Song of the Shieldmaidens

I loved you in the summer, so fair and young and bold.

The strongest Rider on his horse, the bravest son of Eorl.

Our loving was sweet within the field,

Sweet were your lips and strong your arm about me.

Alas my love! I loved you true.

Alas my love! You loved me not.


I loved you in the autumn, my lover strong and bold.

With you I danced through nights of moonshine and lightest joy.

You bound my brow with jewels of the field,

And long I followed as you tied the sheaves.

Alas my love! I loved you true.

Alas my love! You loved me not.


I loved you in the winter, as on the ground I lay cold.

Waiting on the blown plains, your rescue my final hope.

Yet you sat in Meduseld at feast.

Spared no thought for she who heart loved you best.

Alas my love! I loved you true.

Alas my love! You loved me not.


You loved me in the spring, as over golden fields you rode

But t'was another gave me rescue, and I was gone.

A true daughter of the plains was she.

And in her I trust, she who was my shield.

Alas my love! I loved you true.

Alas my love! You loved me not.


And so I gathered her to me, my true friend of old.

Who lived as you had done, by sorrow and the sword.

She stood last, and there were few to see

With what just renown she did at last prevail.

Alas my love! You have forsaken me.

This tale you have not mind to hear.

Alas my love! I loved you true.

Alas my love! You loved me not.

Author's Note

My inspiration for this poem came from Irish poetry, most especially what is referred to as Aishling poetry. Written during the colonisation of Ireland by the English, Aishling poems are usually about a vision the poet has of a beautiful woman, pleading for rescue, as she has been forsaken by her husband/sons. The person who tells the story (in this case, the forsaken woman) is not actually a person, rather she is a representation of the country - thus in this poem, she is a representation of Rohan, whose last defence is not the bold young Rider, but a young woman. I couldimagine a song like this being passed on from one generation to the next, becoming a sort of binding myth for the Shieldmaidens.