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Posts Tagged ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

J.R.R. Tolkien
sung by Bilbo in The Hobbit

Note: J.R.R. Tolkien was born January 3, 1892.
Happy birthday, Professor Tolkien!

j-r-r-tolkien

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The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tinúviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.

There Beren came from mountains cold,
And lost he wandered under leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing.
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
And her hair like shadow following.

Enchantment healed his weary feet
That over hills were doomed to roam;
And forth he hastened, strong and fleet,
And grasped at moonbeams glistening.
Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.

He heard there oft the flying sound
Of feet as light as linden-leaves,
Or music welling underground,
In hidden hollows quavering.
Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves,
And one by one with sighing sound
Whispering fell the beachen leaves
In the wintry woodland wavering.

He sought her ever, wandering far
Where leaves of years were thickly strewn,
By light of moon and ray of star
In frosty heavens shivering.
Her mantle glinted in the moon,
As on a hill-top high and far
She danced, and at her feet was strewn
A mist of silver quivering.

When winter passed, she came again,
And her song released the sudden spring,
Like rising lark, and falling rain,
And melting water bubbling.
He saw the elven-flowers spring
About her feet, and healed again
He longed by her to dance and sing
Upon the grass untroubling.

Again she fled, but swift he came.
Tinúviel! Tinúviel!
He called her by her elvish name;
And there she halted listening.
One moment stood she, and a spell
His voice laid on her: Beren came,
And doom fell on Tinúviel
That in his arms lay glistening.

As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tinúviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering.

Long was the way that fate them bore,
O’er stony mountains cold and grey,
Through halls of ireon and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless.

J.R.R. Tolkien

 

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All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings

Preacher Ken Follett of Church of the Advent, my church, quoted these first four lines from one of Tolkien’s most famous poems in his sermon today.

He explained them and made me think about them in a different way. Some golden things do glitter; others do not, but that does not make them any less gold. Of course we wander, like Paul who was prevented from going to Asia and ended up in Macedonia, not knowing where we are or where we are going — but not lost, not truly, because God knows our whole journey, beginning to end, and he reveals our next step at the right time. The scriptures are not only old, but ancient, and their truth does not wither in our hearts: they make us come alive!  Deep roots help our whole being to survive and thrive.

This was encouraging to think about.

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In 1977, Rankin & Bass produced a cartoon version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, which instantly delighted many children all over the world. In the film, after the dwarves, the wizard Gandalf, and the hobbit Bilbo discover a stolen treasure amassed by trolls, Gandalf hands over a map of the Mountain to the dwarf-leader, Thorin Oakenshield. (In the book, Gandalf shares it with Thorin and Bilbo back at Bag End before their adventure ever begins — the story was changed a bit in the translation from the page to the animated performance.) In the Mountain, there is an even greater treasure, one that has been stolen and is being jealously guarded by the dragon, Smaug. It is why the dwarves and Bilbo are on their adventure: they are treasure-seekers.

You can see the scene on YouTube:

Gandalf Hands Over the Map

If you skip ahead in the clip linked above to 6:30, you will come upon one of my favorite exchanges between Gandalf and Bilbo about a secret way to the Mountain:

Bilbo: “If the secret door is hidden, how do we find it? The map doesn’t tell.”
Gandalf: “It does, and it doesn’t. You will understand in time.”

Jane Beal, PhD
sanctuarypoet.net

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