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Showing posts with label J.R.R. Tolkien. Show all posts
Showing posts with label J.R.R. Tolkien. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Western Lands Beneath the Sun"

Journeys End

In western lands beneath the Sun
The flowers may rise in Spring,
The trees may bud, the waters run,
The merry finches sing.

Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night,
And swaying branches bear
The Elven-stars as jewels white
Amid their branching hair.

Though here at journey's end I lie
In darkness buried deep,
Beyond all towers strong and high,
Beyond all mountains steep,
Above all shadows rides the Sun
And Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
Nor bid the Stars farewell.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Misty Mountains Cold



Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale
And men they looked up with faces pale;
The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!

Far over the misty mountains cold is a poem found within the chapter "An Unexpected Party" of The Hobbit.  By J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Far Over the Mountains

“He loved mountains, or he had loved the thought of them marching on the edge of stories brought from far away; but now he was borne down by the insupportable weight of Middle-earth. He longed to shut out the immensity in a quiet room by a fire.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Mountain Riddle


 Riddles in the Dark
 by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Riddle 1:What has roots as nobody sees,
Is taller than trees,
Up, up it goes,
And yet never grows?

Riddle 2:
Voiceless it cries,
Wingless flutters,
Toothless bites,
Mouthless mutters.

Riddle 3:
It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills.
It comes out first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.

Riddle 4:
Alive without breath,
As cold as death;
Never thirsty, ever drinking,
All in mail never clinking.

Riddle 5:
This thing all things devours;
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats mountain down.

Answers: (1) mountain, (2) wind, (3) dark, (4) fish, (5) time

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mt. Taranaki Rising Above the Clouds


 We visited Egmont National Park and hiked the Summit Track on Mt. Taranaki until we were in the clouds and could see at cloud level New Plymouth below.  As typical, it was a rainy and misty day and Mt. Taranaki was surrounded by rain clouds. I think all the mountains in the North Island should be called Misty Mountains Cold because that was what we endeared with every hike.

"Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
Though wind may blow and rain may fall,
We must away, ere break of day
Far over the wood and mountain tall."

Excerpt from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hobbits like to eat "Cabbage" and so do Rabbits

Hobbits and Rabbits have several things in common and eating cabbage is one of them. Of course J.R.R. Tolkien made a distinction that Hobbits dwell "...in very well-appointed holes (none of your wet, smelly rabbit holes, mind you)."  Hobbits do have the long rabbit looking feet but the similarity ends there.  Hobbits are distantly related to humans and resemble humans in their dress, mannerisms, gardening and so forth.  There was one rabbit from a different childhood tale, Peter Rabbit who ate like a Hobbit!

"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were--Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter ... Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who  were good little bunnies, went down  the lane to gather blackberries; But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor's garden, and squeezed under the gate! First he ate some lettuces and some  French beans; and then he ate some radishes And then, feeling rather sick, he  went to look for some parsley. But round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr.  McGregor!.."
Quote from "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Helen Potter (1866 - 1943).

Beatrix Potter poet

Helen Beatrix Potter was born in 1866, in South Kensington, London. She was an English Victorian artist and author of children's stories, creator of such winsome and nattily attired characters as Benjamin Bunny, Squirrel Nutkin, and of course Peter Rabbit. Her father was a wealthy investor. Potter lived a secure childhood at home, with her younger brother Bertram. She wrote "The Tale of Peter Rabbit".

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hearts of a Dragon at Fort Matanzas Beach and Other Tales

Fort Matanzas Park includes a beautiful unspoiled beach of white sand dunes that are protected so wildlife can dwell in their natural habitat.  Dragonflies were everywhere flying along the walkway.  They behaved like miniature planes landing on tips of branches with their wings pointed upward.  I never saw so many dragonflies in one place.  A Dragonfly is suppose to have the heart of a dragon.   The Desolation of Smaug is a new movie coming out in December.  I wonder if Smaug has the heart of a dragonfly?  Dragons appear in many folklores, legends and children books.

Watercolor by J.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit

In Tolkien’s fantasy world, Middle-earth, is populated with creatures that owe much to the literary tradition of northern Europe.  A Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, Tolkien had an expert knowledge of this tradition. In the year he drew this watercolor, he wrote: ‘A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.’

This vibrant illustration is one of a set of five, painted by Tolkien in the summer of 1937 for the first American edition of The Hobbit. It is full of vivid details, including the Arkenstone gleaming on top of the treasure trove, the skeletons of those who had attempted previous thefts, and a curse written in Elvish script on the large amphora. A feast for children's eyes!


