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A Long-expected Party
The Old Walking Song
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
The Shadow of the Past
Verse of the Rings
'I cannot read the fiery letters,' said Frodo in a quavering voice.
'No,' said Gandalf, 'but I can. The letters are Elvish, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here. But this in the Common Tongue is what is said, close enough:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
It is only two lines of a verse long known in Elven-lore:
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Three is Company
A Walking Song
Upon the hearth the fire is red,
Still round the corner there may wait
Home is behind, the world ahead,
Three is Company
Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
O stars that in the Sunless Year
O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
A Conspiracy Unmasked
The Bath Song
The voice of Pippin was suddenly lifted up above the others in one of Bilbo's favourite bath-songs.
Sing hey! for the bath at close of day
O! Sweet is the sound of falling rain,
O! Water cold we may pour at need
O! Water is fair that leaps on high
A Conspiracy Unmasked
Farewell Song of Merry and Pippin
Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
To Rivendell, where Elves yet dwell
With foes ahead, behind us dread,
We must away! We must away!
The Old Forest
Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! My darling!
The Old Forest
Hop along, my little friends, up the Withywindle!
At the Sign of The Prancing Pony
There is an inn, a merry old inn
The ostler has a tipsy cat
The landlord keeps a little dog
They also keep a horned cow
And O! the rows of silver dishes
The Man in the Moon was drinking deep,
The Man in the Moon took another mug,
Then the ostler said to his tipsy cat:
So the cat on his fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle,
They rolled the Man slowly up the hill
Now quicker the fiddle went deedle-dum-diddle;
With a ping and a pong the fiddle-strings broke!
The round Moon rolled behind the hill
A Knife in the Dark
The Fall of Gil-Galad
Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
His sword was long, his lance was keen,
But long ago he rode away,
A Knife in the Dark
Song of Beren and Lúthien
'I will tell you the tale of Tinúviel,' said Strider,
'in brief - for it is a long tale of which the end is not known; and there are
none now, except Elrond, that remember it aright as it was told of old.
The leaves were long, the grass was green,
There Beren came from mountains cold,
Enchantment healed his weary feet
He heard there oft the flying sound
He sought her ever, wandering far
When winter passed, she came again,
Again she fled, but swift he came.
As Beren looked into her eyes
Long was the way that fate them bore,
Flight to the Ford
Sam's Rhyme of the Troll
Standing up, with his hands behind his back, as if he was at school, he began to sing to an old tune.
Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
Up came John
'My lad,' said Troll, 'this bone I stole.
'For a couple o' pins,' says Troll, and grins,
But just as he thought his dinner was caught,
But harder than stone is the flesh and bone
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They got up and withdrew quietly into the shadows, and made for the doors. Sam they left behind, fast asleep still with a smile on his face. In spite of his delight in Bilbo's company Frodo felt a tug of regret as they passed out of the Hall of Fire. Even as they stepped over the threshold a single clear elvish voice rose in song.
A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
A Journey in the Dark
With a suddenness that startled them all the wizard sprang to his feet. He was laughing! `I have it!' he cried. 'Of course, of course! Absurdly simple, like most riddles when you see the answer.'
Picking up his staff he stood before the rock and said in a clear voice: Mellon!
The star shone out briefly and faded again. Then silently a great doorway was outlined, though not a crack or joint had been visible before. Slowly it divided in the middle and swung outwards inch by inch, until both doors lay back against the wall. Through the opening a shadowy stair could be seen climbing steeply up; but beyond the lower steps the darkness was deeper than the night. The Company stared in wonder.
`I was wrong after all,' said Gandalf, 'and Gimli too. Merry, of all people, was on the right track. The opening word was inscribed on the archway all the time! The translation should have been: Say "Friend" and enter. I had only to speak the Elvish word for friend and the doors opened. Quite simple. Too simple for a learned lore-master in these suspicious days. Those were happier times. Now let us go!'
A Journey in the Dark
Song of Durin
The world was young, the mountains green,
The world was fair, the mountains tall,
A king he was on carven throne
There hammer on the anvil smote,
Unwearied then were Durin's folk
The world is grey, the mountains old,
Song of Nimrodel
An Elven-maid there was of old,
A star was bound upon her brows,
Her hair was long, her limbs were white,
Beside the falls of Nimrodel,
Where now she wanders none can tell,
The elven-ship in haven grey
A wind by night in Northern lands
When dawn came dim the land was lost,
Amroth beheld the fading shore
Of old he was an Elven-king,
From helm to sea they saw him leap,
The wind was in his flowing hair,
But from the West has come no word,
The Mirror of Galadriel
Frodo's Lament for Gandalf
When evening in the Shire was grey
From Wilderland to Western shore,
With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men,
A deadly sword, a healing hand,
A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
He stood upon the bridge alone
Farewell to Lórien
Galadriel's Song of Eldamar
Altariello nainië Lóriendesse
(Galadriel's lament in Lórien)
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Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?
