The Shores of Faëry

From Tolkien Gateway

The Shores of Faëry is a poem written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 8-9 July, 1915. It was first published in Carpenter's Biography, the earliest and unrevised version.[1] All revised versions included a short prose preface, written shortly after.[2]:262 The Old English title was Ielfalandes Strand (The Shores of Elfland).[2]:271

Prose preface

Eärendel the Wanderer who beat about the Oceans of the World in his white ship Wingelot sat long while his old age upon the Isle of Seabirds in the Northern Waters ere he set forth upon a last voyage.

He passed Taniquetil and even Valinor, and drew his bark over the bar at the margin of the world, and launched it on the Oceans of the Firmament. Of his ventures there no man has told, save that hunted by the orbed Moon he fled back to Valinor, and mounting the towers of Kôr upon the rocks of Eglamar he gazed back upon the Oceans of the World. To Eglamar he comes ever at plenilune when the Moon sails a-harrying beyond Taniquetil and Valinor.

The poem

East of the Moon, west of the Sun
there stands a lonely hill;
its feet are in the pale green sea,
its towers are white and still,
beyond Taniquetil
in Valinor.
Comes never there but one lone star
that fled before the moon;
and there the Two Trees naked are
that bore Night's silver bloom,
that bore the globéd fruit of Noon
in Valinor.
There are the shores of Faëry
with their moonlit pebbled strand
whose foam is silver music
on the opalescent floor
beyond the great sea-shadows
on the marches of the sand
that stretches on for ever
to the dragonheaded door,
the gateway of the Moon,
beyond Taniquetil
in Valinor.
West of the Sun, east of the Moon,
lies the haven of the star,
the white town of the Wanderer
and the rocks of Eglamar.
There Wingelot is harboured,
while Eärendel looks afar
o'er the darkness of the waters
between here and Eglamar -
out, out, beyond Taniquetil
in Valinor afar.

See also