This text is some sort of hybrid between the revised version and the older version of The Lay of Leithian. I don't really remember the details anymore. I typed this whole thing in from the book (The Lays of Beleriand) back in 1995 or so, and I have no plans to finish the work.
THE LAY OF LEITHIAN 1. OF THINGOL IN DORIATH A king there was in days of old: ere Men yet walked upon the mould his power was reared in caverns' shade, his hand was over glen and glade. Of leaves his crown, his mantle green, his silver lances long and keen; the starlight in his sheild was caught, ere moon was made or sun was wrought. In after-day when to the shore of Middle-earth from Valinor the Elven-hosts in might returned, and banners flew and beacons burned, when kings of Eldamar went by in strength of war, beneath the sky then still his silver trumpets blew when sun was young and moon was new. Afar then in Beleriand, in Doriath's beleaguered land, King Thingol sat on guarded throne in many-pillared halls of stone: there beryl, pearl, and opal pale, and metal wrought like fishes' mail, buckler and corslet, axe and sword, and gleaming spears were laid in hoard: all these he had and counted small, for dearer than all wealth in hall, and fairer than are born to Men, a daughter had he, Lúthien. OF LÚTHIEN THE BELOVED Such lissom limbs no more shall run on the green earth beneath the sun; so fair a maid no more shall be from dawn to dusk, from sun to sea. Her robe was blue as summer skies, but grey as evening was her eyes; her mantle sewn with lilies fair, but dark as shadow was her hair. Her feet were swift as bird on wing, her laughter merry as the spring; the slender willow, the bowing reed, the fragrance of a flowering mead, the light upon the leaves of trees, the voice of water, more than these her beauty was and blissfulness, her glory and her loveliness. She dwelt in the enchanted land while elven-might yet held in hand the woven woods of Doriath: none ever thither found the path unbidden, none the forest-eaves dared pass, or stir the listening leaves. To north there lay a land of dread, Dungorthin where all ways were dead in hills of shadow bleak and cold; beyond was Deadly Nightshade's hold in Taur-nu-Fuin's fastness grim, where sun was sick and moon was dim. To South the wide earth unexplored; to West the ancient Ocean roared, unsailed and shoreless, wide and wild; to East in peaks of blue were piled, in silence folded, mist-enfurled, the mountains of the outer world. Thus Thingol in his dolven hall amid the Thousand Caverns tall of Menegroth as king abode: to him there led no mortal road. Beside him sat his deathless queen, fair Melian, and wove unseen nets of enchantment round his throne, and spells were laid on tree and stone: sharp was his sword and high his helm, the king of beech and oak and elm. When grass was green and leaves were long, when finch and mavis sung their song, there under bough and under sun in shadow and in light would run fair Lúthien the elven-maid, dancing in dell and grassy glade. OF DAIRON MINISTREL OF THINGOL When sky was clear and stars were keen, then Dairon with his fingers lean, as daylight melted into eve, a trembling music sweet would weave on flutes of silver, thin and clear for Lúthien, the maiden dear. There mirth there was and voices bright; there eve was peace and morn was light; there jewel gleamed and silver wan and red gold on white fingers shone, and elanor and niphredil bloomed in the grass unfading still, while the endless years of Elven-land rolled over far Beleriand, until a day of doom befell, as still the elven-harpers tell. * 2. OF MORGOTH & THE SNARLING OF GORLIM Far in the Northern hills of stone in caverns black there was a throne by flame encircled; there the smoke in coiling columns rose to choke the breath of life, and there in deep and gasping dungeons lost would creep to hopeless death all those who strayed by doom beneath that ghastly shade. A king there sat, most dark and fell of all that under heavens dwell. Than earth or sea, than moon or star more ancient was he, mightier far in mind abysmal than he thought of Eldar or of Men, and wrought of strength primeval; ere the stone was hewn to build the world, alone he walked in darkness, fierce and dire, burned, as he wielded it, by fire. He 'twas that laid in ruin black the Blessed Realms and then fled back to Middle-earth anew to build beneath the mountains mansions filled with misbegotten slaves of hate: death's shadow brooded at his gate. His hosts he armed with spears of steel and brands of flame, and at their heel the wolf walked and the serpent crept with lidless eyes. Now forth they leapt, his ruinous legions, kindling war in field and frith and woodland hoar. Where long the golden elanor had gleamed amid the grass they bore their banners black, where finch had sung and harpers silver harps had wrung now dark the ravens wheeled and cried amid the reek, and far and wide the swords of Morgoth dripped with red above the hewn and trampled dead. Slowly his shadow like a cloud rolled from North, and on the proud that would not yield his vengeance fell; to death and thraldom under hell all things he doomed: the Northern land lay cowed beneath his ghastly hand. But still there lived in hiding cold Bëor's son, Barahir the bold, of land bereaved and lordship shorn who once a prince of Men was born, and now an outlaw lurked and lay in the hard heath and woodland grey. OF THE SAVING OF KING INGLOR FELAGUND BY THE XII BËORINGS Twelve men beside him still there went, still faithful when all hope was spent. Their names are yet in elven-song remembered, though the years are long since doughty Dagnir and Ragnor, Radhruin, Dairuin, and Gildor, Gorlim Unhappy, and Urthel, and Arthad and Hathaldir fell; since the black shaft with venomed wound took Belegund and Baragund, the mighty sons of Bregolas; since he whose deeds and doom surpass all tales of Men was laid on bier, fair Beren son of Barahir. For these it was, the chosen men of Bëor's house, who in the fen of reedy Serech stood at bay about king Inglor in the day of his defeat, and with their swords thus saved of all the Elven-lords the fairest; and his love they earned. And he escaping south, returned to Nargothrond his mighty realm, where still he wore his crownëd helm; but they to their northern homelands rode, dauntless and few, and there abode unconquered still, defying fate, pursued by Morgoth's sleepless hate. OF TARN AELUIN THE BLESSED Such deeds of daring there they wrought that soon the hunters that them sought at rumour of their coming fled. Though price was set upon each head to match the weregild of a king, no soldier could to Morgoth bring news even of their hidden lair; for where the highland browse and bare above the darkling pines arose of steep Dorthonion to the snows and barren mountain-winds, there lay a tarn of water, blue by day, by night a mirror of dark glass for stars of Elbereth that pass above the world into the West. Once hallowed, still that place was blest: no shadow of Morgoth, and no evil thing yet thither came; a whispering ring of slender birches silver-grey stooped on its margin, round it lay a lonely moor, and the bare bones of ancient Earth like standing stones thrust through the heather and the whin; and there by houseless Aeluin the hunted lord and faithful men under the grey stones made their den. OF GORLIM THE UNHAPPY Gorlim Unhappy, Angrim's son, as the tale tells, of these was one most fierce and hopeless. He to wife, while fair the fortune of his life, took the white maiden Eilinel: dear love they had ere evil