Friday, August 10, 2007

The Sea by JRR Tolkien

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!
--JRR Tolkien

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.

1 comment:

  1. I agree about the whole Grey Havens / Elves leaving Middle Earth concept: it depressed me. And why would Bilbo and Frodo want to just go hang with the elves forever if it meant never being with Hobbits - like Sam and Rosie - again? Now I realize they were bachelors and the English mens club mentality may have something to do with it. . .The only part worse was the disappearance of the Entwives: I still believe that Treebeard and all eventually found them. Or so I tell myself. Mom