This poem is an acrostic, the first letter of each line combining to spell out in three words the metaphorical meaning of the text. The division into three stanzas echoes that significance, the metaphor of each stanza being, respectively: Christ Born, Christ Slain, Christ Resurrected.


Awful, burning blade of power, Narsil of the moon and sun,
Light for dim and desp'rate hour, ancient legend scarce begun.
Peril from the stones of fire shaped into a weapon fell,
Hammered to the smith’s desire,
Age of glory yet to tell.

Crucible and Last Alliance, spent the life of Elf and Man,
Harrowed deep the West’s defiance in the torn and bloodied land.
Ring of Shadow swells the storming, wind of ruin hard assails,
Into Night the hell-fires warming as the Mordor-Lord prevails.
Slain the king and Narsil broken, song celestial is stilled,
True-forged steel a victor’s token, light to eventide is spilled.
One – the One! – In instant longest, hope leaps from the death-fed ground;
Shattered sword that strikes is strongest, casting proud ambition down.

Overturn the doom of breaking, set new fire into the blade,
Might from final slumber waking, sword from deepest Time remade.
Etch the waxing moon in crescent, flame of sun and star-gleam bright,
Glow in splendor incandescent,
Anduril, the foe of Night.


C. Baillie / '03

Christianity and Middle Earth