An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
The Departure of Boromir
Lament for Boromir
For a while the three companions remained silent, gazing after
Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows
Then Legolas sang:
From the mouths of the Sea the South Wind flies, from the sandhills and the stones;
Then Aragorn sang again:
From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, and past the roaring falls;
The Long List of the Ents
'An Ent?' said Merry. 'What's that? But what do you call yourself? What's your real name?'
'Hoo now!' replied Treebeard. 'Hoo! Now that would be telling! Not so hasty. And I am doing the asking. You are in my country. What are you, I wonder? I cannot place you. You do not seem to come in the old lists that I learned when I was young. But that was a long, long time ago, and they may have made new lists. Let me see! Let me see! How did it go?
Learn now the lore of Living Creatures!
Hm, hm, hm.
Beaver the builder, buck the leaper,
Eagle in eyrie, ox in pasture,
Hoom, hm; hoom, hm, how did it go? Room tum, room tum, roomty toom tum. It was a long list. But anyway you do not seem to fit in anywhere!'
Treebeard fell silent, striding along, and yet making hardly a sound with his great feet. Then he began to hum again, and passed into a murmuring chant. Gradually the hobbits became aware that he was chanting to them:
In the willow-meads of Tasarinan I walked in the Spring.
The Ent and the Ent-wife
'There was an Elvish song that spoke of this, or at least so I understand it. It used to be sung up and down the Great River. It was never an Entish song, mark you: it would have been a very long song in Entish! But we know it by heart, and hum it now and again. This is how it runs in your tongue:
Then Orcs came with axes and cut down my trees. I came and called them by their long names, but they did not quiver, they did not hear or answer: they lay dead.
O Orofarnë, Lassemista, Carnimírië!
The Ent's Marching Song
Then with a crash came a great ringing shout: ra-hoom-rah! The trees quivered and bent as if a gust had struck them. There was another pause, and then a marching music began like solemn drums, and above the rolling beats and booms there welled voices singing high and strong.
The Ents were coming: ever nearer and louder rose their song:
Then Bregalad picked up the hobbits and strode from his house.
'To Isengard!' the Ents cried in many voices.
To Isengard! Though Isengard be ringed and barred with doors of stone;
The King of the Golden Hall
Lament of the Rohirrim
'Thus it runs
Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
The King of the Golden Hall
Gandalf's Song of Lórien
In Dwimordene, in Lórien
The passage of the Marshes
Gollum chuckled to himself, sometimes even croaking in a sort of song.
The cold hard lands,
'Ha! ha! What does we wish?'
Alive without breath;
The Black Gate is closed
`Were there any oliphaunts?' asked Sam, forgetting his fear in his eagerness for news of strange places.
`No, no oliphaunts. What are oliphaunts? ' said Gollum.
Sam stood up, putting his hands behind his back (as he always did when 'speaking poetry'), and began:
Grey as a mouse,
Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
A little way back above the lake they found a deep brown bed of last year's fern. Beyond it was a thicket of dark-leaved bay-trees climbing up a steep bank that was crowned with old cedars. Here they decided to rest and pass the day, which already promised to be bright and warm.
Sam had been giving earnest thought to food as they marched. Now that the despair of the impassable Gate was behind him, he did not feel so inclined as his master to take no thought for their livelihood beyond the end of their errand; and anyway it seemed wiser to him to save the waybread of the Elves for worse times ahead. Six days or more had passed since he reckoned that they had only a bare supply for three weeks.
'If we reach the Fire in that time, we'll be lucky at this rate! ' he thought. `And we might be wanting to get back. We might! '
Besides, at the end of a long night-march, and after bathing and drinking, he felt even more hungry than usual. A supper, or a breakfast, by the fire in the old kitchen at Bagshot Row was what he really wanted. An idea struck him and he turned to Gollum. Gollum had just begun to sneak off on his own, and he was crawling away on all fours through the fern.
