hill, or the dim halflight of the halls; and to most it seemed that life would be better if it were not shared with Mîm. Too often he would appear out of some shadowy corner or doorway when they thought him elsewhere; and when Mîm was near unease fell on their talk. They took to speaking one to another ever in whispers.

Yet, and strange it seemed to them, with Túrin it went otherwise; and he became ever more friendly with the old Dwarf, and listened more and more to his counsels. In the winter that followed he would sit for long hours with Mîm, listening to his lore and the tales of his life; nor did Túrin rebuke him if he spoke ill of the Eldar. Mîm seemed well-pleased, and showed much favour to Túrin in return; him only would he admit to his smithy at times, and there they would talk softly together. Less pleased were the Men; and Androg looked on with a jealous eye. Yet Túrin learned thus much of the lore of Mîm; for he came of Dwarves that were banished in ancient days from the great Dwarf-cities of the east, and long before the return of Morgoth they wandered westward into Beleriand; but they became diminished in stature and in smith-craft, and they took to lives of stealth, walking with bowed shoulders and furtive steps. Before the Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost came over the Mountains the Elves of Beleriand had been sudden and silently attacked by these exiles, and hunted them in return, thinking them Orcs, or at any rate foes. But when they first met the Naugrim of the Blue Mountains they realized what these others were, and they let them alone, and they were called Noegyth Nibin, the Petty-Dwarves. They loved none but themselves, and if they feared and hated the Orcs, they hated the Eldar no less, and the Exiles most of all; for the Noldor, they said, had stolen their lands and their homes. Long ere King Finrod Felagund came over the Sea, the caves of Nargothrond were discovered by them, and by them its' delving was begun; and beneath the crown of Amon Rudh, the Bald Hill, the slow hands of the Petty-Dwarves had bored and deepened the caves through the long years that they dwelt there, untroubled by the Grey-Elves of the woods. But now at last they had dwindled and died out of Middle-earth, all save Mîm and his two sons; and Mîm was old even in the reckoning of Dwarves, old and forgotten.

But when the year drew on to midwinter, snow came down from the north heavier than they had known it in the river-vales, and Amon Rudh was covered deep; and they said that the winters worsened in Beleriand as the power of Angband grew. Then only the hardiest dared stir abroad; and some fell sick, and all were pinched with hunger.

At this time Androg, hunting Mîm's secret store of food, became lost in the caves, and he stumbled on a narrow stair well-hidden that emerged at last from under a stone upon the top of Amon Rudh. It was not long after this that in the pinch of need Androg took up bow again in defiance of Mîm, and took an Orc-arrow in the side. Light was the wound, yet poison on the shaft coursed through him, and he lay dying. But in the dim dusk of a winter's day there appeared suddenly among them a man, as it seemed, of great girth and bulk, cloaked and hooded in white; and he walked up to the fire without a word. And when men sprang up in fear, he laughed, and threw back his hood, and beneath his wide cloak he bore a great pack; and in the light of the fire Túrin looked again on the face of Beleg Strongbow.

Then glad was the meeting of Beleg and Túrin; and reaching into his great pack Beleg brought out a mighty Dwarf-helm, wrought with a likeness of Glaurung upon the crest, and clear crystal covered the eyeholes, so that the wearer was defended thus from flame or biting wind. Indeed it was the Dragon-helm of Dor-lomin that had been Hurin's before him, and Túrin lifted the heavy helm in silence and wonder. But now Beleg lifted also from his pack the bundles of waybread.

The silver leaves were red in the firelight; and when Túrin saw the seal his eyes darkened. "What have you there?" he said.

"The greatest gift that one who loves you still has to give." answered Beleg. "Here is lembas, the waybread of the Eldar, that no Man has tasted."

"The Helm of my fathers I take," said Túrin, "with good will for your keeping of it; but I will not recieve gifts out of Doriath."

"Then send back your sword and your arms," said Beleg. "Send back also the teaching and fostering of your youth. And let your men die in the desert to please your mood. Nonetheless, this waybread was a gift not to you but to me, and I may do with it as I will. Eat it not, if it sticks in your throat; but others here may be more hungry and less proud."

Then Túrin was abashed, and in that matter overcame his pride. But the Helm, which Beleg had hoped might lift Túrin's thought again above his life in the wilderness as leader of a petty company, did not so, and Túrin still would not return to Doriath: and Beleg yielding to his love against his wisdom remained with him, and did not depart, and in that time he laboured much for the good of Túrin's company. Those that were hurt or sick he tended, and gave to them the lembas of Melian, and they were quickly healed, even Androg who was dying of venom (but his dislike and mistrust of the Elf were not thereby mitigated), for though the Grey-elves were less in skill and knowledge than the Exiles from Valinor, in the ways of the life of Middle-earth they had a wisdom beyond the reach of Men. And because Beleg was strong and enduring, farsighted in mind as in eye, he came to be held in honour among the outlaws; but Mîm hated him, for the Elf had undone his curse upon Androg. "It will bite again," he said, but he was unsure. It came into Mîm's mind also that if he ate the lembas of Melian he would renew his youth and grow strong again; and since he could not come at it by stealth he feigned sickness and begged it of Beleg. But the Elf could not be decieved in such matters, and he refused it him; and thus the seal was set to Mîm's hatred, and all the more because of Túrin's love for this Elf in a mansion of Dwarves. And he sat with Ibun his son in the deepest shadows of his house, speaking to none. But Túrin paid now little heed to the Dwarf; and when winter passed, and spring came, they had sterner work to do.

Who now knows the counsels of Morgoth? Who can measure the reach of his thought, who had been Melkor, whom no Ainu of the Great Music could surpass, and sat now, a dark lord upon a dark throne in the North, weighing in his malice all the tidings that came to him, and percieving more of the deeds of his enemies than even the wisest of them feared, save only Melian the Queen? To her often the thought of Morgoth reached out, and there was foiled.

And now again the might of Angband was moved; and as the long fingers of a groping hand the forerunners of his armies probed the ways into Beleriand. Through Anach they came and Dimbar was taken, and all the north marches of Doriath. Down the ancient road they came that led through the long defile of Sirion, past the isle where Minas Tirith of Finrod had stood, and so through the land between Malduin and Sirion, and on through the eaves of Brethil to the Crossings of Teiglin. Thence the road went on into the Guarded Plain; but the Orcs did not go far upon it, for there dwelt now in the wild a terror that was hidden, and upon the red hill were watchful eyes of which they had not been warned. For Túrin put on again the Helm of Hador; and far and wide in Beleriand the whisper went, under wood and over stream and through the passes of the hills, saying that the Helm and Bow that had fallen in Dimbar had arisen again beyond hope. Then many who went leaderless, dispossessed but undaunted, took heart again, and came to seek the Two Captains. Dor-Cuarthol, the Land of Bow and Helm, was in that time named all the region between Teiglin and the west march of Doriath; and Túrin named himself anew Gorthol, the Dread Helm, and his heart was high again. In Menegroth, and in the deep halls of Nargothrond, and even in the hidden realm of Gondolin, the fame of the deeds of the Two Captains was heard; and in Angband also they were known. Then Morgoth laughed, for by the Dragon-helm was Húrin's son revealed to him again.

Túrin recieved gladly all who came to him, but by the counsel of Beleg he admitted no newcomer to his refuge upon Amon Rudh (and that was now named Echad i Sedryn, Camp of the Faithful); the way thither only those of the Old Company knew and no others were admitted. But other guarded camps and forts were established round about: in the forest eastward, or in the highlands, or in the southward fens, from Methed-en-glad (the End of the Wood) to Bar-erib some leagues south of Amon Rudh; and from all these places men could see the summit of Amon Rudh, and by signals recieve tidings and commands.

In this way, before the summer had passed, the following of Túrin was swelled to a great force; and the power of Angband was thrown back. Word of this came even to Nargothrond, and many there grew restless, saying that if an Outlaw could do such hurt to the Enemy, what might not the Lord of Narog do. But Orodreth would not change his counsels. In all things he followed Thingol, with whom he exchanged messengers by secret ways; and he was a wise lord, according to the wisdom of those who considered first their own people, and how long they might preserve their life and wealth against the lust of the North. Therefore he allowed none of his people to go to Túrin, and he sent messengers to say to him that in all that he might do or devise in his war he should not set foot in the land of Nargothrond, nor drive Orcs thither. But help other than in arms he offered to the Two Captains, should they have need (and in this, it is thought, he was moved by Thingol and Melian)

Now it seemed to Beleg that the Dragon-helm had worked otherwise with Túrin than was his thought; and he foresaw woth a troubled mind what the days to come would bring. And as they sat in the stronghold together, Túrin said to Beleg, "Why are you sad, and thoughtful? Does not all go well, since you returned to me? Has not my purpose proved good?"

"All is well now," said Beleg. "Our enemies are still surprised, and afraid. And still good days lie before us; for a while."

"And what then?"

"Winter. And after that another year, for those who live to see it."

"And what then?"

"The wrath of Angband. We have burned the fingertips of the Black Hand---no more. It will not withdraw."

"But is not the wrath of Angband our purpose and delight?" said Túrin. "What else would you have me do?"

"You know full well." said Beleg. "But of that road you have forbidden me to speak. But hear me now. The lord of a great host has many needs. He must have a secure refuge; and he must have wealth, and many whose work is not in war. With numbers comes the need of food; more than the wild will furnish; and there comes the passing of secrecy. Amon Rudh is a good place for a few---it has eyes and ears. But it stands alone, and is seen far off; and no great force is needed to surround it."

"Nonetheless I will be captain of my own host," said Túrin, "and if I fall, then I fall. Here I stand in the path of Morgoth, and while I so stand he cannot use the southward road. For that in Nargothrond there should be some thanks; and even help with needful things." He sat in thought a while. "I wish to rule a land," he said at last, "but not this land. Here I desire only to gather strength. To my father's land in Dor-lomin my heart turns, and thither I shall go when I may."

Now during that year Morgoth withheld his hand, making mere feints of attack, so that by easy victory the confidence of these rebels might become overweening; as it proved indeed. And in the waning of the year Mîm the Dwarf and Ibun his son went out from Bar-en-Danwedh to gather roots in the wild for their winter store, and they were taken captive by the Orc-spies that now were set in leaguer around the Land of Bow and Helm. Then for a second time Mîm promised to guide his enemies by the secret paths to his home on Amon Rudh; but yet he sought to delay the fulfilment of his promise, and demanded that Gorthol not be slain. Then the Orc-captain laughed, and said: "Assuredly Túrin son of Húrin will not be slain."

Thus was Bar-en-Danwedh betrayed, for the Orcs came upon it by night at unawares, guided by Mîm. There many of Túrin's company were slain as they slept, but the cries they gave made the others leap to their feet, and Túrin thrust a torch in the fire and lit up the caves.

Then Androg, who was of the few that were able to gather about Túrin, said to him, "This way, lord! I have knowledge of another way to the roof." Then he led them up that hidden stair, but the Orcs were close behind. And they came out upon the hilltop, and they held the stairs and fought until they fell, and their blood flowed out upon the seregon that mantled the stone. But a net was cast over Túrin as he fought, and he was enmeshed in it, and overcome, and led away.

And at length when all was silent again Mîm crept out of the shadows of his house; and as the sun rose over the mists of Sirion he stood beside the dead men on the hilltop. But he percieved that not all those that lay there were dead; for by one his gaze was returned, and he looked in the eyes of Beleg the Elf. Then with hatred long-stored Mîm stepped up to Beleg, and drew forth the sword Anglachel that lay beneath the body of one that had fallen beside Beleg; but he stumbling up snatched back the sword and thrust it at the Dwarf, and Mîm in terror fled wailing from the hill-top. Then Beleg cursed Mîm, and said after him in a great voice, "The vengeance of the House of Hador will find you yet!"

Now Beleg was sorely wounded, but he was mighty among Elves, and was moreover a master of healing. Therefore he did not die, and slowly his strength returned; and he sought in vain among the dead for Túrin, to bury him. But he found him not; and then he knew that Húrin's son was yet alive, and taken to Angband.

With little hope Beleg departed from Amon Rudh and set out northward, toward the Crossings of Teiglin, following in the track of the Orcs; and he crossed over the Brithiach and journeyed through Dimbar towards the Pass of Anach. And now he was not far behind them, for he went without sleeping, whereas they had tarried on their road, hunting in the woods and fearing no pursuit as they came northward; and not even in the dreadful woods of Taur-nu-Fuin did he swerve from the trail, for the skill of Beleg was greater than any that have beebn in Middle-earth. But as he passed by night through that evil land he came upon one lying asleep at the foot of a great dead tree; and Beleg staying his steps beside the sleeper saw that it was an Elf.

(For the death of Beleg at the hand of Túrin in the darkness, and of Túrin's coming to Nargothrond, see The Silmarillion p. 207-210)

And the sword Anglachel was forged anew for Túrin by cunning smiths of Nargothrond, and though ever black its' edges shone now with pale fire; and he named it Gurthang, Iron of Death. Now from the plunder of the dead Orcs Túrin and Gwindor had taken the great Dragon-helm of Dor-lomin, which Túrin had worn as he fought upon the hill-top. Yet he would not wear it in Nargothrond lest it betray him, for he suspected that Morgoth knew that Helm very well indeed; but in the armouries he found a great dwarf-mask of similar design, though without the revealing Dragon; and in a grim mood he put it on whenever he went to battle, and his enemies fled before it. So great was his prowess and skill in warfare on the confines of the Guarded Plain that he himself became known as Mormegil, the Black Sword, and the Elves said that he could not be slain save by mischance or arrow from afar. Yet they gave him dwarf-mail as well as his great helm, that he might be well defended.

Findulias the daughter of Orodreth was golden-haired after the manner of the house of Finarfin, and Túrin began to take pleasure in the sight of her and in her company; for she reminded him of his kindred and the women of Dor-lomin in his father's house. At first he met her only when Gwindor was by; but after a while she sought him out, and they met at times alone, though it seemed to be chance. Then she would question him about the Edain, of whom she had seen few and seldom, and about his country and his kin.

Then Túrin spoke freely to her concerning these things, though he did not name the land of his birth nor any of his kindred; and on a time he said to her: "I had a sister, Lalaith, or so I named her; and of her you put me in mind. But Lalaith was a child, a yellow flower in the green grass of spring; and had she lived she would now, maybe, have become dimmed with grief. But you are queenly, and as a golden tree; I would I had a sister so fair."

"But you are kingly," she said, "even as the lords of the people of Fingolfin; I would I had a brother so valiant. And I do not think that Agarwaen is your true name, nor is it fit for you, Adanedhel. I call you Thúrin, the Secret."

At this Túrin started, but he said: That is not my name; and I am not a king, for our kings are of the Eldar, as I am not."

Now Túrin, because of his prowess, and still more for the regard of Findulias, became esteemed to the King, and in his council he spoke ever against the mode in which Nargothrond waged war. For he had no liking for their manner of warfare, of ambush and stealth and secret arrow, and he yearned for brave strokes and battle in the open; and his counsels began to weigh with the King. Yet Gwindor spoke ever against Túrin, saying that he had been in Angband, and knew somewhat of the might of Morgoth, and of his designs. "Petty victories will prove profitless at the last," he said, "for thus Morgoth learns where the boldest of his enemies are to be found, and gathers strength great enough to destroy them. All the might of the Elves and the Edain united sufficed only to contain him, and to gain the peace of a seige: long indeed, but only so long as Morgoth bided his time before he broke the leaguer; and never again can such a union be made. In secrecy only now lies any hope, until the Valar come."

"The Valar!" said Túrin. "They have forsaken you, and they hold Men in scorn. What use to look westward across the endless Sea? There is but one Vala with whom we have to do, and that is Morgoth; and if in the end we cannot overcome him, at the least we can hurt him and hinder him. For victory is victory, however small, nor is its' worth only in what follows from it. But it is expedient also; for if you do nothing to halt him, all Beleriand will fall beneath his shadow before many years are passed, and then one by one he will smoke you out of your earths. And what then? A pitiable remnant will fly south and west, to cower on the shores of the Sea, caught between Morgoth and Osse. Better then to win a time of glory, though it be short-lived; for the end will be no worse. You speak of secrecy, and say that therein lies the only hope; but could you ambush and waylay every scout and spy of Morgoth to the last and least, so that none ever came back with tidings to Angband, yet from that he would learn that you lived and guess where. And this also I say: though mortal Men have little life beside the span of the Elves, they would rather spend it in battle than fly or submit. The defiance of Húrin Thalion is a great deed; and though Morgoth slay the doer he cannot make the deed not to have been. Even the Lords of the West will honour it; and is it not written into the history of Arda, which neither Morgoth nor Manwe can unwrite?"

"You speak of high things," Gwindor answered, "and plain it is that you have lived among the Eldar. But a darkness is on you if you set Morgoth and Manwe together, or speak of the Valar as the foes of Elves or Men; for the Valar scorn nothing, and least of all the Children of Ilúvatar. Nor do you know all the hopes of the Eldar. It is a prophecy among us that one day a messenger from Middle-earth will come through the shadows to Valinor, and Manwe will hear, and Mandos relent. For that time shall we not attempt to preserve the seed of the Noldor, and of the Edain also? And Cirdan dwells now in the South, and there is building of ships; but what know you of ships, or of the Sea? You think of yourself and of your own glory, and bid us do likewise; but we must think of others beside ourselves, for not all can fight and fall, and those we must keep from war and ruin, while we can."

"Then send them to your ships, while there is yet time." said Túrin.

"They will not be parted from us." said Gwindor, "even could Cirdan sustain them. We must abide together as long as we may, and not court death."

"All this I have answered," said Túrin. "Valiant defence of the borders and hard blows ere the enemy gathers: in that course lies the best hope of your long abiding together. And do those that you speak of love such skulkers in the woods, hunting always like a wolf, better than one who puts on his helm and figured shield, and drives away the foe, be they far greater than all his host? At least the women of the Edain do not. They did not hold back the men from the Nirnaeth Arnoediad."

"But they suffered greater woe than if that field had not been fought." said Gwindor. Yet few heeded him, and the King leaned ever more towards Túrin.

Now Túrin marked that Gwindor's friendship grew cooler toward him; and he wondered also that whereas at first the woe and horror of Angband had begun to be lifted from him, now he seemed to slip back into care and sorrow. And he thought, It may be that he is grieved that I oppose his counsels, and have overcome him; I would it were not so. For he loved Gwindor as his guide and healer and was filled with pity for him. But in those days the radiance of Findulias also became dimmed, her footsteps slow and her face grave, and she grew wan and silent. And Túrin percieving this surmised that the words of Gwindor had set fear in her heart of what might come to pass.

In truth Findulias was torn in mind. For she honoured Gwindor and pitied him, and wished not to add one tear to his suffering; but against her will her love for Túrin grew day by day, and she thought of Beren and Luthien. But Túrin was not like Beren. He did not scorn her, and was glad in her company; yet she knew that he had no love of the kind she wished. His mind and heart were elsewhere, by rivers in springs long past.

Then Túrin spoke to Findulias, and said: "Do not let the words of Gwindor affright you. He has suffered in the darkness of Angband, and it is hard for one so valiant to be thus crippled and backward perforce. He needs all solace, and a longer time for healing."

"I know it well." she said.

"But we will win that time for him!" said Túrin. "Nargothrond shall stand! Never again will Morgoth the craven come forth from Angband, and all his reliance must be on his servants; thus says Melian of Doriath. They are the fingers of his hands; and we will smite them, and cut them off, till he draws back his claws. Nargothrond shall stand!"

"Perhaps." said Findulias. "It shall stand, if you can achieve it. But have a care, Adenedhel; my heart is heavy when you go out to battle, lest Nargothrond be bereaved."

And afterwards Túrin sought out Gwindor, and said to him: "Gwindor, dear friend, you are falling back into sadness; do not so! For your healing will come in the houses of your kin, and in the light of Findulias."

Then Gwindor stared at Túrin, but he said nothing, and his face was clouded.

"Why do you look upon me so?" said Túrin. "Often your eyes have gazed strangely at me of late. How have I grieved you? I have opposed your counsels; but a man must speak as he sees, nor hide the truth that he believes, for any private cause. I would that we were one in mind, for to you I owe a great debt, and I shall not forget it."

"Will you not?" said Gwindor. "Nonetheless your deeds and your counsels have changed my home and my kin. Your shadow lies upon them. Why should I be glad, who have lost all to you?"

But Túrin did not understand these words, and did but guess that Gwindor begrudged him his place in the counsels of the King.

But Gwindor sat in dark thought, and at last he spoke to Findulias, saying, "Daughter of the house of Finarfin, let no grief lie between us; for though Morgoth has laid my life in ruin, you still I love. Go whither love leads you; yet beware! It is not fitting that the Elder Children of Iluvatar should wed with the Younger; nor is it wise, for they are brief, and soon pass, to leave us in widowhood while the world lasts. Neither will fate suffer it, unless it be once or twice only, for some high cause of doom that we do not percieve. But this Man is not Beren! A doom indeed lies on him, as seeing eyes may well read in him; but a dark doom. Enter not into it! And if you will, your love shall betray you to bitterness and death. For hearken to me! Though he be indeed agarwaen son of umarth, his right name is Túrin son of Húrin, whom Morgoth holds in Angband, and whose kin he has cursed. Doubt not the power of Morgoth Bauglir! Is it not written in me?"

"Your eyes are dimmed, Gwindor," she said. "You do not see or understand what is here come to pass. Must I now be put to double shame to reveal the truth to you? For I love you, Gwindor, and I am ashamed that I love you not more, but have taken a love even greater, from which I cannot escape. I did not seek it, and long I put it aside. But if I have pity on your hurts, have pity on mine. Túrin son of Húrin loves me not, nor will."

"You say this," said Gwindor, "to take the blame from him whom you love. Why does he seek you out, and sit long with you, and come ever more glad away?"

"Because he also needs solace," said Findulias, "and is bereaved of his kin. You both have your needs. But what of Findulias? Now is it not enough that I must confess myself to you unloved, but that you should say that I speak so to decieve?"

"Nay, a woman is not easily decieved in such a case," said Gwindor. "Nor will you find many who will deny that they are loved, if that is true."

"If any of us three be faithless, it is I: but not in will. But what of your doom and rumors of Angband? What of death and destruction? The Adanedhel is mighty in the tale of the World, and his stature shall reach yet to Morgoth in some far day to come."

"He is proud." said Gwindor.

"But also he is merciful." said Findulias. "He is not yet awake, but still pity can ever pierce his heart, and he will never deny it. Pity maybe shall be ever the only entry. But he does not pity me. He holds me in awe, as were I both his mother and queen!"

Maybe Findulias spoke truly, seeing with the keen eyes of the Eldar. and now Túrin, not knowing what had passed between Gwindor and Findulias, was ever gentler toward her as she seemed more sad. But on a time Findulias said to him: "Thurin Adanedhel, why did you hide your name from me? Had I known who you were I should not have honored you less, but I should better have understood your grief."

"What do you mean?" he said. "Whom do you make me?"

"Túrin son of Húrin Thalion, captain of the North."

Then Túrin was wrathful, and he said to Gwindor: "In love I hold you for rescue and safe-keeping. But now you have done ill to me, friend, to betray my right name, and call my doom upon me, from which I would fain lie hid."

But Gwindor answered: "The doom lies in yourself, not in your name."

When it became known to Orodreth that the Mormegil was in truth the son of Húrin Thalion, he gave him great honor, and Túrin became mighty among the people of Nargothrond. In those days the Elves forsook their secrecy and went openly to battle, and great store of weapons were made; and by the counsel of Túrin the Noldor built a mighty bridge over the Narog from the Doors of Felagund, for the swifter passage of their arms. Then the servants of Angband were driven out of all the land between Narog and Sirion eastward, and westward to the Nenning and the desolate Falas; and though this was little to Gwindor's liking, he fell into dishonour and none heeded him, for his strength was small and he was no longer froward in arms. Thus Nargothrond was revealed to the wrath and hatred of Morgoth; but still at Túrin's prayer his true name was not spoken, and though the fame of his deeds came into Doriath and to the ears of Thingol, rumour spoke only of the Black Sword of Nargothrond.

In that time of respite and hope, when because of the deeds of the Mormegil the power of Morgoth was stemmed west of Sirion, Morwen fled at last from Dor-lomin with Nienor her daughter, and adventured the long journey to Thingol's halls. There new grief awaited her, for she found Túrin gone, and to Doriath no tidings of the new arising of the Helm had yet come; only of the Black Sword. But Morwen remained in Doriath with Nienor as guests of Thingol and Melian, and were treated with honour.

Now it came to pass, when 495 years had passed since the rising of the Moon, in the spring of the year, there came to Nargothrond two Elves, named Gelmir and Arminas of the people of Finarfin, and said that they had an errand to the Lord of Nargothrond. They were brought before Túrin, but Gelmir said, "It is to Orodreth, Finarfin's son, that we would speak."

And when Orodreth came, Gelmir said to him, "Lord, we were of Angrod's people, and we have wandered far since the Dagor Bragollach; but of late we have dwelt among Cirdan's following by the Mouths of Sirion.

(See UNFINISHED TALES p. 160-161)

but despite Túrin's taunts they would gladly have awaited battle beside their kin, and they went only because Cirdan had bidden them under the command of Ulmo to bring back word to him of Nargothrond and of the speeding of their errand there. And Orodreth was much troubled by the words of the messengers; but all the more fell became the mood of Túrin, and he would by no means listen to their counsels, and least of all would he suffer the great bridge to be cast down. For so much at least of the words of Ulmo were read aright.

Soon afterwards Handir the Halad of Brethil was slain, for the Orcs invaded his land, and Handir gave them battle; but the Men of Brethil were worsted, and driven back into their woods. And in the autumn of the year, biding his hour, Morgoth loosed upon the people of Narog the great host that he had long prepared; and Glaurung the Uruloki passed over Anfauglith, and came thence into the north vales of Sirion and there did great evil. Under the shadows of Ered wethrin he defiled the Eithel Ivrin, and thence he passed into the realm of Nargothrond, and burned the Guarded plain between Narog and Teiglin.

Then the warriors of Nargothrond went forth, and on that day Túrin at last wore the Dragon-helm, for it defended the wearer from fire and dart, and great and terrible on that day he looked and the heart of the host was upheld, as he rode on the right hand of Orodreth. But his vaunted scouts notwithstanding, the strength of the Orc-host was greater far than they had expected, and none but Túrin defended by the dreadful mask could withstand the approach of Glaurung. And the Elves were driven back and pressed by the Orcs into the field of Tumhalad, between Ginglith and Narog, and there they were penned. On that day all the pride and host of Nargothrond withered away; and Orodreth was slain in the forefront of the battle, and Gwindor son of Guilin was wounded to the death. But Túrin came, and for fear of that helm all foes avoided him, and his deadly sword dealt death to any that abode his coming; and he bore Gwindor out of the battle and escaping into a wood there laid him on the grass.

Then Gwindor said to Túrin: "Let bearing pay for bearing! But ill-fated was mine, and vain is thine; for my body is marred beyond healing, and I must leave Middle-earth. And though I love thee, son of Húrin, yet I rue the day I took thee from the Orcs. But for thy prowess and pride, still I should have love and life, and Nargothrond should yet stand a while. Now if thou love me, leave me! Haste thee to Nargothrond, and save Findulias. And this last I say to thee: she alone stands between thee and thy doom. Fail her, and it shall not fail to find thee. Farewell!

