An Elven Song


It is the very depth of night when I hear that soft whisper. I had thought all but myself slept--except, of course, the elf who does not need
it. I had thought I was the only one who lay awake and unmoving. Pippin obviously also thinks so, for his voice is a whisper. "Yes, Pippin?"
Legolas says back, just as soft.

"Do you see anything?"

"Nay; we are alone." Legolas speaks quickly to soothe the hobbit's fears. "I see only the trees and stars."


"Why are you not asleep?" Legolas asks after a moment.

"I can't," Pippin whispers back. "It's hard out here, on the road like this. I dream."

"Do not all mortals dream?"

"Yes, but these are the sorts of dreams that make me want to stay awake. Frightful ones," Pippin says. "The only time I didn't have them was that night we were with Gildor and his folk. There was something about their song that kept it away, I think." Pippin's voice becomes awkward, I can tell that even from a whisper in the dark ten feet away. "The song of the elves, maybe it soothes the dark out of a mortal's sleep." He hesitates. "Legolas..."

I do not know if he would have eventually found the words to ask, because he doesn't need to. Legolas' voice cuts him off, lifted in a sweet
Sindarin melody, softly so as not to wake those who have already found sleep. There are no more words from Pippin; I hear him shift in his
bedroll, once, twice, and then he is still.

The song continues. The men shift restlessly in their sleep, the hobbits breathe heavily, the wizard it seems breathes not at all, and I lie here with my eyes open to the stars--and still he sings. He must be aware, as I am, that Pippin fell asleep almost immediately; perhaps he hopes to stay the dreams the youngling spoke of with his voice.

The stars shift above me, and still he sings. It is soothing, though I would not say so out loud, or even think it too loudly. But quietly, I think: even a weary dwarf's shoulders may lose their tension at the request of an elven song.

Then I catch the glint of moonlight in his eyes as he looks at me, still singing; and I realize his song is no longer for Pippin, nor has it been for some time. Our eyes hold each other for a moment. The wind sighs, and the stars turn, and the song continues. I close my eyes, then,
fearful of finding something other than moonlight in his; and the sleep which has evaded me thus far suddenly comes to me, thick and heavy and dreamless, full of the peace brought by the sound of his voice.