Dim and red,
Through sooty smoke
Stinging eyes with
Ashes of sacred forests
Heat bearing down
Like the breath of a Balrog
The caves of Khazad-dûm.
Despair and dehydration
Drains the strength
Of even the flowers
In the field.
To life-giving forces.
Only in the darkness of night
Is there hope.
Horn of Gondor
Slow gong of the Cloister Bell
Ringing from the depths of the TARDIS.
A call to arms,
Sent from the watchtower on the bridge,
Across the lands of Asgard,
A cry for help
Echoing the shores of Nen Hithoel,
From Amon Hen to Minas Tirith.
The halflings are gone,
The Enemy advances,
Twilight is dawning,
This is the end,
But the moment has been prepared for.
Ælfar who prefer the dark to the day,
Excavating precious gems and minerals
For their smiths.
And enchanted golden wigs
Exported to Asgard?
Born of the blood of Brimir
And the bones of Bláinn,
Or maggots burrowing
In the flesh of Ymir’s corpse?
Dwellers of the dark fields of Niðavellir,
Mystic Myrkheim, darkness home,
In the comfort of the caves of Svartálfheim?
Short, stocky, ill tempered craftsmen,
Working the mines of Moria
In ancient Khazad-dûm?
Diminutive Disney dwarfs,
Thatch roof cottage in the Enchanted Forrest
Whistling their way to work?
Or massive men bearing the weight
Of the vault of the sky,
Scooped out jötunn skull,
On broad shoulders
Standing on the four corners
Of the compass rose?
Pronunciations and Notes
Đwerȝaz – Thwer-yaz (“th” as in father, Hypothetical Proto-Germanic)
Twerg – (Old High German)
Dweorg – Dwey-org (Old English)
Dvergr – D-verg (Old Norse)
Dvergar – D-verg-ar (Old Norse, plural)
Dwarrows – Hypothetical plural of Dwarf coined by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Dwarves – Alternate plural for “dwarf” popularized by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Svartálfar – Svart-al-far (Old Norse, “Black elves.” Used in the Eddas to refer to Dwarves).
Ælfar – Aylf-ar (A combination of the Old English ælf and the Old Norse plural alfar, Elves)
Ymir – Eye-Meer
Niðavellir – Nitha-vell-ear (“th” as in father)
Myrkheim – Merk-haym
Svartálfheim – Svart-alf-haym (“Black Elf-Home”)
Khazad-dûm – Kha-zad-doom (“kh” as in backhand, A Dwarvish realm in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth).
Jötunn – Yote-un (Old Norse, Giant)
The Runes at the top of the poem are the Cirth for Khazad, the Tolkien-Dwarves name for themselves.
A shadow falls over Miðgarðr
From deep in the eastern mountains
To the western shores.
A light shines from Ælfheimr
Bearing the flame of Truth,
Beacon to the free peoples of Mannheimr
To stand against the Darkness
At the gates of doom.
The fight may be futile,
But the fight must be fought.
To die doing right,
Than to live surrendered to might.
Miðgarðr = mith-garth (“th” as in father), Old Norse meaning the “middle yard,” or “middle enclosure” (refers to the world of men)
Ælfheimr = Ayf-haym, from the Old Norse meaning “Ælf (Elf) home”
Mannheimr = Man-haym, from the Old Norse meaning “Man (Human) home”
An old darkness
Weaves her webs,
Strands and cables
From rock to cliff
Covering the valley
From peak to peak,
A blackness no light can penetrate,
No eye can pierce.
Under cover of clouds
Of shadow, darkness, and void,
Led by her Master, full of
Ego, greed, and revenge.
Piercing, sucking dry
The light of the world,
Licking up the bleeding sap
From the trees of life.
The only light left,
Stolen away; hidden.
A world draped in darkness; marred.
Waiting to be healed.
This poem was inspired by Chapter 8 of Quenta Silmarillion, the third part of J. R. R. Tolkein‘s The Silmarillion.
Armed with enchanted Elvish wand-staff,
Glowing Glamdring king-blade,
And wisest wits of wizard-kind.
Mithrandir, wanderer on a pilgrimage for truth.
Ainu, holy one,
Born of the thoughts of the divine,
A lesser chorus in the symphony of god.
Olórin the dreamer,
Youth spent in Valinor,
Servant of sky-father’s sacred flame,
Serving the mighty Blessed One,
Dwelling in the gardens of Lorien,
Learning wisdom, pity and patience.
Sent into the east, across the ocean
With his brother Istari,
In the guise of the wise,
To council Ælfar and men
Against the oncoming shadow from the past.
Struck down executing a demon
Of fire and darkness,
A cousin from long ago,
Sent back clothed in white
To finish what had been started.
White rider, Shadowfax friend,
Wielder of the Sun-flames
That forever banish the darkness.