The Lay Of The Children Of Húrin: III. Failivrin

by J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien

Flinding go-Fuilinfaithful-hearted
the brand of Belegwith blood stainéd
lifted with loathingfrom the leafy mould,
and hid it in the hollowof a huge thorn-tree;
then he turned to Túrinyet tranced brooding,
and softly said he:'O son of Húrin,
unhappy-hearted, what helpeth it
to sit thus in sorrow'ssilent torment
without hope or counsel?' But Húrin's son,
by those words wakened,wildly answered:
'I abide by Beleg;nor bid me leave him,
thou voice unfaithful.Vain are all things.
O Death dark-handed, draw thou near me;
if remorse may move thee,from mourning loosed
crush me conqueredto his cold bosom!'
Flinding answered,and fear left him
for wrath and pity:'Arouse thy pride!
Not thus unthinkingon Thangorodrim's
heights enchainéddid Húrin speak.'
'Curse thy comfort!Less cold were steel.
If Death comes notto the death-craving,
I will seek him by the sword.The sword -- where lies it?
O cold and cruel,where cowerest now,
murderer of thy master?Amends shalt work,
and slay me swift,O sleep-giver.'
'Look not, luckless,thy life to steal,
nor sully anewhis sword unhappy
in the flesh of the friendwhose freedom seeking
he fell by fate,by foes unwounded.
Yea, think that amendsare thine to make,
his wrongéd bladewith wrath appeasing,
its thirst coolingin the thrice-abhorred
blood of Bauglir'sbaleful legions.
Is the feud achievedthy father's chains
on thee laid, or lessenedby this last evil?
Dream not that Morgothwill mourn thy death,
or thy dirges chantthe dread Glamhoth --
less would like themthy living hatred
and vows of vengeance;nor vain is courage,
though victory seldombe valour's ending.'
Then fiercely Túrinto his feet leaping
cried new-crazéd:'Ye coward Orcs,
why turn ye tail?Why tarry ye now,
when the son of Húrinand the sword of Beleg
in wrath await you?For wrong and woe
here is vengeance ready.If ye venture it not,
I will follow your feetto the four corners
of the angry earth.Have after you!'
Fainting Flindingthere fought with him,
and words of wisdomto his witless ears
he breathless spake:'Abide, O Túrin,
for need hast thou nowto nurse thy hurt,
and strength to gatherand strong counsel.
Who flees to fightwears not fear's token,
and vengeance delayedits vow achieves.'
The madness passed;amazed pondering
neath the tangled treessat Túrin wordless
brooding blacklyon bitter vengeance,
till the dusk deepenedon his day of waking,
and the early starswere opened pale.
Then Beleg's burialin those bleak regions
did Flinding fashion;where he fell sadly
he left him lying,and lightly o'er him
with long labourthe leaves he poured.
But Túrin tearlessturning suddenly
on the corse cast him,and kissed the mouth,
cold and open,and closed the eyes.
His bow laid heblack beside him,
and words of partingwove about him:
'Now fare well, Beleg,to feasting long
neath Tengwethilin the timeless halls
where drink the Gods,neath domes golden
o'er the sea shining.'His song was shaken,
but the tears were driedin his tortured eyes
by the flames of anguishthat filled his soul.
His mind once morewas meshed in darkness
as heaped they higho'er the head beloved
a mound of mouldand mingled leaves.
Light lay the earthon the lonely dead;
heavy lay the woeon the heart that lived,
and his face and form,nor faded ever:
and this was the thirdof the throes of Túrin.
Thence he wandered witlesswithout wish or purpose;
but for Flinding the faithfulhe had fared to death,
or been lost in the landsof lurking evil.
Renewed in that Gnomeof Nargothrond
was heart and valourby hatred wakened,
that he guarded and guided his grim comrade;
with the light of his lamphe lit their ways,
and they hid by dayto hasten by night,
by darkness shroudedor dim vapours.
The tale tells notof their travel weary,
how roamed their roadby the rim of the forest,
whose beetling branches,black o'erhanging,
did greedy gropewith gloomy malice
to ensnare their soulsin silent darkness.
Yet west they wanderedby ways of thirst,
and haggard hunger,hunted often,
and hiding in holesand hollow caverns,
by their fate defended.At the furthest end
of Dor-na-Fauglith'sdusty spaces
to a mighty moundin the moon looming
they came at midnight:it was crowned with mist,
bedewed as by dropsof drooping tears.
'A! green that hillwith grass fadeless,
where sleep the swordsof seven kindreds,
where the folk of Faërieonce fell uncounted.
There was fought the fieldby folk naméd
Nirnaith Ornoth,Unnumbered Tears.
'Twas built with the bloodof the beaten people;
neath moon nor sunis it mounted ever
by Man nor Elf;not Morgoth's host
ever dare for dreadto delve therein.'
