Beren and Lúthien
Because it's what we're all here for really..
A very different kind of Tolkien-Zen moment.
My friend just posted this little taster on his Blog. Oxford Inklings He says it contains his all-time favourite quote of the 20th Century. That's quite a claim. Here is what he says about it:
The Geste of Beren and Lúthien.
This wonderful epic poem is the core work in the Tolkien corpus. It may be read in it's entirety in "The Lays of Beleriand" available in Hard or Paperback at any bookshop. Why the core work? On the headstone of the Tolkien grave at Wolvercote are two words from his whole life's work: "Beren & Lúthien".
"A king there was in days of old:
ere Men yet walked upon the mould
his power was reared in cavern's shade,
his hand was over glen and glade.
His shields were shining as the moon,
his lances keen of steel were hewn,
of silver grey his crown was wrought,
the starlight in his banners caught;
and silver thrilled his trumpets long
beneath the stars in challenge strong;
enchantment did his realm enfold,
where might and glory, wealth untold,
he wielded from his ivory throne
in many-pillared halls of stone.
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
and metal wrought like fishes' mail,
buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
and gleaming spears were laid in hoard —
all these he had and loved them less
than a maiden once in Elfinesse;
for fairer than are born to Men
a daughter had he, Lúthien."
The first 22 lines (of 4,223) of The Geste of Beren and Lúthien
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Well I just thought it might be nice to ponder it and compare it to other slices of epic poetry or prose in Tolkien's works. The silver trumpets theme is appearing again. And it reminds me a lot of the dream Frodo had about a man with an emerald star on his forehead. And the poem that Sam recites about Gil-Galad. (Or maybe the tale that Strider tells them in the wild on Weathertop).
What do you notice about it? And what interests you?
Why is it my friend's favourite quote? In his own words:
Lúthien... can only be a thing of beauty to me. "A daughter had he, Lúthien"... the greatest line in English Literature. (I know, I have a daughter)!
Don't know why, but that touched my heart!