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Lay of Leithian Canto IV

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[[Image:Anke Eissmann - Trial of Beren.jpeg|thumb|300px|''Trial of Beren'' by [[Anke Eißmann]]]]
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[[File:Anke Eißmann - Trial of Beren.jpeg|thumb|250px|''Trial of Beren'' by [[Anke Eißmann]]]]
This [[Cantos of the Lay of Leithian|Canto]] first speaks of [[Beren Erchamion|Beren]] and his bliss.  Then it tells of [[Lúthien Tinúviel|Lúthien]]’s return and their dance, and how [[Daeron|Dairon]] espied them, and as he loved Lúthien he betrayed them to [[Thingol]].  Then how Lúthien led Beren into [[Menegroth]] after Thingol promised her that his life would be spared.  There he requested the hand of Lúthien, and Thingol, as he was bound to his oath not to harm Beren, in his wrath gave the bride-price as a [[Silmarils|Silmaril]]. Then Beren laughed as if it were a small thing, and left the hall with the promise to bring one back.  This fourth canto can be considered the true beginning of the quest.
+
This [[Cantos of the Lay of Leithian|Canto]] first speaks of [[Beren]] and his bliss.  Then it tells of [[Lúthien]]’s return and their dance, and how [[Daeron|Dairon]] espied them, and as he loved Lúthien he betrayed them to [[Thingol]].  Then how Lúthien led Beren into [[Menegroth]] after Thingol promised her that his life would be spared.  There he requested the hand of Lúthien, and Thingol, as he was bound to his oath not to harm Beren, in his wrath gave the bride-price as a [[Silmarils|Silmaril]]. Then Beren laughed as if it were a small thing, and left the hall with the promise to bring one back.  This fourth canto can be considered the true beginning of the quest.
  