Thus Flinding faltered,faintly stirring
Túrin's heaviness,that he turned his hand
toward Thangorodrim,and thrice he cursed
the maker of mourning,Morgoth Bauglir.
Thence later led themtheir lagging footsteps
o'er the slender streamof Sirion's youth;
not long had he leapta lace of silver
from his shining wellin those shrouded hills,
the Shadowy Mountainswhose sheer summits
there bend humbledtowards the brooding heights
in mist mantled,the mountains of the North.
Here the Orcs might pass him;they else dared not
o'er Sirion swim,whose swelling water
through moor and marsh,mead and woodland,
of Earth far under,through empty lands
and leagues untrodden,beloved Ylmir,
fleeting floweth,with fame undying
in the songs of the Gnomes,to the sea at last.
Thus reached they the rootsand the ruinous feet
of those hoary hillsthat HIthlum girdle,
the shaggy pinewoodsof the Shadowy Mountains.
There the twain enfoldedphantom twilight
and dim mazesdark, unholy,
in Nan Dungorthinwhere nameless gods
have shrouded shrinesin shadows secret,
more old than Morgothor the ancient lords
the golden Godsof the guarded West.
But the ghostly dwellersof that grey valley
hindered nor hurt them,and they held their course
with creeping fleshand quaking limb.
Yet laughter at whileswith lingering echo,
as distant mockeryof demon voices
there harsh and hollowin the hushed twilight
Flinding fancied,fell, unwholesome
as that leering laughterlost and dreadful
that rang in the rocksin the ruthless hour
of Beleg's slaughter. ''Tis Bauglir's voice
that dogs us darklywith deadly scorn'
he shuddering thought;but the shreds of fear
and black forebodingwere banished utterly
when the clomb the cliffsand crumbling rocks
that walled that valeof watchful evil,
and southward sawthe slopes of Hithlum
more warm and friendly.That way they fared
during the daylighto'er dale and ghyll,
o'er mountain pasture,moore and boulder,
over fell and fallof flashing waters
that slipped down to Sirion,to swell his tide
in his eastward basinonward sweeping
to the South, to the sea,to his sandy delta.
After seven journeyslo! sleep took them
on a night of starswhen they nigh had stridden
to those lands belovedthat long had known
Flinding aforetime.At first morning
the white arrowsof the wheeling sun
gazed down gladly on green hollows
and smiling slopesthat swept before them.
There builded bolesof beeches ancient
marched in majestyin myriad leaves
of golden russetgreyly rooted,
in leaves translucentlightly robéd;
their boughs up-bendingblown at morning
by the wings of windsthat wandered down
o'er blossomy bentbreathing odours
to the wavering water'swinking margin.
There rush and reedtheir rustling plumes
and leaves like lanceslouted trembling
green with sunlight.Then glad the soul
of Flinding the fugitive;in his face the morning
there glimmered golden,his gleaming hair
was washed with sunlight.'Awake from sadness,
Túrion Thalion,and troublous thoughts!
On Irvin's lakeis endless laughter.
Lo! cool and clearby crystal fountains
she is fed unfailing,from defilement warded
by Ylmir the old,who in ancient days,
wielder of waters,here worked her beauty.
From outmost Oceanyet often comes
his message hitherhis magic bearing,
the healing of heartsand hope and valour
for foes of Bauglir.Friend is Ylmir
who alone remembersin the Lands of Mirth
the need of the Gnomes.Here Narog's waters
(that in tongue of the Gnomesis 'torrent' naméd)
are born, and blithelyboulders leaping
o'er the bents boundingwith broken foam
swirl down southwardto the secret halls
of Nargothrondby the Gnomes builded
that death and thraldomin the dreadful throes
of Nirnaith Ornoth,a number scanty,
escaped unscathed.Thence skirting wild
the Hills of the Hunters,the home of Beren
and the Dancer of Doriathdaughter of Thingol,
it winds and wandersere the willowy meads,
Nan-Tathrin's land,for nineteen leagues
it journeys joyfulto join its flood
with Sirion in the South.To the salt marshes
where snipe and seamewand the sea-breezes
first pipe and playthey press together
sweeping soundlessto the seats of Ylmir,
where the waters of Sirionand the waves of the sea
murmurous mingle.A marge of sand
there lies, all litby the long sunshine;
there all day rustleswrinkled Ocean,
and the sea-birds callin solemn conclave,
whitewingéd hostswhistling sadly,
uncounted voicescrying endlessly.
There a shining shingleon that shore lieth,
whose pebbles as pearlor pale marble
by spray and spindriftsplashed at evening
in the moon do gleam,or moan and grind
when the Dweller in the Deepdrives in fury
the waters whiteto the walls of the land;
when the long-haired riderson their lathered horses
with bit and bridleof blowing foam,
in wrack wreathédand ropes of seaweed,
to the thunder gallopof the thudding of the surf.'