fell. To war he rode; from war returned to find his fields and homestead burned, his house forsaken roofless stood, empty amid the leafless wood; and Eilinel, white Eilinel, was taken whither none could tell, to death and thraldom far away. Black was the shadow of that day for ever on his heart, and doubt still gnawed him as he went about in wilderness wandring, or at night oft sleepless, thinking that she might ere evil came have timely fled into the woods: she was not dead, she lived, she would return again to seek him, and would deem him slain. Therefore at whiles he left the lair, and secretly, alone, would peril dare, and come to his old house at night, broken and cold, without fire or light, and naught grief renewed would gain, watching and waiting there in vain. In vain, or worse - for many spies had Morgoth, many lurking eyes well used to pierce the deepest dark; and Gorlim's coming they would mark and would report. There came a day when once more Gorlim crept that way, down the deserted weedy lane at dusk of autumn sad with rain and cold wind whining. Lo! a light at window fluttering in the night amazed he saw; and drawing near, between faint hope and sudden fear, he looked within. 'Twas Eilinel! Though changed she was, he knew her well. With grief and hunger she was worn, her tresses tangled, raiment torn; her gentle eyes with tears were dim, as soft she wept: `Gorlim, Gorlim! Thou canst not have forsaken me. Then slain, alas! thou slain must be! And I must linger cold, alone, and loveless as a barren stone!' One cry he gave - and then the light blew out, and in the wind of night wolves howled; and on his shoulder fell suddenly the griping hands of hell. There Morgoth's servants fast him caught and he was cruelly bound, and brought to Sauron, captain of the host, the lord of werewolf and of ghost, most foul and fell of all who knelt at Morgoth's throne. In might he dwelt on Gauroth Isle; but now had ridden with strength abroad, by Morgoth bidden to find the rebel Barahir. He sat in dark encampment near, and thither his butchers draggen their prey. There now in anguish Gorlim lay: with bond on neck, on hand and foot, to bitter torment he was put, to break his will and him constrain to buy with treason end of pain. But naught to them would he reveal of Barahir, nor break the seal of faith that on his tongue was laid; until at last a pause was made, and one came softly to his stake, a darkling form that stooped, and spake to him of Eilinel his wife. `Wouldst thou,' he said,`forsake thy life. who with a few words might win release for her, and thee, and go in peace, and dwell together far from war, friends of the King? What wouldst thou more?' And Gorlim, now long worn with pain, yearning to see his wife again (whom well he weened was also caught in Sauron's net), allowed the thought to grow, and faltered in his troth. Then straight, half willing and half loath, they brought him to the seat of stone where Sauron sat. He stood alone befor that dark and dreadful face, and Sauron said: `Come, mortal base! What do I hear? That thou wouldst dare to barter with me? Well, speak fair! What is thy price?' And Gorlim low bowed down his head, and with great woe, word on slow word, at last implored that merciless and faithless lord that he might free depart, and might again find Eilinel the White, and dwell with her, and cease from war against the King. He crave no more. The Sauron smiled, and said: `Thou trall! The price thou askest is but small for treachery and shame so great! I grant it surely! Well, I wait: Come! Speak now swiftly and speak true!' Then Gorlim wavered, and he drew half back; but Sauron's daunting eye there held him, and he dared not lie: as he began, so must he wend from first false step to faithless end: he all must answer as he could, betray his lord and brotherhood, and cease, and fall upon his face. Then Sauron laughed aloud, `Thou base, thou cringing worm! Stand up, and hear me! And now drink the cup that I have sweetly blent for thee! Thou fool: a phantom thou didst see that I, I Sauron made to snare thy lovesick wits. Naught else was there. Cold 'tis with Sauron's wraiths to wed! Thy Eilinel! She is long since dead, dead, food of worms less low than thou. And yet thy boon I grant thee now: to Eilinel thou soon shalt go, and lie in her bed, no more to know of war - or manhood. Have thy pay!' And Gorlim then they dragged away, and cruelly slew him; and at last in the dank mould his body cast, where Eilinel long since had laid in the burned woods by butchers slain. Thus Gorlim died an evil death, and cursed himself with dying breath, and Barahir at last was caught in Morgoth's snare; for set at naught by treason was the ancient grace that guarded long that lonely place, Tarn Aeluin: now all laid bare were secret paths and hidden lair. * 3. OF BEREN SON OF BARAHIR & HIS ESCAPE Dark from the North now blew the cloud; the winds of autumn cold and loud hissed in the heather; sad and grey Aeluin's mournful water lay. `Son Beren', then said Barahir, `Thou knowst the rumour that we hear of strength from the Gaurhoth that is sent against us; and our food nigh spent. On thee the lot falls by our law to go forth now alone to draw what help thou canst from the hidden few that feed us still, and what is new to learn. Good fortune go with thee! In speed return, for grudgingly we spare thee from our brotherhood, so small: and Gorlim in the wood is long astray or dead. Farewell!' As Beren went, still like a knell resounded in his heart that word, the last of his fater that he heard. Through moor and fen, by tree and briar he wandered far: he saw the fire of Sauron's camp, he heard the howl of hunting Orc and wolf a-prowl, and turning back, for long the way, benighted in the forest lay. In weariness he then must sleep, fain in a badger-hole to creep, and yet he heard (or dreamed it so) nearby a marching legion go with clink of mail and clash of shields up toward the stony mountain-fields. He slipped then into darkness down, until, as man that waters drown strives upwards gasping, it seemed to him he rose through slime beside the brim of sullen pool beneath dead trees. Their livid boughs in cold a breeze trembled, and all their black leaves stirred: each leaf a black and croaking bird, whose neb a gout of blood let fall, He shuddered, struggling thence to crawl through winding weeds, when far away he saw a shadow faint and grey gliding across the dreary lake. Slowly it came, and softly spake: `Gorlim I was, but now a wraith of will defeated, broken faith, traitor betrayed. Go! Stay not here! Awaken, son of Barahir, and haste! For Morgoth's fingers close upon thy father's throat; he knows your trysts, your paths, your secret lair' Then he revealed the devil's snare in which he fell, and failed; and last begging forgiveness, wept, and passed out into darkness. Beren woke, leaped up as one by sudden stroke with fire of anger filled. His bow and sword he seized, and like the roe hotfoot o'er rock and heath he sped before the dawn. ere day was dead to Aeluin at last he came, as the red sun westward sank in flame; but Aeluin was red with blood, red were the stones and trampled mud. Black in the birches sat a-row the raven and the carrion-crow; wet were their nebs, and dark the meat that dripped beneath their griping feet. One croaked: `Ha, ha, he comes too late!' `Ha, ha!' they answered, `ha! too late!' There Beren laid his father's bones in haste beneath a cairn of stones; no grave rune nor word he wrote o'er Barahir, but thrice he smote the topmost stone, and thrice aloud he cried his