Poems from the Tolkien Journals
by Kathryn E. Darden
Friday, August 29, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Poems that have been published in "In Fellowship - The Journal of the Tolkien Gathering" and "Silver Leaves, the Journal of the White Tree Fund"
"A Man Like You"
Once I rode a pony small;
I sat upon my father's knee.
My mother sang fair lullabies
And placed her warm arms around me.
My father said, "Be strong! Be brave!
And strive to win whate'er you do."
I scarce remember, just in dreams
That once I was a man like you.
Once my father passed away,
And I ascended to the throne,
My mother said, "Be strong. Be brave,
And make this kingdom now your own."
I took the sword. I chose the blade
And wielded it to claim my due.
At least it seems thus in my dreams,
When once I was a man like you.
Once a noble came to me
Austere he looked in raiment grand.
Reading the desires of my heart,
He placed the future in my hand.
To me he said, "Fight strong. Fight hard,
This ring will win what you pursue."
And when I put it on my hand,
I ceased to be a man like you.
And now my flesh has turned to ruin,
My fine robes rotting with my skin.
Now I with man no more commune
Except my howl upon the wind.
My blade now tears through mortal flesh,
Knowing no man's blade can undo
This evil that I have become --
I, who was once a man like you.
So when you hear the howling wind,
Recall my voice as fell it falls --
The scream of evil agony,
Remind you of my father's halls:
The boy I was; the choice I made;
The power I sought; then was seduced.
This evil token on my hand --
Could you refuse it - a man like you?
Published in Issue 1 of Silver Leaves: The Journal of the White Tree Fund
"A Pony, Name of Bill"
Well, we found ourselves in town town after we left the river rill,
And we met up with a stranger who sure looked like he could kill,
But we found a friend in Ranger who took us to Elvendell:
Three halflings, a gardener, and our new pony, Bill.
Well, I always loved the country; I love flower, blade and hill,
And I love my Master greatly and his cousins fit the bill.
And I came to love our Ranger, and I'm loyal to him still,
But I had a special fondness for a pony, name of Bill.
Well, at first he was malnourished but he had a stubborn will,
And he fattened as we wandered across vale and over hill.
And he followed us in badlands where the mines would suit him ill,
So we turned him loose, and I wept as I said good-bye to Bill.
Well, we had our share of sorrows, suffered more than one farewell.
We saw Elves, Goblins, and Eliphants, and an Elf Queen by her well.
I have seen my share of wonders, and great treasures I have held,
But I never could forget a certain pony, name of Bill.
Well, we found the fiery mountain after crossing the dead vale,
Where I fought that sneak that tracked us and some Goblins had to kill,
And I smote that monster Spider with light from a starry well,
And as we trudged I often wished I rode that pony, Bill.
Well, we finally won the battle, and our quest we did fulfill.
And they crowned our Ranger king over the land with pomp and frills.
To our home we finally returned; as we crested the last hill
The others rode fine ponies... me, I rode my old friend Bill.
Published in In Fellowship: The Journal of the Tolkien Gathering
"Journey to the Sea"
Brave archer-son of woodland elves
In evil's growing shadows dwelt.
In Elven halls of fantasy
Beneath the stars, under the trees.
Gone, the years of complacency:
No more the magic dinner feasts,
Deer driven out by cunning beasts.
The shadows grew a doom to tell
That must be brought to Elvendell.
A culminating prophecy.
Around the table tales were told
Of dark wraiths seen and rings of gold;
As tempers flared he made his case
To aid a friend, defend his race --
Irked by the dwarf's obduracy.
A strange pact forged in anger bound
Son of the tree, son of the ground.
Nine walkers made the choice that day,
A journey planned and then... away!
To carry war's diplomacy.
O'er barren lands to goblin mines.
Trolls, goblins, threats his bow would find -
Fell victims of his accuracy.
Through dark and danger, fire and flame,
The Demon's whip and burning mane.
At last escaping at great cost -
Their guide, their friend, the Wizard lost.
Despairing in their misery,
Still pressing on o'er glade they ran,
Into the trees - enchanted land -
In golden woods to find release:
A time to mourn, a time of peace,
Until the fateful prophecy...
A boat ride South with seven friends,
Where waters fall, the River ends;
As did the Fellowship that day.
Two halflings gone; two swept away
By Necromancer's progeny.
There one strong man succumbed at last,
Then lost his life while standing fast
Against goblins' foul piracy.
To horse lands fast on foot they flew
To find their friends, their bonds renew.
Into the living woods they dared -
A meeting caught them unprepared:
The White Wizard's conspiracy.
Dark days grew darker as they tread
Where none would go - Paths of the Dead.
There a Ranger cast off his doubts;
His power drove the dead to rout
To usher in his legacy.
By Great River the dead host sailed
Vows were fulfilled -- the host prevailed.
Yet in triumph on battle's field,
The Elf-son knew his doom was sealed
While gulls called o'er the war's frenzy.
As one lord spurned the Wizard's plea,
Snared by his own complicity.
Faithful companions journeyed on.
The company looked for the dawn
While battle raged on endlessly,
Fighting the fell and monstrous beasts.
They bravely suffered selflessly
Until the reign of terror ceased,
The ring destroyed, the lands released;
The King was crowned; the world knew peace.
For Elven-son - dichotomy...
Such wonders have I known and seen,
Such friends I've had, such victories,
Such joy I've felt beneath the leaves...
No more for me... no more to be...
No more at rest under the tree,
My home become a fallacy.
Gulls on the shore call out to me;
The tides rise in supremacy.
A yearning born from dormancy
Waking me from complacency.
My heart cries out for clemency,
For succor from the thing it seeks --
The doom proclaimed in prophecy.
Will my heart never more run free?
Until at last it finds release
Beside the sea... beyond the sea...
Published in Issue 2 of Silver Leaves: The Journal of the White Tree Fund
White Tree Fund