Thus Flinding spakethe spell of feeling
of Ylmir the oldand unforgetful,
which hale and holyhaunted Ivrin
and foaming Narog,so that fared there never
Orc of Morgoth,and that eager stream
no plunderer passed.If their purpose held
to reach the realmsthat roamed beyond
(nought yet knew theyof Nargothrond)
they harried o'er Hithlumthe heights of scaling
that lay behindthe lake's hollow,
the Shadowy Mountainsin the sheen mirrored
of the pools of Ivrin.Pale and eager
Túrin hearkenedto the tale of Flinding:
the washing of watersin his words sounded,
as echo as of Ylmir'sawful conches
in the abyss blowing.there born anew
was hope in his heartas they hastened down
to the lake of laughter.A long and narrow
arm it reachesthat ancient rocks
o'ergrown with greengirdle strongly,
at whose outer endthere open sudden
a gap, a gatewayin the grey boulders;
whence thrusteth thinin threadlike jets
newborn Narog,nineteen fathoms
o'er a flickering forcefalls in wonder,
and a glimmering gobletwith glass-lucent
fountains fills heby his freshets carven
in the cool bosomof the crystal stones.
There deeply drankere day was fallen
Túrin the toilwornand his true comrade;
hurt's ease found he,heart's refreshment,
from the meshes of miseryhis mind was loosed,
as they sat on the swardby the sound of water,
and watched in wonderthe westering sun
o'er the wall wadingof the wild mountains,
whose peaks empurpledpricked the evening.
Then it dropped to the darkand deep shadows
up the cliffs creepingquenched in twilight
the last beaconsleashed with crimson.
To the stars upstandingstony-mantled
the moutains waitedtill the moon arose
o'er the endless East,and Irvin's pools
dreaming deeplydim reflected
their pallid faces.In pondering fast
woven, wordless,they waked no sound,
till cold breezeskeenly breathing
clear and fragrantcurled about them;
then sought they for sleepa sand-pavéd
cove outcarven;there kindled fire,
that brightly blossomedthe beechen faggots
in flowers of flame;floated upward
a slender smoke,when sudden Túrin
on the firelit faceof Flinding gazed,
and wondering wordshe wavering spake:
'O Gnome, I know notthy name or purpose
or father's blood --what fate binds thee
to a witless waywornwanderer's footsteps,
the bane of Beleg,his brother-in-arms?'
Then Flinding fearfullest fresh madness
should seize for sorrowon the soul of Túrin,
retold the taleof his toil and wandering;
how the trackless folkdsof Taur-na-Fuin,
Deadly Nightshade,dreadly meshed him;
of Beleg the bowman bold, undaunted,
and that deed they daredon the dim hillside,
that song has sinceunceasing wakened;
of the fate that fell,he faltering spake,
in the tangled thicketneath the twining thorns
when Morgoth's mightwas moved abroad.
Then his voice vanishedveiled in mourning,
and lo! tears trickledon Túrin's face
till loosed at lastwere the leashed torrents
of his whelming woe.Long while he wept
soundless, shaken,the sand clutching
with griping fingersin grief unfathomed.
But Flinding the faithful feared no longer;
no comfort coldhe kindly found,
for sleep swept himinto slumber dead.
There a singing voicesweetly vexed him
and he woke and wondered:the watchfire faded;
the night was aging, nought was moving
but a song upsoaringin the soundless dark
went strong and sternto the starlit heaven.
'Twas Túrin that toweringon the tarn's margin,
up high o'er the headof the hushed water
now falling faintly,let flare and echo
a song of sorrowand sad splendour,
the dirge of Beleg'sdeathless glory.
There wondrous wove hewords enchanted,
the woods and waterwaked and answered,
the rocks were wrungwith ruth for Beleg.
That song he sangis since remembered,
by Gnomes renewedin Nargothrond
it widely has wakenedwarfain armies
to battle with Bauglir --'The Bowman's Friendship.'
'Tis told that Túrinthen turned him back
and fared to Flinding,and flung him down
to sleep soundlesstill the sun mounted
to the high heavensand hasted westward.
A vision he viewedin the vast spaces
of slumber roving:it seemed he roamed
up the bleak bouldersof a bare hillside
to a cup outcarvenin a cruel hollow,
whose broken brinkbushes limb-wracked
by the North-wind's knifein knotted anguish
did fringe forbidding.There black unfriendly
was a dark thicket,a dell of thorn-trees
with yews mingledthat the years had fretted.