== The Canto ==
+
== Concerning the Canto ==
 +
This Canto begins with an elaborate description of Beren's happiness.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
[[Beren Erchamion|He]] lay upon the leafy mould<br>
+
''He lay upon the leafy mould''<br>
his face upon the earth’s bosom cold<br>
+
''his face upon the earth’s bosom cold''<br>
aswoon in overwhelming bliss<br>
+
''aswoon in overwhelming bliss''<br>
enchanted of an elvish kiss<br>
+
''enchanted of an elvish kiss''
seeing within his darkened eyes<br>
+
the light that for no darkness dies<br>
+
though all in ashes cold be laid.<br>
+
Then folded in the mists of sleep<br>
+
he sank into abysses deep<br>
+
drowned in an overwhelming grief<br>
+
for parting after meeting brief;<br>
+
a shadow and a fragrance fair<br>
+
lingered, and waned, and was not there.<br>
+
Forsaken, barren, bare as stone<br>
+
the daylight found him cold, alone.<br>
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
Then they dance in joy together.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
"Where art thou gone?  The day is bare<br>
+
''there flitting just before his feet''<br>
the sunlight dark and cold the air!<br>
+
''she gently chid with laughter sweet;''<br>
[[Tinúviel]], where went thy feet?<br>
+
''‘Come! dance now, Beren, dance with me!''<br>
O wayward star!  O maiden sweet!<br>
+
''For fain thy dancing I would see.''
O flower of Elfland all too fair<br>
+
for mortal heart! The woods are bare!<br>
+
The woods are bare!" he rose and cried.<br>
+
"Ere spring was born, the spring hath died!"<br>
+
And wandering in path and mind<br>
+
he groped as one gone sudden blind<br>
+
who seeks to grasp the hidden light<br>
+
with faltering hands in more than night.
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
Then Dairon, who is said to have loved Lúthien, espies them.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
And thus in anguish [[Beren Erchamion|Beren]] paid<br>
+
''Thus fleeting fast their short hour flies,''<br>
for that great doom upon him laid,<br>
+
''while [[Dairon]] watches with fiery eyes,''<br>
the deathless love of [[Lúthien]],<br>
+
''haunting the gloom of tangled trees''<br>
too fair for love of mortal Men;<br>
+
''all day, until at night he sees''<br>
and in his doom was Lúthien snared,<br>
+
''in the fickle moon their moving feet,''<br>
the deathless in his dying shared;<br>
+
''two lovers linked in dancing sweet''
and Fate them forged a binding chain<br>
+
of living love and mortal pain.
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
And he first casts a spell of silence on the wood, and gives hints to Thingol about the meeting.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Beyond all hope her feet returned<br>
+
'' 'but kings see not—though queens, maybe,''<br>
at eve, when in the sky there burned<br>
+
''may guess, and maidens, maybe, know.''<br>
the flame of stars; and in her eyes<br>
+
''Where one went lonely two now go!’''
there trembled the starlight of the skies,<br>
+
and from her hair the fragrance fell<br>
+
of elvenflowers in elven-dell.
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
The King understands swiftly his meaning, and grows angry.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Thus Lúthien, whom no pursuit,<br>
+
'' '. . .Who is he<br>
no snare, no dart that hunters shoot,<br>
+
''that earns my wrath?  How walks he free<br>
might hope to win or hold, she came<br>
+
''within my woods amid my folk,<br>
at the sweet calling of her name;<br>
+
''a stranger to both beech and oak?'
and thus in his her slender hand<br>
+
was linked in far [[Beleriand]];<br>
+
in hour enchanted long ago<br>
+
her arms about his neck did go,<br>
+
and gently down she drew to rest<br>
+
his weary head upon her breast.<br>
+
A! Lúthien, Tinúviel,<br>
+
why wentest thou to darkling dell<br>
+
with shining eyes and dancing pace,<br>
+
the twilight glimmering in thy face?<br>
+
Each day before the end of eve<br>
+
she sought her lover, nor would him leave,<br>
+
until the stars were dimmed, and day<br>
+
came glimmering eastward silver-gray.<br>
+
Then trembling-veiled she would appear<br>
+
and dance before him, half in fear;<br>
+
there flitting just before his feet<br>
+
she gently chid with laughter sweet;<br>
+
"Come! dance now, Beren, dance with me!<br>
+
For fain thy dancing I would see.<br>
+
Come! thou must woo with nimbler feet,<br>
+
than those who walk where mountains meet<br>
+
the bitter skies beyond this realm<br>
+
of marvelous moonlit beech and elm."
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
Then Dairon saw Lúthien, and wished he had not spoken.  Lúthien quickly explains.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
In [[Doriath]] Beren long ago<br>
+
'' 'Far in the mountain-leaguered North,<br>
new art and lore he learned to know;<br>
+
''my father,' said she, 'lies the land<br>
his limbs were freed; his eyes alight.<br>
+
''that groans beneath King Morgoth's hand.<br>
kindled with a new enchanted sight;<br>
+
''Thence came one hither, bent and warn<br>
and to her dancing feet his feet<br>
+
''in wars and travail, who had sworn<br>
attuned went dancing free and fleet;<br>
+
''undying hatred of that king;<br>
his laughter welled as from a spring<br>
+
''the last of [[Bëor]]'s sons, they sing. . .
of music, and his voice would sing<br>
+
as voices of those in Doriath<br>
+
where paved with flowers are floor and path.<br>
+
The year thus on to summer rolled,<br>
+
from spring to a summertime of gold.
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
 
