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Lay of Leithian Canto I

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This first [[Cantos of the Lay of the Leithian|Canto]] of the [[Lay of Leithian]] tells of [[Elu Thingol]], and [[Lúthien Tinúviel]] and [[Doriath]]. It runs to 98 lines, one of the shorter cantos if not the shortest save the unfinished last one.
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This first [[Cantos of the Lay of the Leithian|Canto]] of the [[Lay of Leithian]] tells of [[Thingol|Elu Thingol]], and [[Lúthien|Lúthien Tinúviel]] and [[Doriath]]. It runs to 98 lines, the shortest canto save the last, unfinished one.
  
== The Canto ==
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== Concerning the Canto ==
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This canto starts out with one of the more popular paragraphs, concerning Thingol.
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{{blockquote|A king there was in days of old:<br />
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ere [[Men]] yet walked upon the mould...|vv. 1-2}}
  
:A [[Thingol|king]] there was in days of old;
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The descriptions of jewels is contrasted with the love of his daughter, whose description soon follows.
:ere [[Men]] yet walked upon the mould
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{{blockquote|There beryl, pearl, and opal pale<br />
:his power was reared in cavern’s shad,
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and metal wrought like fishes' mail<br />
:his hand was over glen and glade.
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...<br />
:His shields were shining as the [[moon]]
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all these he had and loved them less<br />
:his lances keen of steel were hewn,
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than a maiden once in Elfinesse;<br />
:of silver grey his crown was wrought
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for fairer than are born to Men<br />
:the starlight in his banners caught;
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a daughter had he, Lúthien.|vv. 15-6, 19-22}}
:and silver thrilled his trumpets long
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:beneath the stars in challenge strong;
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:enchantment did his real enfold,
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:where might and glory, wealth untold,
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:he wielded from his ivory throne
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:in many-pillared halls of stone.
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:There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
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:and metal wrought like fishes’ mail
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:buckler and corselet, ade and sword
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:and gleaming spears were laid in hoard–
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:all these he had and loved them less
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:than a maiden once in [[Doriath|Elfinesse]];
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:for fairer than are born to [[Men]]
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:a daughter had he, [[Lúthien]]
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:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;such lissom limbs no more shall run
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Then it introduces [[Endor]] and orients the reader.
:on the green earth beneath the sun;
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{{blockquote|To North there lay the Land of Dread<br />
:so fair a maid no more shall be
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whence only evil pathways led<br />
:from dawn to dusk, from sun to sea.
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...<br />
:Her robe was blue as summer skies
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to South the wide earth unexplored<br />
:but gray as evening were here eyes;
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to West the ancient [[Belegaer|Ocean]] roared,<br />
:‘twas sewn with golden lilies fair
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unsailed and shoreless, wide and wild<br />
:but dark as shadow was her hair.
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to East in peaks of blue were piled...|vv. 49-50, 55-58}}
:Her feet were light as bird on wing
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:her laughter lighter than the spring;
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:the slender willow, the bowing reed
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:the fragrance of a flowering mead
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:the light upon the leaves of trees
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:the voice of water, more than these
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:her beauty was and blissfulness
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:her glory and her loveliness;
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:and her the king more dear did prize
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:than hand or heart or light of eyes.
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:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;They dwelt amid [[Beleriand]]
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Note the reference below to fairies, not uncommon in older works. One thing about the Lay is that it commonly connects Beleriand and Faërie.
:while [[Elves|Elfin]] power yet held the land
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{{blockquote|''[[Esgalduin]] that fairies call<br />
:in the woven woods of [[Doriath]];
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in many a tall and torchlit hall|vv. 67-68}}
:few ever thither found the path;
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:few ever dared the forest-eaves
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:to pass, or stir the listening leaves
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:with tongue of hounds a-hunting fleet
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:with horse, or horn, or mortal feet.
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:To North there lay the [[Dor Daedeloth|Land of Dread]]
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:whence only evil pathways led
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:o’er hills of shadow bleak and cold
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:or [[Taur-nu-Fuin (Dorthonion)|Taur-nu-Fuin]]’s haunted hold
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:where Deadly [[Nightshade]] lurked and lay
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:and never came or moon or day
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:to South the wide earth unexplored;
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:to West the ancient [[Belegaer|Ocean]] roared
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:unsailed and shoreless, wide and wild;
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:to East in [[Ered Luin|peaks of blue]] were piled
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:in silence folded, mist-enfurled,
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:the [[Walls of Night|mountains of the Outer World]],
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:beyond the tangled woodland shade
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:thorn and thicket, grove and glade
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:whose brooding boughs with magic hung
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:were ancient when the world was young.
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:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There [[Thingol]] in the [[Menegroth|Thousand Caves]]
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Note also that the name of '''Dairon''' is spelt here with an "i", as opposed to '''[[Daeron]]''' of later works.
:whose portals pale that river laves
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{{blockquote|When leaves were long and grass was green<br />
:[[Esgalduin]] that fairies call
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then Dairon with his fingers lean,<br />
:in many a tall and torchlit hall
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as daylight melted into shade,<br />
:a dark and hidden king did dwell
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a wandering music sweetly made...|vv. 79-82}}
:lord of the forest and the fell;
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:and sharp his sword and high his helm
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:the king of beech and oak and elm.
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:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There Lúthien the lissom maid
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It ends on a note of change, signifying the end of the introduction and the beginning of the tale.
:would dance in dell and grassy glade
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{{blockquote|...until a day beneath the [[sun]],<br />
:and music merrily, thin and clear,
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when many marvels were begun.|vv. 97-98}}
:went down the ways, more fair than ear
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:of mortal Men at feast hath heard
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:and fairer than the song of bird.
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:When leaves were long and grass was green
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:then [[Dairon]] with fingers lean
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:as daylight melted into shade
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:a wandering music sweetly bade
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:enchanted fluting, warbling wild
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:for love of Thingol’s elfin child.
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:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There bow was bent and shaft was sped
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:the fallow deer as phantoms fled
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:and horses proud with branded mane
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:with shining bit and silver rein
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:went fleeting by on moonlit night
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:as swallows arrow-swift in flight;
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:a blowing and a sound of bells
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:a hidden hunt in hollow dells.
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:There songs were made and things of gold
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:and silver cups and jewels untold
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:and the endless years of Faëry land
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:rolled over far [[Beleriand]]
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:until a day beneath the sun
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:when many marvels were begun.
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== Concerning the Canto ==
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This canto starts out with one of the more popular paragraphs, concerning Thingol.  The descriptions of jewels is contrasted with the love of his daughter, whose description soon follows.  Then it introduces [[Endor]], and orients the reader.  Note the reference to fairies, not uncommon in older works.  It speaks of Dairon, whose name was later spelled Daeron, but more is said of him in a later paragraph.  One thing about the Lay is that it commonly connects Beleriand and Faërie.  One line that is not in this canto but used in several others is ''Beleriand, Beleriand/borders of the faëry land''.
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Latest revision as of 20:19, 10 March 2020

