Tolkien Gateway

Tolkien Gateway is 10 years old. Sign up today to edit TG and help us grow for years to come.

You and Me / and the Cottage of Lost Play

You and Me / and the Cottage of Lost Play was the original title for a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien. It was then changed to Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva, The Cottage of Lost Play and then finally changed to The Little House of Lost Play: Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva. It was written in 1915 and is published in The Book of Lost Tales Part One.[1]. The poem refers to The Cottage of the Children, also described in The Book of Lost Tales Part One.[2]

Contents

[edit] The Poem (original version)

You & Me and the Cottage of Lost Play

You and me--we know that land
And often have been there
In the long old days, old nursery days,
A dark child and a fair.
Was it down the paths of firelight dreams
In winter cold and white,
Or in the blue-spun twilit hours
Of little early tucked-up beds
In drowsy summer night,
That You and I got lost in Sleep
And met each other there--
Your dark hair on your white nightgown,
And mine was tangled fair?

We wandered shyly hand in hand,
Or rollicked in the fairy sand
And gathered pearls and shells in pails,
While all about the nightingales
Were singing in the trees.
We dug for silver with our spades
By little inland sparkling seas,Then ran ashore through sleepy seas,
And down a warm and winding lane
And never never found again
Between high whispering trees.

The air was neither night or day,
But faintly dark with softest light,
When first there glimmered into sightThe Cottage of Lost Play.
'Twas builded very very old
White, and thatched with straws of gold,
And pierced with peeping lattices
That looked toward the sea;
And our own children's garden-plots
Were there--our own forgetmenots,
Red daisies, cress and mustard,
And blue nemophile.

O! All the borders trimmed with box
Were full of favourite flowers--of phlox,
Of larkspur, pinks, and hollyhocks
Beneath a red may-tree:
And all the paths were full of shapes,
Of tumbling happy white-clad shapes,
And with them You and Me.

And some had silver watering-cans
And watered all their gowns,
Or sprayed each other; some laid plans
To build them houses, fairy towns,
Or dwellings in the trees;
And some were clambering on the roof;
Some crooning lonely and aloof;
And some were dancing fairy-rings
And weaving pearly daisy-strings,
Or chasing golden bees;
But here and there a little pair
With rosy cheeks and tangled hair
Debated quaint old childish things--
And we were one of these.

But why it was there came a time
When we could take the road no more,
Though long we looked, and high would climb,
Or gaze from many a seaward shore
To find the path between sea and sky
To those old gardens of delight;
And how it goes now in that land,
If there the house and gardens stand,
Still filled with children clad in white--
We know not, You and I.

And why it was Tomorrow came
And with his grey hand led us back;
And why we never found the same
Old cottage, or the magic track
That leads between a silver sea
And those old shores and gardens fair
Where all things are, that ever were--
We know not, You and Me. [3]


[edit] The Poem (final version)

The Little House of Lost Play: Mar Vanwa Tyalieva

We knew that land once, You and I,
and once we wandered there
in the long days now long gone by,
a dark child and a fair.
Was it on the paths of firelight thought
in winter cold and white,
or in the blue-spun twilit hours
of little early tucked-up beds
in drowsy summer night,
that you and I in Sleep went down
to meet each other there,
your dark hair on your white nightgown
and mine was tangled fair?

We wandered shyly hand in hand,
small footprints in the golden sand,
and gathered pearls and shells in pails,
while all about the nightingales
were singing in the trees.
We dug for silver with our spades,
and caught the sparkle of the seas,
then ran ashore to greenlit glades,
and found the warm and winding lane
that now we cannot find again,
between tall whispering trees.

There was neither night nor day,
an ever-eve of gloaming light,
when first there glimmered into sight
the Little House of Play.
New-built it was, yet very old,
white, and thatched with straws of gold,
and pierced with peeping lattices
that looked toward the sea;
and our own children's garden-plots
were there: our own forget-me-nots,
red daisies, cress and mustard,
and radishes for tea.
There all the borders, trimmed with box,
were filled with favourite flowers, with phlox,
with lupins, pinks, and hollyhocks,
beneath a red may-tree;
and all the gardens full of folk
that their own little language spoke,
but not to You and Me.

For some had silver watering-cans
and watered all their gowns,
or sprayed each other; some laid plans
to build their houses, little towns
and dwellings in the trees.
And some were clambering on the roof;
some crooning lonely and aloof;
some dancing round the fairy-rings
all garlanded in daisy-strings,
while some upon their knees
before a little white-robed king
crowned with marigold would sing
their rhymes of long ago.
But side by side a little pair
with heads together, mingled hair,
went walking to and fro
still hand in hand; and what they said,
ere Waking far apart them led,
that only we now know.[4]

[edit] External links

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "The Cottage of Lost Play": "Notes and Commentary", pp. 27-32
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "The Cottage of Lost Play": "Notes and Commentary", pp. 7-9
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, pp. 20-22
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, pp. 22-24