- The Sea
- 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!
I've always thought that this was one of the saddest of Tolkien's poems. I never really figured out why the elves all had to leave. It seemed especially hard that Legolas would have to go now that he has such a good friend in Gimli, and a safe(ish) world to go explore together. I will admit that sailing away over an unknown horizon is a nice metaphor for death. You're not coming back, but you're not stopping cold either.
PS I found one of the bath illustrations I was looking for earlier this week and I've added it to the earlier post.