For Memory

The heavy-hearted one sits alone, and it seems verily to him that his portion of sorrow is the greatest that the world can bestow, and indeed endless. Then he considers that it was not always so, and that he has perhaps incurred the wrath of the powers that shape the world, and trodden where he should not.

Too often have I felt this way!

But this I will say, lest some terror should claim me and I might have no more chance to say it; that once I was not sorrowful, for my name was in those days Daeron, and I lived in Doriath, cherished minstrel and loremaster, and now I sit in an unknown land, and I cannot help but remember what went before.

That passed away, and so will this!


It was a desolate country.

Indeed there were people here; a spire of smoke rose from a few huts, clustered together on the edge of the meadow, and mooing cattle grazed contentedly.

But the loneliness was not physical; it was something else, a gnawing emptiness that chafed at the mind.

So he thought, but he sat, and played the flute, and sang to ease himself for a few moments, to forget his cares and just revel in the music.

But it was no good. Every note he played brought Luthien before him, and every word of his song conjured visions of her face.

Girls herded the kine; now, tripping gaily in their colourful clothes, they sang and laughed and danced, chattering excitedly in some strange tongue. They had braided their dark hair, and their dark eyes shone with pleasure.

But Daeron saw in his mind the dancing of Luthien.

That passed away, and so will this!

The bowl of the horizon stretched out far before him; it glowed faintly, in warm hues of orange, and the sun was sinking.

And the silvery half-tones and shadows of a forest far away were all that Daeron could see.

One of the girls approached him, smiling, shy, and hesitant. Dark haired, light-eyed, and lovely.

She said something, in her own strange tongue. Daeron shook his head, hoping she would realise that he did not understand.

She smiled, and pointed at herself.

"Radha," she said slowly.

Daeron repeated the unfamiliar word, stumbling a little over it.

She held out her hand, and said something else, and then she pointed at the other girls, who were dancing to some strange music.

And Daeron took it, and smiled in return.

He did not even know why he did. Perhaps it was because he wished merely to enjoy his life, for even just a few minutes. Or perhaps it was because the girl reminded him somehow of someone very dear to him.

But they danced, two strangers from different lands, races, cultures, the slim brown girl and the melancholy minstrel. They danced, and for a moment even he forgot the demons of his mind.

All too soon, the dance ended, and the girl looked at him.

"Krishna," she said.

And Daeron somehow understood that she was giving him a name.

The girl smiled again, coquettish, tender, and then she ran off, anklets jingling, and Daeron felt a small, almost imperceptible twinge of sorrow.

In years to come, Daeron would forget this small moment of pleasure, forget all too swiftly.

Eons later, he would not remember, though the mention of the name 'Radha' gave him a strange feeling, as of a dreamer listening to the far-off strains of some eerie music, and he would not remember why it brought him close to tears.

But she did not forget - nay, she could not forget, not in the lifetime of the daughters of Men.
And she told others, and the tale grew in the telling, and the story of Krishna the seen and unseen, the god on earth, became a thing of legend, a divine fragment to be treasured.

But now Daeron knew nothing of this, and he watched her leave, and his heart was again heavy, weighed down by chains of lead.

And she whom I loved did not love me; but I met another, and hoped that the past would leave me; but she too was merely a passing breeze, as the fragrance blown from flowers in far-off lands may through some chance reach us, and torment with its teasing sweetness.

That passed away, and so has this!

Before you think I've completely lost my mind, let me explain a few things:

1. Radha and Krishna are figures from Indian mythology. I tied them into Silmarillion for various reasons, one of them being:

2. I lost a bet with a friend. The stakes were that I had to write whatever she asked me to - she asked for a mythology/LotR crossover, and I obliged her.

3. The sad, poetic passages are adapted from an Old English poem called 'Deor'. I advise you to go read it. Obviously, I changed some of the structuring and the context.

4. I'm a secret Daeron/Luthien shipper. ;) All right, just joking, but I do sympathise with Daeron. A lot.

5. I'm not really this romantic. Honestly. I run screaming if you show me a romance novel; I prefer the kind where they beat each other up, or something good and Anglo-Saxon. Like I said, this was a dare.

6. I can't write for toffee.


Noldo - 13/11/04