A Rhyme of Lore

From Tolkien Gateway

Rhymes of Lore are small poems that refer to ancient events of history. Rhymes of Lore seem to originate from the Dúnedain of Arnor, some were known to the Hobbits who also had some Rhymes of their own.[1] The Long List of the Ents may also be an example of Rhymes of Lore.[2]

On his way to Minas Tirith Gandalf mumbled to himself a Rhyme about the Downfall of Númenor, causing Pippin to inquire about it.

Tall ships and tall kings
Three times three,
What brought they from the foundered land
Over the flowing sea?
Seven stars and seven stones
And one white tree.
[note 1]


Robert Foster describes the Rhymes of Lore as a medium that aids the retention of ancient facts.[2] They are comparable to Gnomic Verses that preserve important ideas of the Anglo-Saxon society. Their rhyme make them easy to remember.[3]


A musical version of this poem was recorded by the Tolkien Ensemble on their album A Night in Rivendell.


  1. The rhyme is titled "A Rhyme of Lore"