Lay of Leithian cantos
  1. Canto I
  2. Canto II
  3. Canto III
  4. Canto IV
  5. Canto V
  6. Canto VI
  7. Canto VII
  8. Canto VIII
  9. Canto IX
  10. Canto X
  11. Canto XI
  12. Canto XII
  13. Canto XIII
  14. Canto XIV

This first Canto of the Lay of Leithian tells of Elu Thingol, and Lúthien Tinúviel and Doriath. It runs to 98 lines, the shortest canto save the last, unfinished one.

[edit] Concerning the Canto

This canto starts out with one of the more popular paragraphs, concerning Thingol.

A king there was in days of old:
ere Men yet walked upon the mould...
—vv. 1-2

The descriptions of jewels is contrasted with the love of his daughter, whose description soon follows.

There beryl, pearl, and opal pale
and metal wrought like fishes' mail
...
all these he had and loved them less
than a maiden once in Elfinesse;
for fairer than are born to Men
a daughter had he, Lúthien.
—vv. 15-6, 19-22

Then it introduces Endor and orients the reader.

To North there lay the Land of Dread
whence only evil pathways led
...
to South the wide earth unexplored
to West the ancient Ocean roared,
unsailed and shoreless, wide and wild
to East in peaks of blue were piled...
—vv. 49-50, 55-58

Note the reference below to fairies, not uncommon in older works. One thing about the Lay is that it commonly connects Beleriand and Faërie.

Esgalduin that fairies call
in many a tall and torchlit hall
—vv. 67-68

Note also that the name of Dairon is spelt here with an "i", as opposed to Daeron of later works.

When leaves were long and grass was green
then Dairon with his fingers lean,
as daylight melted into shade,
a wandering music sweetly made...
—vv. 79-82

It ends on a note of change, signifying the end of the introduction and the beginning of the tale.

...until a day beneath the sun,
when many marvels were begun.
—vv. 97-98