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[page 7] AN ELVEN SAGA POEM BY GREG SHAW Of old there was an Elven lord Who ruled Beleriand. The tools of war were laid in hoard, Peace reighed @reigned@ throughout the land. The elves they called him ErlenĂ³n. The men Tarlunamir. His tower held a seeing-stone, The original palantir. He often rode about his realm, And wandered in the trees. He bore no shield; wore no helm; Unarmed he was at ease. But not afraid of war was he As many songs did tell; Six hundred orcs beneath the trees Of Greenwood did he fell. But this had happened in ages past In a long forgotten war; He hoped that he had seen the last Of the evil from Mordor. Alas, one day as he did stand Within his tower tall, From farthest East across his land, He heard a distant call. He gazed into the palantir, And to his great despair He saw along the wide frontier, Orc legions everywhere. The elves were strong within their land And as the orcs passed through Great numbers fell, but each dead man Was soon replaced by two. The elves fell back to Nargothrond, Fighting all the way. And there within the mighty walls, Beseiged they needs must stay. Much further West, in Gondolin, A fortress of much power, Erlenon still remained within His tall and ancient tower. He sought aid from his brother, Who ruled far in the South; But Gondor couldn't help another, So close to Mordor's mouth. When war came they were always first To hear the battle drums. The plight of Gondor was much worse; For there no help could come. [page 8] Messengers were sent to the North Where elves and dwarves were strong; But then came not a soldier forth, They too had fought for long. So from his tower came the King To lead his folk to war. Twelve thousand horsemen could they bring, And as many footmen more. They set out soon for Nargothrond, With their weapons long upheld And joined by folk from all around Their numbers steadily swelled. After a hurried three-day ride, The scouts came back and said, "Our foe lies on the other side Of these few hills ahead." They rested then and checked their gear, And fed the horses well. From far away they all could hear The goblins shout and yell. Then in the early afternoon They mounted and went on. Their minds were filled with thoughts of doom And no one sang a song. And as they topped the last hill's crest, They saw a desperate scene. A fallen city of the West, And countless orcs between. But even as they thought all lost, They saw off to one side A few braves @brave@ elves against the host Of Mordor forward ride. Inspired thuse @thus@ they gave a shout, And loud the horns were blown. Before them orcs ran in a rout, As Erlenon blew them down. [page 9] The battle raged for many hours And they elves they showed no pity. When night came they camped in the towers Of the nearly ruined city. But though they fought their best they knew That in the end they'd fail. Their numbers still were far too few, And valor was to no avail. When morning came they were dismayed And saw that they must die. Eighty thousand orcs arrayed, And darkness filled the sky. But lo! Great light now filled the world, And all above them spread Shining figures, and lightening @lightning@ hurled To blast the goblins dead. The elves all cried in their delight. Unharmed on blasted earth. They recognized a splendid sight; The Valar had come to Middle Earth. Today the land of Beleriand Lies beneath the sea. But though the memory is dim, It'll never forgotten be; The Breaking of Thangorodrim, And Morgoth the enemy. (Reprinted from _Wanderlust._)