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Bilbo's Last Song

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'''Bilbo's Last Song''' is a poem by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]]. It was originally entitled "Bilbo's Last Lay", but this was later changed due to the obvious difficulties over the last word.  It was given by Tolkien as a gift to his secretary Joy Hill in 1966. After Tolkien's death in 1973 Hill showed the poem to Donald Swann, who liked the poem so much that he set it to music and included it in the second edition of The Road Goes Ever On in 1978. The poem was also illustrated by Pauline Baynes, and published as a poster in 1974. In 1990 the text was finally published in book form, reillustrated by Baynes. <br>
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[[File:Pauline_Baynes_-_Bilbo's_Last_Song_(with_text).jpg|thumb|225px]]
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'''''Bilbo's Last Song''''' is a poem written by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]].  
The poem is sung by [[Bilbo Baggins]] at the Grey Havens, as he is about to leave [[Middle-earth]] forever. Chronologically this places it at the very end of The Return of the King, the last book of The Lord of the Rings, although it was written later than the books and never included in them.<br>
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<br>
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==Contents==
The song is included in the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of [[The Lord of the Rings]] (1981), with music by Stephen Oliver. The first verse is chanted by John Le Mesurier as Bilbo, the second omitted, and the third sung by a boy soprano. <br>
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The poem is sung by [[Bilbo Baggins]] at the [[Grey Havens]], as he is about to leave [[Middle-earth]]. Chronologically this places it at the very end of ''[[The Return of the King]]'', the last volume of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', although it was written later than the books and never included in them.
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[[Image:Pauline_Baynes_-_Bilbo's_Last_Song_(with_text).jpg|thumb|225px]]
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''Day is ended, dim my eyes,'' <br>
 
''Day is ended, dim my eyes,'' <br>
 
''but journey long before me lies.'' <br>
 
''but journey long before me lies.'' <br>
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''I see the Star above my mast!'' <br>
 
''I see the Star above my mast!'' <br>
  
[[Category:Books]]
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==History==
[[Category:Poems]]
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It was originally a text without link with Bilbo's story, entitled ''Vestr um haf'', but Tolkien changed it in october 1968. It was given by Tolkien as a gift to his secretary [[Joy Hill]] in 1968 after she discovered it in Tolkien's library. After Tolkien's death in [[1973]], Hill showed the poem to [[Donald Swann]], who liked the poem so much that he set it to music and included it in the second edition of ''[[The Road Goes Ever On]]'' in [[1978]].<ref>{{RGEO|Bilbo}}</ref> The poem was also illustrated by [[Pauline Baynes]], and published as a poster on [[26 November]], [[1974]].
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The song was included in the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' (1981), with music by Stephen Oliver. The first verse is chanted by John Le Mesurier as Bilbo, the second omitted, and the third sung by a boy soprano.
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In [[1990]] the text was finally published in book form by Unwin Hyman, re-illustrated by Baynes.<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=http://www.tolkienbooks.net/php/details.php?reference=61220|articlename=Bilbo's Last Song. 1990|dated=|website=TB|accessed=29 October 2012}}</ref> New editions appeared in [[2002]] (Hutchinson, hardcover),<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=http://www.tolkienbooks.net/php/details.php?reference=61240|articlename=Bilbo's Last Song. 2002|dated=|website=TB|accessed=29 October 2012}}</ref> and [[2012]] (Red Fox/Random House, paperback).<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/editions/bilbos-last-song/9780099439752|articlename=Bilbo's Last Song|dated=|website=[http://www.randomhouse.co.uk RandomHouse.co.uk]|accessed=29 October 2012}}</ref>
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{{References}}
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{{title|italics}}
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[[Category:Books by J.R.R. Tolkien]]
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[[Category:Poems by J.R.R. Tolkien]]
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[[Category:Poetry books]]
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[[Category:Publications by title]]
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[[de:Bilbos Abschiehdslied]]
 
[[de:Bilbos Abschiehdslied]]
 
[[fi:Bilbon viimeinen laulu]]
 
[[fi:Bilbon viimeinen laulu]]

Revision as of 01:24, 24 April 2013

Pauline Baynes - Bilbo's Last Song (with text).jpg

Bilbo's Last Song is a poem written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Contents

The poem is sung by Bilbo Baggins at the Grey Havens, as he is about to leave Middle-earth. Chronologically this places it at the very end of The Return of the King, the last volume of The Lord of the Rings, although it was written later than the books and never included in them.

Day is ended, dim my eyes,
but journey long before me lies.
Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship's beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Foam is salt, the wind is free;
I hear the rising of the Sea.

Farewell, friends! The sails are set,
the wind is east, the moorings fret.
Shadows long before me lie,
beneath the ever-bending sky,
but islands lie behind the Sun
that I shall raise ere all is done;
lands there are to west of West,
where night is quiet and sleep is rest.

Guided by the Lonely Star,
beyond the utmost harbour-bar,
I'll find the heavens fair and free,
and beaches of the Starlit Sea.
Ship, my ship! I seek the West,
and fields and mountains ever blest.
Farewell to Middle-earth at last.
I see the Star above my mast!

History

It was originally a text without link with Bilbo's story, entitled Vestr um haf, but Tolkien changed it in october 1968. It was given by Tolkien as a gift to his secretary Joy Hill in 1968 after she discovered it in Tolkien's library. After Tolkien's death in 1973, Hill showed the poem to Donald Swann, who liked the poem so much that he set it to music and included it in the second edition of The Road Goes Ever On in 1978.[1] The poem was also illustrated by Pauline Baynes, and published as a poster on 26 November, 1974.

The song was included in the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (1981), with music by Stephen Oliver. The first verse is chanted by John Le Mesurier as Bilbo, the second omitted, and the third sung by a boy soprano.

In 1990 the text was finally published in book form by Unwin Hyman, re-illustrated by Baynes.[2] New editions appeared in 2002 (Hutchinson, hardcover),[3] and 2012 (Red Fox/Random House, paperback).[4]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Donald Swann, The Road Goes Ever On, "Bilbo's Last Song"
  2. "Bilbo's Last Song. 1990" , TolkienBooks.net (accessed 29 October 2012)
  3. "Bilbo's Last Song. 2002" , TolkienBooks.net (accessed 29 October 2012)
  4. "Bilbo's Last Song" , RandomHouse.co.uk (accessed 29 October 2012)