name. `Thy death' he vowed, `I will avenge. Yea, though my fate should lead at last to Angband's gate.' And then he turned, and did not weep: too dark his heart, the wound too deep. Ouy into night, as cold as stone, loveless, friendless, he strode alone. Of hunter's lore he had no need the trail to find. With little heed his ruthless foe, secure and proud, marched north away with blowing loud in brazen horns their lord to greet, trampling the earth with grinding feet. Behind them bold but wary went now Beren, swift as hound on scent, until beside a darkling well, where Rivil rises from the fell down into Serech's reeds to flow, he found the slayers, found his foe. From hiding on the hillside near he marked them all: though less than fear, too many for his sword and bow to slay alone. Then, crawling low as snake in heath, he nearer crept. There many weary with marching slept, but captains, sprawling on the grass, drank and from hand to hand let pass their booty, grudging each small thing raped from dead bodies. One a ring held up, and laughed: `Now, mates,' he cried `here's mine! And I'll not be denied, though few be like it in the land. For I 'twas wrenched it from the hand of that same Barahir I slew, the robber-knave. If tales be true, he had it of some elvish lord, for the rouge-service of his sword. No help it gave to him - he's dead. They're parlous, elvish rings, 'tis said; still for the gold I'll keep it, yea and so eke out ny niggard pay. Old Sauron bade me bring it back, and yet, methinks, he has no lack of weightier treasures in his hoard: the greater the greedier the lord! So mark ye, mates, ye all shall swear the hand of Barahir was bare!' And as he spoke an arrow sped from tree behind, and forward dead choking he fell with barb in throat; with leering face the earth he smote. Forth, then as wolfhound grim there leapt Beren among them. Two he swept aside with sword; caught up the ring; slew one who grasped him; with a spring back into shadow passed, and fled before their yells of wrath and dread of ambush in the valley rang. Then after him like wolves they sprang, howling and cursing, gnashing teeth, hewing and bursting through the heath, shooting wild arrows, sheaf on sheaf, at trembling shade or shaking leaf. In fatefull hour was Beren born: he laughed at dart and wailing horn; fleetest of foot of living men, tireless on fell and light on fen, elf-wise in wood, he passed away, defended by his hauberk grey of dwarfish craft in Nogrod made, where hammers rang in cavern's shade. As fearless Beren was renowned: when men most hardy upon ground were reckoned folk would speak his name, foretelling that his after-fame would even golden Hador pass or Barahir or Bregolas; but sorrow now his heart had wrought to fierce despair, no more he fought in hope of life or joy or praise, but seeking so to use his days only that Morgoth deep should feel the sting of his avenging steel, ere death he found and end of pain: his only fear was thraldom's chain. Danger he sought and death pursued, and thus escaped the doom he wooed, and deeds of breathless daring wrought alone, of which his rumour brought new hope to many a broken man. They whispered `Beren', and began in secret swords to whet, and soft by shrouded hearts at evening oft songs they would sing of Beren's bow, of Dagmor his sword: how he would go silent to camps and slay the chief, or trapped in his hiding past belief would slip away, and under night by mist or moon, or by the light of open day would come again. Of hunters hunted, slayers slain they sang, of Gorgol the Butcher hewn, of ambush in Ladros, fire in Drűn, of thirty in one battle dead, of wolves that yelped like curs and fled yea, Sauron himself with wound in hand. Thus one alone filled all that land with fear and death for Morgoth's folk; his comrades were the beech and oak who failed him not, and wary things with fur and fell and feathered wings that silent wander, or dwell alone in hill and wild and waste of stone watched o'er his ways, his faithful friends. Yet seldom well an outlaw ends; and Morgoth was a king more strong than all the world has since in song recorded: dark athwart the land reached out the shadow of his hand, at each recoil returned again; two more were sent for one foe slain. New hope was cowed, all rebels killed; quenched were the fires, the songs were stilled, tree felled, heath burned, and through the waste marched the black host of Orcs in haste. Almost they closed their ring of steel round Beren; hard upon his heel now trod their spies; within their hedge of all aid shorn, upon the edge of death at bay he stood aghast and knew that he must die at last, or flee the land of Barahir, his land beloved. Beside the mere beneath a heap of nameless stones must crumble those once mighty bones, forsaken by both son and kin, bewailed by reeds of Aeluin. In winter's night the houseless North he left behind, and stealing forth the leaguer of his watchful foe he passed - a shadow on the snow, a swirl of wind, and he was gone, the ruin of Dorthonion, Tarn Aeluin and its water wan, never again to look upon. No more shall hidden bowstring sing, no more shall shaven arrows wing, no more his hunted head shall lie upon the heath beneath the sky. The Northern stars, whos silver fire of old Men named the Burning Briar, were set behind his back, and shone o'er land forsaked: he was gone. Southward he turned, and south away his long and lonely journey lay, while ever loomed before his path the dreadful peaks of Gorgorath. Never had foot of man most bold yet trod those mountains steep and cold, nor climbed upon their sudden brink, whence, sickened, eyes must turn and shrink to see their southward cliffs fall sheer in rocky pinnacle and pier down into shadows that were laid before the sun and moon were made. In valleys woven with deceit and washed with waters bitter-sweet dark magic lurked in gulf and glen; but out away beyond the ken of mortal sight the eagle's eye from dizzy towers that pierced the sky might grey and gleaming see afar, as sheen on water under star, Beleriand, Beleriand, the borders of the Elven-land. * 4. OF THE COMING OF BEREN TO DORIATH; BUT FIRST IS TOLD OF THE MEETING OF MELIAN AND THINGOL There long ago in Elder-days ere voice was heard or trod were ways, the haunt of silent shadows stood in starlit dusk Nan Elmoth wood. In Elder-days that long are gone a light amid the shadows shone, a voice was in the silent heard: the sudden singing of a bird. There Melian came, the Lady grey, and dark and long her tresses lay beneath her silver girdle-seat and down unto her silver feet. The nightingales with her she brought, to whom their song herself she taught, who sweet upon her gleaming hands had sung in the immortal lands. Thence wayward wandering on a time from Lórien she dared to climb the ever-lasting mountain-wall of Valinor, at whose feet fall the surges of the Shadowy Sea. Out away she went then free, to gardens of the Gods no more returning, but on mortal shore, a glimmer ere the dawn she strayed, singing her spells from glade to glade. A bird in dim Nan Elmoth wood trilled, and to listen Thingol stood amazed; then far away he heard a voice more fair than fairest bird, a voice as crystal clear of note as thread of silver glass remote. Of folk and kin no more he thought; of errand that the Eldar brought from Cuivínen far away, of lands beyond the sea that lay no more he recked, forgetting all, drawn only by that distant call till deep in dim Nan Elmoth wood lost and beyond recall he stood. And there he saw her, fair and fay: Ar-Melian, the Lady grey, as