Lúthien Songs and Poems

Lay of Leithian
First Two strophes of the First Canto
The beginning of the Lay describes the Kingdom of Thingol in Beleriand and its most precious belonging, The beautiful Luthien Tinuviel (Quenya: Tindomerel)...
End of the Third Canto
The end of the third canto describes how Beren after a first meeting on dispair, finds again Luthien and gain her eternal love...

Strider's Song of Lúthien and Beren
The least well know of the songs, it is an alternative to the fabled
Lay of Leithian and tells of the lovers' first meeting.
( History of Middle Earth )

Songs Of Power
An extract from The Lay Of Leithian describing the epic battle
between the Noldorian King, Finrod Felagund, and Sauron his nemesis.
( "Of Beren and Lúthien" - The Silmarillion )

Beren's Farewell Song
The song of parting sung by Beren as he marched to Angband on his hopeless
quest to recover a Silmaril from the Iorn Crown of Morgoth.
( "Of Beren and Lúthien" - The Silmarillion )

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Lay of Leithian

First Two strophes of the First Canto


A King there was in days of old :
ere men yet walked upon the mould
his power was reared in cavern’s shade,
his hand was over glen and glade.
His shields were shining as the moon,
his lances keen of steel were hewn,
of silver grey his crown was wrought,
the starlight in his banners caught ;
and silver thrilled his trumpets long
beneath the star in challenge strong ;
enchantment did his realm enfold,
where might and glory, wealth untold,
he wielded from his ivory throne
in many pillared halls of stone.
There beryl, pearl and opal pale,
and metal wrought like fishes’ mail,
buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
and gleaming spears were laid in hoard -
all these he had and loved them less
than a maiden once in Elfinesse ;
for fairer than are born to Men
a daughter had he, Lúthien.

Such lissom limbs no more shall run
on the green earth beneath the sun ;
so fair a maid no more shall be
from down to dusk, from sun to sea.
Her robe was blue as summer skies,
but grey as evening were her eyes ;
‘twas sewn with golden lilies fair,
but dark as shadows was her hair.
Her feet were light as bird on wing,
her laughter lighter than the spring ;
the slender willow, the bowing reed,
the fragance of a flowering mead,
the light upon the leaves of trees,
the voice of water more than these
her beauty was and blissfulness,
her glory and her loveliness ;
and her the king more dear did prize
than hand or heart or light of eyes.

End of the Third Canto



A sparkle through the darkling trees,
a piercing glint of light he sees,
and there she dances all alone
upon a treeless knoll of stone !
Her mantle blue with jewels white
caught all the rays of frosted light.
She shone with cold and wintry flame,
as dancing down the hill she came,
and passed his watchful silent gaze,
a glimmer as of stars ablaze.
And snowdrops sprang beneath her feet,
and one bird, sudden, late and sweet,
shrilled as she wayward passed along.
A frozen brook to bubbling song
awoke and laughed : but Beren stood
still bound enchanted in the wood.
Her starlight faded and the night
closed o'er the snowdrops glimmering white.


A night there was when winter died ;
then all alone she sang and cried
and danced until the dawn of spring,
and chanted some wild magic thing
that stirred him, till it sudden broke
to madness sweet and brave despair.
He flung his arms to the night air,
and out he danced unheeding, fleet,
enchanted with enchanted feet.
He sped towards the hillock green,
the lissom limbs, the dancing sheen ;
he leapt upon the grassy hill
his arms with loveliness to fill :
his arms were empty an she fled ;
away, away her white feet sped.
But as she went he swiftly came
and called he with the tender name
of nightingales in elvish tongue,
that all the woods now sudden rung :
"Tinúviel ! Tinúviel !"
And clear his voice was as a bell ;
its echoes wove a binding spell :
"Tinúviel ! Tinúviel !"
His voice such love and longing filled
one moment stood she, fear was stilled ;
one moment only ; like a flame
he leaped towards her as she stayed
and caught and kissed that elfin maid.

As love there woke in sweet surprise
the starlight trembled in her eyes.
A ! Lúthien ! A ! Lúthien !
more fair than any child of men ;
O ! loveliest maid of Elfinesse,
what madness does thee now possess !
A ! lissom limbs and shadowy hair
and chaplet of white snowdrops there ;
O ! starry diadem and white
pale hands beneath the pale moonlight !
She left his arms and slipped away
just at the breaking of the day.


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Strider's Song of Lúthien and Beren

The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tinúviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.

There Beren came from mountains cold,
And lost he wandered under leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing.
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
And her hair like shadow following.

Enchantment healed his weary feet
That over hills were doomed to roam;
And forth he hastened, strong and fleet,
And grasped at moonbeams glistening.
Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening

He heard there oft the flying sound
Of feet as light as linden-leaves,
Or music welling underground,
In hidden hollows quavering.
Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves,
And one by one with sighing sound
Whispering fell the beachen leaves
In the wintry woodland wavering.

He sought her ever, wandering far
Where leaves of years were thickly strewn,
By light of moon and ray of star
In frosty heavens shivering
Her mantle glinted in the moon,
As on a hill-top high and far
She danced, and at her feet was strewn
A mist of silver quivering.
When winter passed, she came again,
And her song released the sudden spring,
Like rising lark, and falling rain,
And melting water bubbling.
He saw the elven-flowers spring
About her feet, and healed again
He longed by her to dance and sing
Upon the grass untroubling.

Again she fled, but swift he came.
Tinúviel! Tinúviel!
He called her by her elvish name;
And there she halted listening.
One moment stood she, and a spell
His voice laid on her: Beren came,
And doom fell on Tinúviel
That in his arms lay glistening.

As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tinúviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering.

Long was the way that fate them bore,
O'er stony mountains cold and grey,
Through halls of ireon and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless.

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Songs Of Power

He chanted a song of wizardry,
Of piercing, opening, of treachory,
Revealing, uncovering, betraying.
Then sudden Felagund there swaying,
Sang in a song of staying,
Resisting, battling against power,
Of secrets kept, strength like a tower,
And trust unbroken, freedom, escape;
Of changing and shifting shape,
Of snares eluded, broken traps,
The prison opening, the chain that snaps.
Backwards and forwards swayed their song.
Reeling foundering, as ever more strong
The chanting swelled, Felagund fought,
And all the magic and might he brought
Of Elvenesse into his words.
Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
Singing afar in Nargothrond,
The sighting of the Sea beyond,
Beyond the western world, on sand,
On sand of pearls on Elvenland.
Then in the doom gathered; darkness growing
In Valinor, the red blood flowing
Beside the Sea, where the Nolder slew
The Foamriders, and stealing drew
Their white ships with their white sails
From lamplit havens. The wind wails,
The wolf howls. The ravens flee.
The ice mutters in the mouths of the Sea.
The captives sad in Angband mourn.
Thunder rumbles, the fires burn-
And Finrod fell before the throne.

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Beren's Farewell Song

Farewell sweet earth and northern sky,
for ever blest, since here did lie
and here with lissom limbs did run
beneath the Moon, beneath the Sun,
Lúthien Tinúviel
more fair than mortal tongue can tell.
Though all to ruin fell the world
and were dissolved and backward hurled
unmade into the old abyss,
yet were its making good, for this-
the dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea-
that Lúthien for a time should be.

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