The Lays of Beleriand by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Enjoyed this very well. The annotations are all good, though I find I need to be in a certain mental ‘gear’ for them.
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Thû laughed: ‘Patience! Not very long
shall ye abide. But first a song
I will sing to you, to ears intent.’
Then his flaming eyes on them bent,
and darkness black fell round them all.
Only they saw as through a pall
of eddying smoke those eyes profound
in which their senses choked and drowned.
He chanted a song of wizardry,
of piercing, opening, of treachery,
revealing, uncovering, betraying.
Then sudden Felagnd there swaying
sang in answer a song of staying,
resisting, battling against power,
of secrets kept, strength like a tower,
and trust unbroken, freedom, escape;
of changing and of shifting shape,
of snares eluded, broken traps,
the prison opening, the chain that snaps.
Backwards and forwards swayed their song.
Reeling and foundering, as ever more strong
Thû’s chanting swelled, Felagund fought,
and all the magic and might he brought
of Elfinesse into his words.
Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
singing afar in Nargothrond,
the sighing of the sea beyond,
beyond the western world, on sand,
on sand of pearls in Elvenland.
(from pp. 230-31)