User:Narfil Palùrfalas/Poetry/I Nauglamír
Of old flamed a gem in sweet Doriath
that green elven-realm, that fair sundered land,
where Elu Thingol ruled upon a throne
in deep Menegroth, the cavernous hold
where Thingol’s gems were kept in darkling room
beneath the troubles of the world above.
A silver crown rested upon his brow,
a staff was held in his empowering hands,
his keen grey eyes did in sharp justice judge
the fates of fair-crowned elves who there did dwell.
The gem that was there held came from Aman,
where powers great rule with a mighty hand
over all of Eä’s fate. Called Valar
they sat atop lofty Taniquetil
and judged the peoples of the land below
with never-ceasing bright light and pure life,
that came from two trees radiant and yet free,
they lit the earth with gleaming boughs of gold
and silver, ere the moon and sun were wrought.
From Morgoth’s chains was loosed a man of might,
Húrin Thalion was the name of him
chained by the sorcerer’s spells of binding
from lofty bleak peaks of blackened cold stone
upon a binding enchanted seat of rock
cruelly twisted by the king of dark’s hand
looking o’er the sorrows of Húrin’s kin.
Alas, ’twere it not for evil phantom
might Húrin have become e’en greater still?
Mighty did he come, broken did he leave
and Morgoth’s laugh o’er the void echoes still
for the doom of great Húrin Thalion.
Ancient, dotardly old his form was bent;
deemed Morgoth that his will was broke in whole
though still lay sparking fire in Húrin’s heart
doom he brought to Gondolin.
before the mountains encircling, descried
- Stood he there
no eagle that had brought him once thither
to Gondolin, as in day of old ere
Morgoth’s chains encircled his dauntless feet.
Then in vain he cried aloud to he that
would hear, if only rocks and shiv’ring trees
“Turgon, Turgon, remember the dark day
at the Fen of Serech, when I thee saved.”
Yet rocks have ears, for Morgoth’s shadowy spies
did hear what Húrin cried aloud to Turgon
King of Gondolin, and Morgoth smiled
to know where hid that skulking lord of elves –
the last of the free Noldor east of the sea.
Then mourned Thalion “Turgon, hear me now,
Thou who sittest in the great halls of Gondobar!
Pray for me, O stones, and intercede, O trees,
if thou hearest, and if any god will list.”
Then striking earth with his black staff, waited,
and only the grass whispered songs of sorrow,
such was his only reply.
Away he left, and would despairing die,
- In blindness
Stumbling on his way as daylight faded
Through the waste, as the grasses hissed and shook,
Even so did they hiss at Serech’s Fen.
Sleep comes not easy to those that love not life;
Sleep attends not those weary of the world.
Yet Húrin dreams of many things long gone,
Like a taste of cool but bitter water,
A faraway fragrance from what has passed –
From a past that will return nevermore:
Morwen his beloved, calling his name,
From sweet Brethil of the beautiful trees.
“Brethil, Brethil,” Húrin murmurs softly,
The broken lips loosing those syllables,
“How I long must I grieve for what I have lost?
Alas, in death alone is my comfort,
Unless my sorrow carry even there,
To Mandos and beyond the mortal world.”
When dawn awoke him away he did flee
Beyond Brithiach, clear Sir’ion’s waters
Flowing below the old man’s ancient feet,
Coming at last to the silver birches.
Through the sleepy forest eaves he did go,
His silv’ry beard brushing the forest floor;
At Taeglin’s Crossings like a specter grim
He swiftly moved toward the river’s edge;
The sentinels they shook with waking dread
To see that figure phantasmal, drifting
Noiselessly toward their ward. Away they fled
Before the humble Húrin Thalion,
A fay-man, doomed to doom and to be doomed;
And so he passed without a word in peace.
Out of the moonlight, to the loveless dawn,
Came forth the broken Húrin Thalion
To see a stone, high upright-standing, still,
And he knew indeed the words engravéd there,
The words of a curse, a youth and a maid,
The words of a doom, a family four,
The words of a weird, Húrin’s fated blood:
Túrin Turambar, Dagnir Glaurunga
Also Nienor. But read these
Húrin did not, for before the pillar
Sat the form of a gammer gray-headed,
Her long hair silver, her face beautiful
But more proud and lofty than an elf-lord’s.
“Thou comes at last,” she whispers in hoarse tone,
“Too long have I waited by this dark slab,
For thy good voice to call my forgot name,
For thy clear laughter, calling ‘Eledhwen,
Let us sit together by the hearth-fire,
And dream of our son, O Elfsheen.’”
“A dark road ‘twas,” he spake with sorrow clear,
“For Morgoth loves not Hador’s progeny.”
“Too late,” she whispers. “Thou art come too late:
They our lost, the fruit of my womb and soul.”
“Thou art not,” he tenderly murmured soft,
“I know their troubled doom, but thou art well.”