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Thus fleeting fast their short hour flies,<br>
+
'' '. . .a sword unconquered, neck unbowed,<br>
while [[Dairon]] watches with fiery eyes,<br>
+
''a heart by evil power uncowed.<br>
haunting the gloom of tangled trees<br>
+
''No evil needst thou think or fear<br>
all day, until at night he sees<br>
+
''of Beren son of Barahir!<br>
in the fickle moon their moving feet,<br>
+
two lovers linked in dancing sweet,<br>
+
two shadows shimmering on the green<br>
+
where lonely-dancing maid had been.<br>
+
"Hateful art thou, O Land of Trees!<br>
+
May fear and silence on thee seize!<br>
+
My flute shall fall from idle hand<br>
+
and mirth shall leave Beleriand;<br>
+
music shall perish and voices fail<br>
+
and trees stand dumb in dell and dale!"
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
Lúthien had Thingol swear not to kill or imprison Beren, and then led him to and into Menegroth.  A vibrant description follows (see ''[[Menegroth]]'').  Beren was too stunned to answer any questions, until he looks in Melian's eyes and gains courage.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
It seemed a hush had fallen there<br>
+
''. . .and thence was slowly drawn his gaze<br>
upon the waiting woodland air;<br>
+
''to Melian's face.  As from a maze<br>
and often murmured [[Grey Elves|Thingol’s folk]]<br>
+
''of wonder dumb he woke; his heart<br>
in wonder, and to their king they spoke:<br>
+
''the bonds of awe there burst apart<br>
"This spell of silence who hath wrought?<br>
+
''and filled now with the fearless pride of old;<br>
What web hath Dairon’s music caught?<br>
+
''in his glance now gleamed an anger cold.<br>
It seems the very birds sing low;<br>
+
murmurless [[Esgalduin]] doth flow;<br>
+
the leaves scarce whisper on the trees,<br>
+
and soundless beat the wings of bees!"
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
He speaks bravely to Thingol about his love for Lúthien:
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
This Lúthien heard, and there the queen<br>
+
'' '. . .Thy dearest treasure I desire;<br>
her sudden glances saw unseen.<br>
+
''nor rocks nor steel nor Morgoth's fire<br>
But [[Thingol]] marvelled, and he sent<br>
+
''nor all the power of Elfinesse<br>
for Dairon the piper, ere he went<br>
+
''shall keep that gem I would possess.<br>
and sat upon his mounded seat—<br>
+
''For fairer than are born to Men<br>
his grassy throne by the grey feet<br>
+
''A daughter hast thou, Lúthien.'<br>
of the Queen of Beeches, [[Hirilorn]],<br>
+
upon whose triple piers were borne<br>
+
the mightiest vault of leaf and bough<br>
+
from world’s beginning until now.<br>
+
She stood above Esgalduin’s shore,<br>
+
where long slopes fell beside the door,<br>
+
the guarded gates, the portals stark<br>
+
of the [[Menegroth|Thousand echoing Caverns]] dark.<br>
+
There Thingol sat and heard no sound<br>
+
save far off footsteps on the ground;<br>
+
no flute, no voice, no song of bird,<br>
+
no choirs of windy leaves there stirred;<br>
+
and Dairon coming no word spoke,<br>
+
silent amid the woodland folk.<br>
+
Then Thingol said: ‘O Dairon fair,<br>
+
thou master of all musics rare,<br>
+
O magic heart and wisdom wild,<br>
+
whose ear nor eye may be beguiled,<br>
+
what omen doth this silence bear?<br>
+
What horn afar upon the air,<br>
+
what summons do the woods await?<br>
+
Mayhap the Lord [[Tavros]] from his gate<br>
+
and tree-propped halls, the forest-god,<br>
+
ride his wild stallion golden-shod<br>
+
amid the trumpets’ tempest loud,<br>
+
amid his green-clad hunters proud,<br>
+
leaving his deer and friths divine<br>
+
and emerald forests?  Some faint sign<br>
+
of his great onset may have come<br>
+
upon the Western winds, and dumb<br>
+
the woods now listen for a chase<br>
+
that here once more shall thundering race<br>
+
beneath the shadoe of mortal trees.<br>
+
Would it were so!  The Lands of Ease<br>
+
hath Tavros left not many an age,<br>
+
since Morgoth evil wars did wage,<br>
+
since ruin fell upon the North<br>
+
and the [[Gnomes]] unhappy wandered forth.<br>
+
But if not he, who comes or what?"<br>
+
And Dairon answered: "He cometh not!<br>
+
No feet divine shall leave that shore,<br>
+
where the Shadowy Seas' last surges roar,<br>
+
and many evils wrought.  Alas!<br>
+
the guest is here.  The woods are still,<br>
+
but wait not; for a marvel chill<br>
+
them holds at the strange deeds they see,<br>
+
but kings see not—though queens, maybe,<br>
+
may guess, and maidens, maybe, know.<br>
+
Where one went lonely two now go!"
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
Daeron's initial anger returns and he demands death for Beren.  Thingol reluctantly restrains himself due to his promise to his daughter, and threatens to let him wander interminably in Menegroth, never finding his way out of the caves.  Beren openly compares him with Morgoth in the twisting of oaths, and holds up the [[Ring of Barahir]].  Melian whispers to Thingol that it will not be by his hand Beren will fall, and Thingol sees then the love of Lúthien for him.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
"Whither thy riddle points is plain"<br>
+
'' 'Fairest of ElvesUnhappy Men,<br>
the king in anger said, "but deign<br>
+
''children of little lords and kings<br>
to make it plainerWho is he<br>
+
''mortal and frail, these fading things,<br>
that earns my wrath?  How walks he free<br>
+
''shall they then look with love on thee?'<br>
within my woods amid my folk,<br>
+
a stranger to both beech and oak?"<br>
+
But Dairon looked upon Lúthien<br>
+
and would he had not spoken then,<br>
+
and no more would he speak that day,<br>
+
Though Thingol’s face with wraith was grey.<br>
+
Then Lúthien stepped lightly forth:<br>
+
"Far in the mountain-leaguered North,<br>
+
my father," said she, "lies the [[Dorthonion|land]]<br>
+
that groans beneath King Morgoth’s hand.<br>
+
Thence came one hither, bent and worn<br>
+
in wars and travail, who had sworn<br>
+
undying hatred of that king;<br>
+
the last of [[Bëor]]’s sons, they sing,<br>
+
and even hither far and deep<br>
+
within thy woods the echoes creep<br>
+
through the wild mountain-passes cold,<br>
+
the last of [[House of Bëor|Bëor’s house]] to hold<br>
+
a sword unconquered, neck unbowed,<br>
+
a heart by evil power uncowed.<br>
+
No evil needst thou think of fear<br>
+
of Beren son of Barahir!<br>
+
If aught thou hast to say to him<br>
+
then swear to hurt not flesh or limb,<br>
+
and I will lead him to thy hall,<br>
+
a son of kings, no mortal thrall."<br>
+
Then long King Thingol looked on her<br>
+
while hand nor foot nor tongue did stir,<br>
+
and [[Melian]], silent, unamazed,<br>
+
on Lúthien and Thingol gazed.<br>
+
"No blade nor chain his limbs shall mar"<br>
+
the king then swore.  "He wanders far,<br>
+
and news, mayhap, he hath for me,<br>
+
and words I have for him, maybe!"<br>
+
Now Thingol bade them all depart<br>
+
save Dairon, whom he called: "What art.<br>
+
what wizardry of Northern mist<br>
+
hath this illcomer brought us? List!<br>
+
Tonight go thou by secret path,<br>
+
who knowest all wide Doriath and watch that Lúthien—daughter mine,<br>
+
what madness doth thy heart entwine,<br>
+
what web from Morgoth’s [[Angband|dreadful halls]]<br>
+
that caught thy feet and the enthralls!—<br>
+
that she bid not this Beren flee<br>
+
back whence he came. I would him see!<br>
+
Take with thee woodland archers wise.<br>
+
Let naught beguile your hearts or eyes!"
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
Thingol's speech mocks Beren's own as he places the ultimate quest before him.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Thus Dairon heavyhearted did,<br>
+
'' '. . . A treasure dear I too desire,<br>
and the woods were filled with watchers hid;<br>
+
''but rocks and steel and Morgoth's fire<br>
yet needless, for Lúthien that night<br>
+
''from all the powers of Elfinesse<br>
led Beren by the golden light<br>
+
''do keep the jewel I would possess.<br>
of mounting moon unto the shore<br>
+
''Yet bonds like these I hear thee say<br>
and bridge before her father's door;<br>
+
''affright thee not.  Now go thy way!<br>
and the white light silent looked within<br>
+
''Bring me one shining Silmaril<br>
the waiting portals yawning dim.
+
''from Morgoth's crown, then if she will,<br>
 +
''may Lúthien set her hand in thine;<br>
 +
''then shalt thou have this jewel of mine.'<br>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
Follows is a paragraph about the history of the Silmaril, and then Beren lauchs, and bids farewell to Tinúviel, and departs.  Melian then gets her word in to Thingol.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Downward with gentle hand she led<br>
+
''Then clear in the silence the cold words rang<br>
through corridors of carven dread<br>
+
''of Melian: 'Counsel cunning-wise,<br>
whose turns were lit by lanterns hung<br>
+
'' 'O king!' she said'Yet if mine eyes<br>
or flames from torches that were flung<br>
+
''lose not their power, 'twere well for thee<br>
on [[dragons]] hewn in the cold stone<br>
+
''that Beren failed his errantry.<br>
with jewelled eyes and teeth of bone.<br>
+
''Well for thee, but for thy child<br>
Then sudden, deep beneath the earth<br>
+
''a dark doom and a wandering wild.'<br>
the silences with silver mirth<br>
+
<br>
were shaken and the rocks were ringing,<br>
+
'' 'I sell not to Men those whom I love'<br>
the [[nightingales|birds of Melian]] were singing;<br>
+
''said Thingol, 'whom asll things above<br>
and wide the ways of shadow spread<br>
+
''I cherish; and if hope there were<br>
as into arched halls she led<br>
+
''that Beren should ever living fare<br>
Beren in wonderThere a light<br>
+
''to the Thousand Caves once more, I swear<br>
like day immortal and like night<br>
+
''he should not ever have seen the air<br>
of stars unclouded, shone and gleamed.<br>
+
''or light of heaven's stars again.'<br>
A vault of topless trees it seemed,<br>
+
whose trunks of carven stone there stood<br>
+
like towers of an enchanted wood<br>
+
in magic fast for ever bound,<br>
+
bearing a roof whose branches wound<br>
+
in endless tracery of green<br>
+
lit by some leaf-imprisoned sheen<br>
+
of moon and sun, and wrought of gems,<br>
+
and each leaf hung on golden stems.<br>
+
Lo! there amid immortal flowers<br>
+
the nightingales in shining bowers<br>
+
sang o’er the head of Melian,<br>
+
while water for ever dripped and ran<br>
+
from fountains in the rocky floor.<br>
+
There Thingol sat.  His crown he wore<br>
+
of green and silver, and round his chair<br>
+
a host in gleaming armor fair.<br>
+
Then Beren looked upon the king<br>
+
and stood amazed; and swift a ring<br>
+
of elvish weapons hemmed him round.<br>
+
Then Beren looked upon the ground,<br>
+
for Melian's gaze had sought his face,<br>
+
and dazed there drooped he in that place,<br>
+
and when the king spake deep and slow:<br>
+
"Who art thou stumblest thither? Know<br>
+
that none unbidden seek this throne<br>
+
and ever leave these halls of stone!"<br>
+
no word he answered, filled with dread.<br>
+
But Lúthien answered in his his stead:<br>
+
"Behold, my father, one who came<br>
+
pursued by hatred like a flame!<br>
+
Lo! Beren son of Barahir!<br>
+
What need hath he thy wrath to fear,<br>
+
foe of our foes, without a friend,<br>
+
whose knees to [[Morgoth]] do not bend?"
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 +
The final three lines wrap up this extensive canto, sad and foreboding.
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
"Let Beren answer!" Thingol said.<br>
+
''But Melian smiled, and there was pain<br>
"What wouldst thou here?  What hither led<br>
+
''as of far knowledge in her eyes;<br>
thy wandering feet, O mortal wild?<br>
+
''for such is the sorrow of the wise.<br>
How hast thou Lúthien beguiled<br>
+
or darest thus to walk this wood<br>
+
unasked, in secret?  Reason good<br>
+
'twere best declare now if thou may,<br>
+
or never against see light of day!"<br>
+
Then Beren looked in Lúthien's eyes<br>
+
and saw a light of starry skies,<br>
+
and thence was slowly drawn his gaze<br>
+
to Melian's face.  As from a maze<br>
+
of wonder dumb he woke; his heart<br>
+
the bonds of awe there burst apart<br>
+
and filled with the fearless pride of old;<br>
+
in his glance now gleamed an anger cold.<br>
+
"My feet hath fate, O king," he said,<br>
+
"here over the mountains bleeding led,<br>
+
and what I sought not I have found,<br>
+
and love it is hath here me bound.<br>
+
Thy dearest treasure I desire;<br>
+
nor rocks nor steel nor Morgoth's fire<br>
+
nor all the power of Elfinesse<br>
+
shall keep that gem I would possess.<br>
+
For fairer than are born to Men<br>
+
A daugther hast thou, Lúthien."
+
</blockquote>
+
 