`Hi! Gollum! ' said Sam. `Where are you going? Hunting? Well see here, old noser, you don't like our food, and I'd not be sorry for a change myself. Your new motto's always ready to help. Could you find anything fit for a hungry hobbit? '
`Yes, perhaps, yes,' said Gollum. `Sméagol always helps, if they asks - if they asks nicely.'
`Right!' said Sam `I does ask. And if that isn't nice
enough, I begs.'
Gollum disappeared. He was away some time, and Frodo after
a few mouthfuls of lembas settled down in the deep
Gollum returned quietly and peered over Sam's shoulder. Looking at Frodo, he shut his eyes and crawled away without a sound. Sam came to him a moment later and found him chewing something and muttering to himself. On the ground beside him lay two small rabbits, which he was beginning to eye greedily.
'Sméagol always helps,' he said. `He has brought rabbits, nice rabbits. But master has gone to sleep, and perhaps Sam wants to sleep. Doesn't want rabbits now? Sméagol tries to help, but he can't catch things all in a minute.'
Sam, however, had no objection to rabbit at all, and said so. At least not to cooked rabbit. All hobbits, of course, can cook, for they begin to learn the art before their letters (which many never reach)
'Now, Gollum,' he said, 'I've another job for you. Go and fill these pans with water, and bring 'em back! '
'Sméagol will fetch water, yes,' said Gollum. 'But what does the hobbit want all that water for? He has drunk, he has washed.'
'Never you mind,' said Sam. `If you can't guess, you'll soon find out. And the sooner you fetch the water, the sooner you'll learn. Don't you damage one of my pans, or I'll carve you into mincemeat.'
While Gollum was away Sam took another look at Frodo. He was still sleeping quietly, but Sam was now struck most by the leanness of his face and hands. 'Too thin and drawn he is,' he muttered. 'Not right for a hobbit. If I can get these coneys cooked, I'm going to wake him up.'
Sam gathered a pile of the driest fern, and then scrambled up the bank collecting a bundle of twigs and broken wood; the fallen branch of a cedar at the top gave him a good supply. He cut out some turves at the foot of the bank just outside the fern-brake, and made a shallow hole and laid his fuel in it. Being handy with flint and tinder he soon had a small blaze going. It made little or no smoke but gave off an aromatic scent. He was just stooping over his fire, shielding it and building it up with heavier wood, when Gollum returned, carrying the pans carefully and grumbling to himself.
He set the pans down, and then suddenly saw what Sam was doing. He gave a thin hissing shriek, and seemed to be both frightened and angry. `Ach! Sss - no!' he cried. `No! Silly hobbits, foolish, yes foolish! They mustn't do it!'
`Mustn't do what?' asked Sam in surprise.
`Not make the nassty red tongues,' hissed Gollum. `Fire, fire! It's dangerous, yes it is. It burns, it kills. And it will bring enemies, yes it will.'
'I don't think so,' said Sam. `Don't see why it should, if you don't put wet stuff on it and make a smother. But if it does, it does. I'm going to risk it, anyhow. I'm going to stew these coneys.'
'Stew the rabbits!' squealed Gollum in dismay. `Spoil beautiful meat Sméagol saved for you, poor hungry Sméagol! What for? What for, silly hobbit? They are young, they are tender, they are nice. Eat them, eat them!' He clawed at the nearest rabbit, already skinned and lying by the fire.
`Now, now! ' said Sam. `Each to his own fashion. Our bread chokes you, and raw coney chokes me. If you give me a coney, the coney's mine, see, to cook, if I have a mind. And I have. You needn't watch me. Go and catch another and eat it as you fancy - somewhere private and out o' my sight. Then you won't see the fire, and I shan't see you, and we'll both be the happier. I'll see the fire don't smoke, if that's any comfort to you.'
Gollum withdrew grumbling, and crawled into the fern. Sam busied himself with his pans. `What a hobbit needs with coney,' he said to himself, `is some herbs and roots, especially taters - not to mention bread. Herbs we can manage, seemingly.'
`Gollum!' he called softly. `Third time pays for all. I want some herbs.' Gollum's head peeped out of the fern, but his looks were neither helpful nor friendly. `A few bay-leaves, some thyme and sage, will do - before the water boils,' said Sam.
`No!' said Gollum. `Sméagol is not pleased. And Sméagol doesn't like smelly leaves. He doesn't eat grasses or roots, no precious, not till he's starving or very sick, poor Sméagol. '
`Sméagol'll get into real true hot water, when this water boils, if he don't do as he's asked,' growled Sam. `Sam'll put his head in it, yes precious. And I'd make him look for turnips and carrots, and taters too, if it was the time o' the year. I'll bet there's all sorts of good things running wild in this country. I'd give a lot for half a dozen taters.'
