Tolkien Gateway

Lay of Leithian Canto III

Lúthien by Ted Nasmith
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 starts out with the tale of Thingol and Melian. Then it gives a description of Lúthien their daughter, and tells how Beren watched in amazement. Dairon warns Lúthien, and she hides, but Beren touches her arm by accident. Again Beren searches, and months later catches her again, naming her Tinúviel. Below is recounted the second meeting.

He sped toward the hillock green,
the lissom limbs, the dancing sheen;
he leapt upon the grassy hill
his arms with loveliness to fill:
his arms were empty, and she fled;
away, away her white feet sped.
But as she went he swiftly came
and called her with the tender name
of nightingales in elvish tongue,
that all the woods now sudden rung:
"Tinúviuel! Tinúviel!"
And clear his voice was as a bell;
its echoes wove a binding spell
"Tinúviel! Tinúviel!"
His voice such love and longing filled
one moment stood she, fear was stilled;
one moment only; like a flame
he leaped towards her as she stayed
and caught and kissed that elfin maid.
As love there woke in sweet surprise
the starlight trembled in her eyes.
A! Lúthien! A! Lúthien!
more fair than any child of Men;
O! loveliest maid of Elfinesse,
what madness does thee now possess!
A! lissom limbs and shadowy hair
and chaplet of white snowdrops there;
O! starry diadem and white
pale hands beneath the pale moonlight!
She left his arms and slipped away
just at the breaking of the day.
Lines 727-757