DISCLAIMER: All things LOTR belong to J.R.R. Tolkien. I'm just attempting to wax lyrical with them.



"Leathery breeches, spreading stables,

Shining saddles left behind –

To the down the string of horses

Moving out of sight and mind".

John Betjeman, "Upper Lambourne".

"A commendable choice, little brother; a woman who will settle disputes with a sword as well as her voice. You were meant for each other, and there was I thinking I would be induced to marry first!"

Come back, brother. I can hear your laugh echo in my ears and it makes me smile. I would be in your shadow again, for there is too much light and the sun is in my eyes.

I know you will not return. We shared dreams once before, and the last dream I had showed you sleeping that endless sleep from which there is no awakening.

Yet I have started dreaming again. And I find that like that last dream; this does not vanish in the morning's grey light

She lies there, beside me, her hair spread out over the pillow like ribbons of fair gold. I dreamt I felt her breath in my lungs; smelt her hair as she slept, held the strength in her hands, warmed the ice in her eyes. And when I awoke, it was all true.

Eowyn. Well was she named the White Lady of Rohan, clear and bright as the day when I first saw her in the gardens of the Houses of Healing. I hold my breath sometimes, brother, in case she melts away before my lidded eyes, how you would laugh at that, you who no woman tied down, no proposal would woo, no -

I assume I knew you too well.

As I rode up to the Golden Hall some time ago, she was there, standing on the threshold, in dark robes of mourning for her uncle, Theoden, King of Rohan, but over them she wore the mantle of our mother, Finduilas, who only you remember well. She looked fair and queenly, even though she had spent many days in delayed grief and in aiding her brother to restore Meduseld to its former glory. I remember her pale hair caught the white glints of the sun that cold morning and spun them into threads of finery, weaving a golden cap for her lovely head.

Fatigue, it seems, does not dim her loveliness.

And now, weeks after, we ride out from Ithilien, that fair land of our childhood, brother, to savour some time alone with each other that none other than the King himself has insisted we enjoy before the lengthy festivities end. My bride, I whispered as she drifted into sleep, and my heart swelled within me. I love her.

"That is well, little brother; I would not have you be tied down in a loveless union. I would see you happy, for of late there has been no joy in your face, not until now".

He would say words to that effect, I've no doubt.

I have spent long years in the dark. Why then do I still cling to his ghost?