wrote many beautiful poems which he incorporated into The Lord of the Rings.
They are varied in tone, mood, and style. However, they all blend into
the story and often provide a glimpse of the mythology and history behind the books.
lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in Spring,
trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches isng.
maybe ‘tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
Elven-stars as jewels white
amid their branching hair.
here at journey’s end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
all darkness rides the Sun
and Stars forever dwell:
not say the Day is done,
nor bid the Stars farewell. (RotK
is one of my favorite poems in the book and even of all time. Perhaps the setting
has something to do with it. Sam sings it in the Tower of Cirith Ungol, when he has given up all hope of finding Frodo,
The last stanza in particular chokes me up every time I read it.
Fall of Gil-galad”
was an Elven-king,
the harpers sadly sing:
last whose realm was fair and free
the Mountains and the Sea.
sword was long, his lance was keen,
shining helm afar was seen;
countless stars of heaven’s field
mirrored in his silver shield.
long ago he rode away,
where he dwelleth none can say;
into darkness fell his star
where the shadows are. (FotR 229)
is my other favorite poem from the book. It is not as touching in terms of the
subject, but the beauty of the poem itself has made it very dear to me. I love
the alliteration “sadly sing” “fair and free” and “silver shield.”
Road goes every on and on
Down from the door where it began.
far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
many paths and errand meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate;
though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun. (RotK 344)
is Bilbo’s old walking song which someone is always adding another verse to. I
have included here the first verse that Bilbo says when he is leaving for Rivendell and the verse that Frodo makes up just
before he leaves the Shire forever.
Wandering Elves’ Song”
Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Sea!
to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!
Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath,
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
In a far land beyond the Sea. (FotR108)
is a song to Varda the Lady of the Stars. The High-elves that the hobbits meet
sing it as they travel towards the Grey Havens.
that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king. (FotR 212)
is a poem made for Aragorn by none other than Bilbo I like it because of its
beautiful imagery and the interesting reversal of an old saying in the first line (“All that glitters is not gold”
“All that is gold does not glitter”). It also fits Aragorn perfectly,
especially in his Strider guise.
Gondor! Gondor, between the Mountains and the Sea!
Wind blew there; the light upon the Silver Tree
like bright rain in gardens of the Kings of old.
walls! White towers! O winged crown
and throne of gold!
Gondor! Shall Men behold the Silver Tree,
Wind blow again between the Mountains and the Sea? (TTT 15)
poem seems to sum up Gondor to me, just as the poem about Eorl the Young seems to sum up Rohan. I love Gondor because I see in it the shadows of a once-great land which has the potential to blossom beyond
even what it once was. The answer tot the question in the last lines is yes,
and we see the answer unfold throughout the book.
Lament of the Rohirrim”
now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn
that was blowing?
is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair
is the hand on the harpstring and the red fire
is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn
have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind
in the meadow;
days have gone down in the West behind the hills
shall gather the smoke of dead wood burning,
the flowing years from the Sea returning? (TTT 118-9)
is such a beautiful poem and, as I said before, it sums up the nature of Rohan for me.
I missed it the first time I read the book, but when I heard it quoted in the movie I fell in love with it and had
to go back and look it up. “Thus spoke a forgotten poet long ago in Rohan,
recalling how fair was Eorl the Young, who rode down out of the North, and there were wings upon the feet of his steed, Felaróf,
father of horses” (TTT 119).
Song of Lórien”
have walked the feet of Men,
mortal eyes have seen the light
lies there ever, long and bright.
is the water of your well;
is the star in your white hand;
unstained is leaf and land
fair than thoughts of Mortal Men. (TTT 125-6)
the descriptions of Galadriel. Gandalf recites this lovely poem and Gimli and
Sam both describe her in their own ways. Sam’s in particular is poetry
in prose form. “Sometimes like a great tree in flower, sometimes like a
white daffadowndilly, small and slender like. Hard as di’monds, soft as
moonlight. Warm as sunlight, cold as frost in the stars. Proud and far-off as
a snow-mountain, and as merry as any lass I ever saw with daisies in her hair in springtime” (TTT 324). Anyone that can evoke such descriptions must be beautiful indeed!
The line “White is the star in your white hand” may refer to her Ring since it was set with a white stone.
arise, Riders of Théoden!
deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
shall be shaken, shield shall be splintered,
a red day, ere the sun rises!
now, ride now! Ride to Gondor! (RotK 123)
I love this poem because of the bravery in it. Also, it is the last battle-cry
that Théoden will ever give; he dies soon afterwards. I must say that Bernard
Hill’s wonderful recitation in the movie helped my appreciation of it increase.
last quote is not in the form of a poem, but I believe that it is a poem in prose form.
It is one of my favorite passages from LotR, or indeed from any book. Besides
all of this, Frodo is one of my favorite characters, and to see him at peace and healed at last means a great deal to me.
Frodo kissed Merry and Pippin, and last of all Sam, and went aboard; and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew, and slowly
the ship slipped away down the long grey firth; and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore was lost. And the ship went out into the High Sea
and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound
of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his
dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey-rain curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white
shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.” (RotK 347)