Disclaimer: J. R. R. Tolkien is the one who created the melody for this song – the melody that will be stuck in my head forever. I only took a few tones, and gave them new words, but the song and melody that created Arda is his.
A/N: This is the last place where I can thank for the reviews of the previous chapter. Thank you Calenlass Greenleaf1, Blip-chan, Lady Aiedail, utfrog, Thranduils Heart And Soul, StarLight9, Libertinestar, Firefly-May, TeZukAb0ch0u, Nosterineth, Larki 13, lindahoyland, Lirulin-yirth-k'aio, KyMahalei and Lasgalendil!
Epilogue: The Song of the Light
A minstrel of Gondor stood forth, and knelt, and begged leave to sing. And behold! he said: "Lo! lords and knights and men of valour unashamed, kings and princes, and fair people of Gondor, and Riders of Rohan, and the Lord of Imladris, and ye sons and daughter of Elrond, and Dúnedain of the North, and Elf and Dwarf, and greathearts of the Shire, and all free folk of the West, now listen to my lay. For I will sing to you of hope and faithfulness, and of the light in the darkness."
And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed.*
In Rammas Echor fires burned
The day into night Sauron turned
In greatest need
With the wind's speed
To White City the King returned
Then with red dew the heavens bled
In the White City blew Black Breath
Under death's wing
The hands of King
The lost back to the light have led
Like wings of nightmare was the night
When despair quenched the newfound light
A shrilling scream
From a bad dream
Abandoned sword in morn they found
He chanted a song of wizardry,
Of piercing, opening, of treachery
The lidless Eye
The evil lie
To quench the hope in misery
But in the darkness Hope rose swaying,
And sang in answer song of staying
Of Western seas
Of the light deep in the soul laying
Resisting, battling against power,
Of secrets kept, strength like a tower
Like hardened steel
The strength of will
Before the Eye there is no cover
Backwards and forwards swayed their song
Reeling and foundering, as ever more strong
The healer's hands
In cruel chains
And days felt like centuries long
The chanting swelled: Elessar fought
And all the hope and light he brought
Into his words
Like mighty swords
To guard the secret that the Eye sought
The White City stood tall and proud
In heart of darkness shining light
But Gate by Gate
The nearing fate
Until the last, uneven fight
At end of hope, at end of all
In shambles laying the white wall
The secret kept
The shadow swept
Two hobbits were the Dark Lord's fall
In chains, in blood hanging alone
High in crumbling tower of stone
With northern winds
On eagle's wings
King of Westernesse returned home
Wandering on the brink of death…
With silver tears the fountains wept
For the pale face
For bloody trace
And for the hope that itself spent
The night was quiet under Moon
Like a bride waiting for her groom
The land is free
And cleansed can breathe
But her groom lay in deathly swoon
There brightly shone a single star
The Wanderer from the West far
In the King's eyes
His clean light shines
From darkness returned Elessar!
The days were blessed, the nights were clear
Of joy, not sorrow, was each tear
The fountains sang
Silver bells rang:
The King returned! The King is here!
Aragorn awoke in the middle of the night. He trembled and his heart raced. The nightmares returned, the fire and pain… It was the twenty-fifth of March today. Gondor was preparing for the celebrations of the New Year. But, to Aragorn, it was a year from the cruelest fight that he had ever fought. He looked at his sleeping wife. She looked calm and peaceful in her sleep; he didn't want to wake her. He just watched her long eyelashes covering her eyes and the slow heaving of her chest, and, after a while, his heart calmed. But still he did not find rest.
He rose from the bed and walked outside, into the cool night air. The White Tree stood in the middle of the court, a sapling still, but promising to be strong and tall one day, growing with the glory of Gondor. He looked to its crown, and with astonishment, he saw that the first blossom had opened during the night. It was shy and tender, soft petals like the silver tunes of a song. As Aragorn looked at it, a clear light shone through the crown of the tree, just behind the blossom, making it to a silver lantern with the light of Silmaril. It was the star of Eärendil. The light reflected in Aragorn's eyes, bringing the memory of sweet scent and soft music, and of the feeling of safety, held by two strong, warm hands. He felt as though Eärendil watched him, shining all the more brightly for him.
And he smiled.
*-.,_,.-*-.,_,.-*-.,_,.-*-.,_,.-*-.,_,.-* THE END *-.,_,.-*-.,_,.-*-.,_,.-*-.,_,.-*-.,_,.-*
* paraphrased: J. R. R. Tolkien: The Return of the King, Book VI, Chapters 4: The Fields of Cormallen
Some verses in the poem are borrowed from the Lay of Leithian. You can recognize them if you look into chapter 8.
A/N2: So, this is the end of the song. Thank you for the honour of being a mistrel before such a great audience. I would like to thank to the fateful reviewers, which gave me their ideas about every chapter, to those who reviewed once, to those who faved the story, and to all that read it until the end. My special thanks are to openmeadow for being my beta through the whole story, and supporting me. When I wrote the last lines, I felt like in a dream that I didn't want to end. But the end came, and it was a bittersweet feeling – the same feeling as now, when I'm writing these lines before posting the epilogue. There will be other stories, but this one will ever have a special place in my heart. Without you I wouldn't write it. Thank you again!
And, speaking about the other stories… ;)
Coming soon: Gil-Estel
I watch today. I watched yesterday. I will watch tomorrow. That is my fate – through the days, through years, through centuries. To watch… to pass and tarry never more…
Today I watch one man. He runs on a steep path in the Misty Mountains, through the winding shrouds of mist that gave them their name. Mist and darkness and cold stones around, and he runs like a deer haunted by wolves, looking behind once in every few moments. A haunted expression is in his eyes, they glisten like the eyes of a trapped bird that breaks his wings on the grates rather then accept the cage.
So much from the beginning of the story. Yes, the tale will be told by Eärendil the Mariner. I have an ambition to make it a real-time story, updated every day. Therefore it must be written and betaed before I start posting it, and as my internet access during the summer will be limited, it will be published probably in September. I will inform you about the progress in my profile. (And that is a place to look for the trailer and illustrations for The Song in the Darkness, too.) See you in September!