The leafless limbsthey lifted hopeless
were blotched and blackened,barkless, naked,
a lifeless remnantof the levin's flame,
charred chill fingerschangeless pointing
to the cold twilight.There called he longing:
'O Beleg, my brother,O Beleg, tell me
where is buried thy bodyin these bitter regions?' --
and the echoes alwayshim answered 'Beleg';
yet a veiléd voicevague and distant
he caught that calledlike a cry at night
o'er the sea's silence:'Seek no longer.
My bow is rottenin the barrow ruinous;
my grove is burnedby grim lightning;
here dread dwelleth,none dare profane
this angry earth,Orc nor goblin;
none gain the gateof the gloomy forest
by this perilous path;pass they may not,
yet my life has wingedto the long waiting
in the halls of the Moono'er the hills of the sea,
Courage be thy comfort,comrade lonely!'
Then he woke in wonder;is wit was healed,
courage him comforted,and he called aloud
Flinding go-Fuilin,to his feet striding.
There the sun slantedof the waters tumbling
roofed with a radiantrainbow trembling.
'Whither, O Flinding,our feet now turn we,
or dwell we for everby the dancing water,
by the lake of laughter,alone, untroubled?'
'To Nargothrondof the Gnomes, methinks,'
said Flinding, 'my feetwould fain wander,
that Celegorm and Curufin,the crafty sons
of Fëanor foundedwhen they fled southward;
there built a bulwarkagainst Bauglir's hate,
who live now lurkingin league secret
with those five othersin the forests of the East,
fell unflinchingfoes of Morgoth.
Maidros whom Morgothmaimed and tortured
is lord and leader,his left wieldeth
his sweeping sword;there is swift Maglor,
there Damrod and Dírieland dark Cranthir,
the seven seekersof their sire's treasure.
Now Orodreth rules the realms and caverns,
the numbered hostsof Nargothrond.
There to woman's staturewill be waxen full
frail Finduilasthe fleet maiden
his daughter dear,in his darkling halls
a light, a laughter,that I loved of yore,
and yet love in longing,and love calls me.'
Where Narog's torrentgnashed and spouted
down his stream bestrewnwith stone and boulder,
swiftly southwardthey sought their paths,
and summer smilingsmoothed their journey
through day on day,down dale and wood
where birds blithelywith brimming music
thrilled and trembledin thronging trees.
No eyes them watchedonward wending
till they gained the gorgewhere Ginglith turns
all glad and goldento greet the Narog.
There her gentler torrentjoins his tumult,
and they glide togetheron the guarded plain
to the Hunters' Hillsthat high to southward
uprear their rocksrobed in verdure.
There watchful waitedthe Wards of Narog,
lest the need of the Gnomes from the North should come,
for the sea in the Souththem safe guarded,
and eager Narogthe East defended.
Their treegirt towerson the tall hilltops
no light betrayedin the trees lurking,
no horns hootedin the hills ringing
in loud alarm;a leaguer silent
unseen, stealthy,beset the stranger,
as of wild things warythat watch moveless,
then follow fleetly with feet of velvet
their heeldless preywith padding hatred.
In this fashion fought they,phantom hunters
that wandering Orcand wild foeman
unheard harried,hemmed in ambush.
The slain are silent,and silent were the shafts
of the nimble Gnomesof Nargothrond,
who word or whisperwarded sleepless
from their homes deep-hidden,that hearsay never
was to Bauglir brought.Bright hope knew they,
and east over Narogto open battle
no cause or counselhad called them yet,
though of shield and shaftand sheathéd swords,
of warriors wieldynow waxed their host
to power and prowess,and paths afar
their scouts and woodmenscoured in hunting.
Thus the twain were trackedtill the trees thickened
and the river went rushingneath a rising bank,
in foam hastenedo'er the feet of the hills.
In a gloom of greenthere they groped forward;
there his fate defendedfrom flying death
Túrin Thalion --a twisted thong
of writhing rootsenwrapped his foot;
as he fell there flashed,fleet, whitewingéd,
a shrill-shafted arrowthat shore his hair,
and trembled suddenin a tree behind.
Then Flinding o'er the fallenfiercely shouted:
'Who shoots unsurehis shafts at friends?
Flinding go-Fuilinof the folk of Narog
and the son of Húrinhis sworn comrade
here flee to freedomfrom the foes of the North.'
His words in the woodsawoke no echo;
no leaf there lisped,nor loosened twig
there cracked, no creakof crawling movement
stirred the silence.Still and soundless
in the glades aboutwere the green shadows.
Thus fared they on,and felt that eyes
unseen saw them,and swift footsteps
unheard hastenedbehind them ever,
till each shaken bushor shadowy thicket
they fled furtivein fear needless,
for thereafter was aimed no arrow wingéd,
and they came to a countrykindly tended;
through flowery frithand fair acres
they fared, and foundof folk empty
the leas and leasowsand the lawns of Narog,
the teeming tilthby trees enfolded
twixt hills and river.The hoes unrecked
in the fields were flung,and fallen ladders
in the long grass lay of the lush orchards;
every tree there turnedits tangled head
and eyed them secretly,and the ears listened
of the nodding grasses;though noontide glowed
on land and leaf,their limbs were chilled.
