Tolkien Gateway

Lay of Leithian Canto II

(Difference between revisions)
m (Bot Message: changing link to Beren)
 
(7 intermediate revisions by 4 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
{{lolcantos}}This [[Cantos of the Lay of Leithian|Canto]] of the [[Lay of Leithian]] tells how [[Barahir son of Bregor|Barahir]] lived as an outlaw.  It tells of the snaring of [[Gorlim]] the unhappy by a phantom of his lost wife, and how he revealed the secret hiding of Barahir.  Then how [[Thû]] slew him, and his ghost appeared to [[Beren Erchamion|Beren]], Barahir's son, who happened to be away, and told him of his treachery.  Beren upon returning found his father and all his outlaw companions dead.  He recaptured the [[Ring of Barahir]] from an orc who ironically was speaking of lying to Thû and keeping the ring.  There the Canto ends.  This Canto includes one of the most praised paragraphs of the Lay, describing [[Morgoth]], recounted below.
+
{{lolcantos}}This [[Cantos of the Lay of Leithian|Canto]] of the [[Lay of Leithian]] tells of how [[Barahir]] and his band lived as outlaws.  It tells of the snaring of [[Gorlim]] the Unhappy by a phantom of his lost wife fashioned by [[Thû]], and how under torture he revealed the secret lair of Barahir before being slain, and how Gorlim's ghost appeared to [[Beren]], Barahir's son, away on reconnaissance, and told him of his treachery.  Beren upon returning found his father and all his outlaw companions dead.  He marked the grave of his father with a cairn of stones, swore an oath to avenge his death, and then, following the slayers, recaptured the [[Ring of Barahir]] from an orc-captain who boasted of killing Barahir and lying to Sauron in order to keep the ring for its goldThe Canto ends with [[Beren]] leaving [[Dorthonion]] in an attempt to reach the Elven Lands of [[Beleriand]].  This Canto includes one of the most praised paragraphs of the Lay, describing [[Morgoth]], recounted below.
 
+
 
+
==The Canto==
+
 
+
:Far in the North neath hills of stone
+
:in caverns black there was a throne
+
:by fires illuminated underground,
+
:that winds of ice with moaning sound
+
:made flare and flicker in dark smoke;
+
:the wavering bitter coils did choke
+
:the sunless airs of dungeons deep
+
:where evil things did crouch and creep.
+
:There sat a king: no [[Elves|Elfin]] race
+
:nor mortal blood, nor kindly grace
+
:of earth or heaven might he own,
+
:far older, stronger than the stone
+
:the world is built of, than the fire
+
:that burns within more fierce and dire;
+
:and thoughts profound were in his heart:
+
:a gloomy power that dwelt apart
+
:
+
 
+
::Unconquerable spears of steel
+
:were at his nod.  No ruth did feel
+
:the legions of his marshalled hate,
+
:on whom did [[werewolves|wolf]] and [[ravens|raven]] wait;
+
:and black the ravens sat and cried
+
:upon their banners black, and wide
+
:was heard their hideous chanting dread
+
:above the reek and trampled dead.
+
:With fire and sword his ruin red
+
:on all that would not bow the head
+
:like lightning fell.  The northern land
+
:lay groaning neath his ghastly hand.
+
 
+
 
+
:But still there lived in hiding cold
+
:undaunted, [[Barahir]] the bold
+
:of land bereaved, of lordship shorn
+
:who once a prince of [[Men]] was born
+
:and now an outlaw lurked and lay
+
:in the hard heath and woodland gray
+
:and with him clung his faithful men
+
:but [[Beren Erchamion|Beren]] his son and other ten.
+
:Yet small as was their hunted band
+
:still fell and fearless was each hand
+
:and strong deed they wrought yet oft
+
:and loved the woods, whose ways more soft
+
:them seemed than thralls of that black throne
+
:to live and languish in halls of stone.
+
:King [[Morgoth]] still pursued them sore
+
:with men and dogs, and [[wolves|wolf]] and boar
+
:with spells of madness filled he sent
+
:to slay them as in the woods they went;
+
:yet naught hurt them for many years
+
:until, in brief to tell what tears
+
:have oft bewailed in ages gone
+
:nor ever tears enough, was done
+
:a deed unhappy; unaware
+
:their feet were caught in Morgoth’s snare.
+
 
