A one-shot / poem from Tolkien's story of Eöl and Aredhel from the Silmarillion. Although it's pretty dark it's my favourite story from the early tales simply because of how little it is mentioned. The relationship between the two elves, one from a world of light and the other from darkness, is just so powerful.

A conversation between Eöl and Aredhel, upon her arrival at his home in the forest of Nan Elmoth.


Shadow's Bride


Whither ye travel through woods of thine, fair lady, duly shining?
My lands have ne'er seen the like of Noldor folk since moon's waning!

I travel, my lord, under warm skies, to where mighty elk doth leap.
Yet the shadow hath entrapped me so in your woodlands dark and deep!

Where do you hail from? Gondolin, the city bright and glowing?
Yet come! The night is vast with beasts a plenty prowling!
Though none travel in so far to this dwelling of mine.
To where no stars doth shine.

Thou art generous sir to a stranger such as me who comes abruptly to your door.
But my uncle, lord of hill and dale, with be pacing from hall to hall.

Then thou art Ar-Feiniel, huntress brave and bright and halesome!
Rest awhile within my halls and speak with me of your thoughts troublesome.

I fear, sir, too long have I tarried in your company this day,
yet for my safe return I am certain my kin will surely pay.

A friend of dwarves and miners skilled has no need for trinkets or favours.
What I seek, dear lady sweet, is company for long nights and days that waver.

I should wrap you, dear lady, in silks and furs, strings of jewels gleaming!
Walk with you under mountains tall, see waterfalls a streaming!
And see you enfolded in colours dark and mute of mine,
as a night when no stars doth shine.

Nay, good sir, you surely jest! To speak such words to one as me!
To be shunned from light! A secret of night! Should dishonour both I and thee!

Yet I am elf and prosper well in a life void of sun or moon or star.
Wealth I have, land and folk to answer my summons from afar!

This is see good lord of trees, kind master of midnight halls and glen.
But gold doth have a cold glow and dark lands a shadow beast's den.

Alas! Is it not a husband's duty and call to protect his maiden and kin?
Fierce wars I hath raged and conquered beasts afar and within!
So come coy lady, the wind blows cold on gentle hands of thine,
as the sea when no stars doth shine.

Aredhel Ar- Feniel, King's sister fair, daughter of elven lord,
Was ensnared by shadow from hence forth and walks under darkened halls.
She walks not by light of star or sun but by jewels, gold and swords.
Time to regret and time to reminisce her husband's tempting calls.
In woodlands dark and fine.
Where still no stars doth shine.