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Peaa:
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Peaa
  • © Copyright ... (: ) (elery@yandex.ru)
  • : 21/10/2009, : 09/01/2012. 29k. .
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Far in the North neath hills of stone 
in caverns black there was a throne 
by flames encircled; there the smoke 
in coiling columns rose to choke 
the breath of life, and there in deep 105
and gasping dungeons lost would creep 
to hopeless death all those that strayed 
by doom beneath that ghastly shade. 
There sat a king: no Elfin race, 
no mortal blood nor kindly grace 110
of earth or heaven might he own, 
far older, stronger than the stone 
the world is built of, than the fire 
that burns within more fierce and dire, 
and thoughts profound were in his heart, 115
a gloomy power that dwelt apart. 

He "twas that laid in ruin black 
the Blessed Realm and fled then back 
to Middle-Earth anew to build 
beneath the mountains mansions filled 120
with misbegotten slaves of hate; 
death"s shadow brooded at his gate. 
Unconquerable spears of steel 
were at his nod. No ruth did feel 
the legions of his marshaled hate, 125
on whom did wolf and raven wait; 
and thick the ravens sat and cried 
upon their banners black, and wide 
was heard their hideous chanting dread 
above the reek and trampled dead. 130
With fire and swords his ruin red 
on all that would not bow the head 
like lightning fell. The Northern land 
lay groaning neath his ghastly hand. 

Yet still there lived in hiding cold 135
undaunted, Barahir the bold, 
of land bereaved and lordship shorn 
who once a prince of Men was born 
and now an outlaw lurked and lay, 
in the hard heath and woodland grey, 140
and with him clung of faithful men 
but Beren his son and other ten. 
Yet small as was their hunted band, 
yet fell and fearless was each hand, 
and strong deeds they wrought yet oft, 145
and loved the woods, whose ways more soft 
them seemed than thralls of that black throne 
to live and languish in halls of stone. 
King Morgoth still pursued them sore, 
and men and dogs, and wolf and boar 150
with spells of madness filled he sent 
to slay them as in the woods they went; 
yet naught hurt them for many years, 
until, in brief to tell what tears 
have oft bewailed in ages gone, 155
yet never tears enough, was done 
a deed unhappy; unaware 
their feet were caught in Morgoth"s snare. 

Gorlim it was, who wearying 
of toil and flight and harrying 160
one night by chance did turn his feet 
o"er dark fields by stealth to meet 
with hidden friend within a dale, 
and found a homestead looming pale 
against the misty stars, all dark 165
save one small window, whence a spark 
of fitful candle strayed without. 
Therein he peeped, and filled with doubt 
he saw, as in a dreaming deep 
when longing cheats the heart in sleep, 170
his wife beside a dying fire 
lament him lost; her thin attire 
and graying hair and paling cheek 
of tears and loneliness did speak. 
"A! fair and gentle Eilinel, 175
whom I had thought in darkling hell 
long since emprisoned! Ere I fled 
I deemed I saw thee slain and dead 
upon that night of sudden fear 
when all I lost that I held dear:" 180
thus thought his heavy heart amazed 
outside in darkness as he gazed. 
But ere he dared to call her name, 
or ask how she escaped and came 
to this far vale beneath the hills, 185
he heard a cry beneath the hills! 

There hooted near the hunting owl 
with boding voice. He heard the howl 
of the wild wolves that followed him 
and dogged his feet through shadows dim. 190
Him unrelenting, well he knew, 
the hunt of Morgoth did pursue. 
Lest Eilinel with him they slay 
without a word he turned away 
and like a wild thing winding led 195
his devious ways o"er stony bed 
of stream and over quaking fen 
until far from the homes of men 
he lay beside his fellows few 
in a secret place; and darkness grew, 200
and waned, and still he watched unsleeping 
and saw the dismal dawn came creeping 
through dank skies over gloomy trees. 
A sickness held his soul for ease, 
and hope, and even thralldom"s chain 205
if he might find his wife again. 
But all he thought twixt love of lord 
and hatred for that king abhorred 
and anguish for fair Eilinel 
who drooped alone, what tale shall tell? 210