“Almost, spent am I.” Laid she down her head,
“I go with the sun, with the daylight die,
Little time remains for thee and me now;
If thou knowest, tell me truly, for pray
How did she find him on that cursed day?”
But Húrin spoke not, but he sat beside,
And held her quiv’ring hand as daylight passed,
And watched as her spirit fled with the sun.
He watched her face as left the lines of care,
And age-long worry departed her eyes.
“In Mandos she finds rest,” bethought he then,
“And I shall follow her before the end.”
He looked again upon her face solemn,
And meditated he, “She dies here now
Unconquered to the last, despite Sorrow
Throwing her gangling arms about this house.”
And so beneath the moon and glist’ring stars,
The waters of Cabed Naeramarth roared
Endlessly below the Haudh-en-Elleth,
The mark of Túrin’s shame and bitterness;
While Húrin kept his watch over the shell
Of Morwen Eledhwen who now is gone
From the pain and anguished lot of mortals
And from her loving husband Thalion.
Like stone he sat there, feeling not the wind,
Until a freezing rain caused him to rise
In smold’ring anger, to avenge his house
For the wrongs done him and both his children,
He cared not who he blamed, and blamed them all
And death be swift to those who saw his eyes.
The dauntless Húrin Thalion in grief
Buried his wife, proud Morwen Eledhwen,
And on the Stone of the Hapless he carved
The words “Here lies also Morwen Elfsheen,”
And turned away from that black place.
Húrin’s doom drave him onward, on that path
- And yet
Which plagues him still, his feet traced by Shadow
And the god of Hell, the Master of the Night,
The King of Endless Shadow, Lord of Fear,
Above even the spark’ling stars themselves.
At last he came to Nargothrond the dead,
Crossing o’er the crumbling bridge of white stone
And sought he entrance to the halls of Finrod,
Leaning against Felagund’s broken doors.
Within the hoard of Glaurung the ruined,
Stolen from the wealth of golden Finrod
Whose praise both dwarf and elf and man will sing,
Yet hated by the orcs of Morgoth’s brood:
A thousand cups of gold and silver wrought,
A million diadems sparkling brightly,
A hundred swords with blue blades like water
And ten gold crowns with pearl and gem adorned.
And there among that pile of unreck’d wealth
An ugly creature sat hungry greed,
Small and bearded, bent and bright-eyed, red-cheeked,
His grinning face was frightful to behold;
His heart was black and full maggot-eaten
From within by the gnawing tooth of lust
For gold and gems and pretty things of steel,
For sparkling jewels that made his eyes water:
His name was once Mîm - or such was he called,
The last of Petty-dwarves in Middle-earth.
His ears perked up at footsteps in the door,
He cried “Who goes, and with what purpose here?”
But Húrin stood tall upon that threshold,
His great shadow upon that form
Quiv’ring in wonder and yet also fear
That a man dared to visit Glaurung’s work.
“Who art thou, to hinder me to enter?
The worm is dead and Nargothrond is void,”
Cried Thalion in rising wrath and rage,
Yet Mîm replied, his courage rising fast,
“Mîm am I, last of my hapless kindred
Who delved the halls of Nulukhizidûn
Before the proud ones from o’er the sea,
And I have but reclaimed what is my own.”
Húrin knew that name only far too well,
For Mîm it was who betrayed Amon-Rûdh
And the fortress of his son Turambar –
Who sought the death of Beleg Strongbow bold.
“Thy inheritance shall flatter thee not,
For no longer shall thou inhabit here
Where Túrin slew the mighty worm Glaurung,
Delivering this hoard of matchless wealth
From the fiend that wasted these very halls
In which you sit, O damnable dwarf Mîm.
I am mighty Galdor’s son, Húrin brave,
The sire of Túrin, the master of fate,
Think thou that I know not the loathsome one,
Betrayer of the dauntless Dragon-helm?”
Then Mîm shrank back in fear and arrant doubt,
To see the broken man stand tall and strong,
And cried “O spare this lowly hide, but take
What thou wilt, and drive me not to death!”
But Húrin heard no prayer of his, nor saw
The prostrate form of a broken spirit
Torn by guilt and greed unutterable:
He saw the monstrous betrayer right there.
He struck the dwarf upon his thick temple,
Sprawling him out upon the golden floor,
And snatched a blade of watered beauty blue,
Stabbing with heartless vigor that poor dwarf.
Then Mîm he cried aloud and cursed that hoard,
With dying breath he named the treasure doomed
For all who dared to touch it with their hands,
Calling to justice proud and fair-faced elves.
Then Húrin watched as Mîm died before him,
And as that hapless creature perished, felt
A touch of remorse from those happy days
When he was young and unhardened by fire.
Yet it soon passed, and stern as stone was he,
Throwing the corpse outside Felagund’s gates;
In all that hoard one thing alone he took,
Of all the cache of Valinor’ian wealth,
And left he then that curséd treasure pile
To rot until the world’s end in that hole.
To be continued