Never hall or homesteadits high gables
in the light upliftingin that land saw they,
but a pathway plainby passing feet
was broadly beaten.Thither bent their steps
Flinding go-Fuilin,whose feet remembered
that white roadway.In a while they reached
to the acres' end,that ever narrowing
twixt wall and waterdid wane at last
to blossomy banksby the borders of the way.
A spuming torrent,in spate tumbling
from the highest hillof the Hunters' Wold
clove and crossed it;there a carven stone
with slim and shapely slender archway
a bridge was builded,a bow gleaming
in the froth and flashingfoam of Ingwil,
that headlong hurriedand hissed beneath.
Where it found the flood,far-journeyed Narog,
there steeply stood the strong shoulders
of the hills, o'erhangingthe hurrying water;
there shrouded in treesa sheer terrace,
wide and winding,worn to smoothness,
was fashioned in the faceof the falling slope.
Doors there darklydim gigantic
were hewn in the hillside;huge their timbers,
and their posts and lintelsof ponderous stone.
They were shut unshakeable.Then shrilled a trumpet
as a phantom fanfarefaintly winding
in the hill from hollowhalls far under;
a creaking portalwith clangour backward
was flung, and forththere flashed a throng,
leaping lightly,lances wielding,
and swift encirclingseized bewildered
the wanderers wayworn,wordless haled them
through the gaping gatewayto the glooms beyond.
Ground and grumbledon its great hinges
the door gigantic;with din ponderous
it clanged and closedlike clap of thunder,
and echoes awfulin empty corridors
there ran and rumbled under roofs unseen;
the light was lost.Then led them on
down long and windinglanes of darkness
their guards guidingtheir groping feet,
till the faint flickerof fiery torches
flared before them;fitful murmur
as of many voicesin meeting thronged
they heard as they hastened.High sprang the roof.
Round a sudden turningthey swung amazed,
and saw a solemnsilent conclave,
where hundreds hushed in huge twilight
neath distant domesdarkly vaulted
them wordless waited.There waters flowed
with washing echoeswinding swiftly
amid the multitude,and mounting pale
for fifty fathomsa fountain sprang,
and wavering wan,with winking redness
flushed and flickeringin the fiery lights,
it fell at the feetin the far shadows
of a king with crownand carven throne.
A voice they heardneath the vault rolling,
and the king them called:'Who come ye here
from the North unlovedto Nargothrond,
a Gnome of bondageand a nameless Man?
No welcome finds herewandering outlaw;
save his wish be deathhe wins it not,
for those that have lookedon our last refuge
it boots not to begother boon of me.'
Then Flinding go-Fuilinfreely answered:
'Has the watch then wanedin the woods of Narog,
since Orodreth ruledthis realm and folk?
Or how have the huntedthus hither wandered,
if the warders willed it notthy word obeying;
or how hast not heardthat thy hidden archer,
who shot his shaft in the shades of the forest,
there learned our lineage,O Lord of Narog,
and knowing our nameshis notched arrows
loosed no longer?'Then low and hushed
a murmur movedin the multitude,
and some were who said:''Tis the same in truth:
the long looked-for,the lost is found,
the narrow path he knewto Nargothrond
who was born and bred herefrom babe to youth';
and some were who said:'The son of Fuilin
was lost and looked forlong years agone.
What sign or tokenthat the same returns
have we heard or seen?Is this haggard fugitive
with back bendedthe bold leader,
the scout who scoured,scorning danger,
most far afieldof the folk of Narog?'
'That tale was told us,'returned answer
the Lord Orodreth,'but belief were rash.
That alone the lost,whom leagues afar
the Orcs of Angbandin evil bonds
have dragged to the deeps,thou darest home,
by grace or valour, from grim thraldom,
what proof dost thou proffer?What plea dost show
that a Man, a mortal,on our mansions hidden
should look and live, our leage sharing?'
Thus the curse on the kindredfor the cruel slaughter
at the Swans' Haventhere swayed his heart,
but Flinding go-Fuilinfiercely answered:
'Is the son of Húrin,who sits on high
in a deathless doomdreadly chainéd,
unknown, nameless,in need of plea
to fend from him the fateof foe and spy?
Flinding the faithful,the far wanderer,
though form and facefires of anguish
and bitter bondage,Balrogs' torment,
have seared and twisted,for a song of welcome
had hoped in his heartat that home-coming
that he dreamed of longin dark labour.
Are these deep placesto dungeons turned,
a lesser Angbandin the land of the Gnomes?'
