Tha Eadigan Saelidan

From Tolkien Gateway

Tha Eadigan Saelidan: The Happy Mariners is the title of a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien. It was first written in 1915 with the title 'The Happy Mariners', which was published in June 1920 within The Stapeldon Magazine.[1] A slightly different version was made, entitled 'Tha Eadigan Saelidan: The Happy Mariners'.[2] This revised version was first published in 1923 within A Northern Venture on pages 282-283, and was later reprinted by Christopher Tolkien in The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, thanks to Douglas A. Anderson's help.[3]

Poem (last version)

I know a window in a western tower
That opens on celestial seas,
And wind that has been blowing round the stars
Comes to nestle in its tossing draperies.
It is a white tower builded in the Twilight Isles,
Where Evening sits for ever in the shade;
It glimmers like a spike of lonely pearl
That mirrors beams forlorn and lights that fade;
And sea goes washing round the dark rock whereit stands,
And fairy boats go by to gloaming lands
All piled and twinkling in the gloom
With hoarded sparks of orient fire
That divers won in waters of the unknown Sun -
And, maybe, 'tis a throbbing silver lyre,
Or voices of grey sailors echo up
A float among the shadows of the world
In oarless shallop and with canvas furled;
For often seems there ring of feet and song,
Or the twilit twinkle of a trembling gong.

O! happy mariners upon a journey long
To those great portals on the Western shores
Where far away constellate fountains leap,
And dashed against Night's dragon-headed doors
In foam of stars fall sparkling in the deep.
While I alone look out behind the Moon.
From in my white and windy tower,
Ye bide no moment and await no hour,
But chanting snatches of a mystic tune
Go through the shadows and the dangerous seas
Past sunless lands to fairy leas
Where stars upon the jacinth wall of space
Do tangle burst and interlace.
Ye follow Earendel through the West,
The shining mariner, to Islands blest;
While only from beyond that sombre rim
A wind returns to stir these crystal panes
And murmur magically of golden rains
That fall for ever in those spaces dim.

See also