Then Túrin sped back to Nargothrond, mustering such of the rout as he met with on the way; and the leaves fell from the trees in a great wind as they went, for the autumn was passing to a Fell Winter. But the rescue of Gwindor had delayed him, and Glaurung was there before him, and he and his Orcs came suddenly, ere those left on guard were ware of what had befallen on the field of Tumhalad. In that day the bridge over Narog proved to be an evil; for it was great and mightily made and could not swiftly be destroyed, and the enemy came readily over the deep river, and Glaurung came in full fire against the Doors of Felagund and overthrew them, and passed within.

And even as Túrin came up, the dreadful sack of Nargothrond was well nigh achieved. The Orcs vhad slain or driven off all that remained in arms, and were even then ransacking the great halls and chambers, plundering and destroying; but those of the women and children that were not burned or slain fighting desperate with whatever they could seize, they herded on the terraces before the doors, as slaves to be taken into Morgoth's thralldom. Upon this ruin and woe Túrin came, and none could withstand him, and he struck down all before him, and passed over the bridge, and hewed his way toward the captaives.

And now he stood alone, for the few that followed him had fled; for Glaurung was issuing through the gaping doors, and lay behind, between Túrin and the bridge. Then suddenly he spoke, by the evil spirit that was in him, saying: "Hail, son of Húrin. Well met!"

Then Túrin sprang about, and strode against him, and the edges of Gurthang shone as with flame; but Glaurung withheld his blast. For Túrin wore the Dragon-helm of Dor-lomin, and those who wore it, no flame could touch them, not though they be naked elsewhither; nor could his serpent-eyes pierce the enchanted visor. And he beheld the likeness of himself upon the crest, and feared it; and desiring to rid Túrin of its' aid and protection, taunted him. "Surely thou claim to be my vassal and retainer, for thou bear thy master's likeness on thy crest."

But Túrin answered, "Thou liest, and knowest it. For this image was made in scorn of thee; and while there is one to bear it doubt shall ever assail thee, lest the bearer deal thee thy doom."

      "Then  it  must  await  a  master  of  another  name,"  said  Glaurung,  "for  Túrin  son  of  Húrin  I  do  not  fear. Otherwise  is  it.  For  he  has  not  the  hardihood  to  look  me  in  the  face,  openly."

And indeed so great was the terror of the Dragon that Túrin dared not look straight upon his face, but had kept the visor of his helmet down, and although he had glanced once or twice at the Dragon's eyes, for most of the parley he looked no higher than Glaurung's feet. But now stung by pride, and that pride strengthened by the curse that was on him, he lifted that visor and looked the Dragon in the eye. And Glaurung opened wide his serpent-eyes and gazed upon Túrin; and straightaway he fell under the binding spell of the lidless eyes of the Dragon, and was halted moveless. Then for a long time he stood as one graven of stone, and they two were alone, silent before the doors of Nargothrond.

And Glaurung said, "Evil have been all thy ways, son of Húrin. Thankless fosterling, outlaw, slayer of thy friend, thief of love, usurper of Nargothrond, captain foolhardy, and deserter of thy kin. As thralls thy mother and thy sister live in Dor-lomin, in misery and want. Thou art arrayed as a prince, but they go in rags; and for thee they yearn, but thou carest not for that. Glad may thy father be to learn that he hath such a son; as learn he shall." And Túrin being under the Dragon-spell hearkened to his words, and he saw himself as in a mirror misshapen by malice, and loathed what he saw.

And while he was yet held by the eyes of the dragon in torment of mind and unable to stir, the Orcs drove away the herded captives, and they passed nigh to Túrin and crossed over the bridge. Among them was Findulias, and she cried out to Túrin as she went; but Glaurung's power was greater than hers, and not until her cries and the wailing of the captives had long faded upon the northward road did Glaurung release Túrin, and he might not stop his ears against that voice that haunted him ever after.

Then suddenly Glaurung withdrew his glance, and waited; and Túrin stirred slowly, as one waking from a hideous dream. Then coming to himself he sprang upon the dragon with a cry. But Glaurung laughed, saying, "If thou wilt be slain, I will slay thee gladly. But small help will that be to Morwen and Nienor. No heed didst thou give to the cries of the Elf-woman. Wilt thou deny also the bond of thy blood?"

But Túrin drawing back his sword stabbed at the dragon's eyes; and Glaurung coiling back swiftly towered above him, and said, "Nay! At least thou art valiant; beyond all whom I have met. And they lie who say that we of our part do not honour the valour of foes. See now! I offer thee freedom. Go to thy kin, if thou canst. Get thee gone! And if Elf or Man be left to make tale of these days, then surely in scorn they will name thee, if thou spurnest this gift."

Then Túrin, being yet bemused by the power of the dragon, as were he treating with a foe that could know pity, believed the words of Glaurung, and turning he sped over the bridge. But as he went Glaurung spoke behind him, saying in a fell voice: "Haste thee now, son of Húrin, to Dor-lomin! Or perhaps the Orcs shall come before thee, once again. And if thou tarry for Findulias, then never shalt thou see Morwen again, and never at all shalt thou see Nienor thy sister, and they will curse thee."

But Túrin hapless passed away on the north road, and Glaurung laughed once more, for he had accomplished the errand of his Master. Then he turned to his own pleasure, and sent forth his blast, and burned all about him. But all the Orcs that were busy in the sack he routed forth, and drove them away, and denied them their plunder even to the last thing of worth. The bridge then he broke down and cast into the foam of Narog; and being thus secure he gathered all the hoard and riches of Felagund and heaped them, and lay upon them in the innermost hall; and rested a while.

And Túrin hastened along the ways to the north, through the lands now desolate between Narog and Teiglin, and the Fell Winter came down to meet him; for in that year snow fell ere autumn was passed, and spring came late and cold. Ever it seemed to him that he heard the cries of Findulias, calling his name by wood and hill, and great was his anguish, yet he could not stop and could not turn, seeing ever in his mind the Orcs burning the house of Húrin and putting Morwen and Nienor to torment; such was the spell upon him.

(For the remainder of the Narn, see UNFINISHED TALES, p. 104-149)

Chapter Eleven

The Wanderings of Hurin

Now while he read the book Eriol had been shown into a reading-room, and there were settees of fair workmanship, and a fire that burned never down, and its' flames of yellow and red were the only bright colors in that white and pale blue chamber, and a great window there was high and narrow with a pointed arch in white and blue stone, as were he inside a palace hewn of ice.

Then when he returned Pengolod saw that his face was cast down, and he said gravely and yet with gentleness, "Now ye see why that tale is not often sung, but always cherished," and Aelfwine said, "But what became of Húrin?"

Then Pengolod smiled grimly and said, "This tome that I hold tells of Húrin's sojourn in Brethil after his release, and his shadow-haunted steps afterwards. Take it for thine own, for many copies have we here; but if thou seek for stories thou hast come to the wrong Elf."

"Yet surely," said Aelfwine, "are there none who know so much about Húrin as thou."

But Pengolod laughed. "More joy would thou have of the telling were it from the lips of our beautiful queen. In writing is my delight. Come to me when thou seek writings!"

Then Eriol fared from thence and came to the abode of Meril as evening fell, and she welcomed him and made him eat with her. And afterwards Eriol begged her to tell him of Húrin after the fall of his children, and she rose and took him to a chair by the fire, and began this tale.

"So ended the tale of Túrin Turambar; but Morgoth did not sleep nor rest from evil, and his dealings with the house of Hador were not yet ended. Against them his malice was unsated, though Húrin was under his eye, and Morwen wandered distraught in the wild.

Unhappy was the lot of Húrin; for all that Morgoth knew of the working of his malice Húrin knew also; but lies were mingled with the truth, and aught that was good was hidden or distorted. In all ways Morgoth sought most to cast an evil light on those things that Thingol and Melian had done, for he hated them, and feared them. When therefore he judged the time to be ripe, he released Hurin from his bondage, bidding him go whither he would; and he feigned that in this he was moved by pity as for an enemy utterly defeated, and marvelling at his endurance. But he lied.

   "Such  steadfastness,"  he  said,  "should  have been shown  in  a  better  cause,  and  would  have  been  otherwise  rewarded.  But  I  have  no  longer  any  use  for  you,  Húrin,  in  the  waning  of  your  little  life."

Then little though he trusted the words of Morgoth, knowing as he did the black depths of his heart, Húrin accepted freedom, and went forth in grief, embittered by the words of the Dark Lord; and a year was now gone since the death of Túrin his son. For twenty-eight years he had been captive in Angband, and at his release was in his sixtieth year; but great strength was in him still, despite the weight of his grief, for such was Morgoth's purpose. None that had known him in youth could mistake him still, though he had grown grim to look upon: his hair and beard were white and long, but he walked unbowed, bearing a great black staff, and he was girt besides with his own sword. Thus he passed into Hithlum, and tidings came to the chieftains of the Easterlings.

"There was a great riding," said the messengers, "over the dust of Anfauglith, by the captains and black soldiers of Angband; and with them came an old man, as one held in high honour, and he is the very image of the Lord Húrin." And they were filled with dread, fearing that their Master would prove faithless again and give back the land to the Westrons, and that they would be enslaved in their turn. Therefore they dared not lay hands on Húrin, but let him walk at will in their lands; in which they were wise, for the remnant of his own people shunned him, because of his coming from Angband as one in league and honour with Morgoth; and indeed all escaped captives now were held in suspicion of spying and treachery. Thus his freedom only increased the bitterness of Húrin's heart; for even had he so wished he could not have roused any rebellion against the new lords of the land. All the following that he gathered was a small company of the homeless men and outlaws that lurked in the hills; but they had done no great deed against the Incomers since the passing of Túrin, some five years before.

Of Túrin's deeds in Brodda's hall Húrin now learned from the outlaws the true tale; and he looked on Asgon, who had fled with Túrin from that hall, and his men, and he said: "Men are changed here. In thralldom have they found thrall hearts. I desire no longer any lordship among them, nor elsewhere in Middle-earth. I will leave this land and wander alone, unless any of you will go with me, to meet what we may. For I have no purpose now, unless I find chance to avenge the wrongs of my son."

Asgon and six other desperate men were willing to go with him; and Húrin led them to the halls of Lorgan, who still called himself the Lord of Hithlum. Lorgan heard of their coming and was afraid, and he gathered other chieftains and their men in his house for defence. But Húrin coming to the gates looked on the Eastrons in scorn.

"Fear not!" he said. "I should have needed no companions, if I had come to fight with you. I am come only to take leave of the lord of the land. I have no liking for it any more, since you have defiled it. Hold it while you may, until your Master recalls you to the slave-tasks that fit you better."

Then Lorgan was not ill-pleased to think that he would so soon and easily be rid of the fear of Húrin, without crossing the will of Angband; and he came forward.

"As you will, friend," he said. "I have done you no ill, and have let you be, and of this I hope you will bring a true tale, if you come again to the Master."

Húrin eyed him in wrath. "Friend me not, thrall and churl!" he said. "And believe not the lies that I have heard: that I have ever entered into the service of the Enemy. Of the Edain I am and so remain, and there shall be no friendship between mine and yours for ever."

Then hearing that Hurin had not after all the favour of Morgoth, or forswore it, many of Lorgan's men drew their swords to put an end to him. But Lorgan restrained them, for he was wary, and more cunning and wicked than the others, and quicker therefore to guess at the purposes of the Master.

"Go then, greybeard, to evil fortune," he said. "For that is your doom. Folly and violence and self-hurt are all the deeds of your kin. Fare you ill!"

"Tol acharn!" said Húrin. "Vengeance comes. I am not the last of the Edain, whether I fare ill or well." And with that he departed and left the land of Hithlum."

Then Meril paused, and said, "But it comes to my mind that I have not told you of the further journeys of Hurin; yet I have forgotten much of them."

Then Eriol told of the tome that Pengolod had given him, and Meril smiled. "Read that, then, on the morrow," she said, and thou wilt sleep here, lest thou have more questions for Pengolod after thou readest."

(See THE WAR OF THE JEWELS, History of Middle-Earth Vol. XI, p. 261-265; 271-297, for Húrin's disastrous sojourn in Brethil.)

             Of  Húrin  and  Mîm

Now Húrin passed southwards down the ancient road that led to Nargothrond; and he saw far off to the eastward the lonely height of Amon Rudh, and knew what had befallen there. And it came about that he heard men tracking him, and being ill minded for pursuit he waited in the path with drawn sword. But the pursuers threw up their hands when they saw him, crying out with gladness; for they were Asgon and his me.

"My lord Húrin!" said Asgon. "We feared you were still captive in Brethil. Men are not friendly in these parts."

"Well do I know it," answered Húrin, "yet if you come with me, you waste your strength. I know not where I will go."

"Let us gather others," said one of the men, "and establish desolate Nargothrond as a place of refuge."

"As Amon Rudh?" said Húrin harshly. "Come with me, or not, as you will; and if you make for Nargothrond, I care not."

So they came down at last to the banks of Narog and the ruins of the bridge; and Húrin drove the men off. "Leave me a while here!" he bade. "Hunt, or fetch wood, or what you please. But come not to me ere day ends!"

Then knowing what had here befallen, the men took pity on his mood, and they scattered, some to scout the land and some to hunt, and Húrin was alone before the gates of Nargothrond. Then there came into his heart the thought that with the gold of Nargothrond might he reproach Thingol, whom Morgoth ever portrayed as greed-filled and petty; and he ventured the passage of the wild river on the stones of the bridge and came at last to the ruined doors of Felagund. Then he strode dripping into the deserted halls, and they were dark and still, and soot and dragon-slime marred the fair walls, and carvings were fire-blasted, and burnt tapestries and bones lay scattered and molded upon the dank polluted floors. Slowly he walked down the many caves, until he came to the great hall of Felagund, where about the ruin of the throne Glaurung had piled all the gold of Nargothrond; and that hoard shone of itself for the splendour of the many Elven-jewels gathered there, but a small dark figure lurked amid the brightness. Crouched upon a seat of piled gold he sat, fingering the gold and gems, letting them run ever through his fingers, for through terror of Glaurung none had come nigh to despoil him.

But now one had come, and stood upon the threshhold, leaning on a great staff; and the small figure arose and came forth, and demanded to know his purpose.

And Húrin said, "Who are you, that would hinder me from enterig the house of Finrod Felagund?"

And the Dwarf answered, "I am Mîm, and before the proud ones came over the sea, my fathers delved the halls of Nulukkizdun. I have but returned to take what is mine; for both my sons are dead, by arrow of Orc and arrow of Man, and I am the last of my people."

"Then shalt thou enjoy thine inheritance no longer," said Húrin, "for I am Húrin son of Galdor, returned out of Angband, and my son was Túrin Gorthol whom thou hast not forgotten; and he it was that slew Glaurung the Dragon, who wasted these halls wherein you sit; and not unknown is it to me by whom the Dragon-helm of Dor-lomin was betrayed."

Then Mîm gave back step by step before Húrin, and though wary he was not yet afeared, for Húrin was old and bedraggled, and had not yet drawn sword, though he walked step by step toward Mîm. And Mîm said, "Then thou may remember the words of thy son, who promised me a heavy ransom of gold for the death of my son, should ever he obtain it; and he it was that slew Glaurung, and so claimed this wealth; and I have not forgotten his words."

Then Húrin stooped and raised up from the floor a fell arrow, wrought of black metal and of silver, and fletched with feathers dyed red. "The vengeance of the house of Hador hath found thee," he said, "and now shalt thou die with a dart in thy throat!"

Then Mîm in great fear besought Húrin to take what he would and spare his life; but Húrin stabbed him in the throat with the arrow in his hand ere he could utter any curse, and the fletchings were reddened anew.

For some hours Húrin wandered there in that dreadful place, where the treasures of Valinor lay strewn about the floors in darkness and decay; yet when he came forth from the wreck of Nargothrond and stood again beneath the sky, he bore with him out of that great hoard one thing only.

And Asgon and his outlaws, gathering again on the far side, saw him come out and stand before the doors like the ghost of some great warrior come back from the dead, and they helped him make his way across. Food had they, such as could be found at that season, and they ate in silence, for Húrin's mood was grim.

But when they had eaten he said to them, "Well have ye served me, friends, although I have never rewarded thee. Now am I become a rich lord! with exceeding great wealth!" and he lifted from a pouch the thing that he had brought, and the eyes of the outlaws were dazzled with a flash like ice in sunlight; but Húrin put it swiftly back.

"More is there within!" he cried. "But I desire it not! I give to you all the treasure in Nargothrond; you may keep it as you will, or divide it as you will; I wash my hands of it, and much joy may you have of it! Now I have an errand hence, and will take of you my leave; if you come, you shall leave behind forever the treasures of Nargothrond."

None chose to come with him, but all forded the river in great haste and eagerness, save only Asgon; and he looked on Húrin with sadness.

"What errand of death art thou on, my lord?" he said. "I must stay, I see, or else these fools will forget food and fire, and fall to fighting in the darkness. But thou, lord, when thine errand is done, come thou back!"

"We shall see," said Húrin, "yet I would not inflict my shadow on thee further. Bide you well!"

Of Húrin and Thingol

Then Húrin packed all the food the outlaws had gathered, and he departed in the afternoon and journeyed to the east. Through the empty lands where had once been the brief rule of the Bow and Helm he journeyed, and ever in open places he saw the red crown of Amon Rudh. And as he marched through a thin wood of young birch, he saw ahead of him a man in the dress of the Haladin; and Húrin laughed, for it was Avranc, thin and starved with wandering in exile from Brethil so that the bones stood out on his face; and he held a drawn bow. And hearing the laugh of Húrin Avranc turned his bow swiftly thither; but Húrin strode toward him with lifted blade.

"So, cur-whelp, thou hast fallen even to this?" he mocked. "Lingering like a daw on the skirts of the trees, hoping there may fall to thee some tidbit bigger birds have not yet snatched. Behold! Even I who knew little of wild-walking, am yet strong and full of belly; while though herbs grow rank about thee, thy flesh hangs from thy bones!"

"Meat I hunger for, not foul grass," Avranc sneered. "You have no bow, old carl."

Then he drew his bow swiftly to his ear, and let fly the arrow, for he was at no great distance and doubted not of his target. But he was facing not one of the guard of Brethil that he knew, but Thalion of Dor-lomin, and moving swift as an old wolf Húrin slashed apart the arrow with his sword.

Then Avranc in alarm turned to run, but he was weak from hunger and long skulking, and Húrin was swift, and filled moreover with black wrath. Swiftly he overtook him, and swiftly struck him down.

So it came to pass that Húrin arrived at the west-marches of Doriath, nigh to Sirion. There he marched into the marshy land that here fenced the ribver on the west, and he took no heed how much noise he made. As he had planned he was soon spotted, and of a sudden the Elf-guards of the western marches threw back their grey cloaks and appeared around him, for in their cunning garb and the glooms of the Girdle they were well-nigh invisible to eyes of mortals. Then Húrin looked on them grimly, but drew no sword nor brandished his staff.

"Whom are ye, that blunders like a beast through the fens of Sirion?" said the Elf-captain.

"I am Húrin son of Galdor," he made answer, "and I am not minded to treat with guards. My errand is to Thingol."

"To Thingol we will bear thee swiftly; for if thou art Thalion in sooth thou wilt be honored. But none may bear weapon without leave in the Guarded Realm, and if thou wish to come, thou must yield thy sword into our keeping."

Then Húrin laid hand on the hilt and said in rage, "Ever it is with Elves! Honor, quoth thou, wilt be shown me; yet I must hand over my blade like a common thrall! Why not bind me as well, and forego the pretense!"

"If thou wouldst walk free down the ways of Doriath, thou wilt yield it." said the captain.

"Then yield it will I not, an if thou lay hand to it thou wilt learn why I am called Thalion."

Then the Elf-guards lifted their bows, but the captain held them back. "He is old and greatly wearied," he said, "and in any case we would not make him walk the long leagues to Menegroth without some rest. Let us send for counsel to Menegroth, and in the mean we will give him food and rest." So Húrin was given to eat and drink, and they led him into their shelters to rest while they awaited word.

But the messenger returned sooner than they hoped, for he had met Mablung upon the way, and Mablung had bidden that Húrin should be rested and then sped on his way to Thingol, "and if he will not yield blade, do not press him; I will bear any blame that may fall."

So when Húrin had slept many hours he was roused from sleep, and they draped him in grey even as they were, for in his travels the silver mantle of Brethil was tattered and of little use to him. Then they ferried him swiftly over Sirion and hurried him down the forest-ways, and although the beauty of the woods in Doriath in spring was greater than any wood he had walked through since leaving Angband, he saw it not, but walked slowly as one in a black shadow, and he brooded as he walked.

Then Mablung met them at a waystation, and he was amazed at the change from Thalion of old, and he walked with him, and treated him with great courtesy.

Then Húrin lifted his eyes and stared darkly at Mablung. "Prattle on, even as you prattled when you brought my son the tidings that slew him. I watched as you kept my womenfolk safe from the dragon, Mablung the Mighty. Do not curry favor with me!"

"If such is how Thalion repays kindness," said Mablung, "I wonder that any is shown him."

Nontheless, for pity he rebuked him no further, and continued to be kind to him; but Húrin was wrapped in a brooding silence and paid no heed, nor made any answer.

Thus it came about that Húrin was brought at last before the doors of Menegroth and led across the bridge, and he entered into the Thousand Caves. And he looked upon the winding halls, and arches cut from living stone and all the fairness of Menegroth, and thought of the begrimed and burnt halls of Nargothrond, and bitter laughter shook his heart but never reached his face; for soon, too soon, he foreboded, Doriath would also come to this. And all folk they passed turned to gaze, for wonder and pity; for old and wild he looked, with tangled beard and hair a dirty white and grey, and the grey cloak seemed to wrap him in shadow even as was his brooding mind, and his staff echoed on the stone floors as he marched.

So they came at length to the throne of Thingol, where he sat with Melian in majesty, silver hair flowing upon his grey mantle, taller than any Elf or mortal Man, even Elendil the Tall of the Numenoreans. And Melian beside him wore a dress of shining silver, and her dark hair was like a mist of night above it, and the light of Aman glowed from her face; but her eyes were strange and thoughtful. Then Húrin strode on, unheeding of guards or any around; and his staff rang with each step on the marble floor. And then standing before the throne of Thingol he at last lifted up his face and stared him in the eye.

Then Thingol was filled with wonder and grief when he looked upon him, and knew that grim and aged man for Húrin Thalion, captive of Morgoth. The he rose from his throne and bowed his head to Húrin, and said, "Hail Húrin the Steadfast, son of Galdor of the House of Hador, lord of Dor-lomin, whose deeds are renowned and held in wonder among us, and not least that thou defied Morgoth to his face, and lived. Great honour would we do thee, for however so long thou mayest wish to make thy dwelling with us."

And Húrin made no answer to the King, but reaching down beneath his cloak he drew forth that one thing which he had borne out of Nargothrond, and the face of Húrin and of Thingol were lit with a glow as of stars uncounted, and flecks of light were cast about the hall, for there hung revealed a mighty necklace. And all there knew it for the Nauglamir, the Necklace of the Dwarves, that was made for Finrod Felagund long years before by the lords of Nogrod and Belegost, most famed of all their works in the Elder Days, and prized by Finrod while he lived above all the treasures of his dwelling. And Húrin cast it down before the feet of Thingol with wild and bitter words.

"Recieve thou thy fee," he cried, "for thy safe keeping of my wife and children! For this is the Nauglamir, whose name is known to many among Elves and Men; and I bring it to thee from the darkness of Narthrond, which was freed of its' defiler by Túrin Turambar when he slew Glaurung the Dragon; where it was left by Finrod thy kinsman when he went with Beren on the errand of Thingol of Doriath!"

Then Thingol looked down upon the gems of Valinor cast in the dust like so much straw, and well did he understand the intent of Húrin, but filled with pity he withheld his wrath, and endured Húrin's scorn, sitting back in silence on his throne. But Melian leaned forward from her seat, and her eyes gleamed brighter than the jewels of Valinor with the tears that shone in them, and she spoke to Húrin gently and yet with compelling power.

"Húrin Thalion, Morgoth hath bewitched thee; for he that seeth through the eyes of Morgoth, whether willing or no, seeth all things crooked. Long was Túrin thy son fostered in the halls of Menegroth, and shown love and honour as the son of the king; and it was neither the King's will nor mine that kept him from returning, but his own proud heart. Long were thy wife and daughter shown honour in these halls, and short of throwing them in prison we were not able to dissuade them from the road to Nargothrond. With the voice of Morgoth dost thou now upbraid thy friends."

And hearing the words of Melian Húrin stood moveless, and long did he gaze into the eyes of the Queen. And there in Menegroth, defended still by the power of Melian from the darkness of the Enemy, he read the truth of all that was done, and tasted at last the fullness of woe that was measured him by Morgoth Bauglir. And tears the wellsprings of which had long dried up, moved and swam in his eyes and fell like diamonds on the floor. Then stooping he lifted the Nauglamir from where it lay before the chair like a pool of spilt light, and it flowed up as he raised it like a fountain of flames. Then bowing his head he held it out to Thingol draped about both hands, and he said, "Recieve now, lord, the Necklace of the Dwarves, as a gift from one who has nothing, and as a memorial of Húrin that was. For now my fate is fulfilled, and the purpose of Morgoth achieved; but I am his thrall no longer." And Thingol accepted the necklace from Húrin in silence.

 Then  he  turned  away,  and  passed  out  of  the  Thousand  Caves;  and  all  that  saw  him  fell  back  before  his  face,  and  none  sought  to  withstand  his  going,  nor  to  stay  him  in  his  terrible  grief.  Yet  from  the  moment  he  entered  Doriath,  he  was  blinded  from  Morgoth's  sight,  nor  did  the  Shadow  find  him  ever  more.  Such  was  the  last  gift  of  Melian  to  him.

But Húrin wandered lone and distraught in the wild, and it was high spring now and he ate herbs like an ox, and the land was dark before him, and now and then by a lonely fire he found again the tears that came to him in Doriath. Ever slower now were his steps, witless, purposeless, eating though he cared not, hungering only for death and freedom from the Circles of the World.

And as he drew near to Narog, he found a great tree riven by wind and flood, and it bridged the river, and by it he won across and passed north of the high hills in which lay Nargothrond. As evening fell he heard a man breathing in pain from under a bush, and going thence he found there Asgon, and him wounded to the death. Indeed it was a marvel he had won so far.

"My lord, thou come at last." Asgon said. "Yet I curse the day thou entered Nargothrond, and curse still more the jewels of Felagund."

Húrin gave him water, and Asgon was silent for a time. Then he looked up at the old man standing bowed and lifeless of mein, and said, "We fought like Orcs, as were a madness upon us; and none would heark to reason, and in the trying to keep peace gat I this wound; and their blood pollutes the gems. Was this not thy intent, lord Húrin? Was this---" and his face fell still, and he died.

Then Húrin said no word, but stooping covered him with his own cloak, and left him there.