`Sméagol won't go, O no precious, not this time,' hissed Gollum. `He's frightened, and he's very tired, and this hobbit's not nice, not nice at all. Sméagol won't grub for roots and carrotses and - taters. What's taters, precious, eh, what's taters?
`Po-ta-toes,' said Sam. 'The Gaffer's delight, and rare good ballast for an empty belly. But you won't find any, so you needn't look. But be good Sméagol and fetch me the herbs, and I'll think better of you. What's more, if you turn over a new leaf, and keep it turned, I'll cook you some taters one of these days. I will: fried fish and chips served by S. Gamgee. You couldn't say no to that.'
`Yes, yes we could. Spoiling nice fish, scorching it. Give me fish now, and keep nassty chips! '
`Oh you're hopeless,' said Sam. 'Go to sleep!'
The Muster of Rohan
Lament for Théoden
and so without horn or harp or music of men's voices the great ride into the East began with which the songs of Rohan were busy for many long lives of men thereafter.
From dark Dunharrow in the dim morning
The Ride of the Rohirrim
'Then since we must look for fell deeds and the need of all our strength,' said Éomer, 'I counsel that we rest now, and set out hence by night, and so time our going that we come upon the fields when tomorrow is as light as it will be, or when our lord gives the signal.'
To this the king assented, and the captains departed. But soon Elfhelm returned. 'The scouts have found naught to report beyond the grey wood, lord,' he said, 'save two men only: two dead men and two dead horses.'
'Well?' said Éomer. 'What of it?'
'This, lord: they were errand-riders of Gondor; Hirgon was one maybe. At least his hand still clasped the Red Arrow, but his head was hewn off. And this also: it would seem by the signs that they were fleeing westward when they fell. As I read it, they found the enemy already on the out-wall, or assailing it, when they returned - and that would be two nights ago, if they used fresh horses from the posts, as is their wont. They could not reach the City and turned back.'
'Alas!' said Théoden. 'Then Denethor has heard no news of our riding and will despair of our coming.'
'Need brooks no delay, yet late is better than
never,' said Éomer. 'And mayhap in this time shall the old saw be
proved truer than ever before since men spoke with mouth.'
It was night. On either side of the road the host of Rohan was moving silently. Now the road passing about the skirts of Mindolluin turned southward. Far away and almost straight ahead there was a red glow under the black sky and the sides of the great mountain loomed dark against it. They were drawing near the Rammas of the Pelennor; but the day was not yet come.
The king rode in the midst of the leading company, his household-men about him. Elfhelm's éored came next; and now Merry noticed that Dernhelm had left his place and in the darkness was moving steadily forward, until at last he was riding just in rear of the king's guard. There came a check. Merry heard voices in front speaking softly. Out-riders had come back who had ventured forward almost to the wall. They came to the king.
'There are great fires, lord,' said one. 'The City is all set about with flame, and the field is full of foes. But all seem drawn off to the assault. As well as we could guess, there are few left upon the out-wall, and they are heedless, busy in destruction.'
'Do you remember the Wild Man's words, lord?' said another. 'I live upon the open Wold in days of peace; Wídfara is my name, and to me also the air brings messages. Already the wind is turning. There comes a breath out of the South; there is a sea-tang in it, faint though it be. The morning will bring new things. Above the reek it will be dawn when you pass the wall.'
'If you speak truly, Wídfara, then may you live beyond this day in years of blessedness!' said Théoden. He turned to the men of his household who were near, and he spoke now in a clear voice so that many also of the riders of the first éored heard him:
'Now is the hour come, Riders of the Mark, sons of Eorl! Foes and fire are before you, and your homes far behind. Yet, though you fight upon an alien field, the glory that you reap there shall be your own for ever. Oaths ye have taken: now fulfil them all, to lord and land and league of friendship!'
Men clashed spear upon shield.
'Éomer, my son! You lead the first éored,' said Théoden; 'and it shall go behind the king's banner in the centre. Elfhelm, lead your company to the right when we pass the wall. And Grimbold shall lead his towards the left. Let the other companies behind follow these three that lead, as they have chance. Strike wherever the enemy gathers. Other plans we cannot make, for we know not yet how things stand upon the field. Forth now, and fear no darkness!'
