1. Darkness Falls
would touch the walls with hands of gleaming gold
and fall to cut the Anduin with shards of silver.
Climbing the tower as evening came, I turned my eyes
toward the West. The glad, red sun sang in my blood,
then bent to gently stroke the flanks of mountains dark.
But in the East we saw the sky grow strangely dark.
The Lord of Mordor threatened to blot out the light
and stain our white walls with a shower of blood.
My younger brother had a dream, of leaves of gold
and elves and prophecy. I saw, reflected in his eyes,
the fragments of a shattered sword that shone like silver.
Imladris called me, drew me. There I found the silver
sword in pieces. Sitting in the shadowed dark,
I saw a man. Like pieces of the sword, his eyes.
They cut into my heart. I felt not pain, but light.
The wounds they made, they filled, as liquid gold
may fill an empty mold, as hot and thick as blood.
I knew not who he was, whose lineage, what blood.
We met again in Council in the misted silver
dawn. But then the halfling placed Isildur’s gold
before us. There it lay, a way to end the dark.
I reached toward it, gleaming, bathed in its own light,
but all around me saw the horror in their eyes.
In Lórien a lady fair and sad turned eyes
toward mine. In them I saw that all of Gondor’s blood
could neither stop nor stay the downfall of the light.
I went to sit alone. I thought of pearl and silver,
bright Ecthelion. Then out of shadows dark
walked one who carried in him hope as rare as gold.
Yet that hope failed me. Beckoning, the bane of gold
soon whispered lies, brought fear into the halfling’s eyes.
I found myself again, too late. Too late. The dark
tide came. I paid what price I could. My blood
flows on the ground. Theirs fouls the once-bright silver
of my sword. I never thought I would betray the light.
His voice, true gold, assures me I redeemed with blood
my fault. His grey eyes touch my face with pearl and silver
tears, hold back the dark. But dare I touch the light?
Author's note: The sestina is an unrhymed form that uses six repeating words to end lines in a set pattern. It originated in the Middle Ages with French troubadours. Further discussion of the sestina history and form can be found here.
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.