Thereat was wrath arousedin Orodreth's heart,
and the muttering waxedto many voices,
and this and thatthe throng shouted;
when sweet and suddena song awoke,
a voice of musico'er that vast murmur
mounted in melodyto the misty domes;
with clear echoesthe caverned arches
it filled, and trembledfrail and slender,
those words weavingof welcome home
that the waywearyhad wooed from care
since the Gnomes first knewneed and wandering.
Then hushed was the host;no head was turned,
for long known and lovedwas that lifted voice,
and Flinding knew itat the feet of the king
like stone gravenstanding silent
with heart laden;but Húrin's son
was waked to wonderand to wistful thought,
and searching the shadowsthat the seat shrouded,
the kingly throne,there caught he thrice
a gleam, a glimmer,as of garments white.
'Twas frail Finduilas,fleet and slender,
to woman's stature,wondrous beauty,
now grown in glory,that glad welcome
there raised in ruth,and wrath was stilled.
Locked fast the lovehad lain in her heart
that in laughter grewlong years agone
when in the meads merrilya maiden played
with fleet-footedFuilin's youngling.
No searing scarsof sundering years
could blind those eyesbright with welcome,
and wet with tearswistful trembling
at the grief there gravenin grim furrows
on the face of Flinding.'Father,' said she,
'what dream of doubtdreadly binds thee?
'Tis Flinding go-Fuilin,whose faith of yore
none dared to doubt.This dark, lonely,
mournful-fatedMan beside him
if his oath avowsthe very offspring
of Húrin Thalion,what heart in this throng
shall lack beliefor love refuse?
But are none yet nigh usthat knew of yore
that mighty of Men,mark of kinship
to seek and seein these sorrow-laden
form and features?The friends of Morgoth
not thus, methinks,through thirst and hunger
come without comrades,nor have countenance
thus grave and guileless,glance unflinching.'
Then did Túrin's hearttremble wondering
at the sweet pitysoft and gentle
of that tender voicetouched with wisdom
that years of yearninghad yielded slow;
and Orodreth, whose heartknew ruth seldom,
yet loved deeplythat lady dear,
gave ear and answerto her eager words,
and his doubt and dreadof dire treachery,
and his quick anger,he quelled within him.
No few were there foundwho had fought of old
where Finweg fellin flame of swords,
and Húrin Thalionhad hewn the throngs,
the dark Glamhoth'sdemon legions,
and who called there lookedand cried aloud:
''Tis the face of the fathernew found on earth,
and his strong statureand stalwart arms;
though such care and sorrownever claimed his sire,
whose laughing eyeswere lighted clear
at board or battle,in bliss or in woe.'
Nor could lack belieffor long the words
and faith of Flindingwhen friend and kin
and his father hasteningthat face beheld.
Lo! sire and sondid sweet embrace
neath trees entwiningtangled branches
at the dark doorwaysof those deep mansions
that Fuilin's folkafar builded,
and dwelt in the deepof the dark woodland
to the West on the slopesof the Wold of Hunters.
Of the four kindredsthat followed the king,
the watchtower's lords,the wold's keepers
and the guards of the bridge,the gleaming bow
that was flung o'er the foamingfroth of Ingwil,
from Fuilin's childrenwere first chosen,
most noble of name,renowned in valour.
In those halls in the hillsat that homecoming
mirth was mingledwith melting tears
for the unyielding yearswhose yoke of pain
the form and faceof Fuilin's son
had changed and burdened,chilled the laughter
that leapt once lightlyto his lips and eyes.
Now in kindly lovewas care lessened,
with song assuagedsadness of hearts;
the lights were lit and lamps kindled
o'er the burdened board;there bade they feast
Túrin Thalionwith his true comrade
at the long tables'laden plenty,
where dish and gobleton the dark-gleaming
wood well-waxéd,where the wine-flagons
engraven glistenedgold and silve.r
Then Fuilin filledwith flowing mead,
dear-hoarded drinkdark and potent
a carven cupwith curious brim,
by ancient artof olden smiths
fairly fashioned,filled with marvels;
there gleamed and livedin grey silver
the folk of Faëriein the first noontide
of the Blissful Realms;with their brows wreathéd
in garlands goldenwith their gleaming hair
in the wind flyingand their wayward feet
fitful flickering,on unfading lawns
the ancient Elvesthere everlasting
danced undyingin the deep pasture
of the gardens of the Gods;there Glingol shone
and Bansil bloomedwith beams shimmering,
mothwhite moonlightfrom its misty flowers;
the hilltops of Tûnthere high and green
were crowned by Côr,climbing, winding,
town white-wallédwhere the tower of Ing
with pale pinnaclepierced the twilight,
and its crystal lampillumined clear
with slender shaftthe Shadowy Seas.
