Kortirion among the Trees
Kortirion among the Trees is a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien. Several versions of the poem exist, the earliest dating from November 1915. In 1937, Tolkien undertook a major revision of the poem. The final version, entitled The Trees of Kortirion, appears to have been composed "nearly half a century after" 1915.
Tolkien considered refurbishing the poem to be included in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil but it was too long and ambitious and stood different from the others. It was omitted along with The Dragon's Visit, and replaced by three poems from The Lord of the Rings.
Three different versions of the poem were published in The Book of Lost Tales Part One: a pre-1937 version, the 1937 revision, and the final version.
Fragment (last version)
O ancient city on a leaguered hill!
Old shadows linger in your broken gate,
your stones are grey, your old halls now are still,
your towers silent in the mist await
their crumbling end, while through the storeyed elms
the River Gliding leaves these inland realms
and slips between long meadows to the Sea,
still bearing down by weir and murmuring fall
one day and then another to the Sea;
and slowly thither many days have gone
since first the Edain built Kortirion.
Kortirion! Upon your island hill
with winding streets, and alleys shadow-walled
where even now the peacocks pace in drill
majestic, sapphirine and emerald,
once long ago amid this sleeping land
of silver rain, where still year-laden stand
in un forgetful earth the rooted trees
that cast long shadows in the bygone noon,
and whispered in the swiftly passing breeze,
once long ago, Queen of the Land of Elms,
High City were you of the Inland Realms.
- Kortirion among trees the Trees: the influence of Warwick on J.R.R. Tolkien's vision of Middle-earth by Lynn Forest-Hill