HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Cold be hand and heart and bone

Type: Songs & Stories

Other Names:
the Wight's chant (LoTR index only)

Description:

The chant heard by Frodo when the hobbits are captured by a Barrow-wight:
Suddenly a song began: a cold murmur, rising and falling. The voice seemed far away and immeasurably dreary, sometimes high in the air and thin, sometimes like a low moan from the ground. Out of the formless stream of sad but horrible sounds, strings of words would now and again shape themselves: grim, hard, cold words, heartless and miserable. The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered. Frodo was chilled to the marrow. After a while the song became clearer, and with dread in his heart he perceived that it had changed into an incantation:

Cold be hand and heart and bone,
and cold be sleep under stone:
never more to wake on stony bed,
never, till the Sun fails and the Moon is dead.
In the black wind the stars shall die,
and still on gold here let them lie,
till the dark lord lifts his hand
over dead sea and withered land.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 8, Fog on the Barrow-downs

Contributors:
Lyllyn 3Sep03
Elena Tiriel 19Jan11

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