silent as the windless trees, standing with mist about her knees, and in her face remote the light of Lórien glimmered in the night. No word she spoke; but pace by pace, a halting shadow, towards her face forth walked the silver-mantled king, tall Elu Thingol. In the ring of waiting trees he took her hand. One moment face to face they stand alone, beneath the weeling sky, while starlit years on earth go by and in Nan Elmoth wood the trees grow dark and tall. The murmuring seas rising and falling on the shore and Ulmo's horn he heeds no more. But long his people sought in vain their lord, till Ulmo called again, and then in grief they marched away, leaving the woods. To havens grey upon the western shore, the last long shore of mortal land, they passed, and thence were borne beyond the Sea in Aman, the Blessed Realm, to be by evergreen Ezellohar in Valinor, in Eldamar. Thus Thingol sailed not on the seas but dwelt amid the land of trees, and Melian he loved, divine, whose voice was potent as the wine the Valar drink i golden halls where flower blooms and fountain falls; but when she sang it was a spell, and no flower stirred nor fountain fell. A king and Queen thus lived they long, and Doriath was filled with song, and all the Elves that missed their way and never found the western bay, the gleaming walls of their long home by the grey seas and the white foam, who never trod the golden land where the towers of the Valar stand, all these were gathered in their realm beneath the beech and oak and elm. In later days when Morgoth fled from wrath and raised once more his head and Iron Crown, his mighty seat beneath the smoking mountain's feet founded and fortified anew, then slowly dread and darkess grew: the Shadow of the North that all the Folk of Earth would hold in thrall. The lords of Men to knee he brings, the kingdoms of the Exiled Kings assails with ever-mounting war: in their last havens by the shore they dwell, or strongholds walled with fear defend upon his borders drear, till each one falls. Yet reigns there still in Doriath beyond his will the Grey King and immortal Queen. No evil in their realm is seen; no power their might can yet surpass: there still is laughter and green grass, there leaves are lit by the white sun, and many marvels are begun. There went now in the Guarded Realm beneath the beech, beneath the elm, there lightfoot ran now on the green the daughter of the king and queen: of Arda's eldest children born in beauty of their elven-morn and only child ordained by birth to walk in raiment of the Earth from Those descended who began before the world of Elf and Man. Beyond the bounds of Arda far still shone the Legions, star on star, memorials of their labour long, achievement of Vision and of Song; and when beneath their ancient light on Earth below was cloudless night, music in Doriath awoke, and there beneath the branching oak, or seated in the beech-leaves brown, Dairon the dark with ferny crown played on his pipes with elvish art unbearable by mortal heart. No other player has there been, no other lips or fingers seen so skilled, 'tis said in elven-lore, save Maglor son of Fëanor, forgotten harper, singer doomed, who young when Laurelin yet bloomed to endless lamentation passed and in the tombless sea was cast. But Dairon in his heart's delight yet lived and played by starlit night, until one summer-eve befell, as still the elven harpers tell. Then merrily his piping thrilled; the grass was soft, the wind was stilled, the twilight lingered faint and cool in shadow-shapes upon the pool beneath the boughs of sleeping trees standing silent. About their knees a mist of hemlocks glimmered pale, and ghostly moths on lace-wings frail went to and fro. Beside the mere quickening, rippling, rising clear the piping called. Then forth she came, as sheer and sudden as a flame of peerless white the shadows cleaving, her maiden-bower on white feet leaving; and as when summer star arise radiant into darkened skies, her living light on all was cast in fleeting silver as she passed. There now she stepped with elven pace, bending and swaying in her grace, as half-reluctant; then began to dance, to dance: in mazes ran bewildering, and a mist of white was wreathed about her whirling flight. Wind-ripples on the water flashed, and trembling leaf and flower were plashed with diamond-dews, as ever fleet and fleeter went her wingéd feet. Her long hair as a cloud was streaming about her arms uplifted gleaming, as slow above the trees the Moon in glory of the plenilude arose, and on the open glade its light serene and clear was laid. Then suddenly her feet were stilled, and through the woven wood there thrilled, half wordless, half in elven-tounge, her voice upraised in blissful song that once of nightingales she learned and in her living joy had turned to heart-enthralling loveliness, unmarred, immortal, sorrowless. Ir Ithil ammen Eruchín menel-vîr síla díriel si loth a galadh lasto dîn! A Hîr Annűn gilthoniel, le linnon im Tinúviel! O elven-fairest Lúthien what wonder moved thy dances then? That night what doom of Elvenesse enchanted did thy voice possess? Such marvel shall there mo more be on Earth or west beyond the Sea, at dusk or dawn, by night or noon or neath the mirror of the moon! On Neldoreth was laid a spell; the piping into silence fell, for Dairon cast his flute away, unheeded on the grass it lay, in wonder bound as stone he stood heart-broken in the listening wood. And still she sang above the night, as light returning into light upsoaring from the world below when suddenly there came a slow dull tread of heavy feet on leaves, and from the darkness on the eaves of the bright glade a shape came out with hands agrope, as if in doubt or blind, and as it stumbling passed under the moon a shadow cast bended and darkling. Then from on high as lark falls headlong from the sky the song of Lúthien fell and ceased; but Dairon from the spell released awoke to fear, and cried in woe: `Flee Lúthien, ah Lúthien go! An evil walks in the wood! Away!' Then forth he fled in his dismay ever calling her to follow him, until far off his cry was dim `Ah flee, ah flee now, Lúthien' But silent stood she in the glen unmoved, who never fear had known, till fear then seized her, all alone, seeing that shape with shagged hair and shadow long that halted there. Then sudden she vanished like a dream in dark oblivion, a gleam in hurrying clouds, for she had leapt among the hemlocks tall, and crept under a mighty plant with leaves all long and dark, whose stem in sheaves upheld an hundred umbrels fair; and her white arms and shoulders bare her raiment pale, and in her hair the wild white roses glimmering there, all lay like spattered moonlight hoar in gleaming pools upon the floor. Then stared he wild in dumbness bound at silent trees, deserted ground; he blindly groped across the glade to the dark trees' encircling shade, and, while she watched with veilëd eyes, touched her soft arm in sweet surprise. Like startled moth from deathlike sleep in sunless nook or bushes deep she darted swift, and to and fro with cunning that elvish dancers know about the trunks of trees she twined a path fantastic. Far behind enchanted, wildered and forlorn Beren came blundering, bruised and torn: Esgalduin the elven-stream, in which amid tree-shadows gleam the stars, flowed strong before his feet. Some secret way she found, and fleet passed over and was seen no more, and left him forsaken on the shore. `Darkly the sundering flood rolls past! To this my long way comes at last - a hunger and a loneliness, enchanted waters