1. Bringing Gifts
Not consistent with my story 'In the Seventh Age.' What can I do, I wrote it to a different song.
For how the idea of the One in human form fits into Elven theology, see Athrabeth Finrod ar Andreth in Morgoth's Ring.
The third wise man came long after the first two had gone. He had followed the star, like he always did, on his constant journeys from the farthest west to the east. Now the bright light of the star fell upon the child through the holes in the thatched roof, but the child outshone it. The wise man entered the stable, knelt to the girl who sat by the cradle, and then knelt again to the one who lay there.
The smell of frankincense and myrrh filled the humble room, along with gold, and precious gifts. "I give my voice," the wise man said.
"He does not need it," said the girl. "His power will be greater than words or sound. He brings all gifts within himself."
"I do not give for his need," said the wise man. His voice, which had before been so fair, was rough now, and weak. "Child of the One," he said. "Can it be?"
"It is," she said.
"What is your name?" he asked her.
"Miriam, daughter of Joachim, of the house of David."
David. The wanderer had lost track of the descendants of his son in his many journeys, and no longer knew what still remained of his children. David was not a name he remembered. But still, as he looked from the girl to her son, he could see, he was almost sure he saw, something of Elros' eyes.
Many years later, he returned to hear the child preach. He was not one of the Twelve, for the One had come for mortal men. But he followed, and listened.
"If you would follow me you must leave all you have," said the Teacher.
"I have nothing," Maglor said. "I have given all."
"Then leave what you do not have."
Maglor turned to the heavens, unwilling n his longing. The light of the star burned into him like the sun of the hot desert. "How can I leave that for which I have given my life?"
Jesus smiled. "Do not be afraid," he said. "I will show you. Father."
Of course. How had Maglor imagined that the boy would not know?
The child was nailed into wood, and his blood ran down the poles to seep into the ground. Maglor forced himself to watch, as he always had, knowing that nothing he would see, nothing he could witness was worse than what he himself had done. When the nails fixed the hands into place Jesus did not cry out, and it seemed that the moment of death took him not against his will.
But he was supposed to teach me, Maglor thought.
And then, Perhaps he has.
Maglor sat alone, watching as the star rose as always above the hills, beckoning him on. This time he would not follow. Instead, he turned inward.
Everything he had done, everything he had lived was plain before him. He followed a path through the deeds in his soul, looking beyond the star.
And there was a door there. Had it always been, even in Valinor, for those who thought to seek it? Or was it newly formed when the child of the One broke forever the barrier between the mortal and the immortal, the barrier crossed when even the One could die?
He brings all gifts. And what gift had ever been denied him and his people save one, the one gift that Iluvatar had reserved for Men alone?
It was so simple. All it was, was to leave forever all his life, all his desires, all his crimes, all his longings. If you would follow me you must leave all. Leave all chains that bound him, helpless, to his past. And to the world itself.
Maglor did not know the moment the gift was given him. But when he opened his eyes, and the star was no more than brightness in his path, it was at that moment that he found he once again could sing.
Deep in the desert, where once were shepherds, there is a tomb. It is not remarkable, and the scholars only remember it because on it is written a name that neither the Hebraicists nor the Egyptologists can parse. We see that the one buried there had a wife, and left after him two sons and a daughter. Little more can be said, for the moment he chose a mortal life he passed out of the realm of legend. Even his songs are not sung in his name. But we sing them still.
High king of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, bright heaven's sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.
(From 'Be Thou My Vision,' traditional)