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Kortirion among the Trees

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Kortirion among the Trees by J.R.R. Tolkien
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{{disambig-two|the poem|city|[[Kortirion]]}}
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'''''Kortirion among the Trees''''' is a poem by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]].
  
<br>O fading town upon an inland hill
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The poem was published in ''[[The Book of Lost Tales Part One]]''.
<br>Old shadows linger in thine ancient gate
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<br>Thy robe is grey thine old heart now is still
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<br>Thy towers silent in the mist await
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<br>Their crumbling end while through the storeyed elms
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<br>The Gliding Water leaves these inland realms
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<br>And slips between long meadows to the Sea
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<br>Still bearing downward over murmurous falls
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<br>One day and then another to the Sea
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<br>And slowly thither many years have gone
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<br>Since first the Elves here built Kortirion
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<br>O climbing town upon thy windy hill
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[[Category:Poems by J.R.R. Tolkien]]
<br>With winding streets and alleys shady-walled
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<br>Where now untamed the peacocks pace in drill
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<br>Majestic sapphirine and emerald
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<br>Amid the girdle of this sleeping land
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<br>Where silver falls the rain and gleaming stand
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<br>The whispering host of old deep-rooted trees
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<br>That cast long shadows in many a bygone noon
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<br>And murmured many centuries in the breeze
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<br>Thou art the city of the Land of Elms
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<br>Alalminórë in the Fairy Realms
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<br>Sing of thy trees Kortirion again
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<br>The beech on hill the willow in the fen
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<br>The rainy poplars and the frowning yews
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<br>Within thine agéd courts that muse
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<br>In sombre splendour all the day
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<br>Until the twinkle of the early stars
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<br>Comes glinting through their sable bars
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<br>And the white moon climbing up the sky
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<br>Looks down upon the ghosts of trees that die
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<br>Slowly and silently from day to day
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<br>O Lonely Isle here was thy citadel
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<br>Ere bannered summer from his fortress fell
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<br>Then full of music were thine elms
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<br>Green was their armour green their helms
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<br>The Lords and Kings of all thy trees
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<br>Sing then of elms renowned Kortirion
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<br>That under summer crowds their full sail on
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<br>And shrouded stand like masts of verdurous ships
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<br>A fleet of galleons that proudly slips
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<br>Across long sunlit seas.
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<br>Thou art the inmost province of the fading isle
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<br>Where linger yet the Lonely Companies
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<br>Still undespairing here they slowly file
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<br>Along thy paths with solemn harmonies
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<br>The holy people of an elder day
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<br>Immortal Elves that singing fair and fey
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<br>Of vanished things that were and could be yet
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<br>Pass like a wind among the rustling trees
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<br>A wave of bowing grass and we forget
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<br>Their tender voices like wind-shaken bells
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<br>Of flowers their gleaming hair like golden asphodels
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<br>Once Spring was here with joy and all was fair
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<br>Among the trees but Summer drowsing by the stream
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<br>Heard trembling in her heart the secret player
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<br>Pipe out beyond the tangle of her forest dream
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<br>The long-drawn tune that elvish voices made
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<br>Foreseeing Winter through the leafy glade
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<br>The late flowers nodding on the ruined walls
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<br>Then stooping heard afar that haunting flute
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<br>Beyond the sunny aisles and tree-propped halls
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<br>For thin and clear and cold the note
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<br>As strand of silver glass remote
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<br>Then all thy trees Kortirion were bent
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<br>And shook with sudden whispering lament
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<br>For passing were the days and doomed the nights
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<br>When flitting ghost-moths danced as satellites
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<br>Round tapers in the moveless air
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<br>And doomed already were the radiant dawns
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<br>The fingered sunlight drawn across the lawns
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<br>The odour and the slumbrous noise of meads
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<br>Where all the sorrel flowers and pluméd weeds
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<br>Go down before the scyther’s share
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<br>When cool October robed her dewy furze
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<br>In netted sheen of gold-shot gossamers
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<br>Then the wide-umbraged elms began to fail
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<br>Their mourning multitude of leaves grew pale
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<br>Seeing afar the icy spears
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<br>Of Winter marching blue behind the sun
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<br>Of bright All-Hallows. Then their hour was done
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<br>And wanly borne on wings of amber pale
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<br>They beat the wide airs of the fading vale
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<br>And flew like birds across the misty meres
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<br>This is the season dearest to the heart
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<br>And time most fitting to the ancient town
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<br>With waning musics sweet that slow depart
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<br>Winding with echoed sadness faintly down
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<br>The paths of stranded mist. O gentle time
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<br>When the late mornings are begemmed with rime
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<br>And early shadows fold the distant woods!
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<br>The Elves go silent by their shining hair
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<br>They cloak in twilight under secret hoods
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<br>Of grey and filmy purple and long bands
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<br>Of frosted starlight sewn by silver hands
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<br>And oft they dance beneath the roofless sky
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<br>When naked elms entwine in branching lace
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<br>The Seven Stars and through the boughs the eye
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<br>Stares golden-beaming in the round moon’s face
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<br>O holy Elves and fair immortal Folk
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<br>You sing then ancient songs that once awoke
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<br>Under primeval stars before the Dawn
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<br>You whirl then dancing with the eddying wind
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<br>As once you danced upon the shimmering lawn
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<br>In Elvenhome before we were before
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<br>You crossed wide seas unto this mortal shore
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<br>Now are thy trees old grey Kortirion
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<br>Through pallid mists seen rising tall and wan
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<br>Like vessels floating vague and drifting far
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<br>Down opal seas beyond the shadowy bar
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<br>Of cloudy ports forlorn
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<br>Leaving behind for ever havens loud
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<br>Wherein their crews a while held feasting proud
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<br>And lordly ease they now like windy ghosts
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<br>Are wafted by slow airs to windy coasts
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<br>And the glimmering sadly down the tide are borne
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<br>Bare are thy trees become Kortirion
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<br>The rotted rainment from their bones is gone
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<br>The seven candles of the Silver Wain
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<br>Like lighted tapers in a darkened fane
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<br>Now flare above the fallen year
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<br>Through court and street now cold and empty lie
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<br>And Elves dance seldom neath the barren sky
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<br>Yet under the white moon there is a sound
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<br>Of buried music still beneath the ground
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<br>When winter comes I would meet winter here
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<br>I would not seek the desert or red palaces
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<br>Where reigns the sun nor tail to magic isles
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<br>Nor climb the hoary mountains’ stony terraces
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<br>And tolling faintly over windy miles
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<br>To my heart calls no distant bell that rings
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<br>In crowded cities of the Earthly Kings
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<br>For here is heartsease still and deep content
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<br>Though sadness haunt the Land of withered Elms
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<br>And making music still in sweet lament
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<br>The Elves here holy and immortal dwell
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<br>And on the stones and trees there lies a spell.
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Latest revision as of 22:05, 1 November 2012

"...there is much else that may be told." — Glóin
This article or section is a stub. Please help Tolkien Gateway by expanding it.
This article is about the poem. For the city, see Kortirion.

Kortirion among the Trees is a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The poem was published in The Book of Lost Tales Part One.