Here is the Lay of Eärendil as it was Learned by me from my Sire,
who in turn learned it from his Sire and so on back into the True Times.
Little of it now remains, and even this fragment is sorely lacking
in historic certainties, for of late we have seen naught of the Silmarillon,
it being a Great Book and held only in the hands of Kings,
and those the Kings grant privileges for lore study.
None save these know the true telling, except, of course,
for the High Elves, of whom naught has been seen for many ages of Men.
Yet here is set down the most common version, with several other verses
not known by the majority of Men, being those I've heard from Eldar Dwarves
and ones of my own making. It is written not in the Elvish mode,
for being a popular fireside tale, only the Ring poems being preferred to it,
it has been transcribed into a common verse structure by those who sang it,
thus making it applicable to many well known tunes.
So have I, Nandal Silverbrand, set it down.
THE LAY of EÄRENDIL
Young Eärendil was a mariner,
He sailed the near seas and far.
Through Darkness passed unto ELVEN HOME,
Now sails the night as a star.
A brave and fearless sailor he
Of proud and noble birth
To Beren's child, fair Elwing, wed
And Hope was borne to Middle-earth.
Elwing had a silmaril
Her mother's gift when Beren passed
A lofty prize that burning bright
With gold chain fine, 'round her neck was fast
The stone was pure and shimmered green
In lieu no treasure could be found
For Beren slew the Darkling King
And plucked it from his shattered crown.
Then back again o'er mountains cold
Came Beren unto Tinúviel
And wedded there in the Elven-wood
To her he gave the silmaril.
From Havens Grey, young Eärendil,
Set sail from North to South
Then West he turned toward heavy seas
And entered then the Shadow's mouth.
The wind blew strong from Eastern mounts
To his silver sail and bellied full
But the breeze was fell from Darkling Lands
And Shadows swept black round his hull.
Then winds fell short, the water calmed
Yet naught was seen of moon nor sun
When lightning cracked and clove the sea
And with a smash the mast undone.
The waves rose high and plunged below
To sweep him from his flooded deck
But Eärendil, the strong of limb,
Stood firm when waves rushed round his neck.
Though Eärendil had a mighty hand
The Sea was fell, with Darkness swept
Then through the Storm when the ocean foamed
Came Elwing with the stone she kept.
The Blackness smoked from her Elvenglow
And in thick billows 'round her grew
Then she reached to her chest and bared her breast
Therefrom the silmaril withdrew.
The Fell Night cracked to its piercing light
It calmed the wind and wave
The Shadows passed by Eärendil
Unto Elwing deep thanks he gave
The ship was hewn of Elvish-wood
Yet without mast or oar
Was borne on waves and laid its keel
On the golden strands of Valinor
Though Eärendil was a mortal man
He had touched the Elven-sand
And by Elves was loved yet was his doom
To never again touch mortal land
Thus bittersweet was laid his task
Everlife was his reward
And to sail the skies in his Elvish boat
A glowing star forever more
He was set on high with his Elven bride
With the Silmaril as their light
To lend hope to those in Middle-earth
Who live under the Dark Lord's Bite
Young Eärendil was a Mariner
And he sails a sea of clouds
His light lends hope to us in the Dark
With the green Silmaril at his brow.
It is said by many that long after the fall of Sauron, that many feel
was the heralding of the age of Men, whenever the Star of Eärendil was seen,
that person seeing it would feel in his heart of hearts a joy beyond measure,
paired, some say, with an unfathomable sorrow.