+
 
+
:[[Gorlim]] it was, who wearying
+
:of toil and flight and harrying,
+
:one night by chance did turn his feet
+
:o’er the dark fields by stealth to meet
+
:with hidden friend within a dale,
+
:and found a homestead looming pale
+
:against the misty stars, all dark
+
:save one small window, whence a spark
+
:of fitful candle strayed without.
+
:Therein he peeped, and filled with doubt
+
:he saw, as in a dreaming deep
+
:when longing cheats the heart in sleep,
+
:his wife beside a dying fire
+
:lament him lost; her thin attire
+
:and greying hair and paling cheek
+
:of tears and loneliness did speak.
+
:‘A! fair and gentle [[Eilinel]],
+
:whom I had thought in darkling hell
+
:long since emprisoned!  Ere I fled
+
:I deemed I saw thee slain and dead
+
:upon that night of sudden fear
+
:when all I lost that I held dear’:
+
:thus thought his heavy heart amazed
+
:outside in darkness as he gazed.
+
:But ere he dared to call her name,
+
:or ask how she escaped and came
+
:to this far vale beneath the hills,
+
:he heard a cry beneath the hills!
+
:There hooted near a hunting owl
+
:of the wild wolves that followed him
+
:and dogged his feet through shadows dim.
+
:Him unrelenting, well he knew,
+
:the hunt of Morgoth did pursue.
+
:Lest Eilinel with him they slay
+
:without a word he turned away,
+
:and like a wild thing winding led
+
:his devious ways o’er stony bed
+
:of stream, and over quaking fen,
+
:until far from the homes of men
+
:he lay beside his fellows few
+
:in a secret place; and darkness grew,
+
:and waned, and still he watched unsleeping,
+
:and saw the dismal dawn come creeping
+
:in dank heavens above gloomy trees.
+
:A sickness held his soul for ease,
+
:and hope, and even thraldom’s chain
+
:if he might find his wife again.
+
:But all he thought twixt love of lord
+
:and hatred for the king abhorred
+
:and anguish for fair Eilinel
+
:who drooped alone, what tale shall tell?
+
 
+
 
+
:Yet at the last, when many days
+
:of brooding did his mind amaze,
+
:he found the servants of the king,
+
:and bade them to their master bring
+
:a rebel who forgiveness sought,
+
:if haply forgiveness might be bought
+
:with tidings of Barahir the bold,
+
:and where his hidings and his hold
+
:might best be found by night or day.
+
:And thus sad Gorlim, led away
+
:unto those dark deep-dolven halls,
+
:before the knees of Morgoth falls,
+
:and puts his trust in that cruel heart
+
:wherein no truth had ever part.
+
:Quoth Morgoth: ‘Eilinel the fair
+
:thou shalt most surely find, and there
+
:where she doth dwell and wait for thee
+
:together shall ye ever be,
+
:and sundered shall ye sigh no more.
+
:This guerdon shall he have that bore
+
:these tidings sweet, O traitor dear!
+
:For Eilinel she dwells not here,
+
:but in the shades of death doth roam
+
:widowed of husband and of home–
+
:a [[wraith]] of that which might have been,
+
:methinks, it is that thou hast seen!
+
:Now shalt thou through the gates of pain
+
:the land thou askest grimly gain;
+
:thou shalt to the moonless mists of hell
+
:descend and seek thy Eilinel.’
+
 
