Things of Middle-earth
Lay of the Children of Húrin
Type: Songs & Stories
The longest of all Tolkien's narrative poems of Middle-earth, written in alliterative verse. Two versions of the poem are published in The Lays of Beleriand, volume three of The History of Middle-earth. The prose version of this story is the book Narn i Hîn Húrin; a shorter version also appears in Unfinished Tales.
Lo! the golden dragon of the God of Hell,
the gloom of the woods of the world now gone,
the woes of Men, and weeping of Elves
fading faintly down forest pathways,
is now to tell, and the name most tearful
of Níniel the sorrowful, and the name most sad
of Thalion's son Túrin o'erthrown by fate.
The Lays of Beleriand, HoME Vol 3, Ch 1, The Lay of the Children of Húrin: Túrin Son of Húrin & Glórund the Dragon, Lines 1-7
Then Thalion was thrust to Thangorodrim,
that mountain that meets the misty skies
on high o'er the hills that Hithlum sees
blackly brooding on the borders of the north.
To a stool of stone on its steepest peak
they bound him in bonds, an unbreakable chain,
and the Lord of Woe there laughing stood,
then cursed him for ever and his kin and seed
with a doom of dread, of death and horror.
There the mighty man unmovéd sat;
but unveiled was his vision, that he viewed afar
all earthly things with eyes enchanted
that fell on his folk— a fiend's torment.
Ibid., Lines 92-104
After seven journeys lo! sleep took them
on a night of stars when they nigh had stridden
to those lands beloved that long had known
Flinding aforetime. At first morning
the white arrows of the wheeling sun
gazed down gladly on green hollows
and smiling slopes that swept before them.
There builded boles of beeches ancient
marched in majesty in myriad leaves
of golden russet greyly rooted,
in leaves translucent lightly robed;
their boughs up-bending blown at morning
by the wings of winds that wandered down
o'er blossomy bent breathing odours
to the wavering water's winking margin.
There rush and reed their rustling plumes
and leaves like lances louted trembling
peen with sunlight. Then glad the soul
of Flinding the fugitive; in his face the morning
here glimmered golden, his gleaming hair
was washed with sunlight. 'Awake from sadness,
Túrin Thalion, and troublous thoughts!
On Ivrin's lake is endless laughter.
o! cool and clear by crystal fountains
she is fed unfailing, from defilement warded
by Ylmir the old, who in ancient days,
wielder of waters, here worked her beauty.
From outmost Ocean yet often comes
his message hither his magic bearing,
the healing of hearts and hope and valour
for foes of Bauglir. Friend is Ylmir
who alone remembers in the Lands of Mirth
the need of the Gnomes.
Ibid., Canto III, Lines 1504-1536
Elena Tiriel 2Feb13