By Ogden Nash 1936

Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.
Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called her Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.
Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio, daggers on his toes.
Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs,
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.
Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful,
Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival,
They all sat laughing in the little red wagon
At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon.
Belinda giggled till she shook the house,
And Blink said Week!, which is giggling for a mouse,
Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age,
When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.
Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound,
And Mustard growled, and they all looked around.
Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda,
For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda.
Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,
And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright,
His beard was black, one leg was wood;
It was clear that the pirate meant no good.
Belinda paled, and she cried, Help! Help!
But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp,
Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household,
And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed.
But up jumped Custard, snorting like an engine,
Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon,
With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm
He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.
The pirate gaped at Belinda's dragon,
And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon,
He fired two bullets but they didn't hit,
And Custard gobbled him, every bit.
Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him,
No one mourned for his pirate victim
Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate
Around the dragon that ate the pyrate.
Belinda still lives in her little white house,
With her little black kitten and her little gray mouse,
And her little yellow dog and her little red wagon,
And her realio, trulio, little pet dragon.
Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs,
Mustard is as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard keeps crying for a nice safe cage.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tree Goblins

Strange twisted tree trucks were in our path hiking the Rocky Mountains.  I call them tree goblins. The kind J.R. Tolkien wrote in his books are also called Orcs.  Orc is from Old English orcneas, which appears in the epic poem Beowulf, and refers to one of the races who are called the offspring of Cain.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Humming "Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold"


With thunderstorms comes mist and the mountains were misty and cold during and after the thunder and rain.  In fact, many times it was hail coming down on top of my head.  Several times I started humming the lyrics of the dwarves' song from The Hobbit  "Far Over the misty mountains cold".
Full lyrics to the dwarves’ song from chapter 1 of The Hobbit
Misty Mountains Cold lyrics

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Daisy by Francis Thompson

Featuring Poet Francis Thompson (1859-1907) 

Francis Thompson at 19.jpg

Francis Thompson was educated at Owen's College, Manchester. Later he tried all manner of strange ways of earning a living. He was, at various times, assistant in a boot-shop, medical student, collector for a book seller and homeless vagabond; there was a period in his life when he sold matches on the streets of London. He was discovered in terrible poverty (having given up everything except poetry and opium) by the editor of a magazine to which he had sent some verses the year before. Almost immediately thereafter he became famous. His exalted mysticism is seen at its purest in "A Fallen Yew" and "The Hound of Heaven." Coventry Patmore, the distinguished poet of an earlier period, says of the latter poem, which is unfortunately too long to quote, "It is one of the very few great odes of which our language can boast."   Thompson died, after a fragile and spasmodic life, in St. John's Wood in November, 1907. Among Thompson's devotees was the young J.R.R. Tolkien, who purchased a volume of Thompson's works in 1913-1914, and later said that it was an important influence on his own writing.
 WHERE the thistle lifts a purple crown   
    Six foot out of the turf,             
And the harebell shakes on the windy hill—        
    O breath of the distant surf!—              
The hills look over on the South,                      
    And southward dreams the sea;           
And with the sea-breeze hand in hand 
    Came innocence and she.        
Where 'mid the gorse the raspberry      
    Red for the gatherer springs;   
Two children did we stray and talk          
    Wise, idle, childish things.        
She listened with big-lipped surprise,    
    Breast-deep 'mid flower and spine:     
Her skin was like a grape whose veins     
    Run snow instead of wine.      
She knew not those sweet words she spake,     
    Nor knew her own sweet way;              
But there's never a bird, so sweet a song              
    Thronged in whose throat all day.         
Oh, there were flowers in Storrington   
    On the turf and on the spray; 
But the sweetest flower on Sussex hills
    Was the Daisy-flower that day!             
Her beauty smoothed earth's furrowed face.      
    She gave me tokens three:— 
A look, a word of her winsome mouth, 
    And a wild raspberry. 
A berry red, a guileless look,      
    A still word,—strings of sand!  
And yet they made my wild, wild heart 
    Fly down to her little hand.      
For standing artless as the air,   
    And candid as the skies,            
She took the berries with her hand,         
    And the love with her sweet eyes.      
The fairest things have fleetest end,      
    Their scent survives their close:             
But the rose's scent is bitterness             
    To him that loved the rose.     
She looked a little wistfully,        
    Then went her sunshine way—             
The sea's eye had a mist on it,   
    And the leaves fell from the day.          
She went her unremembering way,       
    She went and left in me            
The pang of all he partings gone,             
    And partings yet to be.              
She left me marvelling why my soul       
    Was sad that she was glad;       
At all the sadness in the sweet, 
    The sweetness in the sad.       
Still, still I seemed to see her, still            
    Look up with soft replies,         
And take the berries with her hand,         
    And the love with her lovely eyes.       

Nothing begins, and nothing ends,         
    That is not paid with moan,     
For we are born in other's pain, 
    And perish in our own.             