+
<blockquote>
+
Silence then fell upon the hall;<br>
+
like graven stone there stood they all,<br>
+
save one who cast her eyes aground,<br>
+
and one who laughed with bitter sound.<br>
+
Dairon the piper leant there pale<br>
+
against a pillar.  His fingers frail<br>
+
there touched a flute that whispered not;<br>
+
his eyes were dark; his heart was hot.<br>
+
"Death is the guerdon thou hast earned,<br>
+
O baseborn mortal, who hast learned<br>
+
in Morgoth's realm to spy and lurk<br>
+
like [[Orcs]] that do his evil work!"<br>
+
"'Death!" echoed Dairon fierce and low,<br>
+
but Lúthien trembling gasped in woe.<br>
+
"And death," said Thingol, "thou shouldst taste,<br>
+
had I not sworn an oath in haste<br>
+
that blade nor chain thy flesh should mar.<br>
+
Yet captive bound by never a bar,<br>
+
unchained, unfettered, shalt thou be<br>
+
in lightless labrynth endlessly<br>
+
that coils about my halls profound<br>
+
by magic bewildered and enwound;<br>
+
there wandering in hopelessness<br>
+
thou shalt learn the power of Elfinesse!"<br>
+
"That may not be!" Lo! Beren spake,<br>
+
and through the king's words coldly brake,<br>
+
"What are thy mazes but a chain<br>
+
wherein the captive bound is slain?<br>
+
Twist not thy oaths, O elvish king,<br>
+
like faithless Morgoth!  By this ring—<br>
+
that [[Felagund]] of [[Nargothrond]]<br>
+
once swore in love to [[Barahir son of Bregor|Barahir]],<br>
+
who sheltered him with shield and spear<br>
+
and saved him from pursuing foe<br>
+
on [[Dagor Aglareb|Northern battlefields]] long ago—<br>
+
death thou canst give unearned to me,<br>
+
but names I will not take from thee<br>
+
of baseborn, spy, or Morgoth's thrall!<br>
+
Are these the ways of Thingol's hall?"<br>
+
Proud are the words, and all there turned<br>
+
to see the jewels green that burned<br>
+
in [[Ring of Barahir|Beren's ring]]. These [[Gnomes]] had set<br>
+
as eyes of serpents twined that met<br>
+
beneath a golden crown of flower,<br>
+
that one uphold and one devours:<br>
+
the badge that [[Finrod]] made of yore<br>
+
and Felagund his son now bore.
+
</blockquote>
+
 
