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[page 39] These two pieces, though quite different in form and mood, deal with the same theme. Underlying the tragic events of the Third Age of Middle-Earth were personal crises fully as great to those involved as the momentous doings of the great folk of the time. Tolkien's saga can hardly be expanded upon--to do so would be to deny the greatness of his work. My poetry deals instead with these unexplored personal dramas of field and wood, farm and fief that have little place in a work of such immensity as The Red Book Of Westmarch, but which played a great though unheralded part in the dark matters found therein. As such are these pieces written--as glimpses into the world of folk drawn into a conflict beyond the reaches of their understanding. The first poem is one of mood, of lengthening shadows in a false summer. I leave it to the reader to interpret it as he chooses. The second is of a more conventional nature... One might imagine such words shielding the faltering heart of a village wife of Gondor whose husband marches far off in the dark were of his lord. Yours, Elfstone hush leaf drops in long spiral silent in the arms of midday heat Gust--sudden, swift! catches it up and spins it madly twice thriceit @thrice it@ spins and resumes its slow pirrouette @pirouette@ softly swinging through laden branches PROUD OAK be not so sparing of your precious bounty do you not see yon spreading dark? do you not heed yon faltering song and has not this chill reached your bones, too? from the East it comes, and so come I. 9/24/68 Bill Tallen [page 40] Whose this cry of despair? Still your voice, my son. The day is not over, Your work is not done. What nonsense you speak, my son! Who puts these tales in your head? Better the work your fathers have done Then tales of old heroes long dead. Nay, my son, turn not away-- Your mother loves you still-- Your father returns, my son... May the Valar grant that he will. Even as he--to our work we must turn My son, and think not of his fate; For, my son, his fate will be ours And timeruns @time runs@ short for debate. Who knows, my son, though the shadow grows, A better day may yet dawn; Let us not be placed with those who fail When the road of their life calls them on. Bill Tallen