Through wrack and ruin,the wrath of the Gods,
through weary wandering,waste and exile,
had come that cup,carved in gladness,
in woe hoarded,in waning hope
when little was leftof the lore of old.
Now Fuilin at feastfilled it seldom
svae in pledge of loveto proven friend;
blithely bade heof that beaker drink
for the sake of his sonthat sate nigh him
Túrin Thalionin token sure
of a league of lovelong enduring.
'O Húrin's childchief of Hithlum,
with mourning marred,may the mead of the Elves
thy heart upliftwith hope lightened;
nor fare thou from usthe feast ended,
here deign to dwell;if this deep mansion
thus dark-dolvendimly vaulted
displease thee not,a place awaits thee.'
There deeply dranka draught of sweetness
Túrin Thalion returned his thanks
in eager earnest,while all the folk
with loud laughterand long feasting,
with mournful layor music wild
of magic minstrelsthat mighty songs
did weave with wonder,there wooed their hearts
from black foreboding;there bed's repose
their guest was granted,when in gloom silent
the light and laughterand the living voices
were quenched in slumber.Now cold and slim
the sickle of the Moonwas silver tilted
o'er the wan watersthat washed unsleeping,
nightshadowed Narog,the Gnome-river.
In tall treetopsof the tangled wood
therhe hooted hollowthe hunting owls.
Thus fate it fashionedthat in Fuilin's house
the dark destinynow dwelt awhile
of Túrin the tall.There he toiled and fought
with the folk of Fuilinfor Flinding's love;
lore long forgottenlearned among them,
for light yet lingeredin those leaguered places,
and wisdom yet livedin that wild people,
whose minds yet remembered the Mountains of the West
and the faces of the Gods,yet filled with glory
more clear and keenthan kindreds of the dark
or Men unwittingof the mirth of old.
Thus Fuilin and Flindingfriendship showed him,
and their halls were his home,while high summer
waned to autumnand the western gales
the leaves loosenedfrom the labouring boughs;
the feet of the forestin fading gold
and burnished brownwere buried deeply;
a restless rustledown the roofless aisles
sighed and whispered.Lo! the Silver Wherry,
the sailing Moonwith slender mast,
was filled with firesas of furnace golden
whose hold had hoardedthe heats of summer,
uprising ruddyo'er the rim of Evening
by the misty wharveson the margin of the world.
Thus the months fleetedand mightily he fared
in the forest with Flinding,and his fate waited
slumbering a season,while he sought for joy
the lore learningand the league sharing
of the Gnomes renowned of Nargothrond.
The ways of the woodshe wandered far,
and the land's secrets he learned swiftly
by winter unhindered to weathers hardened,
whether snow or sleetor slanting rain
from glowering heavensgrey and sunless
cold and cruelwas cast to earth,
till the floods were loosed and the fallow waters
of sweeping Narog, swollen, angry,
were filled with flotsamand foaming turbid
passed in tumult; or twinkling pale
ice-hung eveningwas opened wide,
a dome of crystalo'er the deep silence
of the windless wastesand the woods standing
like frozen phantomsunder flickering stars.
By day or nightdanger needless
he dared and sought for,his dread vengeance
ever seeking unsatedon the sons of Angband;
yet as winter waxedwild and pathless,
and biting blizzardsthe bare faces
lashed and torturedof the lonely tors
and haggard hilltops,in the halls more often
was he found in fellowshipwith the folk of Narog,
and cunning there addedin the crafts of hand,
and in subtle masteryof song and music
and peerless poesy,to his proven lore
and wise woodcraft;there wondrous tales
were told to Túrinin tongues of gold
in those mansions deep,there many a day
to the hearth and hallsof the haughty king
did those friends now fareto feast and game,
for frail Finduilasher father urged
to his board and favourto bid those twain,
and his grudging her grantedthat grimhearted
king deep-counselled --cold his anger,
his ruth unready,his wrath enduring;
yet fierce and fellby the fires of hate
his breast was burnedfor the broods of Hell
(his son had they slain,the swift-footed
Halmir the hunterof hart and boar),
and kinship thereinthe king ere long
in his heart discoveredfor Húrin's son,
dark and silent,as in dreams walking
of anguish and regretand evergrowing
feud unsated.Thus favour soon
by the king accordedof the company of his board
he was member made,and in many a deed
and wildto West and North
he achieved renownamong the chosen warriors
and fearless bowmen;in far battles
in secret ambushand sudden onslaught,
where fell-tonguéd flewthe flying serpents,
their shafts envenomed,in valleys shrouded
he played his part,but it pleased him little,
who trusted to targeand tempered sword,
whose hand was hungryfor the hilts it missed
but dared never a bladesince the doom of Beleg
to draw or handle.Dear-holden was he,
though he wished nor willed it,and his works were praised.
