2. Setting Out
And pondered on the shire
And lands afar where sunshine pours,
On thick reeds in the mire,
Or mighty seas on western shores
And mountains full of fire.
And sitting there he sent on high
Those countless rings of smoke,
Which, rising up into the sky,
Went over hill and broke
Into thin air, and by and by
All people of them spoke.
Then it was that Gandalf came
And finding Bilbo sitting,
He started out his little game:
His plan for the outwitting
Of Smaug the Golden, who could maim
Great warriors with one hitting.
And then came Thorin Oakenshield
Next day, for tea-time party.
There plans were made to go afield
With his lads hale and hearty;
As burglar, Bilbo’s fate was sealed
(Though he thought it upstarty).
So he was late the next day dawn,
And without kerchief ran.
He sprinted over many a lawn,
Till at last, in Time’s span,
He got there before they were gone
And joined as fourteenth man.
Thus set out this party of dwarves,
With hobbit in their tow.
With Gandalf wearing silver scarves,
And ponies in a row;
Like sailors riding to the wharves,
To mountain they did go.
To lonely mountain Erebor,
To halls of kingly kings;
To kingdom of dwarven-lord Thror,
Still home of many things.
But shadow now lay on it all, for
Dragon doomsday brings.
He’d flown in on their town one day
And scattered them afar.
Many great warriors did he slay,
And all the rest did mar;
The dwarves then promised he would pay
For every golden bar.
But map there was of mountain old,
Before the dragon came;
And when he did come for their gold,
With fire beyond tame,
Then Thror and Thrain had said, “We’re bold!”
And held on to the same.
And sign was shown for door on map,
That “Three may walk abreast.”
The door which Thror had used, perhap,
When came unwelcome guest –
The dragon, causing great mishap,
And putting all to test.
So set they out o’er vale and hill,
And left the Shire behind;
And over lands silent and still
They went by roads that wind:
And how the Dragon they would kill
Was always on their mind.
On one such night along the road,
The rain started to fall;
And drenched the ponies and their load,
The dwarves not least of all;
They longed now, for a nice abode,
A warm and golden hall.
And then a light they saw out there,
A firelight in the woods;
And water round them everywhere,
And water in their goods.
Bilbo they sent to spy out fair,
And shunned his ‘couldn’t’s and ‘could’s.
And so poor Bilbo all alone
Went looking for the fire,
And what he saw were trolls of stone,
And was in straits quite dire;
But loth he was of mocking tone,
And fame did he desire.
“This troll, his purse has lot of gold,”
The hobbit did here think.
“And of it, if I got some hold,
Then I could simply wink
And tell those dwarves, noisy and old,
‘I’m better than you think!’”
But as he put his small hand out
To grab the big troll’s money,
The purse, it gave a shrieking shout
(No doubt it thought it funny),
And trolls, who called each other ‘lout’
Were not in moods so sunny.
The burglar-hobbit jumped away
And scrambled behind tree,
And, as he wondered how he may
Screech like an owl (or three);
Balin came into the fray,
And he was not let free.
The trolls then copped the dwarves in sacks
And twelve of them were caught,
But Thorin, still behind their backs,
Had remained there for thought.
He came and from the burning stacks,
He lifted fire and fought.
But soon old William, wily troll
Had sacked the dwarven-king.
And now the company was whole,
But in sacks, listening
To trolls having a rigmarole
About ways of cooking.
To roast them, or to mince them fine,
Or squash them into jelly;
The trolls were quite ready to dine,
Only, they couldn’t telly
Which course of cooking to define:
Not all was going welly.
And as they sat in argument,
There came upon the scene
An old and very brainy gent,
(Although he wasn’t seen);
For Gandalf came the way he’d went,
His eyes were very keen.
He spoke in voice of William-troll,
And Bert and Tom argued,
And William swore upon his soul,
It wasn’t as they viewed!
But Gandalf worked upon his goal,
Like always, very shrewd.
For sun was rising on the world,
And day was breaking wide.
And trolls who by their foes are hurled
Are saved then by their hide,
But when the sun’s light is unfurled,
Then they must flee inside.
And so were they turned into stone,
Old William, Tom and Bert.
And dwarves were left there all alone
And very little hurt.
And said they, in their loudest tones,
“Our burglar’s no expert!”
And Gandalf said, “Where is trolls’ lair?”
They found the trodden track.
“How do we open that door there?
A largish key we lack!”
But key was found by Bilbo fair,
Hidden under Bill’s back.
And food they found there of the trolls,
And hardly worth their while;
But treasure, silver-golden rolls,
Did make them brightly smile;
For the trolls had plundered there all souls
Around for many a mile.
Also, they found great elven swords,
Which Gandalf-Thorin took,
And Bilbo found among the boards
A knife of elvish look;
The gold they piled in equal hoards,
And buried near a brook.
So rode they over hill and dale,
And crossed the ravines steep;
Marching till moonlight was pale,
And then catching some sleep:
At last they reached the hidden vale,
Which elves had in their keep.
In Rivendell did Elrond sit,
And half-elven was he;
Master of lore as all saw fit,
As wise as wise could be;
Dealer of healing and of wit,
Of kind that all could see.
And Elrond saw each elven blade,
And named them every one;
Thorin’s sword Orcrist he made,
Gandalf had Glamdring won.
And wizard and warrior he bade
To care for them like son.
And map of Thror did Gandalf show
To Elrond, elven-wise;
To read out all there was to know,
And unearth all surprise;
To moonlight bright did Elrond go,
And then he started, twice!
For on the map were marked out well,
A set of moony signs;
Which told them not to ring doorbell,
To enter dwarven-mines,
For they would be scattered pell-mell,
For dragon on men dines.
These runes, they spoke of secret door,
For entering unseen,
“The thrush will knock on stone, and more,
The keyhole shall be seen.”;
The key, then Gandalf out did pour,
To show what this may mean.
The company, now tired out,
Rested at Rivendell
Till, eating well, they became stout
And drinking made them well;
And merry-making, with a shout,
Did scatter thoughts of hell.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.