+
<blockquote>
+
His anger chilled, but little less,<br>
+
and dark thoughts Thingol did possess,<br>
+
though Melian the pale leant to his side<br>
+
and whispered: "O king, forgo thy pride!<br>
+
Such is my counsel.  Not by thee<br>
+
shall Beren be slain, for far and free<br>
+
from these deep halls his fate doth lead,<br>
+
yet wound with thine.  O king, take heed!"<br>
+
But Thingol looked on Lúthien.<br>
+
"Fairest of [[Elves]]!  Unhappy [[Men]],<br>
+
children of little lords and kings<br>
+
mortal and frail, these fading things,<br>
+
shall they then look with love on thee?"<br>
+
his heart within him thought.  "I see<br>
+
thy ring," he said, "O mighty man!<br>
+
But to win the child of Melian<br>
+
a father's deeds shall not avail,<br>
+
nor thy proud words at which I quail.<br>
+
A treasure dear I too desire,<br>
+
but rocks and steel and Morgoth's fire<br>
+
from all the powers of Elfinesse<br>
+
do keep the jewel I would possess.<br>
+
Yet bonds like these I hear thee say<br>
+
affright thee not.  Now go thy way!<br>
+
Bring me one shining [[Silmaril]]<br>
+
from Morgoth's [[Iron Crown|crown]], then if she will,<br>
+
may Lúthien set her hand in thine;<br>
+
then shalt thou have this jewel of mine."
+
</blockquote>
+
 