The leading company rode off as swiftly as they could,
for it was still deep dark, whatever change Wídfara might forebode. Merry was
riding behind Dernhelm, clutching with the left hand while with the other he
tried to loosen his sword in its sheath. He felt now bitterly the truth of the
old king's words: in such a battle what would you do, Meriadoc? Just this,' he
thought: 'encumber a rider, and hope at best to stay in my seat and not be
pounded to death by galloping hoofs!'
It was no more than a league to where the out-walls had stood. They soon reached them; too soon for Merry. Wild cries broke out, and there was some clash of arms, but it was brief. The orcs busy about the walls were few and amazed, and they were quickly slain or driven off. Before the ruin of the north-gate in the Rammas the king halted again. The first éored drew up behind him and about him on either side. Dernhelm kept close to the king, though Elfhelm's company was away on the right. Grimbold's men turned aside and passed round to a great gap in the wall further eastward.
Merry peered from behind Dernhelm's back. Far away, maybe ten miles or more, there was a great burning, but between it and the Riders lines of fire blazed in a vast crescent, at the nearest point less than a league distant. He could make out little more on the dark plain, and as yet he neither saw any hope of morning, nor felt any wind, changed or unchanged.
Now silently the host of Rohan moved forward into the field of Gondor, pouring in slowly but steadily, like the rising tide through breaches in a dike that men have thought secure. But the mind and will of the Black Captain were bent wholly on the falling city, and as yet no tidings came to him warning that his designs held any flaw.
After a while the king led his men away somewhat eastward, to come between the fires of the siege and the outer fields. Still they were unchallenged, and still Théoden gave no signal. At last he halted once again. The City was now nearer. A smell of burning was in the air and a very shadow of death. The horses were uneasy. But the king sat upon Snowmane, motionless, gazing upon the agony of Minas Tirith, as if stricken suddenly by anguish, or by dread. He seemed to shrink down, cowed by age. Merry himself felt as if a great weight of horror and doubt had settled on him. His heart beat slowly. Time seemed poised in uncertainty. They were too late! Too late was worse than never! Perhaps Théoden would quail, bow his old head, turn, slink away to hide in the hills.
Then suddenly Merry felt it at last, beyond doubt: a change. Wind was in his face! Light was glimmering. Far, far away, in the South the clouds could be dimly seen as remote grey shapes, rolling up, drifting: morning lay beyond them.
But at that same moment there was a flash, as if lightning had sprung from the earth beneath the City. For a searing second it stood dazzling far off in black and white, its topmost tower like a glittering needle: and then as the darkness closed again there came rolling over the fields a great boom.
At that sound the bent shape of the king sprang suddenly erect. Tall and proud he seemed again; and rising in his stirrups he cried in a loud voice, more clear than any there had ever heard a mortal man achieve before:
Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
With that he seized a great horn from Guthláf his banner-bearer, and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains.
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them. Éomer rode there, the white horsetail on his helm floating in his speed, and the front of the first éored roared like a breaker foaming to the shore, but Théoden could not be overtaken. Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and the darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.
The Battle of the Pellennor Fields
Song of the Mounds of Mundburg
No few had fallen, renowned or nameless, captain or soldier; for it was a great battle and the full count of it no tale has told. So long afterward a maker in Rohan said in his song of the Mounds of Mundburg:
We heard of the horns in the hills ringing,
There at the bend it was cut deep through a crag of old weathered stone once long ago vomited from the Mountain's furnaces. Panting under his load Sam turned the bend; and even as he did so, out of the corner of his eye, he had a glimpse of something falling from the crag, like a small piece of black stone that had toppled off as he passed.
A sudden weight smote him and he crashed forward, tearing the backs of his hands that still clasped his master's. Then he knew what had happened, for above him as he lay he heard a hated voice.
'Wicked masster!' it hissed. 'Wicked masster cheats us, cheats us; cheats Sméagol, gollum. He musstn't go that way. He musstn't hurt Preciouss. Give it to Sméagol, yess, give it to us! Give it to uss!'
With a violent heave Sam rose up. At once he drew his sword; but he could do nothing. Gollum and Frodo were locked together. Gollum was tearing at his master, trying to get at the chain and the Ring. This was probably the only thing that could have roused the dying embers of Frodo's heart and will: an attack, an attempt to wrest his treasure from him by force. He fought back with a sudden fury that amazed Sam, and Gollum also. Even so things might have gone far otherwise, if Gollum himself had remained unchanged; but whatever dreadful paths, lonely and hungry and waterless, he had trodden, driven by a devouring desire and a terrible fear, they had left grievous marks on him. He was a lean, starved, haggard thing, all bones and tight-drawn sallow skin. A wild light flamed in his eyes, but his malice was no longer matched by his old griping strength. Frodo flung him off and rose up quivering.
