The Flight Of The Noldoli From Valinor

by J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien

A! the Trees of Light,tall and shapely
gold and silver,more glorious than the sun,
than the moon more magical,o'er the meads of the Gods
their fragrant frithand flowerladen
gardens gleaming,once gladly shone.
In death they are darkened,they drop their leaves
from blackened branches bled by Morgoth
and Ungoliant the grimthe Gloomweaver
In spider's formdespair and shadow
a shuddering fearand shapless night
she weaves in a webof winding venom
that is black and breathless.Their branches fail,
Mirk goes marching,mists of blackness,
through the halls of the Mightyhushed and empty,
the gates of the Godsare in gloom mantled.
Lo! the Elves murmurmourning in anguish,
but no more shall be kindledthe mirth of Côr
in the winding waysof their walled city,
towercrownëd Tûn,whose twinkling lamps
are drowned in darkness.The dim fingers
of fog come floating from the formless waste
and sunless seas.The sound of horns,
of horses' hooves hastening wildly
in hopeless hunt,they hear afar,
where the Gods in wraththose guilty ones
through mournful shadow,now mounting as a tide
o'er the Blissful Realm,in blind dismay
pursue unceasing.The city of the Elves
is thickly thronged.On threadlike stairs
carven of crystalcountless torches
stare and twinkle,stain the twilight
and gleaming balustersof green beryl.
A vague rumourof rushing voices,
as myriads mountthe marble paths,
there fills and troubles those fair places
wide ways of Tûn and walls of pearl.
Of the Three Kindredsto that clamorous throng
are none but the Gnomesin numbers drawn.
The Elves of Ing to the ancient halls
and starry gardensthat stand and gleam
upon Timbrentingtowering mountain
that day had climbedto the cloudy-domed
mansions of Manwëfor mirth and song.
There Bredhil the Blessedthe bluemantled,
the Lady of the heightsas lovely as the snow
in lights gleamingof the legions of the stars,
the cold immortalQueen of mountains,
too fair and terribletoo far and high
for mortal eyes,in Manwë's court
sat silentlyas the sang to her.
The Foam-riders,folk of waters,
Elves of the endlessechoing beaches,
of the bays and grottoesand the blue lagoons,
of silver sandssown with moonlit,
starlit, sunlit,stones of crystal,
paleburning gemspearls and opals,
on their shining shingle, where now shadows groping
clutched their laughter,quenched in mourning
their mirth and wonder,in amaze wandered
under cliffs grown coldcalling dimly,
or in shrouded shipsshuddering waited
for the light no moreshould be lit for ever.
But the Gnomes were numberedby name and kin,
marshalled and orderedin the mighty square
upon the crown of Côr.There cried aloud
the fierce son of Finn. Flaming torches
he held and whirledin his hands aloft,
those hands whose craftthe hidden secret
knew, that noneGnome or mortal
hath matched or masteredin magic or in skill.
'Lo! slain is my sireby the sword of fiends,
his death he has drunkat the doors of his hall
and deep fastness,where darkly hidden
the Three were guarded,the things unmatched
that Gnome and Elfand the Nine Valar
recarve or rekindleby craft or magic,
not Fëanor Finn's sonwho fashioned them or yore --
the light is lost whence he lit them first,
the fate of Faëriehath found its hour
Thus the witless wisdomits reward hath earned
of the Gods' jealousy, who guard us here
to serve them, sing to themin our sweet cages,
to contrive them gemsand jewelled trinkets,
their leisure to please with our loveliness,
while they waste and squanderwork of ages,
nor can Morgoth masterin their mansions sitting
at countless councils.Now come ye all,
who have courage and hope!My call harken
to flight, to freedomin far places!
The woods of the worldwhise wide mansions
yet in darkness dreamdrowned in slumber,
the pathless plainsand perilous shores
no moon yet shines on nor mounting dawn
in dew and daylighthath drenched for ever,
far better were thesefor bold footsteps
than gardens of the Godsgloom-encircled
with idleness filledand empty days.
Yea! though the light lit themand the loveliness
beyond heart's desirethat hath held us slaves
here long and long.But that light is dead.
Our gems are gone,our jewels ravished;
and the Three, my Three,thrice-enchanted
globes of crystalby gleam undying
illumined, litby living splendour
and all hues' essence,their eager flame --
Morgoth has themin his monstrous hold
my Silmarils.I swear here oaths,
unbreakable bondsto bind me ever,
by Timbrentingand the timeless halls
of Bredhil the Blessedthat abides thereon --
may she hear and heed --to hunt endlessly
unwearying unwaveringthrough world and sea,
through leaguered lands,lonely mountains,
over fens and forestand the fearful snows,
till I find those fair ones,where the fate is hid
of the folk of Elflandand their fortune locked,
where alone now liesthat light divine.'
Then his sons beside him,the seven kinsmen,
crafty Curufin, Celegorm the fair,
Damrod and Dírieland dark Cranthir,
Maglor the mighty,and Maidros tall
(the eldest, whose ardouryet more eager burnt
than his father's flame,than Fëanor's wrath;
him fate awaitedwith fell purpose),
these leapt with laughtertheir lord beside,
with linkëd handsthere lightly took
the oath unbreakable;blood thereafter
it spilled like a seaand spent the swords
of endless armies,nor hath ended yet:
'Be he friend or foeor foul offspring
of Morgoth Bauglir,be he mortal dark
that in after dayson earth shall dwell,
shall no law or lovenor league of Gods,
no might nor mercy,not moveless fate,
defend him for everfrom the fierce vengeance
of the sons of Fëanor,whoso seize or steal
or finding keepthe fair enchanted
globes of crystalwhose glory dies not,
the Silmarils.We have sworn for ever!'
Then a mighty murmuring was moved abroad
and the harkening hosthailed them roaring:
'Let us go! yea gofrom the Gods for ever
on Morgoth's trailo'er the mountains of the world
to vengeance and victory!Your vows are ours!

Last updated January 14, 2019