+
 
+
:His warrior Gorlim died a bitter death
+
:and cursed himself with dying breath
+
:and Barahir was caught and slain
+
:and all good deeds were made in vain.
+
:But Morgoth’s guile for ever failed
+
:nor wholly o’er his foes prevailed
+
:and some were ever that still fought
+
:unmaking that which malice wrought.
+
:Thus men believed that Morgoth made
+
:the fiendish phantom that betrayed
+
:the soul of Gorlim and so brought
+
:the lingering hope forlorn to naught
+
:that lived amid the lonely wood;
+
:yet Beren had by fortune good
+
:long hunted far afield that day
+
:and benighted in strange places lay
+
:far from his fellowsIn his sleep
+
:he felt a dreadful darkness creep
+
:upon his heart, and thought the trees
+
:were bare and bent in mournful breeze;
+
:no leaves they had, but ravens dark
+
:sat thick as leaves on bough and bark
+
:and croaked, and as they croaked each neb
+
:let fall a gout of blood; a web
+
:unseen entwined him hand and limb
+
:until worn out, upon the rim
+
:of stagnant pool he lay and shivered.
+
:there saw he that a shadow quivered
+
:far out upon the water wan
+
:and grew to a faint form thereon
+
:that glided o’er the silent lake
+
:and coming slowly, softly spake
+
:and sadly said:  ‘Lo!  Gorlim here
+
:traitor betrayed, now stands!  Nor fear
+
:but haste!  For Morgoth’s fingers close
+
:upon thy father’s throat.  He knows
+
:your secret [[Tarn Aeluin|tryst]], your hidden lair’
+
:and all the evil he laid bare
+
:that he had done and Morgoth wrought
+
:then Beren waking swiftly sought
+
:his sword and bow, and sped like wind
+
:that cuts with knives the branches thinned
+
:of autumn trees.  At last he came
+
:his heart afire with burning flame
+
:where Barahir his father lay;
+
:he came too late.  At dawn of day
+
:he found the homes of hunted men
+
:a wooded island in the fen
+
:and birds rose up in sudden cloud–
+
:no fen-fowl were they crying loud.
+
:The raven and the carrion-crow
+
:sat in the alders all a-row;
+
:one croaked: ‘Ha!  Beren comes too late’
+
:and answered all ‘Too late!  Too late!’
+
:There Beren buried his father’s bones
+
:and piled a heap of boulder-stones
+
:and cursed the name of Morgoth thrice
+
:but wept not, for his heart was ice.
+
 
+
 
+
:Then over fen and field and mountain
+
:he followed, till beside a fountain
+
:upgushing hot from fires below
+
:he found the slayers and his foe
+
:the murderous [[orcs|soldiers]] of the king.
+
:And one laughed and showed a ring
+
:he took from Barahir’s dead hand.
+
:‘This ring in far Beleriand
+
:now mark ye, mates,’ he said, ‘I was wrought.
+
:Its like with gold could not be bought
+
:for this same Barahir I slew
+
:this robber fool, they say, did do
+
:a deed of service long ago
+
:for [[Finrod Felagund|Felagund]].  It may be so;
+
:for Morgoth bade me bring it back
+
:and yet, methinks, he has no lack
+
:of weightier treasure in his hoard.
+
:Such greed befits not such a lord
+
:and I am minded to declare
+
:the hand of Barahir was bare!’
+
:Yet as he spake an arrow sped;
+
:with riven heart he crumpled dead
+
:thus Morgoth loved that his own foe
+
:should in his service deal the blow
+
:that punished the breaking of his word.
+
:But Morgoth laughed not when he heard
+
:that Beren like a wolf alone
+
:sprang madly from behind a stone
+
:amid that camp beside the well
+
:and seized the ring, and ere the yell
+
:of wrath and rage had left their throat
+
:had fled his foes.  His gleaming coat
+
:was made of rings of steel no shaft
+
:could pierce, a web of dwarvish craft;
+
:and he was lost in rock and thorn
+
:for in charmed hour was Beren born;
+
:their hungry hunting never learned
+
:the way his fearless feet had turned.
+
 