+
<blockquote>
+
Then Thingol's warriors loud and long<br>
+
they laughed; for wide renown in song<br>
+
had [[Fëanor]]'s gems o'er land and sea,<br>
+
the peerless [[Silmarils]]; and three<br>
+
alone he made and kindled slow<br>
+
in the [[Valinor|land of the Valar]] long ago,<br>
+
and there in [[Tûn]] of their own light<br>
+
they shone like marvellous stars at night,<br>
+
in the great Gnomish hoards of Tûn,<br>
+
while [[Laurelin|Glingal]] flowerd and [[Telperion|Belthil]]'s bloom<br>
+
yet lit the land beyond the shore<br>
+
where the [[Belegaer|Shadowy Seas]]' last surges roar,<br>
+
ere Morgoth stole them and the Gnomes<br>
+
seeking their glory left their homes,<br>
+
ere sorrows fell on Elves and Men,<br>
+
ere Beren was or Lúthien,<br>
+
ere Fëanor's sons in madness swore<br>
+
their dreadful oath.  But now no more<br>
+
their beauty was seen, save shining clear<br>
+
in Morgoth's dungeons vast and drear.<br>
+
His [[Iron Crown|iron crown]] they must adorn,<br>
+
and gleam above Orcs and slaves forlorn,<br>
+
treasured in Hell above all wealth,<br>
+
more than his eyes; and might nor stealth<br>
+
could touch them, or even gaze too long<br>
+
upon their magic.  Throng on throng<br>
+
of Orcs with reddened scimitars<br>
+
encircled him, and mighty bars<br>
+
and everlasting gates and walls,<br>
+
who wore them now amidst his thralls.<br>
+
Then Beren laughed more loud than they<br>
+
in bitterness, and thus did say:<br>
+
"For little price do elven-kings<br>
+
their daughters sell—for gems and rings<br>
+
and things of gold!  If such thy will,<br>
+
thy bidding I will now fulfill.<br>
+
On Beren son of [[Barahir son of Bregor|Barahir]]<br>
+
though hast not looked the last, I fear.<br>
+
Farewell, Tinúviel, starlit maiden!<br>
+
Ere the pale winter pass snowladen,<br>
+
I will return, not thee to buy<br>
+
with any jewel in Elfinesse,<br>
+
but to find my love in loveliness,<br>
+
a flower that grows beneath the sky."<br>
+
Bowing before Melian and the king<br>
+
he turned, and thrust aside the ring<br>
+
of guards about him, and was gone,<br>
+
and his footsteps faded one by one<br>
+
in the dark corridors.  "A guileful oath<br>
+
thou sworest, father!  Thou hast both<br>
+
to blade and chain his flesh now doomed<br>
+
in Morgoth's dungeons deep entombed,"<br>
+
said Lúthien, and welling tears<br>
+
sprang in her eyes, and hideous fears<br>
+
clutched at her heart.  All looked away,<br>
+
and later remembered the sad day<br>
+
whereafter Lúthien no more sang.<br>
+
Then clear in the silence the cold words rang<br>
+
of Melian: "Counsel cunning-wise,<br>
+
O king!" she said.  "Yet if mine eyes<br>
+
lose not their power, 'twere well for thee<br>
+
that Beren failed his errantry.<br>
+
Well for thee, but for thy child<br>
+
a dark doom and a wandering wild."
+
</blockquote>
+
 
