Twenty years have flowed away

From Tolkien Gateway

Twenty years have flowed away is the opening line of a poem recited by J.R.R. Tolkien during his speech at the "Hobbit Dinner" in Rotterdam (1958). Tolkien gave a Quenya rendering of the poem, which was planned for publication sometime in the autumn of 2014.[1][2] Even a challenge was promoted within the Lambengolmor group to recreate the original Quenya text before it was released.[3] However, the Elvish text remains unpublished, as well as the full English poem and the recording.

First stanzas

Twenty years have flowed away down the long river
And never in my life will return for me from the sea.
Ah years in which looking far away I saw ages long past
When still trees bloomed free in a wide country
And thus now all begins to wither
With the breath of cold-hearted wizards
To know things they break them
And their stern lordship they establish
Through fear of death

See also


  1. Noble Smith, "J.R.R. Tolkien Reveals TRUE Meaning Of 'The Lord Of The Rings' In Unearthed Audio Recording" dated 22 May 2014, (accessed 3 September 2014)
  2. Carl F. Hostetter, "An experiment in translation (message 1147)" dated 23 May 2014, Lambengolmor mailing list (accessed 20 June 2022)
  3. Eduardo Stark, "Um desafio para os estudiosos da língua élfica" dated 2 September 2014, Tolkien Brasil (accessed 29 September 2019)