Yet at the last, when many days 
of brooding did his mind amaze, 
he found the servants of the king 
and bade them to their master bring 
a rebel who forgiveness sought, 215
if haply forgiveness might be bought 
with tidings of Barahir the bold, 
and where his hidings and his hold 
might best be found by night or day. 
And thus sad Gorlim, led away 220
unto those dark deep-dolven halls, 
before the knees of Morgoth falls, 
and puts his trust in that cruel heart 
wherein no truth had ever part. 
Quoth Morgoth: "Eilinel the fair 225
thou shalt most surely find, and there 
where she doth dwell and wait for thee 
together shall ye ever be, 
and sundered shall ye sigh no more. 
This guerdon shall he have that bore 230

these tidings sweet, O traitor dear! 
For Eilinel she dwells not here, 
but in the shades of death doth roam 
widowed of husband and of home -- 
a wraith of that which might have been 235
methinks it is that thou hast seen! 
Now shalt thou through the gates of pain 
the land thou askest grimly gain; 
thou shalt to the moonless mists of hell 
descend and seek thy Eilinel." 240

Thus Gorlim died a bitter death, 
and cursed himself with dying breath, 
and Barahir at last was caught 
in Morgoth"s snare, for set at naught 
by treason was the ancient grace 245
that guarded long that lonely place, 
Tarn Aeluin; now all laid bare 
were secret paths and hidden lair. 
But Morgoth"s guile for ever failed, 
nor wholly o"er his foes prevailed, 250
and some were ever still that fought, 
unmaking that which malice wrought. 
Thus men believed that Morgoth made 
the fiendish phantom that betrayed 
the soul of Gorlim, and so brought 255
the lingering hope forlorn to naught 
that lived amid the lonely wood; 
yet Beren had by fortune good 
long hunted far afield that day, 
and benighted in strange places lay 260
far from his fellows. In his sleep 
he felt a dreadful darkness creep 
upon his heart, and thought the trees 
were bare and in a mournful breeze; 
no leaves they had, but ravens dark 265
sat thick as leaves on bough and bark, 
and croaked, and as they croaked each neb 
let fall a gout of blood; a web 
unseen entwined him hand and limb, 
until worn out, upon the rim 270
of stagnant pool he lay and shivered. 
There saw he that a shadow quivered 
far out upon the water wan, 
and grew to a faint form thereon 
that glided o"er the silent lake, 275
and coming slowly, softly spake 
and sadly said, "Lo! Gorlim here, 
traitor betrayed, now stands! Nor fear, 
but haste! For Morgoth"s fingers close 
upon thy father"s throat. He knows 280
your secret tryst, your hidden lair," 
and all the evil he laid bare 
that he had done and Morgoth wrought. 
Then Beren waking swiftly sought 
his sword and bow, and sped like wind 285
that cuts with knives the branches thinned 
of autumn trees. At last he came, 
his heart afire with burning flame, 
where Barahir his father lay; 
he came too late. At dawn of day 290
he found the homes of hunted men, 
a wooded island in the fen, 
and birds rose up in sudden cloud -- 
no fen-fowl were they, crying loud. 
The raven and the carrion-crow 295
sat in the alders all a-row; 
one croaked: "Ha! Beren comes too late," 
and answered all: "Too late! Too late!" 
There Beren laid his father"s bones 
in haste beneath a cairn of stones; 300
no graven rune nor word he wrote 
o"er Barahir, but thrice he smote 
the topmost stone, and thrice aloud 
he cried his name. "Thy death," he vowed, 
"I will avenge. Yea, though my fate 305
should lead at last to Angband"s gate." 
Then he turned, and did not weep: 
too dark his heart, the wound too deep. 
Out into night, as cold as stone, 
loveless, friendless, he strode alone. 310

Of hunter"s lore he had no need 
the trail to find. With little heed 
his ruthless foe, secure and proud, 
marched north away with blowing loud 
of brazen horns their lord to greet, 315
trampling the earth with grinding feet. 
Behind them bold but wary went 
now Beren, swift as hound on scent, 
until beside a darkling well,
where Rivil rises from the fell 320
down into Serech"s reeds to flow, 
he found the slayers, found his foe. 
From hiding on the hillside near 
he marked them all: though less than fear, 
too many for his sword and bow 325
to slay alone. Then crawling low 
as snake on heath he nearer crept. 
There many weary with marching slept, 
but captains, sprawling on the grass, 
drank and from hand to hand let pass 330
their booty, grudging each small thing 
raped from dead bodies. One a ring 
held up, and laughed: "Now, mates!" he cried, 
"here"s mine, and I"ll not be denied, 
though few be like it in the land. 335
For I "twas wrenched it from the hand 
of that same Barahir I slew. 
This robber-knave, they say, did do 
a deed of service long ago 
for Felagund. It may be so; 340
for Morgoth bade me bring it back, 
and yet, methinks, he hath no lack 
of weightier treasure in his hoard. 
Such greed befits not such a lord!
So mark ye, mates, ye all shall swear, 345
the hand of Barahir was bare!" 
But as he spake an arrow sped; 
with riven heart he crumpled dead. 
Thus Morgoth loved that his own foe
should in his service deal that blow 350
that punished the breaking of his word.
But Morgoth laughed not when he heard
that swift as wolfhound grim there leapt 
Beren among them. Two he swept 
aside with sword; caught up the ring; 355
slew one who grasped him; with a spring 
back into shadow passed, and fled
before their yells of wrath and dread 
of ambush in the valley rang. 
Then after him like wolves they sprang, 360
howling and cursing, gnashing teeth, 
hewing and bursting through the heath, 
shooting wild arrows, sheaf on sheaf, 
at trembling shade or shaken leaf. 
In charmd hour was Beren born; 365
he laughed at dart and wailing horn, 
fleetest of foot of living men, 
tireless on fell and light on fen,
elf-wise in wood he passed away, 
defended by his hauberk grey 370
of dwarvish craft in Nogrod made, 
where hammers rang in caverns" shade. 

