1. Bearing the Warrior Home
The proud warrior sits straight and tall as he guides his boat in the wake of his companions. His dark eyes look forward, ever forward, seeking the wide waters that flow past his home so far away. His boat glides smoothly, silently, grey as the mists that hide the stream at dawn; its high prow cleaves the leaf-speckled waters that flow slowly towards the Great River.
"Will this boat bear me away from this place?" the warrior wonders softly. "Will it bring me home?"
I will bear you, my warrior! whispers the Elven boat, silently. I will take you away from the golden trees of Laurelindorinan, away from this place where you saw yourself with clear eyes. I shall bear you where you will; yea, to your home I may even take you.
The impatient warrior sits angry and doubtful, seeking for answers to unvoiced questions, but boats give no counsel. His heavy heart yearns for a choice, a decision, but none is forthcoming; he wishes only that the dark waters might soon carry him home. His boat glides quickly, quietly, grey as the mists that hide the stony shingle at dusk; its high prow cleaves the reed-embraced waters that flow softly past the banks of the Great River.
"Will this boat bear me onward swiftly?" the warrior mutters sadly. "Will it take me home?"
I will bear you, my warrior! answers the Elven boat, gently. Past the long forests of Wilderland and swiftly flowing Rapids; past imposing Argonath, regal guardians of your borders -- I shall bear you where you will. Yea, to your home I may even take you.
The despairing warrior sits bent and troubled, wanting an answer, but fearing the outcome. He yearns for action and a weapon that will bring deliverance as his burdened mind is filled with longing for a small golden thing. Oh, how he wishes for the flowing waters to bear him home swiftly. His boat glides smoothly, silently, grey as the mists that rise towering from the Falls; its high prow cleaves the still waters of Nen Hithoel that flow relentlessly past thundering Rauros.
"Can this boat bear me away from temptation?" the warrior groans urgently. "Will I ever reach home?"
I will bear you, my warrior! cries the Elven boat, soothingly. Away over the falling water, though lost we be, forever; away from your companions, if that be your desire. I shall bear you where you will! Yea, to your home I may even take you.
The sleeping warrior lies cold and silent, gripping his weapon broken in fierce battle. He is at rest, mourned by weeping companions who trust the kind waters to now bear him home. His boat glides smoothly, sadly, grey as the tears of those who mourn him; its high prow cleaves the bright waters of the Great River that flow all too swiftly past the walls of his City.
Will this boat bear me even in death? the warrior sighs wonderingly. Will it take me home?
I will bear you, my warrior! comforts the Elven boat, gently. Past the outstretched arms of your loved ones, though you cannot greet them; past the white walls of your City, as you say 'farewell' forever -- I shall bear you where you will. Yea, into the West I may even take you.
The fair warrior's sleep is long and unending; he lies at peace, cradled in the arms of Ulmo. His quiet face turns westward, more beautiful now than when he was living. He dreams no longer of the River, but of the salt waves that carry him home. His boat glides smoothly, silently, grey as the rains that water the Sea; its high prow cleaves the shadowy waters of Eldamar that lap at the shores of the Undying Lands.
Will you bear me onward swiftly? whispers the warrior longingly. I want to go home.
I will bear you, my warrior! assures the Elven boat, lovingly. Beyond the lands where the Undying walk (for your Gift is separate) -- beyond the darkness that surrounds the world I will bear you swiftly. Yea, to your final home I will even take you.