Dark Isle, The: 2. Canto II

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2. Canto II

Upon the bridge of the tower dark and tall
over rushing river, sleek and black as ice
stands one whose beauty outshines deepest horror.
Starlight on her face and power in her voice
she stands a solitary island of light in darkness,
and hope in despair. A weak and lonely
but defying voice she hears from the depths
of the terrible tower. Can it be that he yet lives?
She answered the song with one of great power
and Thû the Abhorred with his flaming eyes
saw her from the window of the vast tower’s pinions
and knew her. He smiled wrapped in black thought.
Wolves he sent out of such terror and strength
and hate enmeshed in the sinews of their being
that greatest warrior beneath their flashing gaze
would tremble and fall. But she moved not
from her place on the bridge, and as the wolves came
one by one, as leaves in the wind
their lives were snuffed out, and the burning hatred
innate to their being was wrested from them;
for Huan the Wolfhound, friend of the Eldar,
hound of Valinor, grabbed their throats
and slew them all. Yet Draugluin with bleeding throat
escaped, and with his final breath
revealed to Thû that Huan was there.
Then cloaked in majesty and fathomless dread
Thû himself took on werewolf’s form,
greater than any that had ever been,
and stalked away to win the bridge,
for he knew the fate decreed for the Hound of Valinor.

Thû’s approach was filled with such terror
that even Huan at first leapt aside.
But soon the baying and yelping and tearing
of their fight rang out so that many who heard it
fell to great fear. Yet no diabolical, sigaldric force
could overthrow Huan of Valinor,
and Thû was pinned down with sharp teeth to his throat.
And though shape he shifted could not free himself
from the vise-like grip of the maw of his foe.
Then Lúthien came with shining face
and glass white hands and said to him,
“Thou,” her voice was strong, “shall for e’er
be rendered bodiless to come quaking back
to the feet of thy Master. Scorn and torment
ye always shall feel unless unto me
the key to this tower thou renderest now.”
Thû the great coward, disloyal and treacherous
gave to the elf-maid the key and the power
of Tol-in-Gaurhoth, and betrayed his Master,
as the wicked do, who serve only themselves.
Then Huan released him and at one he rose up
In vampire’s form. O’ershadowing the moon
eastward he sped and to Taur-nu-Fuin came,
filling it with nightmares tangible and real.

Then Lúthien again in all her power and might
and beauty unknown to mortal tongue
showed forth her power and called out to the Isle.
Who knew but she what was in her words
as great as castles and crashing sea waves,
as beautiful as the gleaming Two Trees
as powerful as the bright light of Anar?
The wolf tower trembled from foundation’s core.
The pinions quaked and the dark stones shook
and loosened themselves from the grasp of the others
and fell, fell, fell, tumbled and piled.
They cracked and shook ‘neath pale moonlight
and the breaking of treacherous, jagged rocks
filled the valley and the silent night.

When it ceased at last no rock was left
on top of another, all lay in scattered
and petrous ruin. Emerging slowly
from winding tunnels and cracked openings
rise captives at last to the outward world.
Their poor eyes shielding from pale moonlight,
and with joy rejoicing over newfound freedom.
But Beren comes not, and Lúthien fears.
Not heeding the captives or cries of wonder
that escape from their lips, or wondering glances,
she looks in the stones frantically searching
for a way to get down to the dark dungeon’s tunnels
to find her beloved. Through dark passages
running and calling with desperation his name.
She fears too late she has come to his aid.

In a swoon of anguish and dark lament
unhearing, unseeing, motionless Beren lies
next to the body of Finrod Beloved.
His heart is numb, he hears not when she calls
nor her pattering feet. She finds him thus,
and fearing him dead, falls upon him, and descends
into forgetfulness deep. But Beren, awakening
from dark chasms of deepest despair,
sees her beside him, her shadowy hair,
her quivering lips, her soft white hands,
and then she awakens. They gazed upon each other
in utter silence, and through the jagged stones
the light of the dawn shone upon them once more.

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.

Story Information

Author: Nerdanel

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Poetry

Rating: General

Last Updated: 01/02/04

Original Post: 06/20/03

Go to Dark Isle, The overview


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