pitiless.' A summer waned, an autumn glowed, and Beren in the woods abode, as wild and wary as a faun that sudden wakes at rustling dawn, and flits from shade to shade, and flees the brightness of the sun, yet sees all stealthy movements in the wood. The murmurous warmth in weathers good, the hum of many wings, the call of many a bird, the pattering fall of sudden rain upon the trees, the windy tides in leafy seas, the creaking of the boughs, he heard; but not the song of sweetest bird brought joy or comfort to his heart, a wanderer dumb who dwelt apart; who sought unceasing and in vain to hear and see those thinga again: a song more fair than nightingale, a wonder in the moonlight pale. An autumn waned, a winter laid the withered leaves in grove and glade; the beeches bare were gaunt and grey, and red their leaves beneath them lay. From cavern pale the moist moon eyes the white mists that from earth arise to hide the morrow's sun and drip all the grey day from each twig's tip. By dawn and dusk he seeks her still; by noon and night in valleys chill, nor hears a sound but the slow beat on sodden leaves of his own feet. The wind of winter winds his horn; the misty veil is rent and torn. The wind dies; the starry choirs leap in the silent sky to fires, whose light comes bitter-cold and sheer through domes of frozen crystal clear. A sparkle through the darkling trees, a piercing glint of light he sees, and there she dances all alone upn a freeless knoll of stone! Her mantle blue with jewels white caught all the rays of frosted light. She shone with cold and wintry flame, as dancing down the hill she came, and passed his watchful silent gaze, a glimmer as of stars ablaze. And snowdrops spang beneath her feet, and one bird, sudden, late and sweet, shrilled as the wayward passed along. A frozen brook to bubbling song awoke and laughed; but Beren stood still bound enchanted in the wood. Her starlight faded and the night closed o'er the snowdrops glimmering white. Thereafter on a hillock green he saw far off the elven-sheen of shining limb and jewel bright often and oft on moonlit night; and Dairon's pipe awoke him once more, and soft she sang as once before. Then nigh he stole beneath the trees, and heartache mingled with hearts-ease. A night there was when winter died; then all alone she sang and cried and danced until the dawn of spring, and chanted some wild magic thing that stirred him, till it sudden broke the bonds that held him, and he woke to madness sweet and brave despair. He flung his arms to the night air, and out he danced unheeding, fleet, enchanted, with enchanted feet. He sped towards the hillock green, the lissom limbs, the dancing sheen; he leapt upon the grasy hill his arms with loveliness to fill: his arms were empty, and she fled; away, away her white feet sped. But as she went he swiftly came and called her with the tender name of nightingales in elvish tongue, that all the woods now in sudden rung: `Tinúviel! Tinúviel!' And clear his voice was as a bell; its echoes wove a binding spell: `Tinúviel! Tinúviel!' His voice such love and longing filled one moment stood she, fear was stilled; one moment only; like a flame he leaped towards her as she stayed and caught and kissed that elfin maid. As love there woke in sweet surprise the starlight trembled in her eyes. A! Lúthien! A! Lúthien! more fair than any child of Men; O! loveliest maid of Elfinesse, what madness does thee now possess! A! lissom limbs and shadowy hair and chaplet of white snowdrops there; O! starry diadem and white pale hands beneath the pale moonlight! She left his arms and slipped away just at the breaking of the day. * IV He lay upon the leafy mould, his face upon earth's bosom cold, aswoon in overwhelming bliss, enchanted of an elvish kiss, seeing within his darkened eyes the light that for no darkness dies, the loveliness that doth not fade, though all in ashes cold be laid. Then folded in the mists of sleep hi sank into abysses beep, drowned in an overwhelming grief for parting after meeting brief; a shadow and a fragrance fair lingered, and waned, and was not there. Forsaken, barren, bare as stone, the daylight found him cold, alone. `Where art thou gone? The day is bare, the sunlight dark, and cold in the air! Tinúviel, where went thy feet? O wayward star! O maiden sweet! O flower of Elfland all too fair for mortal heart! The woods are bare! The woods are bare!' he rose and cried. `Ere spring was born, the spring hath died!' And wandering in path and mind he groped as one gone sudden blind, who seeks to grasp the hidden light with faltering hands in more than night. And thus in anguish Beren paid for that great doom upin him laid, the deathless love of Lúthien, too fair for ove of mortal Men; and in his doom was Lúthien snared, the deathless in his dying shared; and Fate them forged a binding chain of living love and mortal pain. Beyond all hope her feet returned at eve, whenin the sky there burned the flame of stars; and in her eyes there trembled the starlight of the skies, and from her hair the fragrance felll of elvenflowers in elven-dell. Thus Lúthien, whom no pursuit, no snare, no dart that hunters shoot, might hope to win or hold, she came at the sweet calling of her name; and thus in his her slender hand was linked in far Beleriand; in hour enchanted long ago her arms about his nech did go, and gently down she drew to rest his weary head upon her breast. A! Lúthien, Tinúviel, why wentest thou to darkling dell with shining eyes and dancing pace, the twilight glimmering in thy face? Each day before the end of eve she sought him love, nor would him leave, until the stars were dimmed, and day came glimmering eastward silver-grey. Then trembling-veiled she would appear and dance before him, half in fear; there flitting just before his feet she gently chid with laughter sweet: `Come! dance now, Beren, dance with me! For fain thy dancing I would see. Come! thou must woo with nimbler feet, than those who walk where mountains meet the bitter skies beyond this realm of marvellous moonlit beech and elm.' In Doriath Beren long ago new art and lore he learned to know; his limbs were freed; his eyes alight, kindled with a new enchanted sight; and to her dancing feet his feet attuned went dancing free and fleet; his laughter welled as from a spring of music, and his voice would sing as voices of those in Doriath where paved with flowers are floor and path. The year thus on to summer rolled, from spring to a summertime of gold. Thus fleeting fast their short hour flies, while Dairon watches with fiery eyes, haunting the gloom of tangled trees all day, until at night he sees in the fickle moon their moving feet, two lovers linked in dancing sweet, two shadows shimmering on the green where lonely-dancing maid had been. `Hateful art thou, O Land of Trees! May fear and silence on thee seize! My flute shall fall from idle hand and mirth shall leave Beleriand; music shall perish and voices fail and trees stand dumb in dell and dale!' It seemed a hush had fallen there upon the waiting woodland air; and often murmured Thingol's folk in wonder, and to their king they spoke: `This spell of silence who hath wrought? what web hath Dairon's music caught? It seems the very birds sing low; murmurless Esgalduin doth flow; the leaves scarce whisper on the trees, and soundless beat the wings of bees!' This Lúthien heard, and there the queen her sudden glances saw unseen. But Thingol marvelled, and he sent for Dairon the piper, ere he went and sat upon his mounded seat - his grassy throne by the grey feet of the Queen of