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Lethe and Eunoë

Lethe and Eunoë—the remembered dream
And the forgotten sorrow—bring at last
That perfect pardon which is perfect peace
from Divina Commedia by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I. The Remembered Dream

There are white flowers near my hand. How strange that the orcs have not trampled them. They are small and very simple, but beautiful, like the ones my mother used to wear at times in her hair. We used to gather them for her, Faramir and I, and she would laugh and thank us courteously. And my father, too, would smile, and reach out to ruffle our hair.

I smile now, remembering. Faramir has always kept bright pots of the fair white alfirin about him, in memory of our mother. Perhaps he will keep them now in memory of me.

II. The Forgotten Sorrow

They have taken the halflings. I could do nothing. I lie now, pierced and broken, leaning against an old oak. I would weep if I could, but it is too difficult to breathe.

I have failed. Yet Aragorn tells me that I have conquered, that I have won a great victory. And I do not feel beaten. My body is broken, yet my heart rejoices. I do not know why.

I hear silver trumpets crying afar, and see! a tower of pearl and silver glimmers in the sun.

I seem to see Frodo smiling, as though all is already forgiven.

III. That Perfect Pardon Which Is Perfect Peace

It is very bright here, yet I am not blinded. I seem to see as if for the first time. How fair the world is! I do not think I have ever seen green, nor any other color, before this moment.

There is a Man standing near. His face and bearing put me in mind of Aragorn, and yet, strange to say, he seems also much like the halfling Frodo. I hang my head, but he says to me, 'Welcome, dear son,' and holds out his hand to me. In his eyes, there is perfect understanding. 'You have done well.'