And it came about at last that he could wander no farther, for he reached the shores of the sea, and from a great cliff on a cold day of rain and storm he looked out upon the endless waters. And the rain had passed, but left the coastland grey and cold, and life drained from the land with the sinking of the day, and he turned his eyes into the West.

"Ulmo came, they say, to Tuor my nephew." he murmered, and his voice was grown harsh as a crow with the raw chill. "None come for Húrin. No Vala come to set foot on the shores of mortal Earth; they have forsaken us!" He raised his fist against the sea. "Ever you sit upon your thrones," he cried, "and no heed or care have you for the tears and travails of the Children of Iluvatar!

"Where wert thou when my son was cursed, and his will taken, doom-haunted, dragon-driven? Where wert thou when I sat bound upon Thangorodrim, and was cast forth at last to work the will of hell upon Beleriand? Take me from this earth, Mandos. Why dost thou condemn us to be chained in our bodies, when Elves can lay them down from grief and forsake their flesh? When I am willing to yield, to pass from this life, why can we not do so? Yet mayhap there are more ways than one to Valinor, and those ways I will seek."

And he set his sword upon the ground, point to his heart, but even as he pepared to fall upon it, he stepped back and let it clatter on the ground. "Not as my son died under madness of Morgoth!" he said. "Thou art not Gurthang. I will seek a different way."

Then he threw aside his staff, and lifted up his great sword, and turning toward Angband he shook his blade and cursed it thrice. "Though Middle-earth be yours, Húrin you shall never have!" he cried. Then turning he cast himself from off that cliff, and smote the sea, and water took him; and thus perished the mightiest warrior of mortal Men.

Chapter Twelve


Then Eriol came back to the Cottage, and glad were Eadwine and Vairë at his return. At the Tale-fire Lindo said to him, "Now ye have learned the dreadful tales of Turin and Hurin, would you hear of the Fall of Gondolin?" But at that Littleheart interrupted him, saying that the tale of the Nauglamir came next in order, "and it were not fair to Eriol to confuse him." Then Lindo laughed, and began nto tell that tale.

"Lo, here is the tale of that fell and wondrous necklace, the Nauglamir, the Necklace of the Dwarves, made for Finrod Felagund by Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost, who set within a carcanet of purest gold jewels uncounted from Valinor, and words of grace and loveliness they wrought into it as they hammered, so that despite the large amount of gold and gem it rested lightly on its' wearer as a strand of flax, and whatsoever neck it clasped or breast it graced it sat always with grace and loveliness.

(For the working of the Silmaril into the Necklace by treacherous smiths of Nogrod who slew Thingol, for the passing of Melian and the sack of Doriath, for the slaughter of the Dwarves by Beren and Ents, and the destruction of Doriath under Dior by the Feanoreans, See The Silmarillion, p. 232-237)

And so saying Lindo made an end, and none asked further. But on the night following he promised to tell them of the great Fall of Gondolin, and glad were they thereat.

And on the following night the company gathered, and they did so early, for this was a long tale indeed; and Littleheart requested to be the teller. And Lindo bowed, and yielded up the chair, and Littleheart began:

(See UNFINISHED TALES, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin")

"What is that place?" said Tuor.

Then Ecthelion answered him, "Tis said and tis sung, 'Gondobar am I called and Gondothlimbar, City of Stone and City of the Dwellers in Stone; Gondolin the Stone of Song and Gwarestrin am I named, the Tower of Guard, Gar Thurion or the Secret Place, for I am hidden from the eyes of Morgoth; but they who love me most greatly call me Loth, for like a flower am I, even Lothengriol the flower that blooms on the plain.' Yet," said he, "in our daily speech we speak and name it mostly Gondolin."

Then Tuor picked up his cloak again and wrapped it around himself, yet not so as to hide the livery of Nevrast. And Ecthelion gave orders for the sounding of the signal, and trumpets were blown upon the towers of the Great Gate. Deep were they and powerful, and their echoes grew and multiplied in the hills like the sounding of the horns of an unseen army of watchers. Then was there a hush, and all things in the Hidden Valley were silent. Faintly at last there rolled across the plain answering trumpets blown upon the white walls of the city, far off but clear.

Then Ecthelion brought forward horses for them, and the horses for the guards were white even as his and gleamed in the sun; but that for Tuor was grey. And he mounted, and tossed back the cloak and the hood of the cloak so that the gold of the helm and the silver of the coat flamed in the noon sun like a star, and blue glowed his shield. Then rode that company out upon the fair plain of Tumladen, and there every kindred of the Gates was represented. The road went down at first from the ravine, and sloped but was fashioned very smooth and fair, and then it reached a level, and so continued.

That plain was level and of a marvellous flatness, broken but here and there by boulders round and smooth which lay amid a sward, or by pools in rocky beds. Many fair pathways lay across that plain, but one main road led straight to the Orfalch, and as it had been a fell winter the snow on the downward slope lay cast to either hand in banks from the horse-drawn ploughs, and the slush underfoot lying half-congealed and half dry and snowy was a golden brown, and blue and faint brown were the banks. But as they came down onto the plain the snow grew less, and soon large patches of unfaded green opened amid the snowfields where the Sun had melted it. Many fair trees grew short and widely spaced, and whether it was from the hoar or from their own silken rind they seemed all made of silver, and there were lovely pools all mantled in green ice of frozen snow, and wells timbered with gold wood and layered with white snow.

Thus as the afternoon of winter passed and the sun drew near the rim of the Encircling Mountains, the white walls and spires of Gondolin rose above them, blushing now a faint gold and rose for the sunset, and rose and palest blue with red sun and hill-shadow was the white plain behind them, and the road like a slender line to where the black rift of the Orfalch clove assunder the mountains.

Now came they to the foot of that Hill of Watch atop which Gondolin is built, Amon Gwareth in the tongue of the Elves. Long winding stairways clomb up that hill, but no roads, that no seige engine might be rolled up to the walls; nor might any reach that city save by narrow stair, nor remain unseen from the walls. And these stairs had snow crusted upon them and frozen prints deep in their recesses, yet was there much melting in the sun, and Tuor marked that they were of many different stone, and some flights were deep white or rose or palest orange feldspar, while others seemed milky as quartz, and still others of banded granites and marbles that were pink or speckled green. No tree was suffered to root upon the slopes, yet was there sign where here and there a wind-thinned path had yielded to sun, of ground plantings of vincas, and elder, and the brown stems of lilies thrusting through the snow. And there were low mats of phlox and evergreen laurels, and berries shone on some of these like drops of red and golden blood.

Nearer still were they now to the gleaming walls, and these were smooth as glass but builded of a stone more pure a white than any marble, and they shone faintly of themselves on the darkest night, as if light were fused into their substance and mingled with their masonry, and their tops bore merlons wrought in many forms and deep embrasures, from every one of which gazed eyes down upon them. And turrets there were with roofs like fluted icicles, and from their eaves hung pendant curved and gilded carvings, though not snow nor ice might abide upon them for the steepness of their spires. Then came they round the curve of a last flight of steps, and this ran in a narrow angle up the brow of a slope that stretched down from the Gate. Now from every Gate down even into the plain, the slope of the Guarded Hill was of stone laid bare of any soil and smoothed to a marvellous hardness like glass, so that it gleamed like polished marble, and this spread out in a great fan down to the foot of the hill, that no foe might mount a direct assault upon any of the four Gates save by the winding stairs. Now up the narrow flight the horses mounted, and crossed the lip of the slope of glass, and came before the West Gate.

Splendid as had been the gates of the Way of Escape, the Gate of Gondolin was greater than they and yet more fair. Four gates had that city, small upon the south and smaller yet upon the north, yet were they still very strong with towers to either side and bastions of stone; but that gate which looked toward the Orfalch was made both lofty and of immeasureable strength. Towers rose about it, two upon the outside and two within, and those towers were builded of stone linked by bars of steel blended with the stone, as well as the mortar of the Noldor which none save only the Men of Numenor have ever equalled in strength and potency. And spells of hardness and strength were wrought into them, and no joint or crack might be seen but their faces were a smooth enamelled white that gleamed like pearl, and they had narrow windows high up, and contrivances that would unleash great destruction upon attackers. Like white snow threaded with curling webs of silver seemed they from beneath, and their summits were roofed in metal that flashed white in the sun. And the gate itself was wrought of silver mingled with steel by the arts of the Noldor so as to be triple the strength of steel, and no metal save mithril or the strange alloys of the Gods has ever been so strong. And runes and fair letters in gold and red threads were wrought about it, and so close was it set that not even air might creep through any jamb. And above it was an arching bridge wrought of steel in curling patterns like countless blooming vines, and gems were set there like stars, and archers might walk thereon.

Now Ecthelion blew upon his horn, and it rang high and fair in the walls of the Great Gate, and it was answered from within by one of lower note. Then without a sound the portals of silver opened, and Tuor was amazed to see that the Gate was yet shut and solid. Four layers deep was that gate, and within the outmost was a second of rustless steel, and this although solid bore in relief the likenesses of many fair beasts. And this too swung open, but its' hinges were farther out than the silver, which were set into the very wall, so that the two layers opened flush and lay flat upon each other. And behind it was a wall of golden stone unwrought but with a marvellous grain and polish, and twin portals opened in this and swung open with a sound like thunder. And behind this was a last gate of ironbound wood white with age yet tough as steel; and this rose like a portcullis, and the way was open.

Then rode they into Gondolin, and Tuor saw that the towers were entered by small doors of narrow arch, and these bore spells to fuse them immovably to the structure of the towers should need arise. And within were the towers round and empty, save for echoing stairs built into the walls that climbed from floor to floor, yet were they no less lovely than their outside.

But Tuor looked upon the walls of glowing stone, and the uplifted towers and graceful arches, upon the glistering pinnacles of the town, and he looked upon the stairs of stone and marble, bordered by slender balustrades and cooled in summer by the leap of threadlike waterfalls seeking the plain from the fountains of Amon Gwareth, and he fared on as does one in a dream, for he had deemed such things could not be, save in the visions of sleep; not guessing those very visions were of Ulmo, and of Gondolin as he now saw it. And he wondered greatly at seeing the snow upon the Plain, and even on the hill, and yet only a few banks of snow here in the City in the shadow of houses or walls, and the greenswards of grass amid the springing buildings, and the mounds of trees still green of leaf and bloom. Strange trees there were among them, like beech but silver, and their boughs went out level before sweeping up, and deepest gold were their great leaves: and these were mallorns, the first that grew in Middle-earth, and birches of yellow and white were there, and hollies and evergreen trees of many kinds, and the green mounds were ringed with laurel.

Higher they climbed, for though the hilltop was gentle it still rose, and they passed up beautiful streets paved with banded granite of rose and dark blue, wide with kerbs of white marble veined with pebbled gold, and fair houses and courts bedecked with adornment stood amid gardens that winter though it was bore still some scattered blooms of greater hardiness, for even in the Fell Winter only the greatest snows could reach into Gondolin and frost fell on only the grimmest of nights. Many towers of great slenderness and beauty rose about and from the houses, and they were builded of white marble and carved with great delicacy and cunning, rising to heaven. Squares there were lit with fountains and the home of birds that sang amid the branches of their aged trees, but of all these the greatest was that place where stood the king's palace at the heart of Gondolin, and the citadel climbed in rise on rise of arch and turret and leaping buttress and bridge of flying stone, to a tower loftier and more fair than any other in the city, and its' ornamented face was fashioned in the same way as the walls, and on the darkest night it always shone as if still lit by sun. And the fountains that played before the doors shot twenty fathoms and seven ere they fell in a singing rain of crystal, and clearest crystal were its' spigots and carvings, and the wall of its' basin, deep perhaps as the hill was high; and the play of sun and moon upon and through that sparkling rain was a thing most wondrous. The birds that sang there were of a whiteness like snow, and their song was soft and surpassingly sweet. From the pinnacle of the tower flew the banner of the house of Fingolfin, two curling trees bearing crescent moons, silver gold and white upon a field of brilliant blue; and between them the emblem of Turgon, a red heart bleeding. A pillared arcade ran around the base of the King's house, and surmounting each pillar was an image of each of the greater Maiar, the Valar foremost above the entrance.

Then Tuor and his escort rode into the gates and doors of white metal that warded the palace, and they dismounted, and Elven-grooms in gold and violet led the horses away to the King's stables. Then they led Tuor into that palace, and splendid as had been the Seven Gates, more splendid still was the dwelling of Turgon. Thus they came at last into a court of gold marble interweaved with hewn quartz of milky white and grey and fairest rose; but the pillars were hewn of great beryls cut and polished to a brilliant green. There Turgon waited, tallest of all the Children of the World, save only Thingol. Robed all in white was he with belt of beaten gold, and his dark hair fell about his fair stern face beneath a coronet of garnets, and by his side the great sword Glamdring, white and gold in a ruel-bone sheath, that is ivory. On the right of the throne stood a slender dark Elf with very white skin, tall yet not as much as Turgon; his hair was raven-black but his eyes pierced the sight like swords, and he bore embroidered on his robes a sign of a sable mole. A strange black sword in a black sheath was girt at his side, and on the sheath were runes in deep red. And this was Maeglin the Sharp-glance, sister-son to the King. Seated in a carven chair to the left of the throne was a maiden Elven-lovely, and her hair glowed like a river of sunlight and her eyes were brilliant and deeper than even Maeglin's, and she wore silver and palest green. And this was Idril Celebrindal, the Silver-footed, for her feet were bare and shimmered like silver.

Now only did Tuor notice the great trees that stood above the throne, so that their branches shadowed those who sat there; yet were those trees not living ones but images which Turgon wrought with Elven-craft of gold and of silver in the likeness of those Two Trees of Valinor in long ago. And the tree on the left had a stem of alloyed gold overlaid with rind of pure burnished gold, and its' limbs likewise had core and rind of differing golds, and great clusters of gold flowers wrought of topaz and gold in such wise that they seemed indeed living blooms hung beneath leaves of metal hued the green of new beech and edged with gold; and no lamp did that chamber need, for both trees shone with spells of light; and that tree was Glingal, wrought in Laurelin's image. And the tree on the right was wrought of hard silver with a rind of polished silver that gleamed ever, and from it's compact limbs wrought of triple silver swung pendant countless silver blooms, and their petals were of silver but their hearts were diamonds of Valinor that shone like stars. The leaves of that tree were wrought of metal hued a darker green, yet underneath were of glowing silver. And this tree was named Belthil, wrought in likeness of Telperion. But Tuor esteemed these as shadows beside the beauty of Idril, and he could not take his eyes from her, for he had never known any women and seen even very few. Most of the women and all the children of Annael's company in Mithrim had been sent away south, and as a thrall Tuor had seen only the proud and barbaric women of the Easterlings, who treated him as a beast, or the unhappy slaves forced to labour from childhood, and for these he had only pity.

Then Turgon rose from his throne, and standing at the head of the white stairs that led thereto, stretched his hands to either side and said, "Welcome, O Man of the Land of Shadows. Lo! Thy coming was foretold to me many ages hence; and now thou art come, bearing the arms I made for thee. Welcome!"

Then Tuor lifted up his head and fixed his eyes upon the King, and all awe and abashment fell from him, and a great calm and power filled him. But all who looked upon him saw as it were Tuor grow tall, till he overtopped the King himself, and shadow robed him, and his eyes held a fire as deep as ancient waters. Then he spoke, and as he did it seemed to him that a voice that was not his sounded from unguessable distance, but to the ears of the Elves that now packed the courts of the king his voice rolled in roof and wall like the thunder of deep waves. And all that heard him marvelled, doubting that this were in truth a Man of mortal race.

"Behold, O father of the City of Stone, I am bidden by him who maketh deep music in the Abyss, and who knoweth the mind of Elves and Men, to say unto thee that the Curse of Mandos hastens now to its' fulfillment, and all the works of the Noldor are doomed. Tears unnumbered ye shall shed, and all thou begin well will end in ruin; love not too well the works of thy hands, for every hope the Noldor build shall crumble. Abandon this fair and mighty city you have built. Secret Nargothrond lies now in ruin, and Gondolin follows. Flee down the ways of Sirion, O Turgon, and the Lord of Waters will bring your people to safety on the shore of the Sea. For that place alone shall Morgoth never whelm, until treason awakes there."

Then Turgon looked about at the greatness of the fortress, and the immeasureable strength of walls and gates, and all the fairness and splendour of all that was about him, and he was grieved. "Thou behold the strength of Gondolin, Man from the Sea, and our dwelling is a rumor, and a secret that none can find. The spies of Angband seek for us in vain behind our pathless and enchanted hills. And you would have us forsake all this unfought?"

Then the cloak of shadow, which was grown ever thinner as Tuor spoke, vanished and fell down like mist, and the fell livery of Nevrast blazed in the glow of the Trees; and if mighty he had looked before, now he seemed like a king of Elves and Men come out of some terrible past to bring doom to Gondolin.

"I  would  have  nothing."  the  voice  of  Tuor  rang  throughout  the  silent  room.  "Remember  that  the  true  hope  of  the  Noldor  lieth  in  the  West,  and  cometh  from  the  Sea.  For  thou  art  of  the  Noldor  and  heard  the  Doom,  and  it  will  find  thee  too  ere  the  end,  and  treason  awake  within  thy  walls.  Then  shall  they  be  in  peril  of  fire.  If  I  go  forth,  then  all  who  dwell  here  will  follow.  For  thus  speaks  the  Lord  of  Waters!"

Then Turgon said that such terrible counsel must be considered with deep gravity, and could not be decided upon lightly. But he bade Tuor not to depart, but to abide with them, even in the royal halls as befitted the Man from Nevrast.

Then Tuor, for he was weary and Gondolin was fair, was glad to accept; and he was led away to his apartments by none other than Idril herself.

And Tuor might not speak at all to her when they were alone in the halls, for wonder and abashment at the greatness of her beauty, but strode slowly along at her side in silence, so that to Idril he seemed wrapped in grimness and mystery. But she saw when she caught his gaze that he was tonguebound by her beauty, and smiling she bade him speak his thought.

Then Tuor said, "Why does the Queen of Gondolin stoop to walk at my side?"

And Idril laughed, and her laughter was like the sound of the fall of the rain of the fountains. "Nay, there is no Queen in Gondolin, Man of Nevrast. I am but the King's daughter, Idril Celbrindal." She grew serious. "My mother Elenwe did not return to Middle-earth. For the host of Fingolfin was forced to wander far to the north, where Aman and Middle-earth come nigh together, and there the straits are filled with ice that grinds and churns like hills that clash together. That ice we crossed. Many of our number fell. Some were caught by cliffs of ice that slammed together. Some were betrayed by the surface and fell into great pits where green water boiled; and my mother was one of these. Both she and I were trapped in bitter water, and Turgon pulled out myself, but he was nearly lost in attempting to save my mother, and she was sucked under by the dreadful currents, and comes no more."

Then Tuor said, "My own mother left me when she heard my father fell in the Battle of Tears Unnumbered, and she died of grief upon the Hill of Slain. But my father had with Hurin been to Gondolin long ago, and ever have I longed to behold it."

Then Idril said in great amaze (for Turgon alone had heard from messengers the name of the Man from Nevrast), "Then thou art Huor's son! I marked him in you, and yet thought I that Huor would seem older. Then Huor has fallen, as we feared. Well was he recieved when he was here. Now doubly welcome art thou, both as son of Huor and as Man of Nevrast."

"Tuor am I named." said Tuor.

"Tuor son of Huor, welcome." said Idril, and again her laugh rang out.

So as they walked did Tuor at her questioning tell her of his own journey, and of the arising of Ulmo and his words, and most did he speak of the glance he had been given across the expanses of the Sea. And Idril took a way that was longer than it needed so as to walk longer with Tuor, but in the end they reached the fair chambers where he was to be housed.

Then as she took her leave Tuor asked if she would walk with him more, "for fain would I learn the beauty and the works of this place, ere I leave it." Then Idril smiled upon him and said she would gladly show him the ways of the city, and so they parted for that time.

Then Turgon pondered long the counsel of Ulmo, and he debated the matter much amid his council, and Tuor was there, but Maeglin also. And Maeglin spoke ever against Tuor in the council, and his words seemed the more weighty in that they went with Turgon's heart. For Turgon was become proud, and Gondolin as beautiful as a memory of Elven Tirion, and he trusted still in its' secret and impregnable strength, though even a Vala should gainsay it. Moreover after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad the people of that city desired never again to mingle in the woes of Elves and Men without, nor to return through dread and danger into the West: and at the last Turgon rejected the bidding of Ulmo and refused his counsel. But in the warning of the Vala he heard again the words that were spoken before the departing Noldor on the coast of Araman long ago; and the fear of treason was wakened in Turgon's heart. Therefore in that time the very entrance to the hidden door in the Encircling Mountains was caused to be blocked up; and thereafter none went ever forth from the Encircling Mountains on any errand of peace or war, while that city stood. Tidings were brought by Thorondor Lord of Eagles confirming the fall of Nargothrond, and after of the slaying of Thingol and of Dior his heir, and of the ruin of Doriath; but Turgon shut his ear to word of the woes without, and vowed to march never at the side of any son of Feanor; and his people he forbade ever to pass the leaguer of the hills.

Then Tuor remained in Gondolin, for its' bliss and its' beauty and the wisdom of its' people held him enthralled; and he became mighty in stature and in mind, and learned deeply of the lore of the exiled Elves. And he learned how to use the sword he took from Nevrast, but he preferred the ax; and a mighty battleaxe was there forged for him, which he named Dramborleg, for its' buffet stunned and its' edge clove all armour.

Then the heart of Idril was turned to him, and his to her; for the strands of her fate were woven with his even from that day when first she saw him stand in majesty before the king. Little cause had Turgon to withstand their love, for he held the house of Hador in great esteem, and Tuor especially; and so high did Tuor stand in the favour of the king that when he had dwelt there seven years he did not refuse him even the hand of his daughter. For though he would not heed the bidding of Ulmo, he percieved that the fate of the Noldor was wound with the one whom Ulmo had sent; and he did not forget the words that Huor spoke to him before the host of Gondolin departed from the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. But Maeglin's secret hatred grew ever greater for Tuor, for he desired above all things to posses Idril, the only heir of the King of Gondolin; and this has ever been held a thing strange and crooked in him, for he was her first cousin, and Elves do not marry such close relations.

Then there was made a great and joyful feast, for Tuor had won the hearts of all that people, save only Maeglin and his secret following; and thus there came to pass the second union of Elves and Men. A house was built for him upon the northern walls, for he loved the free airs and liked not the close neighborhood of dwellings, be they ever so fair. There it was his delight to stand often alone on the battlements at dawn, and folk rejoiced to see the new light catch the wings of his golden helm. And in his heart the words of the Lord of Waters seemed to have grown faint and far off.

In the spring of the year after Idril bore to him in great love Eärendil Halfelven, the son of Tuor and Idril daughter of Turgon; and that was five hundred years and three since the coming of the Noldor to Middle-earth, and the fulfilment of the secret hope of which Ulmo had spoken, though none knew it then.

Now this babe was of surpassing beauty, for a light was in his face and skin was shining white, and his eyes of a blue greater than the deepest blue of noon sky, and he had the beauty and wisdom of the Eldar and the strength and hardihood of the Men of old; but from his father he also inherited the longing, so that the Sea spoke ever in his ear and heart, even as with Tuor.

Then the days of Gondolin were yet full of joy and peace; and none knew that the region wherein the Hidden Kingdom lay had at last been revealed to Morgoth by the cries of Hurin, when standing in the wilderness and finding no entrance he called on Turgon in despair. Thereafter the thought of Morgoth was bent unceasing on the mountainous land between Anach and the upper waters of Sirion, whither his servants had never passed. Then he gathered together a great multitude of spies.

Sons of the Orcs were there with eyes of yellow and green like cats, yet no cat saw as they, for they could pierce all glooms and see through mist or fog or night; there were snakes that could crawl everywhere and search all crannies or the deepest pits or the highest peaks, listen to every whisper than ran in grass or echoed in hill; wolves there were and dogs, those creatures of hell bred by Morgoth to seem tame and loyal, yet are they by nature slaves and cowards; there were great weasels full of the thirst of blood whose nostrils could take scent moons old through running water, or whose eyes could discern on barren ground footsteps that passed a lifetime since. Then he sent them out to seek this place that ever had escaped his cunning; but of the Eagles he recked not.

For so keen and dreadful is the sight of those birds, among whom are many lords of the Maiair and servants of Manwe in form of eagle, that not even the motion of a beetle upon the earth miles beneath might escape their watch, and the Maiar can see through stone and rock and lightless dark, pierce even water and the caves under water with their fearsome eyes, and not even spells of unseeing can decieve their gaze; and they dwelt then upon those mountains in multitudes, so that never was the sky above free of circling birds, by any hour of day nor night. And they plucked forth the serpents from the deepest crannies, and they seized out the weasels from the densest tangle of thorns, and no orc nor wolf nor dog that lived could come even across the Anfauglith without their knowledge.

But Idril Celebrindal was wise and far-seeing, and she had a great power of piercing with her thought the darkness of the hearts of Elves and Men, and the glooms of the future thereto; further even than is the common power of the kindreds of the Eldar. Therefore she spake thus upon a day to Tuor: "Know, my husband, that my heart misgives me for doubt of Meglin, and I fear that he will bring an ill upon this fair realm, though by no means may I see how or when. Yet when Ulmo said through thee that treason would awake within our walls, I thought at once of Maeglin; and I dread lest all that he knows of our preparations become in some manner known to the Foe, so that he devise a new means of whelming us. 'Peril of fire' Ulmo said; fire can overcome anything, if wrought with potency enough; even the living rock cannot withstand it but is melted into fire."

"Do not let fire haunt thee," said Tuor, "for we have many fountains, and against fire has ever been the thought of Turgon since those words, and hence he wrought so much in stone and not in wood."

Then Idril said, "Know that but last night I dreamed that Maeglin stood before a furnace of his own devising, and coming upon us unawares flung therein Eärendil our babe, and would after thrust in thee; but myself he desired, and for sorrow of thy deaths I would not resist."

And Tuor was silent, and there stood in his mind the dark gaze of Maeglin's brilliant eyes whenever he looked on Idril or Tuor; and he said, "There is reason for thy fear, for neither is my heart good toward Maeglin; yet is he the king's sister-son and thine own cousin, nor is there charge against him, and I see nought to do but abide and watch."

But Idril said: "This is my rede thereto: gather thou in deep secret those delvers and quarrymen who by careful trial are found to hold least love for Maeglin; and from these choose thou trusty neri [which is elf-men] to keep watch upon Maeglin when he fares to the outer hills in his seeking for metals; yet I counsel thee to set those in whose secrecy you can confide, at a hidden delving, and to devise with their aid a way from thy house here beneath the rock of this hill and out into the plain. Now this way must not lead toward the Way of Escape, blocked though it be--and indeed any Elf with enough skill in the use of their kuru might blast a way through that blockage--for my heart bids me trust it not."

"Whence then should it lead?" said Tuor.

"Northward, to where the barrow of Fingolfin watches from the heights, even to the Cleft of Eagles that leads beneath; and the further thy delving reacheth outward under the plain the better would I esteem it."