Beeches, Hirilorn, upon whose triple piers were borne the mightiest vault of leaves and bough from world's beginning until now. She stood above Esgalduin's shore, where long slopes fell beside the door, the guarded gates, the portals stark of the Thousand echoing Caverns dark. There Thingol sat and heard no sound save far off footsteps on the ground; no flute, no vocice, no song of bird, no choirs of windy leaves there stirred; and Dairon coming no word spoke, silent amid the woodland folk. Then Thingol said: `O Dairon fair, thou master of all musics rare, O magic heart and wisdom wild, whoue ear nor eye may be beguiled, what omen doth this silence bear? What horn afar upon the air, what summons do the woods await? Mayhap the Lord Tavros from his gate and tree-propped halls, the forest-god, rides his wild stallion golden-shod amid the trumpets' tempest loud, amid his green-clad hunters proud, leaving his deer and friths divine and emerald forests? Some faint sign of his great onset may have come upon the Western winds, and dumb the woods now listen for a chase that here once more shall thundering race beneath the shade of mortal trees. Would it were so! The Lands of Ease hath Tavros left not many and age, since Morgoth evil wars did wage, since ruin fell upon the North and the Gnomes unhappy wandered forth. But if not he, who comes or what?' And Dairon answered: `He cometh not! No feet divine shall leave that shore, where the Shadowy Seas' last surges roar, till many things be come to pass, and many evils wrought. Alas! the guest is here. The woods are still, but wait not; for a marvel chill them holds at the strange deeds they see, but kings see not - though queens, maybe, may guess, and maidens, maybe, know. Where one want lonely two now go!' `Whither thy riddle points is plain' the king in anger said, `but deign to make it plainer! Who is he that earns my wrath? How walks he free within my woods amid my folk, a stranger to both beech and oak?' But Dairon looked on Lúthien and would he had not spoken then, and no more would he speak that day, though Thingol's face with wrath was grey. Then Lúthien stepped lightly forth: `Far in the mountain-leaguered North, my father,' said she, `lies the land that groans beneath King Morgoth's hand. Thence came one hither, bent and worn in wars and travail, who had sworn undying hatred of that king; the last of Bëor's sons, they sing, and even hither far and deep within thy woods the echoes creep through the wild mountain-passes cold, the last of Bëor's house to hold a sword unconquered, neck unbowed, a heart by evil power uncowed. No evil needest thou think or fear of Beren son of Barahir! If aught thou hast to say to him, then swear to hurt not flesh or limb, and I will lead him to thy hall, a son of kings, no mortal thrall.' Then long King Thingol looked on her while hand nor foot nor tongue did stir, and Melian, silent, unamazed, on Lúthien and Thingol gazed. `No blade nor chain his limbs shall mar' the king then swore. `He wanders far, and news, mayhap, he hath for me, and words I have for him, maybe!' Now Thingol bade them all depart save Dairon, whom he called: `What art, that wizardry of Northern mist hath this illcomer brought us? List! Tonight go thou by secret path, who knowest all wide Doriath, and watch that Lúthien - daughter mine, what madness doth thy heart entwine, what web from Morgoth's dreadful halls hath caught thy feet and thee enthralls! - that she bid not this Beren flee back whence he came. I would him see! Take with thee woodland archers wise. Let naught beguile your hearts or eyes!' Thus Dairon heavyhearted did, and the woods were filled with watchers hid; yet needless, for Lúthien that night led Beren by the golden light of mounting moon unto the shore and bridge befor her father's door; and the white light silent looked within the waiting portals yawning dim. Downward with gentle hand she led through corridors of carven dread whose turns were lit by lanterns hung of flames from torches that were flung on dragons hewn in the cold stone with jewelled eyes and teeth of bone. Then sudden, deep beneath the earth the silences with silver mirth were shaken and the roks were ringing, the birds of Melian were singing; and wide the ways of shadow spread as into archéd halls she led Beren in wonder. There a light like day immortal and like night of stars unclouded, shone and gleamed. A vault of topless trees it seemed, whose trunks of carven tones there stood like towers of and enchanted wood in magic fast for ever bound, bearing a roof whose branches wound in endless tracery of green lit by some leaf-imprisoned sheen of moon and sun, and wrought of gems, and each leaf hung on golden stems. Lo! there amid immortal flowers the nightingales in shining bowers sang o'er the head of Melian, while water for ever dripped and ran from fountains in the rocky floor. There Thingol sat. His crown he wore of green and silver, and round his chair a host in gleaming armour fair. Then Beren looked upon the king and stood amazed; and swift a ring of elvish weapons hemmed him round. Then Beren looked upon the ground, for Melian's gaze had sought his face, and dazed there drooped he in that place, and when the king spake deep and slow: `Who art thou stumblest hither? Know that none unbidden seek this throne and ever leave these halls of stone!' no word he answered, filled with dread. But Lúthien answered in his stead: `Behold, my father, one who came pursued by hatred like a flame! Lo! Beren son of Barahir! What need hath he thy wrath to fear, foe of our foes, without a friend, whose knees to Morgoth do not bend?' `Let Beren answer!' Thingol said. `What wouldst thou here? What hither led thy wandering feet, O mortal wild? How hast thou Lúthien beguiled or darest thou to walk this wood unasked, in secret? Reason good 'twere best declare now if thou may, or never again see light of day!' Then Beren looked in Lúthien's eyes and saw a light of starry skies, and thence was slowly drawn his gaze to Melian's face. As from a maze of wonder dumb he woke; his heart the bonds of awe there burst apart and filled with fearless pride of old; in his glance now gleamed an anger cold. `My feet hath fate, O king,' he said, `here over the mountains bleeding led, and what I sought not I have found, and love it is hath here me bound. Thy dearest treasure I desire; nor rocks nor steel nor Morgoth's fire nor all the power of Elfinesse shall keep that gem I would possess. For fairer than are born to Men A daughter hast thou, Lúthien.' Silence then fell upon the hall; like graven stone there stood they all, save one who cast her eyes aground, and one who laughed with bitter sound. Dairon the piper leant there pale against a pillar. His fingers frail there touched a flute that whispered not; his eyes were dark; his heart was hot. `Death is the guerdon thou hast earned, O baseborn mortal, who hast learned in Morgoth's realm to spy and lurk like Orcs that do his evil work!' `Death!' echoed Dairon fierce and low, but Lúthien trembling gasped in woe. `And death,' said Thingol, `thou shouldst taste, had I not sworn an oath in haste that blade nor chain thy flesh should mar. Yet captive bound by never a bar, unchained, unfettered, shalt thou be in lightless labyrinth endlessly that coils about my halls profound by magic bewildered and enwound; thou shalt learn the power of Elfinesse!' `That may not be!' Lo! Beren spake, and through the king's words coldly brake. `What are thy mazes but a chain wherein the captive blind is slain? Twist not thy oaths, O elvish king, like faithless Morgoth! By