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A Rhyme of Lore

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A Rhyme of Lore is a poem found in Book 3, Chapter XI (The Palantir) of The Lord of the Rings. It is sung by Gandalf when he is travelling to Minas Tirith with Pippin. The text is as follows:

Tall ships and tall kings
Three times three,
What brought they from the foundered land
Over the flowing sea?
Seven stars and seven stones
And one white tree.

The ships are the nine ships that survived the fall of Númenor, sailed by Elendil, Isildur and Anárion. The foundered land is Númenor itself. The seven stones are the palantíri, and the white tree is the sapling of Nimloth preserved by Isildur before it was destroyed.

In his explanation of the poem to Pippin, Gandalf implies that this is one of many Rhymes of Lore. He also suggests that this one originates with the Dúnedain of Arnor.

A musical version of this poem was recorded by the Tolkien Ensemble on their album A Night in Rivendell.