'Down, down!' he gasped, clutching his hand to his breast, so that beneath the cover of his leather shirt he clasped the Ring. 'Down you creeping thing, and out of my path! Your time is at an end. You cannot betray me or slay me now.'
Then suddenly, as before under the eaves of the Emyn Muil, Sam saw these two rivals with other vision. A crouching shape, scarcely more than the shadow of a living thing, a creature now wholly ruined and defeated, yet filled with a hideous lust and rage; and before it stood stern, untouchable now by pity, a figure robed in white, but at its breast it held a wheel of fire. Out of the fire there spoke a commanding voice.
'Begone, and trouble me no more! If you touch me ever again, you shall be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom.'
The crouching shape backed away, terror in its blinking eyes, and yet at the same time insatiable desire.
Then the vision passed and Sam saw Frodo standing, hand on breast, his breath coming in great gasps, and Gollum at his feet, resting on his knees with his wide-splayed hands upon the ground.
'Look out!' cried Sam. 'He'll spring!' He stepped forward, brandishing his sword. 'Quick, Master!' he gasped. 'Go on! Go on! No time to lose. I'll deal with him. Go on!'
Frodo looked at him as if at one now far away. 'Yes, I must
go on,' he said. 'Farewell, Sam! This is the end at last. On Mount Doom doom
shall fall. Farewell!' He turned and went on, walking slowly but erect up the
'Now!' said Sam. 'At last I can deal with you!' He leaped forward with drawn blade ready for battle. But Gollum did not spring. He fell flat upon the ground and whimpered.
'Don't kill us,' he wept. 'Don't hurt us with nassty cruel steel! Let us live, yes, live just a little longer. Lost lost! We're lost. And when Precious goes we'll die, yes, die into the dust.' He clawed up the ashes of the path with his long fleshless fingers. 'Dusst!' he hissed.
Sam's hand wavered. His mind was hot with wrath and the memory of evil. It would be just to slay this treacherous, murderous creature, just and many times deserved; and also it seemed the only safe thing to do. But deep in his heart there was something that restrained him: he could not strike this thing lying in the dust, forlorn, ruinous, utterly wretched. He himself, though only for a little while, had borne the Ring, and now dimly he guessed the agony of Gollum's shrivelled mind and body, enslaved to that Ring, unable to find peace or relief ever in life again. But Sam had no words to express what he felt.
'Oh, curse you, you stinking thing!' he said. 'Go away! Be off! I don't trust you, not as far as I could kick you; but be off. Or I shall hurt you, yes, with nasty cruel steel.'
Gollum got up on all fours, and backed away for several paces, and then he turned, and as Sam aimed a kick at him he fled away down the path. Sam gave no more heed to him. He suddenly remembered his master. He looked up the path and could not see him. As fast as he could he trudged up the road. If he had looked back, he might have seen not far below Gollum turn again, and then with a wild light of madness glaring in his eyes come, swiftly but warily, creeping on behind, a slinking shadow among the stones.
The path climbed on. Soon it bent again and with a last eastward course passed in a cutting along the face of the cone and came to the dark door in the Mountain's side, the door of the Sammath Naur. Far away now rising towards the South the sun, piercing the smokes and haze, burned ominous, a dull bleared disc of red; but all Mordor lay about the Mountain like a dead land, silent, shadow-folded, waiting for some dreadful stroke.
Sam came to the gaping mouth and peered in. It was dark and hot, and a deep rumbling shook the air. 'Frodo! Master!' he called. There was no answer. For a moment he stood, his heart beating with wild fears, and then he plunged in. A shadow followed him.
At first he could see nothing. In his great need he drew out once more the phial of Galadriel, but it was pale and cold in his trembling hand and threw no light into that stifling dark. He was come to the heart of the realm of Sauron and the forges of his ancient might, greatest in Middle-earth; all other powers were here subdued.
The Steward and the King
The Eagle's Song
And before the Sun had fallen far from the noon out of the East there came a great Eagle flying, and he bore tidings beyond hope from the Lords of the West, crying:
Sing now, ye people of the Tower of Anor,
Sing and rejoice, ye people of the Tower of Guard,
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
And the Tree that was withered shall be renewed,
Sing all ye people!
And the people sang in all the ways of the City.
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