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Carols of Middle-earth: 1. 'Twas the Night Before Yuletide
'Twas the night before Yuletide, and in Ost-in-Edhil,
Not a creature was stirring; the smith-shop was still.
The hammers were hung from the forges with care,
In hopes that Lord Annatar soon would be there.
The Mírdain were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions from Lórien danced in their heads.
My work set aside I gave thanks to the West
And laid myself down for a short night of rest.
When out in the streets there arose such a clatter,
The luminous dream I was having did shatter.
Away from my tangling bedsheets I thrashed,
Sprang to my feet and to the window dashed.
And what to my wonderment came on and on,
But a jewel-bedecked carriage by eight horses drawn!
With a beautiful driver who shone like a star,
I knew right away that it was Annatar.
More rapid than eagles his coursers became,
When he laughed and with jubilance called them by name:
"Now Daeôl, now Turglin, now Mortûr, now Daethir,
On Morgil on Daewen, on Morlas and Arthir
To the home of the Mírdain, to Celebrimbor’s hall,
Dash away, dash away, dash away all."
So up to the front porch the coursers they flew,
With their load of bright jewels, and Lord Annatar too.
And then in a twinkling they were at the door
Their sound of their hoofs like a musical score.
All shrouded in robes that were bristling white,
His costume was covered with jewels sparkling bright.
I fled from the window and to the forge ran
But when I arrived he’d already began.
A bag full of gems he had lain at his feet,
And from every pocket spilled out gold like wheat.
His eyes-how they twinkled! How bright and how sage,
His cheeks were pale roses, his face showed no age,
From all of his being did warm light outspill,
His glorious hair was as bright as mithril.
Caught in his gaze by those eyes sharp and keen
I caught a brief glimpse of great power unseen
How fair and how wise, like a lord of the West,
I trembled to see him, I was so impressed.
His garb was majestic, his bearing was proud,
But his good-natured smile broke through that cold shroud.
With a wink of his eye all my fearfulness fled,
And I knew that Annatar was nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but turned straight to his duty
Draping the anvils with gems of great beauty.
And spreading the last of his cache all about,
He swept from the forge to his carriage without.
He sprang to his coach and called out to his team,
And into the night sprang away like a dream,
But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
"Merry Yuletide to all, and to all good night."
A/N - Alas, how easily even the greatest are swayed by fair form and great gifts!
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