+
<blockquote>
+
"I sell not to Men those whom I love"<br>
+
said Thingol, "whom all thing above<br>
+
I cherish; and if hope there were<br>
+
that Beren should ever living fare<br>
+
to the Thousand Caves once more, I swear<br>
+
he should not ever have seen the air<br>
+
of light of heaven's stars again."
+
But Melian smiled, and there was pain<br>
+
as of far knowledge in her eyes;<br>
+
for such is the sorrow of the wise.
+
</blockquote>
+
 
+
== Concerning the Canto ==
+
This Canto begins with an elaborate description of Beren's happiness.
+
<blockquote>
+
''He lay upon the leafy mould''<br>
+
''his face upon the earth’s bosom cold''<br>
+
''aswoon in overwhelming bliss''<br>
+
''enchanted of an elvish kiss''
+
</blockquote>
+
 
+
Then they dance in joy together.
+
<blockquote>
+
''there flitting just before his feet''<br>
+
''she gently chid with laughter sweet;''<br>
+
''‘Come! dance now, Beren, dance with me!''<br>
+
''For fain thy dancing I would see.''
+
</blockquote>
+
 
+
Then Dairon, who is said to have loved Lúthien, espies them.
+
<blockquote>
+
''Thus fleeting fast their short hour flies,''<br>
+
''while [[Dairon]] watches with fiery eyes,''<br>
+
''haunting the gloom of tangled trees''<br>
+
''all day, until at night he sees''<br>
+
''in the fickle moon their moving feet,''<br>
+
''two lovers linked in dancing sweet''
+
</blockquote>
+
 
+
And he first casts a spell of silence on the wood, and gives hints to Thingol about the meeting.
+
<blockquote>
+
''but kings see not—though queens, maybe,''<br>
+
''may guess, and maidens, maybe, know.''<br>
+
''Where one went lonely two now go!’''
+
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>

Latest revision as of 22:15, 9 July 2012

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
Trial of Beren by Anke Eißmann

This Canto first speaks of Beren and his bliss. Then it tells of Lúthien’s return and their dance, and how Dairon espied them, and as he loved Lúthien he betrayed them to Thingol. Then how Lúthien led Beren into Menegroth after Thingol promised her that his life would be spared. There he requested the hand of Lúthien, and Thingol, as he was bound to his oath not to harm Beren, in his wrath gave the bride-price as a Silmaril. Then Beren laughed as if it were a small thing, and left the hall with the promise to bring one back. This fourth canto can be considered the true beginning of the quest.

