Maglor’s Lament for the Lost Silmaril: 1. O undiminished Light

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1. O undiminished Light

Maglor, doomed to wander Middle-Earth after casting his stolen Silmaril into the Sea, must have been driven mad indeed, ever reforging his memory of the history of the Silmarils. Here follows a fragment of his Lament.

O undiminished Light! That first did come
Of Trees divine, the twin empyreal blooms
By highest craft distilled, the strands entwined
In mingled dawn. The Jewels your final form--
For thus resides in hold impregnable
Of shape and grace so infinite: the Light
Unfading. Memory of wondrous love
By all who b'held its cool unbroken sphere;
Within ethereal substance ever glowed.
For peerless were the Trees of Valinor
Yet still unequaled shone their colors twain
In twilight joined. Their living hues did dance
A mutual flame i'the heart, and strumm'd its joy
In vibrant strings; and pluck'd the humble soul
Asunder in tenderness. Their flowers bloomed,
And folded, bloomed anew, and blushed the Mound
Of Green in splendid countenance; and they
effulgent joined, did pierce the firmament
With lucent wingèd hymn. How paled the crafts
Of lesser hands, that pallid blanchèd were
Before th' resplendent substance sublime!

Yet lost, yet lost! that lost were the Silmaril!
How moved thy Light, and how in poverty
Of thy radiance my sight seems blind'd and vain.
For Light I lost has lost me all of light;
My sight is orbs confined, but harkens not,
It bathes the dawn yet pays no heed the morn
For levity false and joy offensive seem
Before its robbèd memory.
                                                    And here
I dwell, a houseless ghost: Of Sun and Moon
Unfeeling, save their darkness cold. For what
Is th' Sun, but a tainted shield, that daily dash
Twixt ruddy courses, wearing burnished light
That shines as true Light marred, and stained, and false
Therewith. And same of the too inconstant Moon;
The Moon by whom unhappy mortal Men
Do count their changes. Light of his but wax
And wane, and hold not the endless, flawless Light's
Perpetual majesty.
                                  I wander i' vain,
In hopes of thee; perfection of thine
Revisit yet. But having fallen thus,
In chief the misery is mine, having gain'd
Yet lost our foremost holy Jewels and joy
Immeasurable in earthly estimate.

What woes have hunted since the seven sons
Of Feanor! Ai! no prouder people hence
Has dwelt in yonder Valinor, Aman
No better sons. 'Tis true enough, that blood
Our paths did stain, and treachery, and death,
Yet think of us not faithless! For what faith
Would come of breaking Oath paternal?
Must constant most of all be oath of sons
And brothers hold. So thereby we did take
The ships, and bloodied hands did steer their masts,
And angry minds their course, and wrathful flame
The swans did swallow. The bad blood multiplied,
Though love we had few for doubters e'er
Of our thought and councils: they who slow
To action and yet quick to words, when we
Were thus beset.
                                Yet once we had set foot
On the wilder'd darkened Arda my heart did
Misgive, and looked I b'hind our ranks, where West
The wind came flying not, and Stars were veiled
As if in mourning or in wrath. I sang
That hour, to darkling Seas, of fate
And glory! Yet ere I ended, themes and chords
Of fall and blood, our cruelty cold, and woes
Unending, slowly wove and stealed among
My words.

                    We warred for long in wrath
Yet were unwinning; splendid though we were!
A hill of frost our swords had seemed, and flame
Their bites did temper. Shields of ours had gleam'd
And held, as adamantine as resolve.
Yet b'fore the hated gates of the Enemy
Our father fell, and ash his flame did eat.
Ai, vaunting Fate, the cruel unhappy Fate
Who sent us thus against the reign and will
Of the Valar; drawn into War unceasing long
And woes uncountable!
                                           Brothers! Whereto
Your allied spirits wander, i' pain or peace?
Within a fiery depth has Maedhros gone,
And borne in him was one of the Jewels of art
Incomparable: I felt it thus. For flame
Had ting'd my thoughts, and yonder shone a Light
Before my eyes, exceeding bright among
A frond of stars. Into the earth's depths it
Did plummet, now as in fire, and now as in hail.
What madness drove us? Torment eternal
My fate has won me: to roam disgraced the strands,
Repentant, shamed, yet unreleased of Oath;
For ever burns my heart its doomèd words.

And so I do, and so I look: to West
As I had done before.
                                          Reprieve I've none
But memories of thy Light. How I have dreamt
Of thee undimm'd and blazing o'er the Sea
In streaks of gold and silver. Hark! thy Light
The very thieving waves do praisèd sing,
And caught twixt Sun and Moon do I perceive
The last of Three: at height unmoutable
Above the livid waves in wrath of me.
Its Light caress's my eyes, yet faint its beams:
Reduce by distance thus, across so wide
A space as 'tween the heavenly vault
Where tremble the Stars of Varda, queen supreme,
And the earth so lowly 'neath. O chance, or fate,
Or strength of will—wherefore that he, in birth
Of stations mix'd, succeeds where mighty arms
Have failed? For the children of noble Finwë
Are scattered, and the sons of Fëanor dead.
O holy Light, be moved to pity me,
I stand on brink of the changed world yet still,
With muted tongue I sing, yet words I've naught
To mourn or praise your most beloved Light.

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: losselen

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 2nd Age - Pre-Rings

Genre: Poetry

Rating: General

Last Updated: 02/19/10

Original Post: 01/06/10

Go to Maglor’s Lament for the Lost Silmaril overview


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