Now there are no such delvers of earth or rock besides the Dwarves, as are these Noldor of Gondolin; but in those places the stone is very strong indeed. And Tuor said, "The rock of the hill of Amon Gwareth is as iron, and only with much travail might they be bored; but the stone of the floor of the Vale of Tumladen is as forged steel, nor may it be hewn in secret and without becoming known, save in years of toil."

And Idril said, "Sooth this may be; but there is yet time, and such is my rede." Then Tuor wasted no time but he and his wife began sounding out the Elves that very day, to seek for ones they might trust. Swiftly did they find some whom they might send with Maeglin; but because of his peircing glance he soon found these out, and contrived ever to leave them behind when he fared into the hills. But of the delving he knew not at all, for Idril contrived it so that only few knew of it, and no whisper of it came to his ears.

But when Eärendil was yet young, it came about that Maeglin was lost. For he loved mining and quarrying after metals above all other craft; and he was master and leader of the Elves that worked in the mountains distant from the city, seeking after ores for their smithying of things both of peace and war. But Maeglin went with some trusted few out even beyond the leaguer of the hills, and this defiance of the King's bidding was never known, for he had hidden tunnels by which he could elude the watchers far above. How much the Eagles knew of it is nowhere told, but mayhap they did not think it noteworthy, as he was after all the kinsman of the King.

But his capture they did not see. For Morgoth saw Maeglin emerge from his tunnels, and he glanced with his Valian sight up at the Eagles, and he sent by his thought bidding to the Orcs that prowled and marched ceaselessly now upon the plain of Anfauglith, to gather and waylay this lone Elf and bring him bound to Angband. And a company of Orcs too big for any few Eagles to disperse marched as it were in drill back and forth, until suddenly they came to where Maeglin watched from his hiding; and Maeglin was alone, for his few trusted servants were working at a new lode of ore he had uncovered in a tunnel, and he was gone out to spy and see if their absence was noticed. And Maeglin drew his bitter sword, but the Orcs cast spears and kept him pinned, and ere he could dive mole-like into his hole they leaped upon him and threw a net over him with a cunning cast. Then bearing him inside a sack they resumed their drill and made as if nought had occurred; and they decieved even the Eagles of Manwe.

But when Maeglin was brought inside Angband, he was dumped from the sack and his hands swiftly bound in chains, and then was he led down ancient stairs huge and dreadful, and a great door opened, and he was cast upon his face with great roughness by the Orcs, nor might he get up swiftly because of his chains. But when he did, then he beheld a room of floating darkness, in which eyes and teeth of horrible beasts and creatures beyond thought gleamed an ugly red and green; yet his keen eyes could see even in that gloom, and he beheld before him a mighty throne of iron; and it was empty.

Then twin stars awoke amid the gloom, and Morgoth came from behind the throne and sat thereon, and he was huge in size and his crown of iron rose higher still, and the Silmarils blazed therein like glaring eyes; but one was missing.

"So,  we  have  here  a  misbreed,  a  bastard  Elf,  half  Dark  and  half  Noldo.  A  fascinating  prize.  And  whence  are  you  from,  Elf?"

Then Maeglin, who was neither coward nor weakling, bent his piercing eyes on Morgoth and said nothing. And Morgoth met his gaze and found it greater than he had thought, and for a moment he was afraid. But he saw also the darkness of incest lurking behind those eyes, for no sin nor secret evil can be hidden from that primeval sinner, and he smiled to himself and feared no longer.

Then said he, "I know whom thou art, son of Eol. Thy mind is an open book to me. Yet would I hear thee proclaim thy heritage of thy own self, that thou may know thou art in the presence of the greatest Ainu that was sang into being. Speak!"

And as he said this he cast a black wind of fear and bottomless dread down the contact of their eyes, and mightier was he than Maeglin, and black terror shook him so he fell to his knees, yet he spoke not.

Then Morgoth sent into his mind visions of the torments he could give; every device of torture and every thing that he had visited upon Elves in the past, even the black deeds that wrought Elves into hideous Orcs; and Maeglin at last was cowed.

Then said he, "Maeglin am I, sister-son of Turgon, and I can tell to you the location of that which you have sought unceasingly and been ever frustrated in the finding of which: the place of Gondolin, in return for my life and freedom."

And Morgoth laughed, and the chamber shook, and every monster he had made laughed with him. "Stale news will buy nothing, son of Eol; I know this already, I am not easily blinded!"

Then Maeglin was cast into dismay and confusion; and he at last offered more, every detail of every defence of Gondolin, and even to the accomplishing of the deaths of Tuor and Eärendil; and at this Morgoth agreed to allow him to return. So he spake Maeglin very fair, promising him lordship of Gondolin as his vassal, and the possession of Idril Celebrindal, when that city should be taken; and indeed desire for Idril and hatred for Tuor led Maeglin the easier to his treachery, most infamous in all the histories of the Elder Days. But Morgoth sent him back to Gondolin, lest any should suspect the betrayal, and so that Maeglin should aid the assault from within when the hour came. And the Orcs took him in a sack upon more drills, until passing nigh to the place where they had captured him they pretended to fall into squabbling, and dropped the sack, and swiftly Maeglin rolled under the bushes and took it off. When the Orc-chieftains had whipped order back into the mob (although all was staged for the deception of the Eagles) they departed swiftly, and Maeglin crept back into his hole, and was greeted by his servants, and even they suspected nothing. Thus he walked the halls of the King with smiling face and evil in his heart, though he went no more beyond the leaguer of the hills; and the darkness gathered ever deeper upon Idril.

Now it came about that as Tuor stood upon the battlements and gazed upon the Encircling Hills, Idril came and stood beside him, and the wind was in her hair for she went ever bareheaded, and Tuor thought that she was exceeding beautiful, and stooped to kiss her; but her face was sad, and she said: "Now are the days when thou must make choice," and Tuor did not know what she meant. Then drawing him inside she told him her heart misgave her now with fear and boding that some great evil was nigh. "How far now goes the delving?" she said. And Tuor replied that it now led a league beneath the plain.

"That is good," said Irdil, "but press it on with all haste now, and worry not about fine work, for the time is now very near. And now another rede will I give, that certain of the best and most true of all Gondolindrim should be chosen with care and told about the secret way and its' issue. Glorfindel, and Ecthelion, and Elemmakil I name first."

"But not Turgon thy father?" said Tuor.

"Not till we come to lead him thence in the hour of peril." said Irdil. "He listened not to Ulmo, nor to me; and he trusteth in Maeglin and in the strength of Gondolin. Speak not of it to him, nor to any that might bring it to him." Moreover she counselled him to make a stout guard of neri he could trust, and give them his emblem to wear that they become his folk, and demand this as his right and under pretext of the dignity of a great lord, kinsman to the King; "and even seem haughty about it," she laughed. "For I will get my father's favour to that."

So this was done. And the Folk of the Wing were numerous and doughty, and Tuor made certain all of them were equipped in gear that might withstand the hottest fire and protect them that wore it therefrom, mindful of the words of Ulmo; and well that proved for them in the event. And all that folk knew of the secret way, though only a few knew the ways to work the mechanism that concealed its' entrance in the house of Tuor.

Thus passed the winter, and it was cold and bitter, yet not so great as that Fell Winter in which Tuor had come. And the melting of snows in the spring was in consequence the more glad, and the valley drank the waters and burst into flowers. Thus passed the festival called Birth of Flowers, and the months passed, and now at length came that feast Tarnin Austa or the Gates of Summer. And this feast was begun at midnight, and dawn was hailed with ancient songs, and this they had done since ever the foundation of the Realms in Exile, both in Nevrast and now in Gondolin, standing upon their gleaming eastern wall; and the city was filled with silver lamps, while in the groves upon the new-leaved trees lights of jewelled colours swung, and low musics went along the ways, but no voice was uplifted in song until the dawn.

But the red light mounted the hills in the north and not in the west; and the glow rose beyond the northern battlements, and the house of Tuor was high and black against it; and wondering folk crowded to the walls and battlements. Then wonder grew to doubt as the light waxed and became yet redder, and doubt to dread as men saw the snow upon the mountains dyed as it were with blood.

Then came an Eagle breathless with hard flying, and his feathers were singed, and he was in great distress, and he cried out that fire was coming across the Gasping Dust, and crawling up the mountains like to living snakes; and there marched as well legions uncounted, and darkness walked before them, several shapes too terrible to endure even to look upon; "and might we Eagles not abide this coming, but Thorondor is gathering his people, and we mean to try to stem them; yet I fear all is lost.

"Melkor is upon us! Gather your arms!"

Great was the dismay and anguish within the beautiful city, and women cried out, while elven-men sped with speed like horses to the armouries. There donned they gear exceeding fast, for none can move more swiftly than the Quendi when they are roused; and the squares were filled with the ringing of arms and the hurrying feet of men.

There were gathered to wall and square all the gleaming banners of all the great houses and kindreds of the Gondolindrim. Mighty was the array of the house of the King and their colours were white and gold red, and their emblems the moon and sun and the scarlet heart. Now this heart was that of Turgon's brother Fingon, whose body was beaten into the dust by the Balrogs who slew him in the Battle of Tears Unnumbered, but ere he left the field Turgon pulled out of that bloody mess the only thing left intact, the heart of Fingon; and he set that emblem upon his banner in Fingon's honour. There too stood Tuor above all heads save the king, and his mail of silver gleamed, and about him marched a company in gear none had seen before, for it had been laid up against just this day. Wings fashioned like swans' stood out from their helms, and a white wing on a blue field was the emblem on each shield; but those helms had great vizors like that of the Dragon-helm of Dor-lomin, and eyepieces of crystal, and their mail bore words of power worked into their metal that would turn back flame, and their swords were tempered so exceeding fell that no furnace might consume them, save for the furnaces that abide underneath the earth; and their shields could turn back all that came against them.

There also was the folk of Maeglin, and sable was their harness, and their mail wrought of galvorn of which Maeglin alone knew the working, black and gleaming like jet. No emblem bore they save the sign of a sable Mole upon a field of dark red within the blackness of their shields; and their round caps of steel were overlaid with moleskin, and they bore axes two-headed like mattocks. And they were of dark hair and darker aspect, but a ruddy glow shone on their faces and gleaming about the polished surfaces of their accoutrements; for now all the hills to the north were ablaze, and rivers of fire seemed to run down the slopes to the vale of Tumladen, and already the heat of them might be felt.

For Morgoth in his fell cunning, whose knowledge of every substance of Arda was surpassed by none save Aule himself, had devised of iron and flame a host of monsters such as have never been seen upon Middle-earth, nor shall be until the Dominion of Man. Some were all of iron so cunningly linked that they might flow like slow rivers of metal or coil themselves around and above all obstacles before them, and these were filled in their innermost depths with the grimmest of the Orcs with fell swords hell-tempered; others of bronze and copper were given hearts and spirits of blazing fire, and they blasted all that stood before them with the terror of their snorting or trampled whatso escaped the ardour of their breath; yet others were creatures of pure flame that writhed like ropes of molten metal, and they brought to ruin whatever substance they came nigh, and iron and stone melted before them and became as water, and upon the seven greatest of these the Seven Balrogs rode in darkness and fire, and a host of hundreds of lesser demons wearing shapes in the image of Balrogs but of less power of terror, solid and large with claws of iron and whips of flame. And in the rear crawled with many legs the true Dragons, of the brood of Glaurung; but they were wary, remembering the fate of their mighty father, and so came not into the battle until the city was taken.

And now many other kindreds were gathering, the folk of the Swallow and the Heavenly Arch, and from these folk came the greatest number and the best of the bowmen, and they were arrayed upon the broad places of the walls. Now the folk of the Swallow bore a fan of feathers on their helms, and they were arrayed in white and dark blue, in purple and in black, and their device was a scarlet arrowhead upon a sable field. Their lord was Duilin, swiftest of all at the running and leaping and surest of archers at the mark. But they of the Heavenly Arch being a folk of uncounted wealth were arrayed in a glory of colours, and their arms were set with jewels that flamed of themselves. Every shield of that battalion was of the blue of the heavens and its' boss a jewel built of seven gems, rubies and amethysts and sapphires, emeralds, crysophase, topaz and amber, but an opal was set in their helms. Egalmoth was their chieftain, and wore a blue mantle upon which the stars were broidered in crystal, and his sword was bent, though none other of the Noldor bore curved swords. Yet he trusted rather to the bow, and shot therewith further than any among that host.

There too were the folk of the Pillar and of the Tower of Snow, and both these kindreds were marshalled by Penlod, tallest of any save Tuor and Turgon. There were those of the Tree, and they were a great house; their raiment was green and they fought with iron-studded clubs and with slings, and their lord Galdor was held the most valiant of all save Turgon alone. There stood the House of the Golden Flower who bare a rayed sun upon their shield; green their surcoats and yellow and gold their mail and helms, and their swords blazed like gold fire. There stood their chief Glorfindel, and he wore a mantle so broidered in threads of gold that it was diapered with celandine as a field in spring; and his arms were damascened with cunning gold.

Then there came from the south of the City the People of the Fountain, and Ecthelion was their lord. And the silver of his mail gleamed red in the fell light that now filled the sky, yet white burned the bitter spike of diamond upon his helm, for it was wrought with power, and was indeed devised for him in prophecy; for it was foretold that one day he should meet a Balrog in battle, and to that end had he wrought this helm: which could cleave even the raiment of form that a demon wears, that else his power defendeth. And the people of the Fountain were all in silver and in diamonds, and swords very long and bright and pale did they wield, and they went into battle to the music of flutes. Behind them came the host of the Harp, and this was a battalion of very brave warriors; but their leader Salgant was a craven, and he fawned upon Maeglin. They were dight with tassels of silver and tassels of gold, and a harp of silver shone in their blazonry upon a field of black; but Salgant bore one of gold, and he alone rode into battle, for much eating had made him heavy and squat as were few of Elven-kind inclined to.

Now the last of the companies was furnished by the folk of the Hammer of Wrath, and of these came many of the best smiths and craftsmen, and all that kindred reverenced Aule the Smith above all the other Ainur. They fought with great maces like hammers, and their shields were heavy, for their arms were very strong. And some of these had escaped from Angband ere the Battle of Tears Unnumbered and the closing of the leaguer, and their hatred of Balrogs and lesser balrogs was exceeding great. Now their leader was Rog, strongest of the Noldor or Sindar, scarce second in valour to Galdor of the Tree. The sign of his people was the Stricken Anvil, and a hammer smiting sparks about it was set on their shields, and red gold and black iron was their delight. Very numerous were they, nor had any among them a faint heart; and their glory was greatest among all the kindreds in that dreadful battle.

This was the fashion and array of the eleven houses of the Gondolondrim with their signs and emblems, and the bodyguard of Tuor, the Folk of the Wing, was accounted the twelfth. Now his face was grown grim in the red light, and he despaired of living long. And Pengolod the Scribe of the King's house came up to him in that hour bearing a pack containing many precious scrolls of lore (none of which were of his writing, for, said he, 'all that I have wrote abides in my own mind.'), but he carried besides a doughty sword. And he said, "Accept me into your company, friend Tuor, for now the doom which we have forseen comes upon us, and I would rather perish at your side than at any others." Then Tuor was deeply touched, and he sent Pengolod to his house to don mail and gear of the Folk of the Wing. There Pengolod went, and Idril met him at the door arrayed in mail, and she wore shoes as she seldom did, and a sword was at her side. She held Eärendil by the hand, and he too wore mail, a tiny coat his mother had fashioned for him in secret.

"I come for gear of Tuor's Folk." said Pengolod.

"I have spoken to you of the Way," said Idril, "and glad are we of your coming; but why have you left the royal company?"

Then Pengolod grew sad. "The King held a council of whatsoever lords were in the citadel when the flames were first seen, and thy husband was there, and Ecthelion, and Glorfindel, but few others besides Maeglin and the obese Salgant. And Tuor advised a great sally, but Turgon told them of the fell drakes he had seen from his tower with his keen sight, and no sally would avail against the Balrogs. But Maeglin advised the city be defended, for he was acertain no flame nor foe could mount the glassy slopes before our gates, and against fire, as he said, we have ever prepared. And this was greatly to the mind of Turgon, and then Tuor stood up in the council, taller than we had seen him save once, and he spoke in a mighty voice that yet seemed far distant, saying that we should forsake the city even now and flee to the high mountains, that a part of the people escape the ruin. But Maeglin spoke of the great riches of Gondolin, and the cunning devices we have wrought in slow years of labour, and said he, 'Are we to yield all this untested, and fly like cravens before Morgoth? Have we for nought laboured through years uncounted in the building of walls impregnable and gates insurmountable; is the mighty hill of Amon Gwareth a mere isle of sand in a raging stream, or is it not rather a rock indomitable, against whom even these fell flames of Morgoth shall splash and expire?' And Salgant spake noisily, 'Maeglin speaks well, O King, hear him.' And so it is that I have forsaken the King and come to Tuor, for my words could not prevail in counsel, and to tell him now of thy delving is madness."

Then Idril wept, and she said, "I foresaw he would do thus. And yet must we now wait until the city is taken, and the valiant can at last see reason, ere we can flee as Ulmo counselled. These are hard days. Lo, see Eärendil here, when I put on his coat he shouted for delight, yet now he clings to my hand for the greatness of these fell serpents whom even our craft cannot destroy, as well as the shadow of terror that goes before the Seven, whom no Elf has yet withstood."

And now came the Monsters across the valley and the white towers of Gondolin reddened before them; and in the city was the light great and lurid, and stifling heat clung about the streets, and a black smoke and stench drifted in from the scorched plain. And even the stoutest were in dread at the tremendous might of these engines of craft unthought of, whom no dart might pierce nor boulder cast from the machines on the wall might crush. But then there was a shout of hope, for the fountains of the city gushed forth from their ancient springs at the call of Turgon and sent great might of cateracts from hidden vents down upon the hill; and the fire-drakes might not climb the hill for reason of those gushing floods, nor win the gates by reason of the glassiness of those slopes. Yet vast steams arose where the waters beat back the drakes, and so scalding was the heat of them that nissi became faint and neri swat to weariness beneath their mail, and all the springs of the city, save only the fountain of the king, grew hot and smoked.

But now Gothmog Lord of Balrogs, captain of the hosts of Angband, second in power and strength only to Sauron himself, took counsel and gathered all his things of iron that could coil themselves around and above all obstacles before them, and he bade them pile themselves before the western wall where was no glassy slope. And they climbed and coiled in sinuous loathsomeness, higher and higher, until their great spires reached even to the merlons and thrust at the towers and bastions nigh to the great west gate, and by reason of the exceeding heaviness of their bodies that wall began to crack; yet might the power wrought into those walls not let them fall, and the serpents were stymied; but Gothmog struck them with his fist of shadow, and in his blow he put all his might and his demonic power, for he was very great; and his power passed into those walls and overmastered the commands in which they were founded, and they broke, and great was their ruin as the serpents fell inward. Then Gothmog, wearily, for great power had gone out of him and he was no longer so mighty (although he knew it not as yet), pressed through the breach in the wall. And the engines and catapults of Gondolin rained darts of thunder and boulders like cloven hills and molten metals on those beasts, and their hollow bodies clanged beneath the buffeting, yet it availed not for they might not be broken and they who marched beside the drakes of flame might not be harmed by molten metal.

Then were the topmost opened about their middles, and an innumerable host of the Orcs, the goblins of hatred, poured therefrom into the breach. Then did Rog shout in a mighty voice, and all the people of the Hammer of Wrath and the kindred of the Tree with Galdor the valiant leapt at the foe. There the blows of their great hammers and the dint of their clubs rang to the Encircling Mountains and the Orcs fell like leaves; and those of the Swallow and the Arch poured arrows like the dark rains of autumn upon them, and both Orcs and Gondolondrim fell therein for the smoke and confusion. Yet for all their might and the fire of their swords and valour the Elves were borne slowly blackward by their enemies; for Gothmog was among them, and in his shadow even the bravest gave ground.

Now Tuor's thought was to defend his house while his Folk of the Wing gathered the Kindreds and engineered a retreat down the hidden way; yet when he clove his way through his foes and hastened through the smoking and empty streets, he found his house held against him. For Maeglin had trusted in the breach to keep everyone at the west of the city while he and his folk, who bore little love for this Man who had dared to wed even an Elf and produce therefrom a bastard mongrel of both kindreds, took Tuor's house and Idril. And Maeglin had at the last moment found rumor of the secret delving, yet he had had little time to learn more, and it was his thought that that way would lead surely to the Way of Escape. Wherefore in the assault he had stood upon the walls, and called the Balrogs in his thought, and they heard him, and he told them to ward the Way of Escape lest any flee that way; for in sooth that the tunnel might lead in any other direction he deemed an absurdity, knowing how easily the blocked way might be opened. Besides Maeglin was afraid that Morgoth might not remember his promises, and in the turmoil of that fight his servants might yet slay Maeglin, and his thought was to use the tunnel himself if this proved true.

Now Tuor came to his door, and found a press of Elves in black galvorn with moleskin on their caps, and they withstood his furious demands that they stand aside, for they were loyal to their lord, though they were free Sindar and under no spell of Morgoth. Wherefore when Maeglin had come upon Idril, none of his folk aided her, though she battled him well with her fell sword; but they aided not him either. But the sword of Maeglin was that blade called Anguriel, made from iron that fell from heaven as a burning star; all earth-delved irons it clove in sunder. And even the Gondolin-forged sword of that stout Elf-woman might not abide the terrible edge of Anguriel, and it shattered; and seizing her by her hair Maeglin dragged her from the house and onto the battlements, that she might watch as he pitched Eärendil into the flames that surged beneath: for the very earth of the Guarded Plain was now aflame. But he could not master both her and the child, for the one wriggled like a snake and Idril fought him like a tigress, blade or no blade. Then came there a shout from the door, as Tuor hearing her cries uplifted his own in a voice so mighty that even the Orcs in the battle some way distant heard and quailed for a swift second. Like a crash of tempest the folk of the Wing burst through the folk of the Mole.

And Maeglin drew a short knife and would stab Eärendil, but the child sank his teeth into the left hand of Maeglin, and he missed his thrust and the knife broke upon the coat of elven-mail the boy wore; and then Tuor was upon him and his wrath was terrible to see. He seized Maeglin by the hand that held the knife and broke it in the wrenching, and he dropped Eärendil in his pain; and then lifting him by his middle Tuor said in a great voice, "Thou who betrayed Gondolin, thou shalt die as did thy father before thee!" And with that he strode up upon the walls, and flung him far out; and great was his flight, before he smote three times upon the slopes of Amon Gwareth, and pitched therefrom into the melting earth and was consumed; and the name of Maeglin has gone out in shame from among Elven-kind.

Then the warriors of the Mole being more numerous than the folk of the Wing, and loyal to their lord, came at Tuor; and there were great blows, but Tuor cast down his huge ax and wielded the long sword of Nevrast, and that blade burnt with grey flame, for Ulmo himself had touched it. Then might none of the dark Elves stand before the wrath of that Man, and they were driven from the house, or cast wailing from the walls. Then Tuor would be gone to the battle at the Gate, lest the City might yet stand; and even if all was lost, he intended to save Turgon if he would hear reason. And Idril wept, but she would not withhold him, and he left there Voronwe and Pengolod as guards, and fared with great speed through the choking reek of the burning streets.

Now was the battle at the gate very evil indeed, and Duilin of the Swallow as he shot from the walls was smitten by a fiery bolt of the Balrogs; and he fell from the battlements and perished. Then the lesser balrogs shot darts of fire and small snakes of quenchless flame into the sky, where they fell upon the roofs and gardens of Gondolin till all the trees were scorched, and the flowers and grasses burned up, and the whiteness of those walls and colonnades was blackened and seared, and the city was beginning to burn in the back of the defenders.

Then said Rog in a great voice: "Who now shall fear the Balrogs for all their terror? See before us the accursed ones who have tormented us in the hells of iron, and who now set a fire at our backs with their shooting. Come ye of the Hammer of Wrath and we will smite them for their evil." Thereupon he lifted his mace, and its' handle was long; and he made a way before him by the wrath of his onset even unto the fallen wall; but all the people of the Stricken Anvil raced behind like a wedge, and sparks leaped from their eyes for the fury of their rage. And many of the Orcs were borne backward to tumble down the slopes and die in the fires below; but the men of Rog climbed up upon the coiled serpents to the balrogs who shot their flaming bolts upon the charge; and he and the Folk of the Anvil smote upon them greviously, for all they had whips of flame and claws of steel, and were greater far in stature. With their enchanted hammers they smashed them into nought, so that their dark spirits were forced to flee naked to their Master in shame and misery; and catching their whips of flame wielded these against them, so that their own flames now tore them into peices; and it is said that the number of these lesser balrogs that perished was a marvel and a dread, for till now had none of them been slain. And chief among these was Fankil who claimed to be the son of Melkor himself, though he lied; Rog smote him, and cast him from his house, and sent him back in shame to Angband.

Then Gothmog Lord of Balrogs gathered all his demons and fell folk that were battling in the city, and he bade a number of them to give before the Folk of the Hammer and lure them forth, while three of the great Balrogs themselves stood in all their majesty of fear and power between him and the way back; and not even the enraged Elves might overcome these dreadful spirits. But Rog seeing this did not attack the Balrogs or attempt to win his way back, but with all his folk fell on those whose part was to give before them, and they fled before him of dire need rather than craft. And the rivers of melted earth were cooling and crusting now in places, so that bridges of crust spanned to the blasted but unmelted earth farther out; and across these fled the balrogs, and across these burst Rog and his people in pursuit. And they fell upon the hosts that waited outside the burned moat like a sudden storm unlooked-for, and they went as they would, yet ever they fared toward the Way of Escape, for it was their hope to make about the Seven Gates a great stand with the Kindreds of those Gates, who cut off from Gondolin were determined to hold the Gates until the last. Now seeing their kin hewing toward them did Elemmakil burst from the Seventh Gate upon horses, and with him were the Kindreds of the Gates of Steel and of Gold, and their arms of white and yellow burned red and dark umber in the unearthly light; for even now it was not yet dawn. Then great was their meeting in the midst of the plain, and they wheeled and hurried back at great speed towards the Seven Gates.

But the Balrogs were faster than they. Running at a speed greater than any horse, even as they had passed so long ago from the pits of Angband to the aid of Morgoth, they leaped the flames and thundered across the plain; and the earth was blasted utter black where they smote it, and the ground shook, and horses were unseated; yet no Elf can be unbalanced by any mere earth-wave. And two Balrogs stood between them and the Gates, while three others advanced from one side and another, and shadow drew in around them so that the very flames were darkened as if clouds had come over them; and the shadow reached out from their mighty arms like vast wings. Then those doughty Elves burst with a great cry in all their power upon those dreadful spirits, and fire and great smoke leaped up as the Balrogs beat upon Rog, and his folk perished to flaming whip and blast of magic, and there fell about them Elemmakil and two of the kindreds of the Seven Gates, and yet they hewed to the last till shadow and flame overcame them, and the plain was melted for the strength of the fires of those demons. But ere he died Rog with his great hammer smote assunder one Balrog's arm, and struck full upon his heart; and there was a crash of thunder like the breaking of the earth, and where that Balrog had stood, there now a smoking pit lay. Thus perished Rog, and the Folk of the Anvil, and Elemmakil of the Gate; but there also fell the first of the Seven Balrogs of Morgoth.