[edit] Concerning the Canto

This Canto begins with an elaborate description of Beren's happiness.

He lay upon the leafy mould
his face upon the earth’s bosom cold
aswoon in overwhelming bliss
enchanted of an elvish kiss

Then they dance in joy together.

there flitting just before his feet
she gently chid with laughter sweet;
‘Come! dance now, Beren, dance with me!
For fain thy dancing I would see.

Then Dairon, who is said to have loved Lúthien, espies them.

Thus fleeting fast their short hour flies,
while Dairon watches with fiery eyes,
haunting the gloom of tangled trees
all day, until at night he sees
in the fickle moon their moving feet,
two lovers linked in dancing sweet

And he first casts a spell of silence on the wood, and gives hints to Thingol about the meeting.

'but kings see not—though queens, maybe,
may guess, and maidens, maybe, know.
Where one went lonely two now go!’

The King understands swiftly his meaning, and grows angry.

'. . .Who is he
that earns my wrath? How walks he free
within my woods amid my folk,
a stranger to both beech and oak?'

Then Dairon saw Lúthien, and wished he had not spoken. Lúthien quickly explains.

'Far in the mountain-leaguered North,
my father,' said she, 'lies the land
that groans beneath King Morgoth's hand.
Thence came one hither, bent and warn
in wars and travail, who had sworn
undying hatred of that king;
the last of Bëor's sons, they sing. . .
'. . .a sword unconquered, neck unbowed,
a heart by evil power uncowed.
No evil needst thou think or fear
of Beren son of Barahir!

Lúthien had Thingol swear not to kill or imprison Beren, and then led him to and into Menegroth. A vibrant description follows (see Menegroth). Beren was too stunned to answer any questions, until he looks in Melian's eyes and gains courage.

. . .and thence was slowly drawn his gaze
to Melian's face. As from a maze
of wonder dumb he woke; his heart
the bonds of awe there burst apart
and filled now with the fearless pride of old;
in his glance now gleamed an anger cold.

He speaks bravely to Thingol about his love for Lúthien:

'. . .Thy dearest treasure I desire;
nor rocks nor steel nor Morgoth's fire
nor all the power of Elfinesse
shall keep that gem I would possess.
For fairer than are born to Men
A daughter hast thou, Lúthien.'

Daeron's initial anger returns and he demands death for Beren. Thingol reluctantly restrains himself due to his promise to his daughter, and threatens to let him wander interminably in Menegroth, never finding his way out of the caves. Beren openly compares him with Morgoth in the twisting of oaths, and holds up the Ring of Barahir. Melian whispers to Thingol that it will not be by his hand Beren will fall, and Thingol sees then the love of Lúthien for him.

'Fairest of Elves! Unhappy Men,
children of little lords and kings
mortal and frail, these fading things,
shall they then look with love on thee?'

Thingol's speech mocks Beren's own as he places the ultimate quest before him.

'. . . A treasure dear I too desire,
but rocks and steel and Morgoth's fire
from all the powers of Elfinesse
do keep the jewel I would possess.
Yet bonds like these I hear thee say
affright thee not. Now go thy way!
Bring me one shining Silmaril
from Morgoth's crown, then if she will,
may Lúthien set her hand in thine;
then shalt thou have this jewel of mine.'

Follows is a paragraph about the history of the Silmaril, and then Beren lauchs, and bids farewell to Tinúviel, and departs. Melian then gets her word in to Thingol.

Then clear in the silence the cold words rang
of Melian: 'Counsel cunning-wise,
'O king!' she said. 'Yet if mine eyes
lose not their power, 'twere well for thee
that Beren failed his errantry.
Well for thee, but for thy child
a dark doom and a wandering wild.'

'I sell not to Men those whom I love'
said Thingol, 'whom asll things above
I cherish; and if hope there were
that Beren should ever living fare
to the Thousand Caves once more, I swear
he should not ever have seen the air
or light of heaven's stars again.'

The final three lines wrap up this extensive canto, sad and foreboding.

But Melian smiled, and there was pain
as of far knowledge in her eyes;
for such is the sorrow of the wise.