When tales were toldof times gone by,
of valour they had known,of vanished triumph,
glory half-forgot,grief remembered,
then they bade and begged himbe blithe and sing
of deeds in Doriathin the dark forest
by the shadowy shoresthat shunned the light
where Esgalduinthe Elf-river
by root-fenced poolsroofed with silence,
by deep eddiesdarkly gurgling,
flowed fleetly onpast the frowning portals
of the Thousand Caves.Thus his thought recalled
the woodland wayswhere once of yore
Beleg the bowmanhad a boy guided
by slade and slopeand swampy thicket
neath trees enchanted;then his tongue faltered
and his tale was stilled.
At Túrin's sorrow
one marvelled and was moved,a maiden fair
the frail Finduilasthat Failivrin,
the glimmering sheenon the glassy pools
of Ivrin's lakethe Elves in love
had named anew.By night she pondered
and by day wonderedwhat depth of woe
lay locked in his hearthis life marring;
for the doom of dreadand death that had fallen
on Beleg the bowmanin unbroken silence
Túrin warded,nor might tale be won
of Flinding the faithfulof their fare and deeds
in the waste together.Now waned her love
for the form and facefurrowed with anguish,
for the bended backand broken strength,
the wistful eyesand the withered laughter
of Flinding the faithful,though filled was her heart
with deepwelling pityand dear friendship.
Grown old betimesand grey-frosted,
he was wise and kindlywith wit and counsel,
with sight and foresight,but slow to wrath
nor fiercely valiant,yet if fight he must
his share he shirked not,though the shreds of fear
in his heart yet hung;he hated no man,
but he seldom smiled,save suddenly a light
in his grave face glimmeredand his glance was fired:
Finduilas maybefaring lightly
on the sward he sawor swinging pale,
a sheen of silverdown some shadowy hall.
Yet to Túrin was turnedher troublous heart
against will and wisdomand waking thought:
in dreams she sought him,his dark sorrow
with love lightening,so that laughter shone
in eyes new-kindled,and her Elfin name
he eager spake,as in endless spring
they fared free-heartedthrough flowers enchanted
with hand in hando'er the happy pastures
of that land that is litby no light of Earth,
by no moon nor sun,down mazy ways
to the black abysmalbrink of waking.
From woe unhealedthe wounded heart
of Túrin the tallwas turned to her.
Amazed and moved,his mind's secret
half-guessed, half-guarded,in gloomy hour
of night's watches,when down narrow winding
paths of ponderinghe paced wearily,
he would lonely unlock,then loyal-hearted
shut fast and shun,or shroud his grief
in dreamless sleep,deep oblivion
where no echo enteredof the endless war
of waking worlds,woe nor friendship,
flower nor firelightnor the foam of seas,
a land illuminedby no light at all.
'O! hands unholy,O! heart of sorrow,
O! outlaw whose evilis yet unatonéd,
wilt thou, troth-breaker,a treason new
to thy burden bind;thy brother-in-arms,
Flinding go-Fuilinthus foully betray,
who thy madness tendedin mortal perils,
to thy waters of healingthy wandering feet
did lead at the lastto lands of peace,
where his life is rootedand his love dwelleth?
O! stainéd handshis hope steal not!'
Thus love was fetteredin loyal fastness
and coldly cladin courteous word;
yet he would look and longfor her loveliness,
in her gentle wordshis joy finding,
her face watchingwhen he feared no eye
might mark his mood.One marked it all --
Failivrin's face,the fleeting gleams,
like sun through cloudssailing hurriedly
over faded fields,that fleeting gleams,
as Túrin passed;the tremulous smiles,
his grave glancesout of guarded shade,
his sighs in secret --one saw them all,
Flinding go-Fuilin,who had found his home
and lost his loveto the lying years,
he watched and wondered,no word speaking,
and his heart grew dark'twixt hate and pity,
bewildered, weary,in the webs of fate.
Then Finduilas,more frail and wan
twixt olden lovenow overthrown
and new refused,did nightly weep;
and folk wonderedat the fair pallor
of the hands upon her harp,her hair of gold
on slender shouldersslipped in tumult,
the glory of her eyesthat gleamed with firs
of secret thoughtin silent deeps.
Many bosoms burdenedwith foreboding vague
their glooms disownedneath glad laughter.
In song and silence,snow and tempest,
winter wore away;to the world there came
a year once morein youth unstained,
nor were leaves less green,light less golden,
the flowers less fair,though in faded hearts
no spring was born,though speeding nigh
danger and dreadand doom's footsteps
to their halls hasted.Of the host of iron
came tale and tidingsever treading nearer;
Orcs unnumbered to the East of Narog
roamed and ravenedon the realm's borders,
the might of Morgothwas moved abroad.
No ambush stayed them;the archers yielded
each vale by vale,though venomed arrows





Last updated January 14, 2019