And dread fell upon the Gondolindrim for the loss of Rog and the closing against them of that Way of Escape; and they gave further back into the city, and Penlod perished there in a lane with his back to the wall, and about him many of the neri of the Pillar and many of the Tower of Snow. Now the goblins and the monsters held the Great Gate on the West, and this was now flung wide in all its' fourfold layers, and much of the walls to north and south, but within the city they had won a great space reaching nigh to the center, even to the Place of the Well that adjoined the Square of the Palace. Yet all these ways and around the Palace especially their dead were piled in uncounted heaps, and they halted therefore and took counsel, for they had lost far more than the defenders and were fearful at the loss of so many of those lesser demons and even one of the Seven Great Ones.

So then Gothmog decreed that they should hold what they had won, and those serpents of bronze and with great feet for trampling smashed a path in the glassy slopes up which the drakes of flame might climb; yet must this be done swiftly, for the heats of those drakes lasted not for ever, and might only be plenished from the wells of fire that Morgoth had delved in the fastnesses of Angband. And the drakes of flame entered into Gondolin, and the serpents of iron and those of bronze with great trampling feet beat and flowed their way slowly into the city in their wake; and last of all came the true Dragons, spreading out to hunt the streets, and gather plunder while they might.

But even as these entered a sweet music was heard, and as the balrogs wondered what this might mean there came Ecthelion of the Fountain and his people, held in reserve by Turgon till now, for he watched the battle from the height of his tower and sent messages thence by means devised long since. Now marched these folk to a great playing of their flutes, and the crystal and silver of their array was most lovely to see amid the red light of death and the blackness of burnt houses of broken stone.

Then on a sudden their music ceased and Ecthelion of the fair voice shouted for the drawing of swords, and flutes were cast down, and the pale blades flashed among the Orcs ere they were prepared. And Tuor arrived at that moment with the Folk of the Wing, and that folk wore helms with vizors that shielded them from heat, and mail that was proof against any flame, be it never so hot. But even as the Orcs and balrogs give way, behold the streets crack and quake underfoot, and the dragons have beaten down the towers of the gates and much of the walls into ruin, for with the sundering of one part the others gave that much faster. Bands of the Swallow and of the Arch of Heaven there fight bitterly amid the wreck or contest the walls to north and south with the foe; but even as Tuor and Ecthelion battle their way out from the palace, one of those brazen snakes heaves against the wall of a stone house and a great mass of it shakes and falls, and then begins to drip and run, for above it climbs a fire-drake and upon it are all Six of the Balrogs that remain. Flames gush from that worm and from the Six and elves wither before it, but behold the gear of Tuor and his folk is unharmed, though blackened; and black are the wings upon the helm of Nevrast.

Now the Orcs took heart from the presence of their masters and poured again upon the Two Captains; and Tuor slew with Dramborleg in mighty swaths about him, even as had Hurin more than thirty years before him. And he slew Othrod a captain of the Orcs, who was rumored to be not an Orc indeed but a demon in form of Orc; and Balcmeg he hewed assunder, and Lug he hewed the legs from under at the knee; but Ecthelion shore through two captains of the goblins at a sweep and cleft the head of Orcobal their mightiest warrior to his teeth; and for the power in his diamond spike and the fell gear of Tuor those captains won even up to the Balrogs themselves. Yet before the terror and the power of these demons they could not win further, and were beaten slowly back, till they saw that the flames were felling many of their folk to right and left, and they had even to gather what men they could and give way. And Ecthelion was wounded in the arm from the whip of one Balrog, that pierced even his enchanted mail; and he must needs lean on Tuor, and Tuor might not leave him, though the very feet of the trampling beast were upon them and they were like to be overborne. Then Tuor fighting off the terror of the Balrogs pierced the foot of the flaming drake that they rode upon, and it might not contain its' flames any more but screamed and lashed about, and the Balrogs leaped to the ground. But Tuor bearing Ecthelion escaped with most of his folk and some of the Fountain from out of that ruin.

And now the entire southern half of the city was in the hands of the foe, and Tuor was driven to the north. And he reached the Square of the Folkwell, and found there Galdor denying the western entry by the Arch of Ingwe to a horde of Orcs, but about him were now but a few of the men of the Tree. Then Galdor was the salvation of Tuor, for in that darkness of smoke and dawn twilight he fell over bodies and was nearly caught by marauding bands of orcs that were not inclined to be slaughtered in the main fight; but Galdor giving up upon the west rushed to his aid and drove the Orcs back, and Tuor's elves came up, and the mingled company fell back to the Place of the Fountain, and there now were gathering the remains of the other Houses, whose captains had fallen; and Tuor ordered them, and they hearkened.

Now that place had contained many beautiful trees, oak and poplar, and in the midst was the Great Well, deepest in all Gondolin, of vast depth and purity of water; but now was it dirty brown and yellow with soot and with blood from the bodies that fell into it, and it was warm with the heats that beat about the city. There came a commotion on the south as Tuor ordered the defense of the Square, and Glorfindel was driven in there with the Folk of the Flower, and his face shone with a golden light in his wrath. And they had been nearly whelmed by a company of Monsters in the square of markets, and a Balrog had been with them, and there had they perished had not the folk of the Harp come to his aid, ignoring Salgant who had bidden them defend him in his house.

Tuor now drank of the high fountain and was refreshed, and loosening Ecthelion's helm gave him to drink. Then Tuor and Glorfindel cleared the square, setting up the defence, save only on the south lest more fugitives reach them. Even as they did this, Egalmoth who had had charge of the engines on the wall entered. He had deemed matters to call for handstrokes now, and casting down his bow he gathered some of the Arch and the Swallow, and they fared through the city rescuing bands of captives and gathering many single elves from broken companies, and with him were as much of the women and few children as he had found. These then were sent to the King's halls, but told to be ready to flee from thence and make for the house of Tuor if the battle should go ill. Many wondered at this, for the citadel was the strongest place in Gondolin, and they took his bidding lightly.

Then fire grew above the arches of the gates into the square, and the light of dawn was hidden, and every arch glowed like a furnace. All the barriers they had built flew up in sunder at the same moment, and the wall crumbled in four places, and there crashed four of the great trampling-creatures of bronze, and the copper serpents with hearts of flame, and there too were several of the drakes of pure flame. And from each arch strode one of the Six Balrogs, and Gothmog by the breach. Then the Elves for the great terror of that shadow of not one but five of these fearsome beings, drew slowly back, and hands drooped and weapons fell. Yet Glorfindel, and Tuor, and Egalmoth, and Galdor did not falter, and with great cries roused their folk. Then Gothmog advanced upon Tuor, and smote him out of the way with a blow of his whip, and though the fire of that whip might not bite on his gear its' thongs held a strangling power, and he was cast skidding across the square. Then Ecthelion, whose face was of a grey pallor for the heat and his poisoned wound, rose to his feet from where he lay by the fountain, and he was alone, for the doughty elves on either side were battling in vain against the remaining Balrogs of Morgoth.

And Gothmog lifted his foot to step in contempt upon this Elf, but Ecthelion raised his sword, and thrust terribly at the demon; and Gothmog drew back, bending on him a fell glance, yet Ecthelion endured the terror of that look and stood firm. And Gothmog strove with the sword of Ecthelion, and broke it with his whip, yet as he raised it again did Ecthelion leap headfirst upon him for all his wound, and the bitter spike of diamond upon his helm pierced the heart of Gothmog, and the demon in dismay found that his power was not what it had been. Then Ecthelion bore him backward, and they toppled into the fountain, and a great blast of steam went up. There perished Ecthelion Lord of the Fountains; but there also found his bane Gothmog greatest of Balrogs, who else could have swum a thousand days about the deeps and not drowned.

Then as the five Balrogs drew back in dismay for the death of their Lord, their terror was lifted and the Elves pressed fiercely against them; and fearing lest any of them bear weapons as fell as the helm of Ecthelion the Balrogs gave before them, and they hemmed in those serpents of pure flame and even that copper one with heart of fire, and the folk of the Wing who were proof against flame drove them back for all their blastings, until they were driven into the King's Fountain and the Great Well; and the drakes were turned into hard stone as their fires were quenched, but great smokes went up, and that was the end of that fair water and a cloud like a fog lay over Gondolin.

Then dread fell on all for the doom of the fountain, and Turgon who had come forth in time to aid in driving the fire-drakes, bade them press back. Then Tuor spoke of his secret way, and urged the king to send all his folk thither, and to come himself, but Turgon refused.

"All who wish to leave, I send to you, Tuor my son," he said, "but I am confident in the strength of my tower, and I have seen that even the Balrogs and the machines of Morgoth can be overcome. I have surprises for them I have told but to few. Take who will go, but I will not come."

"Then may I go hence, my father and lord?" said Tuor weeping. "Will you not even now yield to doom and save at least a part of the royal blood of the Noldor?"

"That blood now runs in thy son," said Turgon, "and all the more do I bid thee take him hence. Even should I fall, he will live; and mayhap he is the hope unbuilt of which Ulmo spoke. Yet I love thee, Man of Nevrast, and great is my grief at this evil day."

"Not greater than is mine at thy folly," said Tuor, "for I love thee as well, my king and father." Then turning he hurried thence, and there went with him Glorfindel, and Egalmoth, and Galdor, and many of the warriors and women and children of Gondolin; yet the most part refused to forsake the king.

Then Tuor and those with him issued from the doors, and the great serpents fared about the square as they wished and were even now trampling down the lesser bastions outside the citadel walls, and the Balrogs saw them not. Then he gathered that rueful company and set the neri outermost, and so they issued into the Way of Pomps and down to the Place of the Gods. But the Balrogs espyed their movement, and some of the hugest of the drakes came on, true Dragons, glaring in the fog; and Tuor bade them to go at a run, fighting as they might. Very swift did they run, for they were Eldar, and at the rear the power of Glorfindel held back the serpents. Thus they came out of the Way of Pomps and reached Gar Ainion, the Place of the Gods; and this was very open and the second highest place in the city, and here he thought to make an evil stand, for the foe pressed them hard. But as they reached it, he saw no glare in the fog, and he drew up to a halt, wondering very much. Then Idril came out of the gloom, and her hair was unbraided and shone as gold fire, and Voronwe was with her, but none else. She looked not at him, but stared in dread and horror back toward the Tower of the King.

Then Tuor looking after her saw above the fog the citadel gleaming white in the rising dawn, though the sun was buried in the reeks of Gondolin; and they saw why the foe was no longer in pursuit. There from the castle now poured the contrivances of Turgon, great missiles wrought with fell cunning to shatter whatso they smote, and several of the iron serpents have already perished therefrom; and others there are as well, and the hosts of Morgoth might not enter. But the Balrogs stand forth, five in all, and the great engines with feet for trampling grind and pound away at the base of the Tower, while the fell magic of those demons blasts the foundations from underneath it. High upon the summit stood Turgon, and fires and bolts of power shot from the windows, yet they died as they met the shadow of the Balrogs. And even as the tower shook with the pounding at its' base, they heard the voice of Turgon uplifted for the last time, and it rang from end to end of all that city, and he said, "Great is the Fall of Gondolin."

And all the Elves who heard it felt a cold dread, for those were the words Mandos had spoken long before. Now Orcs are streaming forth from that hall leading captive all they could find, and there on the stairs is coiled a Dragon who defiles their whiteness with his fires; but even as they issue forth behold the tower might not endure longer the pounding at its' base, and it falls in a flame and stabbing of fire and Orcs and Elves alike are crushed. Then the Balrogs blast aside the rubble and the Orcs and Dragons begin to search through it for treasure and for plunder; and already great numbers of them, bearing what they wish, are hurrying from the city to make secret stashes to return to later. Thus it came about that the swords Glamdring and Orcrist were saved from the wreck, for a Dragon uncovered the crushed body of Turgon; but the fell sword survived the crash: and with them, it is told, was the elven-knife Sting.

Then said Idril, "Woe is me whose father stood on the pinnacle and awaited his doom; but seven times woe whose lord hath gone down before Morgoth and will stride home no more!"

And said Tuor, "Lo! Idril, it is I, and I live; let us make now haste back to our house, for such was the bidding of Turgon, and I might not prevail on him to come with me, for he trusted in that tower."

Then said Idril heavily, "Sad is the blindness of the wise." and Tuor replied, "Sad too is the stubbornness of those we love--yet twas a valiant fault." and stooping he lifted and kissed her, as she wept bitterly for her father, for she was more worth to him than all of Gondolin. Then turned Tuor to the captains, saying, "Hasten! We must run now, faster than we yet have, lest the foe remember us, and follow!"

Now were they in the northernmost part of the city, and there were but a few bands of plunderers roaming the streets and these fled screeching before them; yet everywhere fire leaped up from the very stone of the houses, such was the power of that clinging flame the balrogs spewed upon the city. Women and fleeing men they met, some laden with goods, but Tuor bade them drop all but their food. "Lives matter more than golden stars," he said, "and wives are more dear than jewels. Follow us, for we run!"

Coming at length to a place where the fires were less and no Orcs were roaming, Tuor let the wearied band rest, and asked Voronwe for tidings, for Idril sank down with eyes closed and seemed asleep. And Voronwe said that they had waited at the house while fire and battle raged above, and Idril at length sped most of the guard down the secret way with Eärendil, and then she and Voronwe fared about the streets gathering what few fugitives they found and speeding them to the secret way. And so it came that she and Tuor met at the Place of the Gods, ere it was too late; for else would Tuor have fared about through the city in search of her, and they might well have missed one another a hundred times in the smoky streets. But now they came to Tuor's house, and to their horror they saw the clinging fires had found it too, and much of it was burned and the wreckage was asmoke, and Tuor was bitterly wroth at that. But there was a noise that boded the approach of Orcs, and Tuor despatched that company as swiftly as might be down that secret way. They were now many hundreds in number, and there was great sorrow upon them as they bid farewell to Gondolin; yet had they little hope of passing the beleaguered hills, for surely the Eagles had been overwhelmed also, for no sign of them had been seen in all that battle.

Glad was Tuor when all of them had passed the once-concealed entrance, and he shut the secret door, though the house was still burning and the door might well burn too. Therefore some of the Elves used their kuru to crack loose the walls of the tunnel, bringing it down behind them, that no roving Orc might follow or know of their escape. They descended the long rough stair that led down the steep way under the northern flank of Amon Gwareth, hewn out of the bitter stone until it was far beneath the valley floor. But when they reached the level of the valley the heat grew to a torment, for the earth above had melted with the passing of the fire-drakes, and though the drakes were faring there no more and that moat of flame was swiftly crusting, still the heat was terrible. And they passed under the fire, and the roof shivered at the tremors of the ground under the distant feet of the monsters, and great rocks were loosened now and again from the roof and fell, and some were crushed beneath; and fumes were in the air so that torch and lantern might not abide. Here they fell over bodies of some that had gone before and perished, and Tuor was in fear for Eärendil, and they pressed onward in great darkness and anguish. Nigh two hours were they in that tunnel in the earth, for it was over four miles in length, and towards the end it was scarcely finished, being rugged at the sides and low.

Thus came they at last to the tunnel's opening, and it debouched cunningly in a large basin where once water had lain, but it was now full of thick bushes. Here were gathered no small press of mingled folk whom Idril had sped down the secret way ahead of her, and there was much weeping among them as they looked to the fair hill far behind now crowned in flame and smoke, and dragons fared in and out from every gate, and great was the sack of that place by the Orcs and the Great Worms. Somewhat of comfort this had nonetheless for the leaders, for the plain was empty of most of the foes. But Eärendil was not there. Tuor asked with increasing panic concerning him, until at last he came on Pengolod the Scribe, and he said, "My lord Tuor, thy son would not essay the tunnel, hating it; wherefore some of the folk of the Wing whose gear guards from all fire took him on foot across the moat of flame, and they should be drawing nigh us even now, yet I see no sign of them." For the fume of the burning, and the steam of the fair fountains withering in the breath of the dragons of the north fell upon the vale of Tumladen in mournful mists.

"Let us use these fell smokes ere the Sun rises high enough to burn through them!" said Galdor. "Some of the swiftest and least wearied of us must go and meet with thy son; but the rest should file forth from hence, and waste not the time!"

"But whence shall we make?" said Pengolod, "for the Way of Escape lieth south, and would we have to traverse the entire length of the plain and in full sight of the western gate ere we could win thence."

"To the Cirith Thoronath we must fare," answered Glorfindel, "for none will expect us to enter the north of those mountains and the nighest to Angband; and if any Eagles are left, they will aid us, I hope." And Tuor and Egalmoth were of like mind with him; but many others spoke against this, saying that the Seven Gates had not been taken for all they could see, and so doughty were those gates they might yet stand, "and could we win thence under the mountains with ease." But Tuor scorned them for fools, for Maeglin would certainly have told of that way, and the Seven Gates have been thrown down. Still a large body sundered from Tuor and fared out across the plain, and by reason of those smokes they succeeded in making it to the Orfalch. Yet they found the Seven Gates deserted, and their portals wide, and they fared downward into the darkness in growing fear. And even as they were penned between the Gates of Writhen Iron and of Bronze, behold light grew suddenly in the darkness of the steep cleft, and beneath them a Dragon sat upon the threefold towers of the Bronze Gate, while Orcs slammed the grills of the Gate of Iron behind them, and he laughed. Then flame swept up the cleft, and devoured all that company, and not one of them came again out.

But the remaining company, wellnigh a thousand, made ready to set out, and Tuor climbed to the lip of the dell to peer out upon the plain. By now the sun hung well above a saddle in the eastern hills, and she was very red and great, and the mists began to seethe and rise, but the ruins of Gondolin were utterly hidden in smoke and steam as in a cloud. In the clearing air he beheld, but a few furlongs off, a knot of Elves on foot, running with great speed, but they were pursued by a strange cavalry, for what seemed like huge wolves were galloping after them, and on them rode Orcs with long spears. And Tuor cried, "See! There is Eärendil my son, and his face shines like a star in the waste, and my men of the Wing are about him, and they are in sore straits." For but six now remained alive, and these were like to be overtaken for all their elven-speed, and Eärendil was borne aloft on the shoulders of one Hendor. Then Tuor shouted in a great voice for them to stand, and the six Elves came to a stop, causing the wolves to outpace them and mill in confusion for a second ere they returned to the attack; and there the Elves stood them off until Tuor came up with the fleetest of the Elves, and he was breathless.

Of the wolfriders there were a score, and Tuor opened his men into a crescent, and by this means enveloped the riders, lest any escaping bear tidings to the city and draw ruin upon the exiles. In this he succeeded, for only two escaped, and they were wounded and without their beasts, so that it was some hours before the Balrogs heard of the chink in their plans.

Glad was Eärendil to greet Tuor, and Tuor was greatly relieved to see him. "I am thirsty, father, for I have run far---nor had Hendor need to carry me." Then his father said nothing, having no water and being oppressed in thinking how to get that host safely out of Tumladen. They made back to the hollow, where now the remnant of Gondolin was ready to embark, and they were led by one Legolas Greenleaf of the house of the Tree, who knew all that plain by day or by dark, and had eyes that could penetrate the thickest smoke. Then they made a long march and halted only when they had crossed a large swath of plain, and all the land about them was in a grey light like a sad dawn, for the fogs hid the Sun and they could not see the city.

"Twas good to see Maeglin die so," said Eärendil, "for he would set arms about my mother---and I liked him not; but I would travel in no tunnels for all Morgoth's wolfriders." Then Tuor smiled and bore him again upon his shoulders, as he had done for long periods when the child wearied. But Idril wanted to carry him for a time, and Eärendil put up with it for a little, but then squirmed to be put down, for he said, "Mother Idril, thou art weary, and warriors in mail ride not in Gondolin unless they be messengers---or old Salgant!" At this his mother laughed amid her sorrow, but Eärendil considered and asked, "Nay, where is Salgant?"

"I saw him last aquake beneath his bed." said one who had come with Tuor from the palace. At that many others laughed, for Salgant was little liked. "Belike the tower fell on him."

"Or he is led thrall to Angband, there to be buffoon to Morgoth!" said another, and the entire host broke into clear laughter. But soon they fell still, for thinking of the wreck of their city, and Eärendil was sad, for Salgant had told him quaint tales or played drollries with him at times, and the boy had much laughter of the stout Elf when he visited the house of Tuor, as he did often for the good wine and fair repast he gat there. But none could say where Salgant was, nor can they now.

Now came they to the foothills in the north of Tumladin, and it was full noon but still grey, and there before the long upward road they rested in a little dale fringed with trees and with hazel-bushes, and many slept despite their peril. But Tuor posted a strict watch, and though he shut his eyes his mind might not rest for the care that was in it. Here they made one meal of scanty food and broken meats; and Eärendil quenched his thirst and played beside a little brook. Then he looked up and said, "Mother Idril, I would we had good Ecthelion of the Fountain here to play to me on his flute, or make me willow-whistles! Perhaps he has gone on ahead?"

"Nay," said Tuor, "for he fought the greatest battle that was ever won by any Elf, and though himself wounded and in pain he fought face to face with Gothmog Lord of Balrogs, and a more fell demon has Angband never sent forth since Huan sent Sauron back in shame to Taur-nu-Fuin; and both of them fell into the Great Well and came not forth."

Then said Eärendil that he cared not ever to see the streets of Gondolin again, and he wept bitterly. But Tuor opened his eyes, and said, "Nay, you would not see those streets in any case, for Gondolin is no more."

And when the sun was drawing low to the hills Tuor roused the company, and they pressed on by rugged paths. Soon now the grass faded and gave way to mossy stones, and trees fell away, and even the pines and firs grew sparse. About the set of the sun the way so wound into the shoulders of the hills that they knew this was the last they would see of Gondolin; and as one they turned and gazed across the plain. And Tumladen was clear and smiling in that light as of old, but afar off as they stared a great flare shot up against the stark hills of the south, dull red in the fading sun; and that was the fall of the last tower of Gondolin, which had stood above the northern gate, and cast its' shadow often across the walls of Tuor's house. Then sank the sun, and they saw Gondolin no more.

Now the pass that is called Cristhorn or Cirith Thoronath was one of dangerous going, and that host had not adventured it in the darkness, burdened as they were with the sick or wounded, had it not been for their great fear of discovery ere they could win the fastnesses of the mountains, for Tuor was certain Morgoth had set watchers ringing the Encircling Mountains against any stray fugitives, if the Eagles had indeed perished. But were they all of the Eldar, and could see in deepest gloam by no greater light than star, and they marched on, upward and highward into the ragged pass. There the way became very strait indeed, so that they must all string out into a long straggling line. Galdor and a band of folk with spears went in the van, and Legolas was with them, whose eyes could see farther than any cat. Tuor was in the midmost, and at the rear came Glorfindel and the stoutest folk of the Golden Flower.

Now were they in the highest part of the Eagles' Cleft, and so far above the earth was it that spring nor summer might come there, and it was very cold. Snow dwelt there all the year long in those bleak places, and the wind howled down from the north, and it bit sorely. From the mists as they rose into the high airs and became clouds, snow now fell, stinging in their eyes as the wind drave it in their faces. Now here was the path most narrow of all, for on the right or easterly hand a sheer wall rose nigh seven chains above them, ere it burst up into jagged pinnacles where were once many eyries of the Eagles. But on the left the rock dropped away, not straight down but dreadly steep, and long teeth of rock that slope bore up-pointing. And even were one to reach the bottom without harm, there Thorn Sir ran. He falls therein from the north over a great precipiece but with a slender water, for he is a thin stream in those heights, and he issues forth after flowing but a rocky mile above ground down a narrow passage that goes into the mountains, and scarce a fish might squeeze through with him.

Galdor and his men were come now to the end nigh where Thorn Sir falls into the abyss, and the others straggled, for all their efforts, back along the entire mile of the perilous way between cliff and chasm, so Glorfindel was scarce come to the pit's beginning when there was a yell in the night that echoed in that grim region. And Galdor and his men gripped spears and shouted, for shapes were leaping out from rocks whence they had lain hidden even from the eyes of Legolas. It was Tuor's thought that they had fallen in with one of the watching companies of Morgoth, and he sent the women and children around him and squeezed past them to join to Galdor. But now rocks fell from above, and the noise of arms clashed from the rear, and looking back Tuor saw that Glorfindel was engaged in combat with goblins at the far end, and there brooded on the crag above a blackness that was not of the night; and his heart fell into a sudden despair, for he knew then that a Balrog was with them.

So it was indeed, for the wounded Orcs had brought news of fugitives escaping north, and the Balrog who heard the tidings had said nothing to his brothers, for he thought to win the favour of Morgoth by capturing the prized Tuor and Eärendil himself. Wherefore he passed swifter than horses across the plain, yet he mistook the direction and passed the fugitives by some leagues to the east. But reaching the mountains he gathered some of the Orcs that were there watching and bade them gather about the Cristhorn, for if they were indeed bending north, they would come that way.

Then Tuor was sore afraid of a trap, and he and Galdor, and Glorfindel at the rear, fought with such power and fury that the Orcs might not win past them; but the stones dropped from above were slaying many, and were like to be their ruin; and there waited besides the brooding shadow, not yet certain whether his servants would do the task for him, or whether he would have to arise in his might and risk himself against these fell Noldor. But the moon lifted above the pass, and the gloom lessened and the shadow of the Balrog was less, and pale light filtered into the dark places, yet might Ithil not overlook the path for the height of the wall.

But now there came the great rushing of wings like a wind in rocky places, and there came beyond hope the Thornhoth, the folk of Eagles, whose beaks are of steel and whose talons are swords, ranging up in wrath from the south. Thorondor had indeed been beaten off from the assault of the host on the north heights by the power of the Balrogs and the bolts of flame that took many of his folk, but he had fared about the hills hunting out the watchers of Morgoth, lest any fugitives escape the city; and now was he come at last to the Cleft in the north, hearing from afar the shouts of the Elves and seeing the hair of Glorfindel burn in his fury like a yellow star. And they fell upon the Orcs who held the heights, tearing face and hand, ere they cast them screeching into the depths. Now Galdor and Tuor were unopposed, for those in front gave back and fled before the onrush of the Eagles, and the fugitives hurried along the icy path in his wake. Nigh half had passed the falls of Thorn Sir and the trap of the cliffside path, and Glorfindel was pressing the others forward with such speed that he at the rear was but some hundred yards from the falls, when the brooding shadow awoke.

Blackness fell over the Moon like a cloud of fear. All that gorge was plunged in darkness deeper than night, but the armour of Glorfindel gleamed strangely in the gloom, and the Elves gave out faint light as they raced nimble-footed over ice and broken rock. Then did that Balrog leap from his crag in the rear, speeding like a black wind upon the heights of the west side, and from thence he lit in fiery shadow upon a clump of lofty rocks that rose up from the lip of the abyss, overhanging the path; and his whip of flame lashed down among the women, and screams arose. Yet one of the Elven-women seized with a word of power that burning whip, and might the Balrog but scarcely snatch it back again; but her hand was flayed to the bone. Then Thorondor, who had marred the very face of Morgoth himself, bore down stooping upon that demon from the high airs; yet the Balrog smote him with a blast of fire so great that even that Lord of Eagles was badly burned, and crashed with smoking feathers upon a distant crag, and his folk feared to approach.