this ring - the token of a lasting bond that Felagund of Nargothrond once swore in love to Barahir, who sheltered him with shield and spear and saved him from pursuing foe on Northern battlefields long ago - death thou canst give unearned to me, but names I will not take from thee of baseborn, spy, or Morgoth's thrall! Are these the ways of Thingol's hall?' Proud are the words, and all there turned to see the jewels green that burned in Beren's ring. These Gnomes had set as eyes of serpents twined that met beneath a golden crown of flowers, that one upholds and one devours: the badge that Finrod made of yore and Felagund his son now bore. His anger was chilled, but little less, and dark thoughts Thingol did possess, though Melian the pale leant to his side and whispered: `O king, forgo thy pride! Such is my counsel. Not by thee shall Beren be slain, for far and free from these deep halls his fate doth lead, yet wound with thine. O king, take heed!' But Thingol looked on Lúthien. `Fairest of Elves! Unhappy Men, children of little lords and kings mortal and frail, these fading things, shall they then look with love on thee?' his heart with him thought. `I see thy ring,' he said, `O mighty man! But to win the child of Melian a father's deeds shall not avail, nor thy proud words at which I quail. A treasure dear I too desire, but rocks and steel and Morgoth's fire from all the powers of Elfinesse do keep the jewel I would possess. Yet bonds like these I hear thee say affright thee not. Now go thy way! Bring me one shining Silmaril from Morgoth's crown, then if she will, may Lúthien set her hand in thine; then shalt thou have this jewel of mine.' Then Thingol's warriors loud and long they laughed; for wide renown in song had Fëanor's gems o'er land and sea, the peerless Silmarils; and three alone he made and kindled slow in the land of Valar long ago, and there in Tűn of their own light they shone like marvellous stars at night, in the great Gnomish hoards of Tűn, while Glingal flowered and Belthil's bloom yet lit the land beyond the shore where the Shadowy Seas' last surges roar, ere Morgoth stole them and the Gnomes seeking their glory left their homes, ere sorrow fell on Elves and Men, ere Beren was or Lúthien, ere Fëanor's sons in madness swore their dreadful oath. But now no more their beauty was seen, save shining clear in Morgoth's dungeons vast and drear. His iron crown they must adorn, and gleam above Orcs and slaves forlorn, treasured in Hell above all wealth, more than his eyes; and might nor stealth could touch them, or even gaze too long upon their magic. Throng on throng of Orcs with reddened scimitars encircled him, and mighty bars and everlasting gates and walls, who wore them now amigst his thralls. Then Beren laughed more loud than they in bitterness, and thus did say: `For little price do elven-kings their daughters sell - for gems and rings and things of gold! If such thy will, thy bidding I will now fulfill. On Beren son of Barahir thou hast not looked the last, I fear. Farewell, Tinúviel, starlit maiden! Ere the pale winter pass snowladen, I will return, not thee to buy with any jewel in Elfinesse, but to find my love in loveliness, a flower that grows beneath the sky.' Bowing before Melian and the king he turned, and thrust aside the ring of guards about him, and was gone, and his footsteps faded one by one in the dark corridors. `A guileful oath thou sworest, father! Thou hast both to blade and chain his flesh now doomed in Morgoth's dungeons deep entombed,' said Lúthien, and welling tears sprang in her eyes, and hideous fears clutched at her heart. All looked away, and later remembered that sad day whereafter Lúthien no more sang. Then clear in the silence the cold words rang of Melian: `Counsel cunning-wise, O king!' she said. `Yet if mine eyes lose not their power, 'twere well for thee that Beren failed his errantry. Well for thee, but for thy child a dark doom and a wandering wild.' `I sell not to Men those whom I love' said Thingol, `whom all things above I cherish; and if hope there were that Beren should ever living fare to the Thousand Caverns once more, I swear he should not ever have seen the air or light of heaven's stars again.' But Melian smiled, and there was pain as of far knowledge in her eyes; for such is the sorrow of the wise. V So days drew on from the mournful day; the curse of silence no more lay on Doriath, though Dairon's flute and Lúthien's singing both were mute. The murmurs soft awake once more about the woods, the waters roar past the great gates of Thingol's halls; but no dancing step of Lúthien falls on turf or leaf. For she forlorn, where stumbled once, where bruised and torn, with longing on him like a dream, had Beren sat by the shrouded stream Esgalduin the dark and strong, she sat now and mourned in a low song: `Endless roll the waters past! To this my love hath come at last, enchanted waters pitiless, a heartache and a loneliness.' The summer turns. In branches tall she hears the pattering raindrops fall, the windy tide in leafy seas, the creaking of the countless trees; and longs unceasing and in vain to hear one calling once again the tender name that nightingales were called of old. Echo fails. `Tinúviel! Tinúviel!' the memory is like a knell, a faint and far-off tolling bell: `Tinúviel! Tinúviel!' `O mother Melian, tell to me some part of what thy dark eyes see! Tell of thy magic where his feet are wandering! What foes him meet? O mother, tell me, lives he still treading the desert and the hill? Do sun and moon above him shine, do the rains fall on him, mother mine?' `Nay, Lúthien my child, I fear he lives indeed in bondage drear. The Lord of Wolves hath prisons dark, chains and enchantments cruel and stark, there trapped and bound and languishing now Beren dreams that thou dost sing.' `Then I alone must go to him and dare the dread in dungeons dim; for none there be that will him aid in all the world, save elven-maid whose only skill were joy and song, and both have failed and left her long.' And nought said Melian thereto, though wild the words. She wept anew, and ran through the woods like hunted deer with her hair streaming and eyes of fear. Dairon she found with ferny crown silently sitting on beech-leaves brown. On the earth she cast her at his side. `O Dairon, Dairon, my tears,' she cried, `now pity for our old days' sake! Make me a music for heart's ache, for heart's despair, and for heart's dread, for light gone dark and laughter dead!' `But for music dead there is no note,' Dairon answered, and at his throat his fingers clutched. Yet his pipe he took, and sadly trembling the music shook; and all things stayed while that piping went wailing in the hollows, and there intent they listened, their business and mirth, their hearts' gladness and the light of earth forgotten; and bird-voices failed while Dairon's flute in Doriath wailed. Lúthien wept not for very pain, and when he ceased she spoke again: `My friend, I have a need of friends, as he who a long dark journey wends, and fears the road, yet dare not turn and look back where the candles burn in windows he has left. The night in front, he doubts to find the light that far beyond the hills he seeks.' And thus of Melian's words she speaks, and of her doom and her desire to climb the mountains, and the fire and ruin of the Northern realm to dare, a maiden without helm or sword, or strength of hardy limb, where magic founders and grows dim. His aid she sought to guide her forth and find the pathways to the North, if he would not for love of her go by her side a