As fearless Beren was renowned, 
when men most hardy upon ground 
were reckoned folk would speak his name, 375
foretelling that his after fame 
would even golden Hador pass
or Barahir and Bregolas;
but sorrow now his heart had wrought 
to fierce despair; no more he fought 380
in hope of life or joy or praise, 
but seeking so to use his days 
only that Morgoth deep should feel 
the sting of his avenging steel,
ere death he found and end of pain; 385
his only fear was thralldom"s chain. 
Danger he sought and death pursued, 
and thus escaped the doom he wooed, 
and deeds of breathless daring wrought 
alone, of which the rumour brought 390
new hope to many a broken man. 
They whispered "Beren," and began 
in secret swords to whet, and soft 
by shrouded hearths at evening oft 
songs they would sing of Beren"s bow, 395
of Dagmor his sword: how he would go 
silent to camps and slay the chief, 
or trapped in hiding past belief 
would slip away, and under night
by mist or moon, or by the light 400
of open day would come again. 
Of hunters hunted, slayers slain 
they sang, of Gorgol the Butcher hewn, 
of ambush in Ladros, fire in Drn, 
of thirty in one battle dead, 405
of wolves that yelped like curs and fled,
yea, Sauron himself with wound in hand. 
Thus one alone filled all that land 
with fear and death for Morgoth"s folk;
his comrades were the beech and oak 410
who failed him not, and many things 
with fur and fell and feathered wings 
and many spirits, that in stone, 
in mountains old and wastes alone 
do dwell and wander were his friends. 415
Yet seldom well an outlaw ends, 
and Morgoth was a king more strong 
than all the world has since in song 
recorded, and his wisdom wide 
slow and surely who him defied 420
did hem and hedge. Thus at the last 
must Beren flee the forest fast 
and lands he loved where lay his sire 
by reeds bewailed beneath the mire. 
Beneath a heap of mossy stones 425
now crumble those once-mighty bones, 
but Beren flees the friendless North;
one autumn night he creeps him forth. 
The leaguer of his watchful foes 
he passes - silently he goes. 430
No more his hidden bowstring sings, 
no more his shaven arrow wings, 
no more his hunted head doth lie 
upon the heath beneath the sky. 
The moon that looked amid the mist 435
upon the pines, the wind that hissed 
among the feather and the fern 
found him no more. The stars that burn 
about the North with silver fire 
in frosty airs, the Burning Briar 440
that Men did name in days long gone 
were set behind his back, and shone 
o"er land and lake and darkened hill, 
forsaken fen and mountain rill. 

His face was South from the Land of Dread, 445
whence only evil pathways led, 
and only the feet of men most bold 
might cross the Shadowy Mountains cold. 
Their northern slopes were filled with woe, 
with evil and with mortal foe; 450
their southern faces mounted sheer 
in rocky pinnacle and pier, 
whose roots were woven with deceit
and washed with waters bittersweet. 
The awful mountains" stones he stained 455
with blood of weary feet, and gained
only a land of ghosts and fear
in dark ravines imprisoned sheer -
there mighty spiders wove their webs,
old creatures foul with birdlike nebs 460
that span their traps in dizzy air
and filled it with clinging black despair;
there they lived, and the sucked bones 
lay white beneath on the dank stone.
He found at last the southern slopes 465
to lift again his fading hopes.
There magic lurked in gulf and glen, 
for far away beyond the ken 
of searching eyes, unless it were 
from dizzy towers that pricked the air 470
where only Eagles lived and cried, 
might grey and gleaming be descried 
Beleriand! Beleriand! 
the borders of the fary land. 


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  • © Copyright ... (elery@yandex.ru)
  • : 21/10/2009, : 09/01/2012. 29k. .
  • :
  :

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