But Glorfindel gave a mighty leap upon that towering rock, and there with his golden sword he hewed at that demon, and he bore on his head a helm of the Wing, taken from one of the fallen that he passed, and it served him well, and none of the Balrog's fires might slay him, though he was pained from them. Now was there a deadly combat upon those lofty rocks, for the Balrog leaped in his power hundreds of feet to an even greater height, and none of the Elves could aid their captain, even could they abide the terror of that monster. But Glorfindel clung to him and was borne up also, and about the lofty pinnacles they two sprang, hewing with whip and sword. The ardour of Glorfindel drave the Balrog from point to point; now had he beaten a deadly hurt upon it's horned head, now hewn off the whip-arm at the elbow. Then in his wrath and dismay the Balrog sprang full upon Glorfindel, who stabbed like the dart of a snake; and his fell blade entered the Balrog's raiment of flesh and tore it so that not even that demon's power could keep it longer alive; and they twain fell together into the abyss, and the mountain cracked where they hit, and the path thundered in ruin into the chasm, and fires and great smokes burst up from Thorn Sir.

Then the Eagles descended into that chasm, and bore up the body of Glorfindel; but the Balrog lay in the stream, and his dark spirit fled like a wraith to lurk in the mountains and slowly forge anew another shape of flesh, and Thorn Sir ran black for many a day far below in Tumladin. There Tuor and the Eagles raised a great cairn of stones over Glorfindel where the ground was more open at the foot of the great rock, and a green turf came there, and yellow flowers bloomed in the crevices upon the barrenness of stone until the world was changed. And with the Eagles beside them Tuor feared no longer any ambush by Morgoth's forces, for the noble birds fared about the hills and hunted out every spy that remained; and no word of that escape came to Morgoth's ears until many years after, as a rumor from the shore. But now the Eagles gathered food for them and led them to shelter in deep caves, and they built fires and rested until their wounds were healed. And that was soon indeed, sooner than Tuor had imagined, for both the Sindar of Nevrast and the Noldor of Gondolin were a fell and hardy race. And he came to where Thorondor lay amid a mighty nest of sticks upon the crag of a height, and his feathers were burned half off and would take many days to grow again, but was he hale otherwise. And Tuor gave him great thanks, and besought him (for he knew that in his people were folk of Manwe) to ask if the Valar had words for them.

And Thorodor said, "I know that thou hast the favour of Ulmo, son of Huor. Descend into the Vales of Sirion, and follow the great river until you reach the Land of Willows; for that land will not fall to the Enemy yet a little while, and make thence for the mouths beside the Sea. Join ye to Cirdan and the folk of Dior; this is my rede." And Tuor bowed and thanked him.

So they travelled slowly and with great care through the treacherous mountains, and Eagles guided them, and at last they won with hard labour down into the valley of Sirion. Far to the north they descried the lonely isle of Tol Sirion, that had of old been Minas Tirith, and for a brief time Isle of Werewolves; yet was it clean now and no evil dwelt there. And they passed by swift marches at dead of night down Sirion, and the power of Ulmo was in that river yet, and the eyes of Morgoth did not see them and his servants smelt them not. They passed the Dry River, and looked earnestly to see if the great slope of stones that barred the Way of Escape had been blasted apart from within; but it was unbroken, solid as ever, and they knew then that either they who parted from them had failed to break out and perished penned in the cleft, or they had been taken on the way and never won even so far. And they went down past Brethil, and to the place where of old the Girdle of Melian had crossed Sirion; but she was gone from Middle-earth and her Girdle expired, and Sirion ran unclouded.

Now  at  last  they  came  to  those  great  heaths  and  morasses  above  the  Land  of  Willows,  and here  Voronwe  was  their  guide,  for  he  had  come that  way  many  years  before.  Now  here  Sirion  went  a  very  great  way  under  the  earth,  diving  at  the  great  cavern  of  the  Tumultous  Winds,  but  running  clear  again  at  the  Gates  of  Sirion  above  the  Pools  of  Twilight.  Yet  in  places  those  marshes  were  full  of  deciets,  and  the  host  for  all  their  lightness  of  foot  had long  delays  and  were  vexed  by  vicious  flies,  for  it  was  now  full  summer  and  nearing  autumn.

Still they descended the cliffs and passed over the hills under which Sirion flowed, and the earth there shook ever faintly with the roar of that stream in the underground halls, and came at last to a region of great loveliness. Here the river wound in wide curves with low banks through a great plain of the sweetest grass and very long and green; willows of untold age were about its' borders, and its' wide bosom was strewn with waterlily leaves, and white flowers like cups still lingering. Beneath the willows the green swords of the flaglilies rose, and sedges stood, and reeds in embattled array. And a spirit of whispers seemed to dwell in that fair place, and there the exiles of Gondolin lingered. And the very breath of the winds brought rest and peace to them, and their grief grew quiet in that place, but their sorrow could not be healed. Nigh eight hundreds had come alive out of the sack of Gondolin and through all the perils of the escape; yet was that a pitiful remnant indeed of the fair city of the Elves. And they made a feast in memory of Gondolin and of the Elves that had perished there, the maidens, and the wives, and the warriors of the King; and for Glorfindel the beloved many were the songs they sang, under the willows of Nan-Tathren in the waning of the year. There Tuor made a song for Eärendil his son, conerning the coming of Ulmo Lord of Waters to the shores of Nevrast; and as he sang it suddenly he faltered and fell silent, for the sea-longing burned fierce and long-forgotten in his heart, and it awoke in Idril and his son as well.

So they departed from Nan-Tathren and went southwards don the river to the sea; and they dwelt there by the mouths of Sirion, and joined their people to the company of Elwing Dior's daughter, that had fled thither but a little while before. And hen they brought the news to Balar of the Fall of Gondolin and the death of Turgon, Erenion Gil-Galad was named High King of the Noldor in MIddle-earth.

But Morgoth thought that his triumph was fulfilled, for he knew that a Silmaril dwelt by the sea; and he laughed in his black thought, regretting not the one Silmaril that was lost, for by it as he deemed the last shred of the people of the Eldar should vanish from Middle-earth and trouble him no more. Of the sons of Feanor and their oath he cared not, for never had that oath hindred him, but turned always to his mightiest good. If he knew of the dwelling at the mouths of Sirion he gave no sign, biding his time, and waiting upon the working of oath and lie. Yet by Sirion and the sea there grew up an Elven-folk, the gleanings of Doriath and Gondolin; and from Balar the mariners of Cirdan came among them, and they took to the waves and the builing of ships, dwelling ever nigh to the coasts of Arvernien, under the shadow of Ulmo's hand.

Now Ulmo came up out of the deep waters, and strode into Valinor, and he spoke to Manwe and the Valar of the need of the Elves. And he called on them to forgive them, and rescue them from the overmastering might of Morgoth, and win back the Silmarils, wherein alone now bloomed the light of the Days of Bliss when the Two Trees still shopne in Valinor. But Manwe moved not; and of the counsels of his heart what tale shall tell? Yet it is said that he answered to the great voice and pleading words of Ulmo one thing alone, and that was this: "The last hope has not yet set his foot upon these shores, and only when he who bears both bloods in his person shall plead in their name, wilt the counsels of the Powers be moved." And Ulmo bowed his head, and strode back in silence into the sea.

In those days Tuor felt old age creep upon him, and the echos of the note of the Ulmonan grew ever stronger in his heart; and he built a great ship, and he named it Eärrame, the Sea-wing, and set sail with Idril Celebrindal into the sunset and the West, and came never back again as mortal Man."

Then Littleheart fell still, but Vaire said, "Alas for Gondolin," and Eadwine shed tears in silence, but Aelfwine gazing into the fire murmered, "Great is the Fall of Gondolin." And there was quiet in the Room of Logs.

Chapter Thirteen

               THE  TALE  OF  EARENDIL

But on the day following Eriol said to Littleheart, "Lo, who is Eärendil? For that name lingers among Men as a name for the Evening Star; yet when I sailed hither methought I passed in the Voids a ship captained by a man with flaming face, and that ship was exceeding bright."

Then said Littleheart, "That is verily Eärendil himself, who yet fareth among the new stars and exploreth as he may; but soon is the time when he shall draw himself forever from the Great Voids within Eä and venture no further than the skies of the Blessed Realm, and thou belike may be the last to gaze upon Eärendil since ever he ceased to be the Evening Star." And Aelfwine wondered greatly at these words, but Littleheart would only say at his probing, "The skies are a study for the loremasters, for they are not visible to us beneath the Dome of Varda; and I am no loremaster. But the Tale of Eärendil I shall relate myself this night, for was not I one of his companions on every voyage he made?"

Then Aelfwine said, "How many were these?"

And Littleheart answered, "We sailed from the North to the uttermost South, probing for the least hole or gap in the defenses of Valinor, but we found none. Yet as is sung in the Lay of Eärendil,

        "Eärendil  was  a  mariner
                 that  tarried  in  Arvernien;
                 he  built  a  boat  of  timber  felled
                 in  Nimbrethil  to  journey  in;
                 her  sails  he  wove  of  silver  fair,
                 of  silver  were  her  lanterns  made,
                 her  prow  he  fashioned  like  a  swan
                 and  light  upon  her  banners  laid.
                 In  panoply  of  ancient  kings,
                 in  chainéd  rings  he  armoured  him;
                 his  shining  shield  was  scored  with  runes
                 to  ward  all  wounds  and  harm from  him;                                                                                his  bow  was  made  of  dragon-horn,
                 his  arrows  shorn  of  ebony,
                 of  silver-steel  his  habergeon,
                 his  scabbard  of  chalcedony;
                 his  sword  was  like  a  flame  in  sheath,
                 with  gems  was  wreathed  his  helmet  tall,
                 an  eagle  plume  upon  his  crest,
                 upon  his  breast  an  emerald.
                 Beneath  the  Moon  and  under  star
                 he  wandered  far  from  northern  strands,
                 bewildered  on  enchanted  ways
                 beyond  the  days  of  mortal  lands.

"I find it beginning to run together in my mind, the voyages we made. First tried we to sail straight West, but straightaway we met the Harbourless Isles that are the outer fences of the Enchanted Islands, and thou knowest what manner of places those are, Eriol. But the skill of Eärendil and the consummate craftsmanship of Vingelot--for never had Cirdan made so mighty a boat, and even Osse himself might be hard put to it to build an equal---kept us ever away from the drawing currents and sudden storms, yet though we darted in and about, beating farther and farther to the North, no passage might we find between reefs and sands, and maelstroms filled every wider gap and scarce might we elude their whirling grasp.

Then it came about that we spied a great isle standing forth from the treacherous seas, and the cliffs of it were black but drifted white as snow with the birds that flew and nested about it. And for wonder of the seabirds we abode there some little time, and the more readily that winter was on us. But Rúmil spoke to the birds and they fed us all that winter, and we laid up great store of fish and edible weed against the spring.

Then we set off when the winter frost lifted, and we drew north and found the seas still adrift in mighty hills of white and blue ice, and we saw in fear and wonder the Sun growing lower each day, till she might scarce lift her head above the clouds that smoked in the south. The ice grew closer as we drew farther north, and we spied far and faint the north-wastes of Middle-Earth upon the east. Then ëEärendil cried out, and upon the west was a similar wasteland of grey snow and bare earth; and the Sun was far and pale now and scarce able to lift her brow above the rim of sky. And the colds were so great now that even our feathered cloaks scarce kept us warm, yet still we were cut off from the wastes of Avathar by the ragged rocks and reefs. Then reached we at last that fearsome place that is named Icefang, the Helcaraxë, the Grinding Ice; and that ice was greater now and clashed and gnawed unceasing, unable to freeze into one piece by command of the Valar, and but narrowly did we manage to turn Vingelot back.

Thence sped we south, for we knew the North was barred, and glad were we to leave that dim place where shadow lies on frozen hills, and the brightest day is like the faint gloam of dawn sky and Anar is but a paler rose and blue in the southern sky amid the deep blue, and sends no ray to warm those shores. And Eärendil was eager to see his wife, the fair Elwing, and play for a brief time with Elros and Elrond. So we came to Arvernien and abode thence in Falasquil for a time, but Eärendil grew ever more restless and again Vingelot was launched.

By some strange chance we found the Harbourless Isles on a clear day of utter calm in summer's height, and feeling our way we towed Vingelot with our longboats through a winding channel in the perilous sounds, and our Elven-eyes pierced the dim water lying still and with but small waves to stir it. And we hastened away from those Harbourless Isles and into the waters of the West.

But ere the ragged sounds were out of our sight (which was far longer a distance then, Eriol, when the Field of Arda was flat and sight limited but by the height on which one stood and the keenness of one's eyes, than in thy days when the world is bent and round and one's sight shoots off the curving seas), Eärendil cried aloud for dismay. For we had found the Shadowy Seas that curve in a great crescent within the line of the Harbourless archipelago, and to us it was as if the deepest clouds of night-storm had come out into the light of day, unmoving but roiled slowly from within, all those foul glooms and webs of Unlight which Ungoliantë belched about her lair in deepest Avathar. Now have the Valar cleansed that land and spread those undying glooms upon the Seas of Shadow, and they lay before us like a wall of soft mountains of shadowy black.

Then Eärendil causes every lantern to be kindled, and Fëanorean lamps laze blue upon the prow, and Elvish torches that no wind quenches stood along the thwarts, and using our oars do we sail into that slow churning blackness.

Like starless night in some places, that drift like pockets of blindness through the glooms; like drear grey twilight unlifting in others, such was that sea. And by and by as days pass and no sight have we of sun nor stars, we lose all idea of which way we were heading. Only Eärendil still feels the way West lies thus and so. The sad glooms swirl apart before our prow, and close in again behind us, and Falathar whose eyes are keener than many Elves for all he is a Man cries out that he heareth surf. Ere long we sight the shore, and behind it Erellant saith he descries others as well; and then we see of a sudden the Tower of Pearl upon the easternmost cape of the Twilight Isles. And it is affected by no gloom but shines dimly, sadly, like a spike cut from the fairest of pearls, and its' bastioned base, and glassy walls, and tapering spire, are all a pearly and iridiscent white. And the Isles are very close and scarce might any vessel pass between them, for in the dangerous sounds the waves sigh forever upon dark rocks wreathed in ropes of blackish mist. And in the twilight a great weariness came upon us and a loathing of the sea, and we launched the boats and drew near to the sighing shore.

Then Aerandir rises in the boat, and he says no word for he is always silent and morose, but now he points to what we had taken in the wisping gloom to be sea-debris upon the verge of the waves. And we back the oars and keep the boats from that dark beach, for there like great growths rise from the shallows ancient ships all rotting, swathed in black weeds, and on the margin amid the white foam the dark waters laved the prone figures of mariners tossing limply with each wave, and the sea-creatures rust thick upon them. Then Littleheart who is in the other boat with Eärendil saith, "These are not dead, but asleep! I will strike my great gong that can rouse the deepest slumber, and mayhap we may rescue these unhappy people." This seeming good to Eärendil, we row in haste to the ship and fetch that gong, and there standing in the boat does Littleheart strike a blow of power upon it, and waking and rousing and breaking of enchantments is in that mighty note, nor has he struck such a note since. And the sleeping ones all stir and turn, but do not wake; and Eärendil is about to leave the boat and rouse them by shaking, when a great voice sounds from the Tower of Pearl rising straight above us, and bids him halt.

"For I am the Sleeper of the Tower of Pearl, and though I have been wakened by thy gong I cannot leave the Tower. Set not foot upon these Twilit Isles, for then will you join the ones asleep upon the shore until the world changes."

And Eärendil looks up, and sees far above him a figure in a lonely window, like an ancient man with beard of white, and he cries out, "But is there nothing we can do to help you?"

"None." the Sleeper thunders. "Get thee far from hence, and may ye win to Valinor, as we could not."

And then we left that place, and we travelled slowly through the perilous sounds, and winds and sudden squalls came upon us as we wound through the gloomy islands. Yet we passed through them, and came out into open sea, and behold! the gloom is dying overhead into fingers and streamers of shadow, and great rays of smoky white strike down to kindle the grey sea into green and copper. And ahead of us lie other islands, fair and green and marvellous to look upon. And we cannot look away, and our ship draws ever nearer, and at the last Vingelot floated off the coast of the most beautiful place we had seen. Yet there was a strangeness about it and the call it exerted upon us, and Eärendil would not let us land. And even as we murmered and would have plunged overboard to swim there in his despite, behold a mighty wind rose sudden and angry, and it came from the West, and it took Vingelot and drove her back into the terrible glooms, and darkness swallowed us, and the Magic Islands were hidden from our view.

And beaten back by western winds and vicious squalls, we tried ever to turn west, yet ever the winds were greater than we, and it was run before them or founder. Thus we steered with great peril through the dreadful sounds of the gloomy islands, and the winds grew less, becoming only fitful gusts, until at last the storm had blown itself out. The saw we shining sad amid the blackness of night upon the Shadowy Seas that Tower of Pearl, and the Sleeper stood in his window, and we floated off that island as we rested. And even as we at last drew under way we heard his voice come over the dark water to us, and he was singing softly in a slow sad voice.

"I know a window in a Western tower that opens on celestial seas, and there from wells of dark behind the stars blows ever cold a keen unearthly breeze. It is a white tower builded on the Twilit Isles and springing from their everlasting shade it glimmers like a house of lonely pearl, where lights forlorn take harbor ere they fade.

Its' feet are washed by waves that never rest. There silent boats go by into the West all piled and twinkling in the dark with orient fire in many a hoarded spark that divers won in waters of the Sun. There sometimes throbs below a silver harp, touching the heart with sudden music sharp; or far beneath the mountains high and sheer the voices of grey sailors echo clear, afloat among the shadows of the world in oarless ships and with their canvas furled, chanting a farewell and a solemn song: for wide the sea is, and the journey long.

O happy mariners upon a journey far, beyond the grey islands and Gondobar, to those great portals on the final shores where far away constellate fountains leap, and dashed against Night's dragon-headed doors in foam of stars fall sparling in the deep! While I, alone, look out behind the moon from in my white and windy tower, ye bide no moment and await no hour, but go with solemn song and harpers' tune through the dark shadows of gloomy seas to the last land of the Two Trees, whose fruit and flower are the moon and sun, where light of earth is ended and begun. Ye follow Earendil without rest, the shining mariner, beyond the West, who passed the mouth of night and launched his bark upon the outer seas of everlasting dark. Here only comes at whiles a wind to blow returning darkly down the way ye go, with perfume laden of unearthly trees. Here only long afar through window-pane I glimpse the flicker of the golden rain that falls for ever on the outer seas."

And even as we hearkened, and wondered in bewilderment what the reference to 'outer seas' might mean (yet was that prophetic, as we soon knew), behold the wind returned in great fury, and it was ten times stronger than before, and the winds pushed at the sea as they hurrid us East until it rose into a great wave, and on this we struggled to hold the ship. Borne on this we passed over the Harbourless Isles, and driven by the winds of wrath we emerged again into the open seas.

Then we journyed South, and we passed through seas that had no wind and we rowed with oars for endless days. Yet still under the burning light of the overhead Sun we could descry the barrier of reefs and the horizon of shadow. Still farther South we went, until we had passed the tip of Middle-earth and were in seas no ship had seen. And as there is no landing on the Harborless Isles and little food or water in the landing, we came to the tip of Middle-earth and landed to fill our casks and find other food than fish. Very dense and hot and tangled was the grey-green growth of that torrid forest, for there the Sun is closest to the land and strange indeed are the things that thrive beneath her glare. Dull are the greens, not vivid as in the North, and dark are the humid forests, save for the hot bright colors of exotic blooms. Men with skin like coal waylaid us there with arrows of poison, but no poison save the poisons of magic such as Eol wrought into his fell knife can work upon the bodies of the Elder Kindred. None the less two of us were slain by those arrows, Men of the people of Hador, and Eärendil was taken.

In fear for him we Elves of his crew used our craft to hide ourselves from sight of Men, and not a vine twitched or leaf broke at our passing. But they had gone before us and bound Eärendil to an ancient tree whose bark and roots were rotted with blood and mold-grown branches paved the creeping floor; but they were not branches at all, they were bones. And they left him and withdrew, and began to drum and wail like the very horns of Morgoth. And out of the darkness of the torrid jungle legs emerged, and claws, and two baleful clumps of clustered eyes; and a Spider had come. Not Ungoliant herself as we had feared, who consumed herself ere ever Sun was forged, but one of that bastard brood that she produced from her own children: whose vomit is shadow, but whose food is blood.

Then Eärendil in that hour, Half-elven from both sides, burst his bonds with either stength or Elven-power and leaped upon the Spider, Wirilomë offspring of Ungoliantë. And before the light that blazed out of his face she gave back, and belched darkness to protect herself. But Eärendil sprang forward, and as she stabbed with claws and beak he seized one leg with his left hand, and that leg smoked at his touch and went limp, and with his right he smote with open palm her pale eyes that glowed in the jungle darkness. There was a flash like thunder and light exploded from within her, and wounded greviously Wirilomë fell back, even as we kept at bay with unseen blades the savages that would have felled Eärendil. And Wirilomë fled, and with her flight so did those human Orcs that had bowed to her as god, and we escaped those darksome blazing shores.

Still farther South we sailed, and the nether heats and burning waste were left behind, and cooler it grew. And farther yet we ventured, until the stars in the night sky grew fewer, and retreated north, until even on the clearest night there were only a few gleams from the farthest edge of sky, and Tilion skimmed the earth when he did rise, and colder it became. And we passed the southern tip of the ring of Harbourless Isles, and the Shadowy Seas were left behind, and now upon our right marched the poisoned wastes of Avathar, filled with fumes and ancient clouds of floating darkness spewn by that Gloomweaver in the morning of the world ere Valinor was darkened. This tip of Avathar had the Valar left uncleansed, for they knew full well that even should a mariner pass the ring of isles and land thereon, that never would any being embodied travel those poisoned wastes and endure to come at last to the leaguer of the glasslike walls of the Pelori; nor did we set foot there, but passed in despair down into the Night of Naught.

Deeper and more grim was the darkness of the utter South in those ancient days, when Ungoliant had sucked all the lingering light from air and water, and the Sun's rays were blocked and died away from the greatness of distance they must travel; and of her we would descry at noon a glow in the northern sky like the first flush of dawn, and then she would sink and Evernight close over us again. Not blue nor azure like the darkness of the North were those skies, Eriol; but black, hard black like ice that is clear over deep water: just such a glassy black were they, and no star pierced the gloom, and only at noon was the pale light of distant Sun enough to send even a glow into the Night of Naught. And the seas grew ever more thickly choked with ancient ice, until at last it froze completely, and even our Elven-eyes could espy only a craggy solid frozen sea.

Then we sailed north again, with huge chunks of ice for drinking water that we melted with our kuru, our food the fish; and sailed as near to the Harbourless as we dared, but no way or channel did we ever find again. Then came a great storm one dreadful night, and we heard the fell voices of the Mermaids and saw their slender white backs flashing in the waves, and three of our crew who were Men fell under their enchantment and leaped over, and the Mermaids took them, and they were lost. And of our crew but seven remained besides Eärendil: Voronwë of Gondolin, and Rúmil the Wise, and Littleheart of the Gong, son of Voronwë, and Lindo who is now Lord of Avalonnë; and three of mortal Men, Falathar and Erellant and Aerandir.

Then Eärendil, sick with longing for Elwing, and filled besides with sudden foreboding, was glad to turn Vingelot home, and we raced before the storm, yet the winds that we had striven with might not now bear us back fast enough for our desire. But we came too late.

It was night and we surged still on, and I was at the helm but Eärendil stood at the prow. Then at last he came and took the helm, and bid me rest for I was weary, even I Littleheart the Noldo. But as I turned to go below I stood transfixed, and Eärendil forgot the helm, for a star above the sea was shooting aout, this way and that against the wind, striving west, a white cloud exceeding swift under the Moon, a pale flame upon the wings of storm that built up behind from Middle-earth. Then that star fell from heaven and crashed upon the timbers of Vingelot, and Eärendil was there long before I. Lo! there a great sea-mew lay, purest white yet great as an eagle, and the feathers at its' throat shone like a star, and it was aswoon for the labour of its' long flight. Then said I to Eärendil, "Lord, you have not slept these three nights. I am Eldar and greater in endurance; go you to your bed and take to your bosom this bird so fair, for it is aquake with cold and weariness." And Eärendil did so, and laid the bird beside him in his bed, and spread his covers about it.

But in the morning Eärendil awoke, and he turned and in the bed beside him he beheld with mavelling eyes Elwing his wife in her own form with hr hair upon her face, and she slept.

And even as he gazed she started awake, and her eyes fell upon him, and they spoke no words for a long time for the greatness of their love. But at last pulling back from his kisses she said to him, "My husband, the Havens are gone. Our people have fallen. Do not return, but hear what I would say."

"Tell me first of what befell!" Eärendil bade her.

Then Elwing wept. "When Maedhros first heard that we held the Silmaril, for memory of Doriath at first he held his hand. But at the last the unforgotten oath drove him and his few brothers to send us warnings to not withhold the Silmaril. But we knew that from both the Elessar on thy breast and the Silmaril on mine came the healing and the blessing that lay upon Arvernien, and we would not yield the jewel which Beren won and Luthien wore and for which Dior died, and least of all while Eärendil our lord was on the sea."

"Many years has it been since I last set foot upon Arvernien," said Eärendil. "I should have borne it myself, that the fell Fëanoreans would never have it."

"Nor do they." said Elwing, and uncoverng her throat a mighty light was revealed that lit that cabin like the sun. "I have it. Upon the seamost tower I stood as our Havens burned, and my people fell before me; and saw I fall too Amrod and proud Amras, and they by the hand of some few of their own that rebelled and stood by me, and others I saw that stood aside and took no part in this last and cruellest Kinslaying, third of the great wrongs of that accursed oath. But at the last my tower was taken, and Elrond and Elros stood before me with swords in tender hands as Maglor of the sweet voice and fell Maedhros broke past the last door. No match were they for those Elf-lords and swiftly were they overcome, and Maglor shunted them swiftly from the room and had his people bind them, while Maedhros with bloody sword in his one hand advanced on me.

" 'Give up now that which is mine,' he demanded.

" 'I will give it up indeed, but to the Valar and not thee." I declared, and ere he could cross the distance between us I had hurld myself from the height of that tower into the deep waves.

"There as I sank, stunned from the greatness of that impact, I saw the Lord of Waters stand upon the seabed, and he laid his hand on me and bade me seek thee out with all haste. 'Take the jewel and bid him go in its' power into the West, for the last hope of the Noldor lies in him!'

"And I felt my body changing and oiled feathers sheathe me from the wet, and cover the Jewel, and I folded wings to my side and swam with webed feet to the surface, even as Maedhros dove after me and searched the waves for my body. Like a mew I rose into the air and flew West, for I knew I would meet thee."

"Ulmo would not have it otherwise." said Eärendil.

"Wherefore do you wear this now, Sea-lover." said Elwing and the Silmaril she bound on him, and crowned him with the living light. And when he came up on deck with her we were astounded for if before his face had been bright, tenfold brighter was the light that came from the star upon his brow. And at first we mourned for the sons of Elwing, fearing them lost; but Maglor took pity on them and cherished them, and love grew between them, as little might be thought; but Maglor's heart was sick and weary with the burden of the dreadful oath.