wanderer. `Wherefore,' said he, `should Dairon go into direst peril earth doth know for the sake of mortal who did steal his laughter and joy? No love I feel for Beren son of Barahir, nor weep for him in dungeons drear, who in this wood have chains enow, heavy and dark. But thee, I wow, I will defend from perils fell and deadly wandering into hell.' No more they spake that day, and she perceived not his meaning. Sorrowfully she thanked him, and she left him there. A tree she climbed, till the bright air above the woods her dark hair blew, and straining afar her eyes could view the outline grey and faint and low of dizzy towers where the clouds go, the southern faces mounting sheer in rocky pinnacle and pier of Shadowy Mountains pale and cold; and wide the lands before them rolled. But straightway Dairon sought the king and told him his daughter's pondering, and how her madness might her lead to ruin, unless the king gave heed. Thingol was wroth, and yet amazed; in onder and half fear he gazed on Dairon and said: `True hast thou been. Now ever shall love be us between, while Doriath lasts; within this realm thou art a prince of beech and elm!' He sent for Lúthien, and said: `O maiden fair, what hath thee led to ponder madness and despair to wander ruin, and to fare from Doriath agains my will, stealing like a wild thing men would kill into the emptiness outside?' `The wisdom, father,' she replied; nor would she promise to forget, nor would she vow for love or threat her folly to forsake and meek in Doriath her father's will to seek. This only vowed she, if go she must, that none but herself would she now trust, no folk of her father's would persuade to break his will or lend her aid; if go she must, she would go alone and friendless dare the walls of stone. In angry love and half in fear Thingol took counsel in his most dear to guard and keep. He would not bind in caverns deep and intertwined sweet Lúthien, his lovely maid, who robbed of air must wane and fade, who ever must look uponthe sky and see the sun and moon go by. But close unto his mounded seat and grassy throne there ran the feet of Hirirlorn, the beechen queen. Upon her triple boles were seen no break or branch until aloft in a green glimmer, distant, soft, the mightiest vault of leaf and bough from world's beginning until now was flung above Esgalduin's shores and the long slopes of Thingol's doors. Grey was the rind of pillars tall and silken-smooth, and far and small to squirrels' eyes were those who went at her grey feet upon the bent. Now Thingol made men in the beech, in that great tree, as far as reach their longest ladders, there to build an airy house; and as he willed a little dwelling of fair wood was made, and veiled in leaves it stood above the first branches. Corners three it had and windows faint to see, and by three shafts of Hirilorn in the corners standing was upborne. There Lúthien was bidden dwell, until she was wiser and the spell of madness left her. Up she clomb the long ladders to her new home among the leaves, among the birds; she sang no song, she spoke no words. White glimmering in the tree she rose, and her little door they heard her close. The ladders were taken and no more her feet might tread Esgalduin's shore. Thither at whiles they climbed and brought all things she needed and besought; but death was his, who so should dare a ladder leave, or creeping there should set one by the tree at night; a guard was held from dusk to light about the grey feet of Hirilorn and Lúthien in prison and forlorn. There Dairon grieving often stood insorrow for the captive of the wood, and melodies made upon his flute leaning against a grey tree-root. Lúthien would from her windows stare and see him far under piping there, and she forgave his betraying word for the music and the grief she heard, and only Dairon would she let across her threshold foot to set. Yet long the hours when she must sit and see the sunbeams dance and flit in beechen leaves, or watch the stars peep on clear nights between the bars of beechen branches. And one night just ere the changing of the light a dream there came, from the Gods, maybe, or Melian's magic. She dreamed that she heard Beren's voice o'er the hill and fell `Tinúviel' call, `Tinúviel.' And her heart answered: `Let me be gone to seek him no others think upon!' She woke and saw the moonlight pale through the slim leaves. It trembled frail upon her arms, as these she spread and there in longing bowed her head, and yearned for freedom and escape. Now Lúthien doth her counsel shape; and Melian's daughter of deep lore knew many things, yea, magics more than then or now know elven-maids that glint and shimmer in the glades. She pondered long, while the moon sank and faded, and the starlight shrank, and the dawn opened. At last a smile on her face flickered. She mused a while, and watched the morning sunlight grow, then called to those that walked below. And when one climbed to her she prayed that he would in the dark pools wade af cold Esgalduin, water clear, the clearest water cold and sheer to draw for her. `At middle night,' she said, `in bowl of silver white it must be drawn and brought to me with no word spoked, silently.' Another she begged to bring her wine in a jag of gold where flowers twine - `and singing let him come to me at high noon, singing merrily.' Again she spake: `Now go, I pray, to Melian the queen, and say: "thy daughter many a weary hour slow passing watches in her bower; a spinning-wheel she begs thee send."' Then Dairon she called: `I prithee, friend, climb up and talk to Lúthien!' And sitting at her window then, she said: `My Dairon, thou hast craft, beside thy music, many a shaft and many a tool of carven wood to fashion with cunning. It were good, if thou wouldst make a little loom to stand in the corner of my room. My idle fingers would spin and weave a pattern of colours, of morn and eve, of sun and moon and changing light amid the beech-leaves waving bright.' This Dairon did and asked her then: `O Lúthien, O Lúthien, What wilt thou weave? What wilt thou spin?' `A marvellous thread, and wind therin a potent magic, and a spell I will weave within my web that hell nor all the powers of Dread will break.' Then Dairon wondered, but he spake no word to Thingol, though his heart feared the dark purpose of her art. And Lúthien now was left alone. A magic song to Men unknown she sang, and singing then the wine with water mingled three times nine; and as in golden jar they lay she sang a song of groth and day; and as they lay in silver white another song she sang, of night and darkness without end, of height uplifted to the stars, and flight and freedom. And all the names of things tallest and longest on earth she sings: the locks of the Longbeard dwarves; the tail of Draugluin the werewolf pale; the body of Glómund the great snake; the vast upsoaring peaks that quake above the fiers in Angband's gloom; the chain Angainor that ere Doom for Morgoth shall by gods be wrought of steel and torment. Names she sought, and sang of Glend the sword of Nan; of Gimil the giant of Eruman; and last and longest named she then the endless hair of Uinen, the Lady of the Sea, that lies through all the waters under skies. Then did she lave her head and sing a theme of sleep and slumbering, profound and fathomless and dark as Lúthien's shadowy hair was dark - each thread was more slender and more fine than threads of twilight that entwine in filmy web the fading grass and closing flowers as day doth pass. Now longer and longer grew her hair, and fell to her feet, and wandered there like pools