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Discussing: Query

Query

When at junior school in the 1980s, I distinctly remember having to read a poem that dealt with the whole elves/dwarves/men/dragons deal. Am I imagining this, or...?

 

 

Re: Query

I don't know. Do you often imagine such things?

Maybe if you have a bit more to go on...?

 

 

Re: Query

It started off with Elves making treasure, but then going to war with Dwarves over some imagined slight/the aforementioned treasure/I don't recall what. The second verse had the Dwarves so obsessed with their treasure that they didn't notice a dragon hell-bent on annihilating them, who in the third verse had become so old and tired that he was easily killed by a man, who in the fourth verse realised all his treasure had led him nowhere. In the fifth verse the treasure just... lay there in the dark, forgotten. It was quite a dark poem, and the illustrations were darker still- which is probably why it stuck with me all these years. Has this rung any bells with anyone?

 

 

Re: Query

This sounds a lot like Tolkien's poem, "The Hoard." Does this seem right?

14. THE HOARD

When the moon was new and the sun young

of silver and gold the gods sung:

in the green grass they silver spilled,

and the white waters they with gold filled.

Ere the pit was dug or Hell yawned,

ere dwarf was bred or dragon spawned,

there were Elves of old, and strong spells

under green hills in hollow dells

they sang as they wrought many fair things,

and the bright crowns of the Elf-kings.

But their doom fell, and their song waned,

by iron hewn and by steel chained.

Greed that sang not, nor with mouth smiled,

in dark holes their wealth piled,

graven silver and carven gold:

over Elvenhome the shadow rolled.

There was an old dwarf in a dark cave,

to silver and gold his fingers clave;

with hammer and tongs and anvil-stone

he worked his hands to the hard bone.

and coins he made, and strings of rings,

and thought to buy the power of kings.

But his eyes grew dim and his ears dull

and the skin yellow on his old skull;

through his bony claw with a pale sheen

the stony jewels slipped unseen.

No feet he heard, though the earth quaked.

when the young dragon his thirst slaked.

and the stream smoked at his dark door.

The flames hissed on the dank floor,

and he died alone in the red fire;

his bones were ashes in the hot mire.

There was an old dragon under grey stone;

his red eyes blinked as he lay alone.

His joy was dead and his youth spent,

he was knobbed and wrinkled, and his limbs bent

in the long years to his gold chained;

in his heart's furnace the fire waned.

To his belly's slime gems stuck thick,

silver and gold he would snuff and lick:

he knew the place of the least ring

beneath the shadow of his black wing.

Of thieves he thought on his hard bed,

and dreamed that on their flesh he fed,

their bones crushed, and their blood drank:

his ears drooped and his breath sank.

Mail-rings rang. He heard them not.

A voice echoed in his deep grot:

a young warrior with a bright sword

called him forth to defend his hoard.

His teeth were knives, and of horn his hide,

but iron tore him, and his flame died.

There was an old king on a high throne:

his white beard lay on knees of bone;

his mouth savoured neither meat nor drink,

nor his ears song; he could only think

of his huge chest with carven lid

where pale gems and gold lay hid

in secret treasury in the dark ground;

its strong doors were iron-bound.

The swords of his thanes were dull with rust,

his glory fallen, his rule unjust,

his halls hollow, and his bowers cold,

but king he was of elvish gold.

He heard not the horns in the mountain-pass,

he smelt not the blood on the trodden grass,

but his halls were burned, his kingdom lost;

in a cold pit his bones were tossed.

There is an old hoard in a dark rock,

forgotten behind doors none can unlock;

that grim gate no man can pass.

On the mound grows the green grass;

there sheep feed and the larks soar,

and the wind blows from the sea-shore.

The old hoard the Night shall keep,

while earth waits and the Elves sleep

 

 

Re: Query

That is exactly the poem, Tauriel! Grin I knew I hadn't imagined it...

[Edited by Anglachel to remove link spam.]

 

 

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