And in despair of hope for Middle-earth did Eärendil bid us sail West, "and never shall we turn our prow to mortal lands." And as we came to the Harbourless Archipelago he took his place in the swan-head prow of Vingelot, and Elwing was beside him, and so beautiful a sight as that bright pair stern and still with faces bended West have I seldom seen since then.

Now we drew near the howling winds and bitter currents that beset those Isles, but the winds died and the maelstrom that whirled endlessly between two islands was cloven, and the power of the Silmaril confused the current that it spat us out on the far side, and so bright did it shine that the sea was as glass. And Voronwë was at the helm, and Eärendil called out the hidden rocks as we rowed through the deadly sounds

Thus we passed the hungry islands and in the night a wind of power took our sails and blew us West, and we passed into the Shadowy Seas upheld on black and roaring waves, and the glooms were splintered as by hands of white light, and those ancient breaths of Ungoliant shivelled and dried before the light of Silmaril. We passed in light by the Twilight Isles and no weariness assailed us, and foam-laven sleepers opened eyes as our beams fell on them, and we saw ahead of us the Tower of Pearl wan and tall in the clean blackness.

Then Eärendil stopped the ship, and set foot upon the enchanted shore and broke the enchantment, and it seemed as he walked forward that webs of flickering white leaped up about him and were snapped as he passed through them. And he came to the sealed door of the Tower of Pearl, and he shivered it with his sword, and passed up the long stairs of pale stone. There at the top was a door of pearl, and it opened silently, and he passed into a wide and empty room. A tall man, who had once been broad of shoulder and mighty of frame, stood leaning upon the windowsill, his back to the door. He was girt in mail of Elven-silver, and on the floor near to him was a curved helm of gold overlaid with a vizor in blue metals, and black wings were wrought into it. A shield long and tapering and blue lay beside it.

And Eärendil remained silent in the door, staring upon the Sleeper; and still the Sleeper stood with back turned and gazed out of the window.

Then at last he said, "So, thou hast come to join me forever in spell, here upon the tower that lets many in but none out? I warned thee to be gone."

And Eärendil said, "I have with me a power that will rend all enchantments, for Doom will have it no other way, and against this hour no spell was meant to hold. I know thee, O Sleeper of the Tower of Pearl."

And the Sleeper said, "Ah, dost thou? Methought I dropped that clew overwell. Had I known thou wouldst come back to join me in thy foolish heart, I had never spoken."

Then Eärendil said, "Thou art free now of the Tower, O Tuor my father!"

And the Sleeper turned to face him, and the face was indeed that of Tuor son of Huor of the house of Hador. Stern was his visage at the first, yet as he beheld the Silmaril glowing high upon the helm of Eärendil his face slowly passed into awe.

"Nay, I cannot leave it," he said. "But thou, my son, art not bound by its' power now. Leaving thou may leave, but none canst take with thee; and alone I bide here until the Valar change the world. Go now to Valinor, my son, and shake the counsels of the Lords of the West!"

Then Eärendil kissed his father, and turned to leave, and the tower might not gainsay him, and he forced open the sealed door and returned to the ship; but even as he did it sealed back up anew. And from his lofty window Tuor lifted his hand in blessing, and in his great voice wished them good speed.

And as day came for the first time in many ages to touch the gloomy waters, we left behind the Twilight Isles and saw ahead the last and greatest barrier, the Magic Isles all green and fair to look upon, whom none might see and remain unspelled, and those who land on it stay there forever, turned into stone, until the waves slowly pound them into gravel. But no spell could endure the Silmaril, and all Ossë's webs were clove in sunder and we entered the brilliant bay of Eldamar. And we passed the Lonely Isle but tarried not, and we cast anchor at last in the Shadowmere that reaches from the sea under the hill of Tirion; and the Teleri saw the coming of that ship out of the East and they were amazed, gazing from afar upon the light of that Silmarl that grew ever greater as it passed farther west. Then Eärendil turned to us and said, "Ye are Elves, Rúmil and Lindo and Voronwë and Littleheart; the ban may not fall so grevious on you as it will on me, a mortal Man, and you may leave the ship if you so wish; but you, Falathar and Erellont and Aerandir, you are Men, and I command you to stay on the ship until I send tidings."

And he lowered the boat, and we would not be parted yet but rowed to the shore with him, and he got out and waded ashore. Then he turned to us and said, " Do not come with me. Death will it be to set foot on the Deathless Shore without leave of the Valar! But that peril I will take on myself alone, for the sake of the Two Kindreds."

But Elwing answered: "Then would our paths be sundered for ever; but all thy perils I will take on myself also." And she leaped into the white foam and ran toward him; but Eärendil was sorrowful. And there they bade farewell to the companions of their voyage, and were taken from them forever.

Then us four Elves set foot also on the shore, but the three Men rowed sadly back to the ship and climbed thereon, and stood in the prow looking after us. And we followed our Captain at a little distance, until we came to the feet of the green hill and the gleaming city far above; and the sand under us flashed and sparkled as were it made of ground gems. Then Eärendil turned to Elwing and said, "Await me here, for one only may bring the message that is my fate to bear." And he went up alone into the land, and we came up and stood beside Elwing as she gazed alone and sorrowful after her lord, and we watched him go until he was only a brilliant gleam mounting ever higher against the green turf.

And he came into the shining streets, and the gleaming walls were deserted, and the brilliant houses were empty, and forsaken was the great tower of Mindon whose pale lamp was outshone now by a brighter lamp that walked below it. And the city had none in it, neither living nor dead, and silent was it, and Eärendil was afraid, fearing some great evil had come even to Valinor. But it was not so, for even as Melkor and Ungoliant so long ago, he had arrived at a time of festival, and wellnigh all the folk of Tirion were fared to Valimar, or were gathered in the halls of Manwë high above. But some there were who saw him from afar, and the great light that he bore, and they brought tidings in haste.

And Eärendil walked in the deserted ways of Tirion, and dust beat up about him; but a dust of diamond, so that raiment and shoes sparkled and glittered in the light of the Silmaril and the gems of the Nauglamir that were wound about his helmet like a cap of flame, and he shone and glistened as he climbed the long white stairs. And he called aloud in many tongues of Elves and Men, but echoes only answered him; and he fell into gloom.

And he said aloud, "So comes there none over sea or shadow for endless ages, save one: and he came too late."

Then sorrowfully he turned to descend into the land, and seek for some sign that the Valar yet lived, for to one who grew up beneath the shadow of Morgoth no evil seemed impossible. And even as he mounted down the winding stairs toward the sea, he saw a mighty figure rise upon the height of Tirion, and he called to Eärendil in a great voice that boomed and bounded in the mighty pass:

"Hail Eärendil, of mariners most renowned, the looked for that cometh at unawares, the longed for that cometh beyond hope! Hail Eärendil, bearer of Light that was before the Sun and Moon! Splendour of the Children of Earth, star in the darkness, jewel in the sunset, radiant in the morning!"

And Eärendil turned in sudden wonder, and hastened up the hill, and the figure descended to meet him, and he was very great in stature and draped in robes of a herald, and a mighty trumpet he bore, and he shone; yet not brighter than that Silmaril did. And he said: "I am Eonwë, the herald of Manwë, and I bear his summons to you, to come now at once before the Powers in Valimar." And Eärendil went into Valinor and to the halls of Valimar, and never again set foot upon the lands of Men.

Then the Valar took counsel together, and Ulmo came up from the depths of the sea; and Eärendil stood before the faces of the Gods, and delivered the errand of the Two Kindreds, who bore both their bloods. Pardon he asked for the Noldor and pity for their great sorrows, and mercy upon Men and Elves and succour in their last need.

And the Elder King said, "Go now and seek out thy wife, Eärendil the Mariner, while we take counsel among ourselves, and await by the shore the judgement of the Valar." And Eärendil bowed to the ground, and went forth down the road of many leagues that led back to the Calacirya and the Shadowmere.

Then Mandos looked sternly upon Manwë, and he said, "Shall mortal Man step living upon the undying lands, and yet live?"

But Ulmo looked yet more sternly upon Mandos, and he said in his voice that was deeper than the abyss, "For this he was born into the world. And say unto me: whether is he Eärendil Tuor's son of the line of Hador, or the son of Idril, Turgon's daughter, of the Elven-house of Finwë?" And Mandos answered, "Equally the Noldor, who went wilfully into exile, may not return hither."

But when all was spoken, Manwë lifted his sceptre, and the Gods fell silent. And he said: "In this matter the power of doom is given to me. The peril that he ventured for love of the Two Kindreds shall not fall upon Eärendil, nor shall it fall upon Elwing his wife, who entered into peril for love of him; but they shall not walk ever again upon the Outer Lands. And this is my decree concerning them: to Eärendil and to Elwing, and to their kin, shall be given leave to choose freely to which kindred their fates shall be joined, and under which kindred they shall be judged."

Now when Eärendil had been gone some hours, Elwing grew distraught, and she wandered alone upon the shore, though we followed her to see she came to no harm. And we came thus to Alaquondë where lay the Telerin fleets, and the Teleri came out and befriended us, and Elwing told them the terrible story of the long wars of Middle-earth, and so beautiful was her voice as she related our long woes that the Elves were filled with pity and wonder. There as she drew at length to an end and they gave her wine, for she was hoarse with long speaking, one cried out that a star was come down and strode the land, and I answered, "Nay, for that is Eärendil our lord, and he bears the Silmaril." And so Eärendil came to us, and we were feasted and given much-needed rest by the Elves, until the summons came, and the decree of the Elder King was declared to the Half-elven.

Then Eärendil said to Elwing, "Choose thou, for now I am weary of the world." And Elwing chose to be judged among the Firstborn Children of Ilúvatar, because of Lúthien; and for her sake Eärendil chose alike, though his heart was rather with the kindred of Men and the people of his father. But he also said to the Elder King, "My lord, upon the Tower of Pearl in the Twilight Islands abides my father in enchantment, and my mother Idril is lost. Thou saidst that the privilige was given to my kin; number, I beg thee, my father among them."

And the Elder King answered, "Tuor son of Huor shall, if he so desireth, be counted among the Elves; for one full Elf, Luthien, has gone from them, and so one full Man may enter the Elder Kindred in her place." Then he sent his servants to the Tower of Pearl, and they fetched from the deep chambers both Tuor and Idril, and made known to Tuor the doom; and he chose to be numbered among Elves, alone of Mortal Men, and great was his delight. And the stains of great age were wiped from his body as it changed, so that he became, though still white of hair, strong and young yet crowned with years as a king of the Eldar.

But Manwë sent his herald to the shores of Aman, where the three mariners who were mortal Men remained in obediance awaiting tidings, and he cast them into slumber, and put them into a boat, and drove it into the east with a great wind; and they awoke never, but are numbered among the Seven Sleepers that still slumber in a cave by the shores of Middle-earth, and will not waken until the end of Days.

But as is said in the Lay, Eriol, Eärendil abode some time in Valinor with Elwing as they awaited the new design of the Valar, who had in mind a place for the Silmaril where no Oath could trouble it, nor demon assail it:

                 He  tarried  there  from  errantry,
                 and  melodies  they  taught  to  him,
                 and  sages  old  him  marvels  told,
                 and  harps  of  gold  they  brought  to  him.
                 They  clothed  him  then  in  elven-white,
                 and  seven  lights  before  him  sent,
                 as  through  the  Calacirian
                 to  hidden  land  forlorn  he  went.
                 He  came  unto  the  timeless  halls
                 where  shining  fall  the  countless  years,
                 and  endless  reigns  the  Elder  King
                 forever  king  on  mountain  sheer;
                 and  words  unheard  were  spoken  then
                 of  folk  of  Men  and  Elven-kin,
                 beyond  the  world  were  visions  showed
                 forbid  to  those  that  dwell  therein.
                 A  ship  then  new  they  built  for  him
                 of  mithril  and  of  elvenglass
                 with  crystal  keel;  no  shaven  oar
                 nor  sail  she  bore,  on  silver  mast
                 the  Silmaril  as  lantern  light
                 and  banner  bright  with  living  flame
                 of  fire  unstained  by  Elbereth
                 herself  was  set,  who  thither  came
                 and  wings  immortal  made  for  him,
                 and  laid  on  him  undying  doom,
                 to  sail  the  shoreless  skies  and  come
                 behind  the  Sun  and  light  of  Moon.
                 From  Evereven's  lofty  hills
                 where  softly  silver  fountains  fall
                 his  wings  him  bore,  a  wandering  light,
                 beyond  the  mighty  Mountain  Wall.
                 From  World's  End  then  he  turned  away,
                 and  yearned  again  to  find  afar
                 his  home  through  shadows  journeying,
                 and  burning  as  an  island  star
                 on  high  above  the  mists  he  came,
                 a  distant  flame  before  the  Sun,
                 a  wonder  ere  the  waking  dawn
                 where  grey  the  Norland  waters  run.
                And  over  Middle-earth  he  passed
                and  heard  at  last  the  weeping  sore
                of  women  and  of  elven-maids
                in  Elder  Days,  in  years  of  yore.
                But  on  him  mighty  doom  was  laid
                till  Moon  should  fade,  an  orbéd  star
                to  pass,  and  tarry  never  more
                on  Hither  Shores  where  mortals  are;
                till  end  of  Days  on  errand  high,
                a  herald  bright  that  never  rests,
                to  bear  his  burning  lamp  afar,
                the  Flammifer  of  Westernesse.

Yes, they took Vingelot and made it anew, transforming its' substance into materials that could endure the pathless voids and utter colds and vicious heats, and it was lifted up into Ilmen, and could fare thence even into Vaiya that is outermost of all. Fair and marvellous that vessel was made, and it was filled with a wavering flame, pure and bright, and Eärendil the Mariner stood at the prow, glistening in dust of elven-gems, and he bore the Silmaril now upon the mast as lantern, now upon his brow. And he journeyed farther even than the Stars could climb, and some were angered thereat, envying and resenting this strange and terrible star that so outshone them. So Eärendil in courtesy to them showed himself most at morning or evening, and the rest of the night fared high above the other stars, so that his light was faint and far to dwellers beneath. And the Stars were placated, and for that time there was peace between them.

On these journeys Elwing did not go, for she was not hallowed against the pathless voids as he was, and she loved rather the earth and the sweet winds that blow on sea and hill. Therefore was built for her a white tower northward upon the borders of the Sundering Seas; and thither at times all the sea-birds of the earth would pass. And Elwing retained ever the power of changing her shape into bird, which Ulmo had granted her; and she learned all their languages, and they taught her the craft of flight, and her wings were of white and silver-grey. And often she flew to meet her lord as he descended back to Aman, and we here in the Lonely Isle can see her at times if we stand in a high place, like a white bird, shining, rose-stained in the sunset, rising in joy to meet the descending star.

But when first Eärendil lauched his bark like a silver spark on the darkness of the skies, he rose unlooked-for in Middle-earth, glittering and bright; and the people of Middle-earth beheld it from afar and wondered, and they took it for a sign, and cried aloud, "Gil-Estel!" which is Star of High Hope. And Maedhros spoke to Maglor his brother when they saw the new light, and said: "Surely that is a Silmaril that shines now in the West?"

And Maglor answered, "If it be truly the Silmaril which we saw cast into the sea that rises again by the power of the Valar, then let us be glad; for its' glory is seen now by many, and is yet secure from all evil." Then the Elves despaired no longer; but Morgoth was filled with doubt.

Chapter Fourteen

The Breaking of Thangorodrim

Yet it is said Morgoth looked not for the assault that came upon him from the West, though he had prepared ever against it; for despite the passing of his might into the earth and into his own creations he was still so great in pride that he deemed none would ever again come with open war against him. Moreover he thought that he had for ever estranged the Noldor from the Lords of the West, and that content in their blissful realm the faineant Gods would heed no more his kingdom in the world without; for to him that is pitiless the deeds of pity are ever strange and beyond reckoning.

But the host of the Valar prepared for war, and Ulmo was sent out into the seas, for Manwë said, "The Hiding of Valinor is at an end! Let the Change of the World come to pass, for henceforth Morgoth shall be removed from it!" And Ulmo fared forth in terrible might into the Seas of Shadow, and Manwë sent a mighty wind of power that sucked up the dreadful glooms and shadows of Ungoliant from off those seas, and passing like a black cloud into the West it spat them out the Door of Night to expire in the Void. And Ulmo sent his power under the sea like a fearsome scythe, and he sheared off the tops of those reefs and Harbourless Isles so that they abode like mighty stumps whose tops were many hundreds of feet beneath the waves, and they remain thus, a puzzle to Men who sight them far beneath. Yet some few remained unnoticed, to abide through many changes of the world, even as thou found, Eriol. And he shoved aside the Twilight Isles, scattering them to left and right; and he broke the Magic Islands and snapped their spells, and Unien released all she held asleep, and Ulmo gave them swords, and bade them await his summons to captain the ships of the hosts of the West. And when all the sea was made free and open so that ships might fare back and forth in safety, Ulmo returned, and abode in Valinor as he waited.

Now the host of the Valar prepared for battle; and beneath their white banners marched the Vanyar in armour and with weapons more fell and glorious than even the smiths of Nogrod and Gondolin could achieve, and Ingwë was at their head, and there in mail of Nevrast strode Tuor with his great axe Dramborleg, and there also were those Noldor that had returned to Valinor, whose leader was Finarfin the Golden. And forth from Mandos were resurrected countless Elves that had fallen in Middle-earth and had awaited judgement while their spirits were purged in slow cleansings; and were they now eager to return, and their prayers were granted. And they strode in the van like figures of shining light, and their eyes burned like Silmarils, and Glorfindel was there, and many others renowned in songs of Middle-earth, and Nuin Father of Speech marched with them, and mighty Rog, and Penlod and others who fell in Gondolin. There too was tall Thingol Greycloak, and Turgon himself, and Finrod as well. But the fallen sons of Feanor were held in shut prison deep in Mandos, nor have they ever come back to the living. Few of the Teleri were willing to arm for war, for they remembered their ancient grief; yet for love of Elwing they forgave it enough to supply mariners and sailors for the ships, and those who had slept upon the Isles joined them. Yet the Teleri stayed aboard their vessels, and none of them set foot upon the Hither Lands.

Then a fleet uncounted of vessels beyond number was forged and built with surpassing speed, and flame ran along their timbers and danced from their spars, and their sails shone with light. And they boarded, and they passed out of Eldamar, and night fell with a mighty wind; for Manwë did not come himself, but sent his herald Eonwë. And in the heavens above Eärendil saw the embarking, and veered, and sailed as fast as he might to come above them. But the Stars looked on, and lent no aid; for that is their doom, to meddle never upon Earth, and never to make war.

And Morgoth heard the rumor and trouble in the seas, but his sight was fading now as his power went out from him, and he could no longer glance far from Middle-earth. And in his overweening might he laughed, and said, "Let the Valar stamp their feet! It will take more than that to frighten the Lord of the Earth."

But even as he said this, a great light arose in the West and not in the East, as if the Sun had risen in the wrong place; and the might of Valinor came up out of the West, and the trumpets of the Valar filled the sky from north to south; and Belegaer was abalaze with the glory of their arms. For although because of the Children of Iluvatar that were there present, the Valar were forbidden to manifest their full majesty, they were arrayed nonetheless in forms young and fair and terrible, and the Maiar were there as well, and leigons of Elves that shone like spirits that walk in another world; and mountains rang beneath their feet as they set foot upon the land. And all Beleriand was filled with the numbers of that mighty host.

The meeting of the hosts of the West and of the North is named the Great Battle, and the War of Wrath. There was marshalled the whole power of the Throne of Morgoth, and as he himself grew weaker he had multiplied his devices and his minions, his monsters and his engines, so that Anfauglith could not contain it; and all the North was aflame with war.

But it availed him not. The Balrogs were destroyed, save for one who fled and hid himself in a cavern inaccessible at the very foundation of the world, under the mountains of Moria, until he was awoken by the greed of the Dwarves and troubled the world again. The uncounted leigions of the Orcs and their hell-wrought armour and weapons forged with blackest magic perished like straw in a great fire, or were swept like shrivelled leaves before a burning wind. Few remained to trouble the world for long years after. And the fell machines and serpents of iron and of bronze with great feet for trampling, and of copper with hearts of flame, and of pure fire that melted the very soil they flowed over, were blasted assunder by the tremendous power of the Gods. And such few as were left of the three houses of the Elf-friends, Fathers of Men, took heart and seized their arms, and the remnant of Haleth issued out of Brethil, and the few of Hador uprose with a roar from the forests, and the Druedain shot fell darts at Orcs from the trees. And they were avenged in that day for Baragund and Barahir, Galdor and Gundor, Huor and Hurin, and many others of their lords. But a great part of the sons of Men, whether of the people of Uldor or others new-come out of the east, marched with the Enemy; and the Elves do not forget it.

Then, seeing that his hosts were overthrown and his power dispersed, Morgoth quailed, and he dared not come forth himself. But he loosed upon his foes the last desperate assault that he had prepared, and there was a rumor and a thunder from the foundations of the earth, and the Iron Mountains all belched flame, and fiery bolts smote the armies of the Gods. And Aule lifted his hammer, and lightnings sprang as he swung it through the air, and he smote the earth so that a ripple like a wave passed through stone and soil alike; and the Iron Mountains shattered and fell, but Thangorodrim stood firm. But still the earth continued to shake, and the Gods looked up, and out of the pits of Angband there issued a host of fell and monstrous shapes. Wings they bore and spread, and so vast were they that entire mountains might serve but as a chair for one: the Winged Dragons, than which no greater monsters have ever been seen.

Then so sudden and ruinous was the onset of that dreadful fleet that the Gods themselves were driven back; for the coming of the Dragons was with great thunder, and lightning, and a tempest of fire. Some Dragons spewed ice from their mouths, and some hurled lightning from their pinions; and the might of their magic was very great. And Aule was beaten aside by Durthongol the Red, and Tulkas borne down by Ancalagon the Black, who was so mighty three mountains might not bear him up; and Ulmo called up water and quenched Grondothar the Green, but three mighty Worms came upon him, and drove back the Lord of Waters himself.

Then down from the high airs came a great light, clearer and more terrible and keen than even the Sun herself, for Eärendil was coming in great fury and power, and the flame of the Silmaril beat back the fires and the ices and the lightnings of the Dragons, and he wielded swords of pure light made hard that whirled about like cyclones in the high airs. Durthongol he hewed in sunder, and he beat back Glarongun the blue; but Ancalagon came, and his tail smote Vingelot and hurled it reeling through the air. But Thorondor caught the ship and steadied it, and with him were all the birds of the earth, from the eagles to the seamews, and they clustered upon the Dragons and pried up their scales, and lash as they might the Dragons could not rid themselves of these tiny pests. And their soft underbellies were pierced with long beaks, and they roared in pain so that stones were shattered into dust. And there was battle in the air all the day and through a dark night of doubt.

And Ancalagon the Black, who was so huge he filled the very sky before Eärendil as the brilliant ship wheeled and darted about, stabbing at him with beams of light, looked at Eärendil, and he laughed.

       "Dost  thou  think,  Half-elf,  that  with  thy  beams  of  ancient  light  thou  canst  somehow  pierce  my  scales?"  his  voice  filled  the  sky  around  Vingelot.  "Knowest  thou  not  what  I  am?  I  am  the  wedding  of  demon  and  earth;  I  am  the  essence  of  the  power  of  Morgoth.  I  am  mountain  and  stone,  I  am  hill  and  iron.  I  fill  the  sky  before  you.  What  are  you  before  me?"

And Eärendil avoided a sea of fire that belched from the cavern of the Dragon, and he said nothing, and his light hurt the Dragon's giant eyes, but he ignored it.

       "Thou  wheelest  like  a  mayfly  in  the  blue  airs  before  me,  and  canst  affect  me  no  more  than  if  thou  challenged  to  battle  one  of  the  mountains  of  the  earth.  See,  the  very  Gods  themselves  might  not  avail  before  my  strength,  and  my  fire,  and  my  overwhelming  power.  Flutter  on,  little  jewelbug,  and  despair." 

Then Eärendil called upon the Silmaril, and wheeling Vingelot he darted down the very throat of Ancalagon himself as that monster opened his jaws to belch fire; and the Silmaril blasted back the flame, choking Ancalagon, and striking downward Eärendil burst out through the Dragon's belly in a flash of brilliant light. So great was the light he now shone into that wound that the swaying hosts beneath looked up, thinking the Sun had arisen; but she was yet beneath the horizon. And Ancalagon felt death coursing through his giant vitals, and he screamed aloud, and wheeled twice, and then fell in great fire and ruin from the sky.

Full upon Thangorodrim he fell. The triple mountains wrought in strength of hell, that had endured even the power of Aule himself, broke and shattered underneath him, and molten rock gusted forth, and stone sprayed upward like water, and there was a great smoke like death. But Ancalagon was slain, and moved no more, and Thangorodrim lay broken underneath him. And the Sun rose, and the Valar gave a mighty shout, and the Gods bore back the Dragons and felled them from the sky, and the sea which was hissing in upon the smashed and sunken land met them, and quenched their fires forever; but some few of the smaller dragons fled into the farthest North, where in after years they arose again. Yet none were half so mighty as those that perished in that battle.

And the pits of Angband were broken and unroofed, and the might of the Valar descended into the deeps of the earth, and the haunted stairways shook beneath the divine feet, and behind them poured the Maiar; but the Elves were bidden to stand outside, lest ruin whelm them. And in pit after pit and mine after mine the Valar searched for Morgoth; and at the last he stood at bay, and yet unvaliant. In the deepest of his mines, when he could flee no farther, he cowered on his knees and sued for peace and pardon; but Tulkas told him to get on his feet. And those great Valar disdained to fight him themselves, but sent their herald Eonwe, and he hewed Morgoth's feet from under him and hurled him upon his face. Then the chain Angainor slithered upon him like a snake, and wrapped him most lovingly till he was strangling from its' embrace, and the iron crown was beaten by fists of Valar into a collar around his neck, and the Silmarils were taken from it, and they shone unsullied beneath the sky.

(See The Silmarillion p. 252-255 for the theft of the Silmarils by the Sons of Feanor and of the ultimate fates of those jewels)

But Morgoth himself was sentenced to death by the Valar, for so bound into the earth had that dark spirit become that if the shape in which he was imprisoned was slain, he would no longer be able to act upon matter, and would become a mere ghost, his strength dispersed throughout Arda. So they destroyed his body, but his spirit still bore the chain Angainor which it could not escape; and through the Door of Night he was thrust and into the Void he was cast, and there is a sleepless watch upon the twin doors, and a strong guard follows the Sun when she fares thence. But his dark thought could not be bound, and freed now of the body which blinded it his eyes reach out through all Arda, and his thought whispers in the earth, and sows seeds of evil that do not die and cannot be exterminated while the world endures."

So Littleheart ended his tale, and none said a word after he had fallen still.

