And Left the Tenderness of Tears

Frodo leaves the Shire forever and seems quite reconciled to it.  He does not curse his fate.  Why?  How did he come to terms with the loss and sacrifices in his life?  How do any of us come to terms with our grief?

This is a Frodo angst-romance story.  In my own defense, I never intended for it to develop into a romance. 

That fault must be laid at Mr. Baggins' door. 

The characters belong to J.R.R. Tolkien.  I borrowed them for a little while.  The title is borrowed from Shelley.  This is set post-quest, after the Scouring and before Frodo's departure from the Grey Havens.  It takes place in Brandy Hall, the ancestral home of the Brandybucks.  It is as canon as I could keep it. Perhaps it could have happened…

My thanks to the wonderful ladies who beta read this for me.

These are mere fragments of the longer, glorious poem, Rosalinde and Helen by Shelley. 

He dwelt beside me near the sea;

And oft in evening did we meet,

When the waves, beneath the starlight, flee

O'er the yellow sands with silver feet,

And talked.  Our talk was sad and sweet,

Till slowly from his mien there passed

The desolation which it spoke;

Yet o'er his talk, and looks, and mien,

Tempering his loveliness too keen,

Past woe its shadow backward threw;

Till, like an exhalation spread

From flowers half drunk with evening dew,

They did become infectious---sweet

And subtle mists of sense and thought,

Which wrapped us soon, when we might meet,

Almost from our own looks and aught

The wild world holds. And so his mind

Was healed, while mine grew sick with fear;

For ever now his health declined,

Like some frail bark which cannot bear

The impulse of an altered wind,

Though prosperous; and my heart grew full,

'Mid it's new joy, of a new care;

For his cheek became, not pale but fair,

As rose-o'ershadowed lilies are;

Like flowers, which on each other close

Their languid leaves when daylight's gone,

We lay, till new emotion came,

Which seemed to make each mortal frame

One soul of interwoven flame,

A life in life, a second birth

In worlds diviner far than earth;---

Which, like two strains of harmony

That mingle in the silent sky,

Then slowly disunite, passed by

And left the tenderness of tears,

A soft oblivion of all fears,

A sweet sleep:

---Shelley