Song of Salt, A: 1. A Song of Salt

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1. A Song of Salt

In the North he lifted his voice
And the rill danced all the way to Belegaer.
I heard it, too, for Ulmo took to his theme
(The charmer no less charmed, I think)
And rumbled it back to me; and the waves,
Who have a sense of humour at times,
Played the continuo.

I dove from the crosstrees to hear it better.
There, in the cool shadow beneath the keel,
I dreamt his face, the prophetling, for the first.
He seemed strong and fair, but my heart quailed.
Can the veins of a Man bear so much salt?
The vision darted away and I saw only blue water
And the cloud of my hair, cuttlefish black.

He went to the mountains and I back to my ships:
The melting snows told me of laughter in Gondolin.
I laughed, too, and fostered laughter.
Later, the rivers ran with tears and ash.
When the willows bent their boughs in sadness
And the flaglilies let their petals fall,
He returned to the sea, leading his city’s children.

I clasped his wrist and kissed him,
Kissed his golden wife with the starfish eyes,
Took them to me, bid them cleanse their hurts and
Ease their sorrows. But he, god-beloved and scarred,
Would stand at the feet of Uilos ere he died.
But too long he tarried, and then fever came,
Fierce as Ossë, and I saw how it would be.

And so, I clasped his wrist once more.
Two currents may meet, each baffling the other,
But the same ocean rules us all.
We were long since brothers, he and I, servants
Of the subversive god. Not even Ulmo dreamt of this.
His spirit pounded through me, wordless, shocked,
But my prayers, storm-soaring gulls, winged high above.

Sea-Wing sailed; he perched on the crosstrees,
She a fury of love at the stern. I stood long
On the strand and watched the tides. I sang of heart’s uplifting
And the waves obligingly played the continuo.
Who can prophesy the tides of that inland sea, the heart?
Who dares sing of the salt-glittered sand?
I know not the final verse. I need not ask.

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: Stultiloquentia

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 06/10/05

Original Post: 07/13/03

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