Now Aelfwine had abode in Tol Eressëa for many months, and full glad was he to do so, whether wandering the woods with Littleheart or Lindo, or learning lore of Pengolod. Very wondrous was that island, even as is said in the song that Aelfwine wrote long years afterwards in the sorrow of Middle-earth, when the longing for Elvenhome grew intolerable upon him:

           There  lingering  lights  still  golden  lie
               on  grass  more  green  than  in  gardens  here,
            On  trees  more  tall  that  touch  the  sky
               with  swinging  leaves  of  silver  clear.
            By  magic  dewed  they  will  not  die,
               nor  fade  nor  fall  their  timeless  year,
            As  morn  unmeasured  passes  by
               o'er  mead  and  mound  and  silent  mere.
            When  endless  eve  undimmed  is  near,
               o'er  harp  and  chant  and  veiled  choir
             A  sudden  voice  upsoaring  sheer
               in  the  wood  awakes  the  Wandering  Fire.
             The  Wandering  Fire  the  woodland  fills:
                in  glades  for  ever  green  it  glows,
             In  dells  where  immortal  dews  distill
               the  flower  that  in  secret  fragrance  grows.
             In  a  dell  there  dreaming  niphredil 
               as  star  awakened  gleaming  glows,
             There  ever-murmering  musics  spill,
               and  falling  fountains  plash  and  flow,
             And  water  white  leaps  down  the  hills
              by  silver  stairs  it  singing  goes
            To  the  field  of the  unfading  rose,
              where  breathing  on  the  glowing  briar
            The  winds  beyond  the  world's  end  blow
              to  living  flame  the  Wandering  Fire.
            The  wandering  fire  with  quickening  flame
              whose  quenchless  colors  quiver  clear
             On  leaf  and  land  without  a  name
                 beyond  the  shadow  dark  and  drear
               A  water  wide  no  feet  may  tame
                 a  sea  with  shores  encircled  sheer.
               A  thousand  leagues  it  lies  from  here,
                 and  foam  there  flowers  upon  the  sea
               Neath  cliffs  of  carven  crystal  clear
                 on  shining  beaches  blowing  free.
                There  blowing  free  unbraided  hair
                   is  meshed  with  light  of  moon  and  sun,
                And  twined  within  those  tresses  fair
                   a  gold  and  silver  sheen  is  spun,
                 There  feet  do  beat  and  white  and  bare
                    do  lissom  limbs  in  dances  run,
                 Shimmering  in  the  shining  air
                    such  loveliness  to  look  upon
                 Not  Bran  nor  Brendan  ever  won,
                    though  foam  upon  the  furthest  sea
                 They  dared,  or  sought  behind  the  Sun
                   for  winds  unearthly  flowing  free.
                Than  Tir-nan-Og  more  fair  and  free,
                   than  Paradise  more  faint  and  far,
                O!  shore  beyond  the  Shadowy  Sea,
                  O! land  where  yet  the  Edhil  are!
                O!  mountains  where  no  man  may  be!
                  the  waves  still  beat  upon  thy  bar,
                The  white  birds  wheel;  there  flowers  the  Tree!
                  again  I  glimpse  them  long  afar
                When  rising  west  of  West  I  see
                   beyond  the  world  the  wayward  Star,
                Than  beacons  bright  in  Gondobar
                   more  fair  and  keen,  more  clear  and  high.
                O Star  that  shadow  may  not  mar,
                   nor  ever  darkness  doom  to  die!

Now it came to pass that Aelfwine was speaking with Pengolod, and he asked, "Tell me, I beg, of Numenor, for I have never yet heard the full tale." Then Pengolod was not loath, and began,

"Of Men, Aelfwine, it is said that they came into the world in the time of the Shadow of Morgoth, and they fell swiftly under his dominion; for he came there himself, and they listened to his evil and cunning words, and they broke the law that Eru had made for them, and lost all the dreadful gifts he had granted them. And they fell so low that they worshipped the Darkness; yet they feared it.

(See The Silmarillion, Akallabeth, p.259)

And Eadwine loved Vairë the Elven-maid and begged Queen Meril for her hand. And Vairë was willing, but Meril bade them to wait her decision.

But even as Meril brooded, behold Olórin came again to Avallonë, and he knew her burden, for the Valar had sent him. "This is the doom of Manwë in this matter." he said. "Let Vairë wed Eadwine, but on this condition: that she remain behind when he departs, and take no spouse until he shall have passed away on Middle-earth." And Eadwine was sad at this doom, yet such was his love he was grateful even for a few years of bliss. And Vairë grew thoughtful, yet she wed Eadwine, and a great feast was held in the cottage.

There Aelfwine said to Olórin, "But thou, Olórin, said to me thou walked on Middle-earth. Fain would I be to hear of the Third Age, and of Sauron, and the Rings of Power."

"Rings, would you?' said Olórin, and held up the ring on his finger. "Here is a Ring of Power! But since you have asked, I will give you some history of these things."

(See The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, p. 285)

Now Aelfwine was speaking with Pengolod not long after the wedding, and he said, "Now have I learned the great tales and histories of those days, yet in one thing am I greatly confused, O Pengolod. Oft have you referred in dark words to the Sun and Moon no longer being what they were. Is this so in sooth, and is the Moon yet a flower of Telperion, or has Morgoth conquered even it?"

And Pengolod answered, "Thou knowest that Eru when he bent the world removed Valinor from its' confines. Our knowledge of the shape of the world as it now is cometh from Earendil, as well as the Valar, and he saith that the Ilurambar have receded to a distance beyond guess or reckon, and those infinite voids are now filled with strange furnaces of burning fire and great shards of rock and ice, and sad clouds of brilliant dust. Wherefore is it plain that the stars have changed, and I will tell you what little is known to the Wise.

"It is said that the Stars were under a mighty doom, that even though they could at times descend to Middle-earth, they were never to mingle in its' affairs, and never to make or go to war. And it came to pass that the Stars disobeyed, and quarrelled among themselves, and there was rebellion in the Stars. Some few remained faithful to the ban and fled to Middle-earth, which was even now covered by the great Sea in the time ye call the Deluge, and they remain yet as strange fay-beings in remote places. But the Sun and Moon and Stars went to war, legions of stars one against another, and the heavens were convulsed and Arda like to be destroyed.

"Then came a great being, whom we know only as the Herald; in his likeness Menelmacar was made, and whether he is Vala or some Ainu from Beyond the World the Valar have not said. But his arrows brought destruction, and ruin sounded from his horn; and under his power the Stars all sped apart, rocketing into the voids at speeds beyond thought; and as they fled they transformed, expanding, burning, dying, until they became great furnaces of fire that yet burn in the changed heavens. And his arrows struck the Sun, and Arien transformed into a furnace herself, and she now pulls Arda around her, but Tilion still circles Arda as he was wont, though he now is become stone and the Flower is dead, cold mirror of the greater light. Yet still the Straight Road passes unhindered through the changed heavens, and Valinor abides, unharmed by any shadow, until Melkor comes again at world's end."

But why should I, Aelfwine of England, speak more of that bliss that rends my heart to remember? We are no longer there. The food and drink and air of Elvenhome made us age but little, though it was seventy years and seven we abode in Elfinesse; and it will be many years yet ere we grow old and die. Left behind is Meril the Queen; left behind is Vaire.

Many years it was upon the Middle-earth that they were gone, yet Ælfwine and his son seemed but little older, if at all, when their ship's prow left the waters of the Blessed Lands and entered the airless ways of the Lost Road. In the hull were many books and works of lore translated from Elvish texts, for Ælfwine- Eriol had compiled histories from what was told to him, some few of which would last into many ages of Middle-earth. He looked still west as the ship bore him east, yearning to stay forever in that green and deathless land until his span was done, but the voids closed about the gleaming world like filaments of shadowy mist and hid it from his sight. The ghostly sea he saw overlaying the void like moonlight on water, and the air once more grew thin and difficult, and Ælfwine's sorrow-weary mind began to dim. Stars and lights and delirious dreams passed through and around him, and hours passed unknowing in the dreadful crossing. Then he began to slowly rouse as the air grew more breathable, and Eadwine cried out that he could see a mountain far below: not the mountains they had crossed above an unknown coast, but a lone pillar rising from the ancient water, a sad yellow cloud issuing from it's peak, and they could see into it's huge crater filled with sighing flame, and Eadwine was certain there were the remains of mighty ways winding up the stony sides, mostly destroyed by the tumults of the years.

"That is the meneltarma atalantine." Ælfwine murmered.

"What means that?" queried Eadwine.

"Eh? Oh, nothing overmuch. I but spoke in my musing." his father said, rousing suddenly. Eadwine merely smiled. On they travelled, and the white thin water grew thicker and less queer, until it merged with the blue that they remembered, and real waves slapped against the bows. And the winds of the world they belonged to blew again in their faces, and they breathed the remembered airs, and were glad. The sun went down into the sea, and all fell still. In the clearing blue of the evening sky Eärendil rose, gleaming unflickering like an ancient spark of the sun that had been.



For the convenience of those who are unfamiliar with the Lost Tales and are doubtless wondering which writing is original and which is of my own weaving, I here provide this commentary.

All songs and poetry here given are solely Tolkien's, although in one or two I have taken the liberty of combining differing versions. Placement of them however is entirely due to my arrangement.

Chapter One is a condensed excerpt from the longer chapter of that same subject in THE LOST ROAD, another unfinished work of Tolkien completed by me. It is posted on this site under my stories, in Fan Fiction.

Chapter Two is original in large sections, as concerns the grounds and descriptions of the Cottage; but the setting is devised mostly by me, especially as regards Lindo's identity as King Sheave (Tolkien never said just where he thought King Sheave might have come from, whether from Numenor or Eressea; but if Numenor, that wouldn't fit, for the ancestors of the Saxons and Norse of which the song tells had migrated thither after the Great Flood of Noah. Therefore it must have been from Eressea) and the dialogue. The Lost Tales had this in a primitive setting supposed to be ancient England that was once Eressea, but as this idea was scrapped before the Tales were abandoned, it needed some changing. The dialogue with Rumil is original likewise, though for the Building of Valinor I combined the Lost Tales with the Silmarillion and added some sentences of my own.

For the Tale of the Two Trees I had to rearrange much of the account in the Lost Tales, especially as there the Trees were reversed in age. In the later story Telperion was first, and likewise the Moon was first wrought. The description of the houses of the Valar also had to be brought into line with the Silmarillion.

The Chaining of Melkor was considerably expanded by me. In the Lost Tales is a primitive account of treacherous, Nordic-style Gods tricking Melkor in most unfitting ways. I therefore devised the terrible debate of Manwe and Melkor, going on an idea expressed by Tolkien near the end of his life, when he began to realize just how powerful Melkor had once been, and how greatly he degenerated. The account of the making of the stars is, however, new to me; Tolkien's mythology was disappointingly weak as regards the Stars, which to me have become the key point in the transformation from the ancient heavens to modern ones. Oromoe's words to the Elves when he first came were gleaned from a long discourse on languages Tolkien wrote elsewhere.

The story of the awakening of the Elves was written toward the end of Tolkien's life, published by Christopher Tolkien in "Morgoth's Ring", but I altered it in the chronology. The original had been written following Tolkien's realization that the 'ancient' heavens of Arda, with orbiting Sun and Moon from the fruit and flower of the Trees, was too dissonant with 'actual', modern cosmology with the voids of space, the gas and fire-stars and furnace-sun and dead orbiting Moon. He felt that his myths were 'true' in a deep and peculiar way, and more and more he treated the Elves as a real people that acutually existed, and said in consequence that they could not have been ignorant of 'actual' cosmology, especially after close association with the Valar, and therefore that his older mythology was too 'unrealistic', that 'you cannot make a myth so dissonant with observed facts'. In the horribly realistic 50s and 60s this was perhaps true in the fictional perspective, but ironically it was Tolkien himself who transformed the modern imagination, baptising it and sending it backward to the fairy tales, so that the vivid symbols and images of 'fantasy' literature became lifted high above the older 'sword & sorcery' genre.

Tolkien in consequence of this dual feeling, that the Elves were 'real' and that the dissonance between 'ancient' and modern cosmology was too great, began to write as if the Sun was as old as Arda (Earth), and that Arda was round in the beginning. The tale of the Awakening of Elves suffers from this, for the discoveries of new-wakened Elves by the Three Fathers each took place in starlight, and each fresh group of waking Elves awoke in starlight before dawn. It further refers to 'days' as well. I altered this to fit with the older, published cosmology of the Silmarillion.

Tolkien felt that the long ages of darkness were impossible as well, for Earth would have been entirely winter if there was no Sun. But he had forgotten one element in his own myths, that Light was originally liquid and vapor-like and floated in the air and ran in water and even ground. Warmth would very well be a consequence of this distilled light. Of course as the ages passed and the Gods used up light in making Stars and the Trees, and still more from the hunger of Ungoliant who sucked light out of earth and air in the South (creating thus the Nether Night), this pervasive light would evaporate, becoming the radiating energy it is today as it aged and evolved. Hence the Gods would have had to have sent in the Sun or some source of light and warmth at some point right around when they actually did.

In the course of my quest and calling (for that, increasingly, is what it is becoming) to complete and fulfill Middle-earth in essential matters, I have come to realize the solution to the problem that so plagued Tolkien: the dissonance between modern and "mythical" heavens, the transformation from a round world (post-Fall-of-Numenor) with orbiting sun, moon and stars, to our modern heavens of furnace-sun, dead Moon, Solar System and innumerable stars. It arose out of my own writings, when a mysterious being called the Herald suddenly strode onto the stage of my superhero books, a dreadful semi-angelic doombringer who comes whenever the evil done by a civilization on a planet grows too great, for the stain of evil rots the very fabric of reality, and to repair this the Herald comes, his arrows bringing expiatory distasters, his horn pouring out the power of his King to unmake that world or purge that civilization.

When I had dealt with him, I began to realize he had come before. He had done this in other times, on Venus, on Mars, even on the Moon, bringing about their barren and poisoned condition. He had smashed one planet, leaving only the asteroids and minor planets. But he had come once before even these, in a time when there were no Planets, when the Sun and Moon were still ships bearing the living Fruit and Flower and the Stars still sang as they danced around the Earth, and there were no stars innumerable in the distant voids.

Now that I have written the book Arheled, soon to be posted here, I know what happened. The Sun and Moon became incarnate, even as Melian, and were wedded and bore nine children, the Nine Planets. They, like the Stars, were under a doom never to make war. But somehow the Stars rebelled against this doom, and quarrelled, and went to war. Legions of stars ranged themselves under the Nine Planets, and the Sun and Moon took sides, and so fell under the doom. This happened during the Great Flood, I decided, as then the only one alive to notice a change in the constellations would be Noah.

The Herald came. He comes, I suppose, from Manwe, though I only have said "the Lord of the Cosmos". He shot his arrows into the Nine Planets, and turned them to stone and to gas, and he shot his arrows into the Sun and Moon, and turned the Moon into stone and the Sun into flame. He sounded his horn, and the heavens were transformed forever. The Stars began to flee, shooting outwards into the vast voids (for when Numenor fell, I hold, Iluvatar removed the Ilurambar to an immeasureable distance, expanding the Globe of Ea to contain our observed Universe), fleeing at many times the speed of light. (The inflationary model of the Universe's expansion actually bears this out.) They still are fleeing, and as they fled they blew up, seperating into furnaces of flame as their power condensed into gas and energy as it was taken from them, until stars innumerable peopled the heavens. But the constellations remained in their plane, despite the stars now being light-years away, so as to form the same patterns seen from Earth. It is said that this curse will be undone at the end of the World, and the Stars will retract, shooting backward along their paths and absorbing the innumerable stars into the original 7000 observable stars of Middle-earth, gas and energy turning back into power, until the Stars again stand, and at that time Mandos will judge them.

Such, at any rate, is the myth I evolved to bridge the gap that Tolkien felt so essential he was ready to rip up his own myths to solve it.

For the Darkening of Valinor I integrated revisions made by Tolkien during the last rewriting of parts of the Silmarillion, especially in the dialogue between Melkor and Ungoliante and the exact words of the Oath of Feanor.

For the Tale of the Sun and Moon, the account of Tilion's battle is mine entirely, as it is only referred to in the Silmarillion. The Door of Night was one of the great inconsistencies of the mythology, as the Silmarillion seems to imply the Sun passing, like the Moon, under the Earth through the Outer Sea, and likewise the Walls of Night were at times concieved, not as a globe encircling Ea, but as a rampart that underlay Arda and came to an end like a rim, and hence the Door was made and Earendil, for instance, passes through the door to ascend into the Stars, and Melkor comes over the wall to invade Arda, and hence also the reference in Lord of the Rings, comparing the tidal wave of shadow that marked the Passing of Sauron to the oncoming of a Wall of Night at the last end of the world. The Ambarkanta, however, describes the Ilurambar as a globe, and that seems to have remained the conception. I accordingly employ it as a globe in my descriptions of the courses of the Sun and Moon, in which the only heavenly body that uses the Door of Night and Gate of Morning is the Sun, who cannot endure the Outer Sea but apparently can endure the Void of Nothingness; the Stars wheel in the blue air of Ilmen.

The tale of the Coming of Men was an incomplete fragment which Tolkien never carried beyond Nuin's words with Tu about the Sleepers, save for some notes that speak of Nuin waking up Ermon and Elmir and teaching them speech, the Sun's rising, the sleepy clamor of the children, Tu's fading, the Battle of Palisor in which Ermon's folk stood with the Elves, and of a demon named Fankil son of Melko (the primitive version of Melkor) who tempts Men into darkness. The later myths are deliberatly very vague about Men's formation, saying only that a darkness lay behind them, that Melkor secretly under shadow left Angband and came to tempt them in person, and once giving a purposefully 'corrupted' version of the Fall of Man, in which is mentioned a Lord of Gifts who gradually led Men to ignore The Voice and worship him alone. The tale as given is therefore entirely my own writing, intended by me to blend the mythical account of Men with the Christian tradition, yet without being obvious about it. I did this because, like Tolkien, I feel these myths are in some deep and mysterious sense 'true'. Tolkien towards the end of his life, when evolving the languages, came to realize that Men could not have developed so complex a linguistic system with totally different tongues in only four hundred years between the rising of the Sun and Men's entrance to Beleriand. Even English hasn't changed that greatly in 400 years! We can still understand Shakespeare! He therefore decided Men must have actually arisen many ages before the Sun.

From which in my account, Men have already existed on the earth in the great eastlands and southlands for thousands of years before the Sun, but have fallen into abominable worship (cf Tu, 'the stones spoke of hideous rites carried out in the blackness'), and Iluvatar desireous to form the Edain destroys several tribes of Men near Murmeralda and takes those few teenagers who rebelled against Melkor, casts them asleep and grants them forgetfulness. From these come the Edain, eventually, and from these are descended all the peoples of northern Middle-earth. The terrible quarrels of Ermon and Elmir and the treachery of Atrai (the name chosen on purpose to seem like a root of 'betray', a jest after Tolkien's own heart), which result in the slow flight westwards of those who hate Morgoth, were inevitable. In any story dealing with Men such treacheries and swift falls are inevitable, and for simple and more childlike races, even swifter. The Haradrim and the more southern Easterlings are thus not descended at all from the Sleepers of Murmeralda, and did not wake at the rising of the Sun, though they both feared and loved it. Feared it because they worshipped Dark; loved it, because despite everything they still were human.

The middle of the Turin saga was never finished. I integrated the fragments given in Unfinished Tales with the Silmarillion to produce a cogent narrative. For the Wanderings of Hurin, however, a new problem arose. Tolkien wrote an expanded version of Hurin's release, including a detailed account of how Hurin brought ruin into Brethil, part of which I have given; but beyond this the only account of Hurin is the primitive version in the Lost Tales and the old Quenta Noldorinwa, in which Mim is murdered for no reason, Urin has a band of rough outlaw Elves (who act just like Men, and not like Elves at all), there is no mention of Melian, and Urin brings the entire hoard of Nargothrond to throw at Thingol, and is driven thence in wrath by the Elf-king. Christopher Tolkien had to write the chapter in the Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Doriath", entirely himself, therefore, and it is off his chapter that I based my own expansion of the words of Hurin and Mim, Hurin's cynical sending of the outlaws to kill each other over the treasure, his bitter words to the Elf-guards, and finally to the terrible confrontation with Thingol and Melian. Hurin's slaying of Avranc, meeting with Asgon, and last words, are original to me.

The Fall of Gondolin had an expanded beginning, taken no farther than Tuor's entrance into the plain of Gondolin, which I tried to follow in narrative mode when expanding the old tale of the Fall. Tuor's first conversation with Idril is my own, therefore, as is my arranging of the motives of Turgon for not fleeing, and the expanded duel of Glorfindel and Balrog.

The Balrogs were a difficult concept. Tolkien in his later days realized the Balrogs were far more powerful and dreadful than presented in the Fall, where they have iron helms and destructible bodies and the only fire they wield (aside from "flaming bolts") are their whips. Gandalf's opponent, for example, not only couldn't be drowned, he fought Gandalf underwater for a good week before they finally had a two-day firefight on top of Silvertine and destroyed each other. He wrote therefore that only about three were ever made, at most seven. I decided seven was more probable. However, another essay of Tolkien's later writings on the Orcs concludes that because Elves were as a race unfallen, that therefore each soul sent to a new Orc-child would have to be corrupted all over again, but Men in a few generations of savagry could be reduced almost to demonic beasts. He therefore concluded that Men were interbred with the orginal Elvish-nature Orcs (hence the varying breeds, some having more Elf and some less. Furthermore every offspring of Elf-Man union shares Man nature unless dispensated by the Valar, so the sons of these Orcs would have human corrupted nature). He also said that among them walked much bigger and stronger Orcs, chieftains and leaders, that were actually fallen Maiar of lesser rank taken bodily form. (Perhaps the one that speared Frodo in Moria was of this sort).

Therefore I concluded that these lesser Maiar-demons would doubtless have taken Balrog-like shapes to imitate and flatter their seven huge captains, and as such that there were hundreds of lesser balrogs at the Fall. I spelled, accordingly, only the references to the Seven Captains with a capital B. Ecthelion, especially wounded, would never have prevailed against Gothmog greatest of Balrogs, even being a Noldo of great power and virtue that would make him equal to Gandalf. I also realized that the walls of Gondolin would be like the rock of Orthanc, protected by commands of unbreaking, only more so. Therefore weight alone would not crush them in, but one of the Balrogs must have used his power. And if Gothmog sent power out of himself to overcome the wall, it would not return (not for some time at least) and he would then be weaker and more vulnerable to Ecthelion. I also gave Ecthelion an enchanted spike on his helm, as the bodies of Balrogs would not succumb to mere injuries so easily.

In the Silmarillion it says that many real dragons of Glarung's brood were there (and The Hobbit says that dragons plundered it), yet in the Lost Tales version no actual dragons are met with, only the marvellous contrivances of Morgoth, half-sentient machines and things of magic. The Dragons must have followed in the wake, not engaging in actual fight, remembering the fall of Glaurung.

Reincarnation is another problem. In the older myths, Elves reincarnate Hindu-style, born again into their children. Tolkien subjected this to intense philosophic analysis in his later years, and realised (what I felt instinctively, when I first read about it!) that this just could not be, but must be a corrupted rumor. He had several reasons, chiefly the problem that Elves bequeathed not only bodily qualities but great spiritual power as well when begetting children, and that reincarnation would rob the parents of this, for the Elf-soul already had other parents. This would also cause problems for the reincarnated Elf, who would have two sets of parents.

He therefore decided that Elves who returned were not re-born, but re-fleshed, or resurrected, their bodies regenerated by angelic power from the memory of the body imprinted into the Elf-soul, and then they would awake in Valinor. Those who appeared in Middle-earth, as Glorfindel, must have come by ship down the Straight Road. Tolkien at first decided Glorfindel came with the Five Wizards but then made him come earlier. This would certainly explain Glorfindel's tremendous power, as also the mysterious words of Gandalf describing him, that make him seem quasi-angelic: "Those who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds, and against the Seen and Unseen they have great power." He also decided that since Elves, unlike Men whose wills are fixed by death, are bound to Arda until it's end, their souls would still retain a measure of free-will and be able to answer or not to answer the summons of Mandos. If they did not answer, Morgoth summoned too, and him they could not resist, and hence came werewolves and sentient engines and probably quite a few Orcs, using damned Elves as material. Once in Mandos the Elves would be purgated, and after a time Mandos would offer them resurrection. If they wished they could refuse. For those who did great evil in life, Mandos would deny resurrection entirely, and sometimes would hand them over to Morgoth. Maeglin and Eol, for example, would have been among this number.

The Tale of Earendil is another matter that is primarily my own writing. This tale was only given in notes in the Lost Tales, never written, and only cursorily sketched in the many versions of the Silmarillion, including the published account. In some of these notes appear Littleheart's gong that woke the Sleeper in the Tower of Pearl. There is also a Song of the Sleeper. One note speculates the Sleeper was Idril, but the Sleeper shouting in a great voice for them not to step foot on shore seems more like a male to me. I decided it was Tuor on one consideration: Tuor is said to have chosen Elf-nature, yet he set sail for Valinor long before Earendil. Yet no ship had succeeded in passing the Hiding of Valinor until Earendil donned the Silmaril. Therefore Tuor and Idril never made it, but were stranded on an island somewhere. So, for dramatic purposes, I made them land on the Isle of the Tower.

Reference in the notes is also made to a Spider, possibly Ungoliant. But as she would have expired by now, I made it instead be another Shelob, using an old name of Ungoliant from the Lost Tales, Wirilome or Gloomweaver.

In the Silmarillion the only sailors of Earendil's crew named are Men: Falathar, Aerandir and Erellont. But in the Lost Tales Littleheart is also named as one of Earendil's companions, and possibly Rumil as well. I decided to include Lindo and Voronwe into the mix, and these four Elves would certainly have been allowed ashore. The Men, however, were sent into the East with a great wind; but as Men were not allowed to even look on the Undying Shores, in my completed account of The Lost Road I took the legend of the Seven Sleepers of the Baltic Sea and made three of them be these banished mariners of Earendil; the other four are Amandil and his three old servants, who were never seen by Men after they set sail into the West to plead for Numenor. They won by this life for Elendil and the Faithful, but were, I hold, themselves cast asleep for setting foot on the Deathless Lands, their lives spared for their goodness.

For the Breaking of Thangorodrim there are only old accounts in the first versions of the Silmarillion, from which was gleaned the published Silmarillion's account. I expanded this as I wrote it down, and introduced the dreadful mockery of Ancalagon the Black as well as inventing the names of the other Great Dragons that bore back the very Valar. For these I chose Elvish-sounding names but whether they have any meaning I do not know enough of Elvish to deduce. The Silmaril's anti-flame ability is also my own innovation; how else could Earendil have survived a direct assault on a dragon bigger than three huge mountain peaks? (Seeing as Thangorodrim are probably each a couple miles high and front a good portion of Anfauglith, that would make Ancalagon about a hundred miles long. That dude had serious size issues.)

Including Olorin (Gandalf) in the Lost Tales was just too much to resist.

Most of the narrative sections concerning Aelfwine-Eriol in the later chapters are also my own writing, except for the section on Turuhalme, which I only expanded, although the bit about the undying fire that goes out only once a year and is renewed from mallorn logs is mine: the conception of the undying fire being original, but the writing mine.

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