+
 
+
:As fearless Beren was renowned
+
:as man most hardy upon the ground
+
:while Barahir yet lived and fought;
+
:but sorrow now his soul had wrought
+
:to dark despair, and robbed his life
+
:of sweetness, that he longed for knife
+
:or shaft, or sword, to end his pain
+
:and dreaded only thralldom’s chain.
+
:Danger he sought and death pursued
+
:and thus escaped the fate he wooed
+
:and deeds of breathless wonder dared
+
:whose whispered glory widely fared
+
:and softly songs were sung at eye
+
:of marvels he did once achieve
+
:alone, beleaguered, lost at night
+
:by mist or [[moon]], or neath the light
+
:Of the broad eye of dayThe woods
+
:that northward looked for bitter feuds
+
:he filled and death for Morgoth’s folk;
+
:his comrades were the beech and oak
+
:who failed him not, and many things
+
:with fur and fell and feathered wings;
+
:and many spirits, that in stone
+
:in mountains old and wastes alone
+
:do dwell and wander, were his friends
+
:yet seldom well an outlaw ends
+
:and Morgoth was a king more strong
+
:than all the world has since in song
+
:recorded, and his wisdom wide
+
:slow and surely who him defied
+
:did hem and hedge.  Thus at the last
+
:must Beren flee the forest fast
+
:and lands he loved where lay his sire
+
:by reed bewailed beneath the mire.
+
:Beneath a heap of mossy stones
+
:now crumble those once mighty bones
+
:but Beren flees the friendless North
+
:one autumn night, and creeps him forth;
+
:the leaguer of his watchful foes
+
:he passes – silently he goes.
+
:No more his hidden bowstring sings
+
:no more his shaven arrow wings
+
:no more his hunted hid doth lie
+
:upon the heath beneath the sky.
+
:The moon that looked amid the mist
+
:upon the pines, the wind that hissed
+
:among the heather and the fern
+
:found him no more.  The stars that burn
+
:about the North with silver fire
+
:that [[Varda]] wrought, the Burning Briar
+
:as Men it called in days long gone
+
:were set behind his back, and shone
+
:o’er land and lake and darkened hill
+
:forsaken fen and mountain rill.
+
 
+
 
+
:His face was South from the Land of Dread
+
:whence only evil pathways led
+
:and only the feet of men most bold
+
:might cross the Shadowy Mountains cold.
+
:Their northern slopes were filled with woe
+
:with evil and with mortal foe;
+
:their southern faces mounted sheer
+
:in rocky pinnacle and pier
+
:whose roots were woven with deceit
+
:and washed with waters bitter-sweet
+
:there magic lurked in gulf and glen
+
:for far away beyond the ken
+
:of searching eyes, unless it were
+
:from dizzy tower that pricked the air
+
:where only eagles lived and cried
+
:might gray and gleaming be descried
+
:[[Beleriand]], Beleriand
+
:the borders of the faëry land
+
  
 
==Concerning the Canto==
 
==Concerning the Canto==
Line 342: Line 21:
  
 
end the Canto and leave its tragic spell hanging.
 
end the Canto and leave its tragic spell hanging.
 +
 +
==External Links==
 +
*[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKYq75Cc3yo Of Hunters Lore...] OpenMic Video: Excerpt of the Lay of Leithian by Loren

Latest revision as of 08:33, 8 August 2010

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 Canto of the Lay of Leithian tells of how Barahir and his band lived as outlaws. It tells of the snaring of Gorlim the Unhappy by a phantom of his lost wife fashioned by Thû, and how under torture he revealed the secret lair of Barahir before being slain, and how Gorlim's ghost appeared to Beren, Barahir's son, away on reconnaissance, and told him of his treachery. Beren upon returning found his father and all his outlaw companions dead. He marked the grave of his father with a cairn of stones, swore an oath to avenge his death, and then, following the slayers, recaptured the Ring of Barahir from an orc-captain who boasted of killing Barahir and lying to Sauron in order to keep the ring for its gold. The Canto ends with Beren leaving Dorthonion in an attempt to reach the Elven Lands of Beleriand. This Canto includes one of the most praised paragraphs of the Lay, describing Morgoth, recounted below.

[edit] Concerning the Canto

This canto may be considered one of the darkest and most morbid cantos, with first a vivid description of the horrors of Morgoth, one of the most famous paragraphs in the Lay.

There sat a king: no Elfin race
nor mortal blood, nor kindly grace

Then comes the hope of Barahir, and the stumbling of Gorlim the Unhappy.

But still there lived in hiding cold
undaunted, Barahir the bold
of land bereaved, of lordship shorn
who once a prince of Men was born

The carrion-crows add to the effect of horror, and the sense of panic and hatred is full. Then comes the curse and despair of Beren, and when in the last he leaves the grave of his father, and heads south. Finally, the famous lines:

Beleriand, Beleriand
the borders of the faëry land

end the Canto and leave its tragic spell hanging.

[edit] External Links