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Things of Middle-earth

When evening in the Shire was grey

Type: Songs & Stories

Other Names:
Frodo’s Lament for Gandalf (LoTR index only)


The elegy for Gandalf made by Frodo and embellished by Sam during their sojourn in Lothlórien:
It was Frodo who first put something of his sorrow into halting words. He was seldom moved to make song or rhyme; even in Rivendell he had listened and had not sung himself.... But now as he sat beside the fountain in Lórien and heard about him the voices of the Elves, his thought took shape in a song that seemed fair to him; yet when he tried to repeat it to Sam only snatches remained, faded as a handful of withered leaves.

When evening in the Shire was grey,
his footsteps in the Hill were heard,
before the dawn he went away
on journey long without a word.

From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darkling woods he walked at will.

With Dwarf and Hobbit, ElvesMen,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongues he spoke.

A deadly sword, a healing hand,
a back that bent beneath its load;
a trumpet-voice, a burning brand,
a weary pilgrim on the road.

A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
swift in anger, quick to laugh;
an old man in a battered hat
who leaned upon a thorny staff.

He stood upon the bridge alone,
and fire and shadow both defied.
His staff was broken on the stone.
In Khazad-dûm his wisdom died.

'Why, you'll be beating Mr. Bilbo next!', said Sam.

'No, I am afraid not,' said Frodo. 'But that is the best I can do yet.'

'Well, Mr. Frodo, if you do have another go, I hope you'll say a word about his fireworks,' said Sam. 'Something like this:

The finest rockets ever seen:
they burst in stars of blue and green,
or after thunder, golden showers
came falling like a rain of flowers.

Though that doesn't do them justice by a long road.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 7, The Mirror of Galadriel

Nerdanel 16Jul03
Elena Tiriel 8Nov04

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