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Trail Through "Mirkwood Forest"

 The White Trial at Guana River Park 

The trail pictures above are from the White Trail at Guana River. I could not help but compare the dense forest to the Mirkwood Forest in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Several artists' images of Mirkwood look very similar to the forest and landscape of the White Trail. Tree limbs were twisted and crossed over the trail like giant spider webs.  We hiked 5 miles round trip through dense forest to get to Diego Pond.  We were stopped at the south entrance due to the marsh land was too wet to cross due to so much rainfall. 
Images of Mirkwood Forest:

Excerpts from The Hobbit:
  "The entrance to the [forest-]path was like a sort of arch leading in to a gloomy tunnel made by two great trees that leant together, too old and strangled with ivy to bear more than a few blackened leaves. The path itself was narrow and wound in and out among the trunks. Soon the light at the gate was like a little bright hole far behind, and the quiet was so deep that their feet seemed to thump along while all the trees leaned over them and listened.      
    As their eyes became used to the dimness they could see a little way to either side in a sort of darkened green glimmer. Occasionally a slender beam of sun that had the luck to slip in through some opening in the leaves far above, and still more luck in not being caught in the tangled boughs and matted twigs beneath, stabbed down thin and bright before them. But this was seldom, and it soon ceased altogether. [...]
    But they had to go on and on, long after they were sick for the sight of the sun and of the sky, and longed for the feel of wind on their faces. There was no movement of air down under the forest-roof, and it was everlastingly still and dark and stuffy. [...] the hobbit [...] felt that he was being slowly suffocated."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

'Song for the Sea'


Song for the Sea
by J.R.R. Tolkien

To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying,
The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying.
West, west away, the round sun is falling.
Grey ship, grey ship, do you hear them calling?
The voices of my people gone before me?
I will leave, I will leave the woods that bore me;
For our days are ending and our years failing.
I will pass the wide waters lonely sailing.
Long are the waves on the Last Shore falling,
Sweet are the voices in the Lost Isle calling.
In Eressea, in Elvenhome, that no man can discover,
Where the leaves fall not: land of my people forever!

This song, sung in "The Field of Cormallen," most fully expresses Legolas' longing for the Sea and the journey to the Uttermost West. The "Last Shore" refers to the shore of Eldamar. The "Lost Isle" is Eressea, which was broken off from Middle-earth and moved to the Uttermost West as a transport for Elves by Ulmo and then left there as the eastern most island. "No man can discover [it]" because it was forbidden by the Valar.

'The Road Goes Ever On' - Fort Frederica

Fort Frederica National Monument, on St. Simons Island, Georgia represents the struggle between Great Britain and Spain for domination of the New World. Fort Frederica was the focus of defense for the fledgling English colony of Georgia. The remains of the fortified settlement, established in 1736 by the founder of Georgia, Gen. James Edward Oglethorpe, include ruins of the fort, barracks, walls, moat, and several houses. The fort was established at a time when Great Britain, France and Spain all claimed the area.
The Road Goes Ever On
by J R R Tolkien

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.
The original version of the song is recited by Bilbo in chapter 19 of The Hobbit, at the end of his journey back to the Shire.
Bilbo Baggins Tolkien illustration.jpg

J. R. R. Tolkien's illustration of Bilbo Baggins.

'Journey's End' at Providence Canyon


 Journey's End
by J. R. R. Tolkien 
In western lands beneath the Sun
The flowers may rise in Spring,
The trees may bud, the waters run,
The merry finches sing.
Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night,
And swaying branches bear
The Elven-stars as jewels white
Amid their branching hair.

Though here at journey's end I lie
In darkness buried deep,
Beyond all towers strong and high,
Beyond all mountains steep,
Above all shadows rides the Sun
And Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
Nor bid the Stars farewell.

Sam's Song:  “Believing that his journey had ended in vain and that Frodo was lost, Sam sang this song at the doorstep of the tower of Cirith Ungol.  At first he murmured “old childish tunes out of the Shire, and snatches of Mr. Bilbo’s rhymes.” Then “words of his own came unbidden to fit the simple tune,” indicating that that Sam is the author of the lyrics but not the music.  His singing annoyed an Orc, who thought it was Frodo singing, giving away where Frodo was being held prisoner, and leading Sam to his immediate rescue."

Beorn's Song Shadow Mountain


Sung by Beorn

The wind was on the withered heath,
but in the forest sirred no leaf:
there shadows lay by night and day,
and dark things crept beneath.

The wind came down from mountains cold,
and like a tide it roared and rolled;
the branches groaned, the forest moaned,
and leaves were laid upon the mould.

The wind went on from West to East;
all movement in the forest ceased,
but shrill and harsh across the marsh
its whistling voices were released.

The grass hissed, their tassels bent,
the reeds were rattling-on it went
o'er shaken pool under heavens cool
where racing clouds were torn and rent.

It passed the lonely Mountain bare
and swept above the dragon's lair:
there black and dark lay boulders stark
and flying smoke was in the air.

It left the world and took its flight
over the wide seas of the night.
the moon set sail upon the gale,
and stars were fanned to leaping light.

by J.R.R. Tolkien