'Halflings!' laughed the Rider that stood beside …omer. 'Halflings! But they are only a little people in old songs and children's tales out of the North. Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?'

'A man may do both,' said Aragorn...

The Shire-King


I. The Ring

Cast faith into the crucible of will
And skim the dross of truth from molten lies.
There let the brazen boldness linger still
And render falsehood in a sweeter guise.

Dull alchemy a feckless, weak employ,
When power keens the all-enchanting song,
The darling wish to shape or to destroy,
Command to rule, determination strong.

II. The Dark Lord

Once set the yellow gold upon his hand,
Then by its beauteous power the world shall fall.
Dominion shall be his to eíer expand;
The shadow of his pride will cover all,

To drive by sword and bitter toil and chain,
To kill the soul and bend the stubborn knee,
To drink his thoughts, submit to his domain,
And either slave or willing serf to be.

Encircle heavín with hellís dark-turning wheel,
Let spew the furnace-belly to the night;
And all that live shall in the ashes kneel,
For he alone will walk in golden light.

III. Mordor

Where storm and darkness struggle in the skies
And smite the air with thunderbolts of war;
Beneath the battlefield the dead land lies,
Bleak witness of the sorrows gone before.

Obsidian the tower of the night,
But footed in the mountainís dreadful flow;
As if with blood, the glassy spire alight,
Red stone on stone in hideous tableau.

The blasted cliff a rivíning road divides,
Black hatredís hoofbeats pound the trodden way
And in his train abomination rides
Close-stirruped with deep ruin and dismay.

IV. Valinor

The lords of heaven cry against the foe
And weep to see a world gone all awry,
Take counsel wise against the coming woe
And seek to end the peril drawing nigh.

Lest night like star-ash fall upon the earth
And blind the infant day with sharp-edged tears.
And death rear up in triumph over birth
And, gleeful, set to emptying the years.

Whom shall we send against such awful might?
Where find the paladin that we require?
A rightful king to wield the sword in fight,
A lamb to bear the burden to the fire.

IV. The Lamb

There where the world is framed in gentle green,
The Shire-lands lie beneath the morning sun;
Where dwells the virtue needed and foreseen,
Tis there that we will find our little one.

A mortal born for just this momentís need,
A creature captured bird-like in the hand;
To follow where his fated pathways lead,
To bear affliction to that bitter end.

In him shall all of Middle-Earth be blessed;
Pour out pure liquid starlight into glass.
Deep-wounded he, no place on earth for rest,
The circles of the world must bid him pass.

VI. The King

The sword was shattered and the crown forsaken,
The scion hid in secret from the world.
From distant age now comes the throne unshaken,
The ensign covered to the wind unfurled.

Send Hope against the adversaryís prison.
Let truth and justice render fair reward.
Against the darkness set a Star new-risen,
Against the tower set the blade restored.

Illume the dark with light from year primeval,
Long-traveled from a bright and ancient sun
Come home to lay to rest the worldís upheaval,
Set seal to storied purpose long begun.

VII. Finis

And somewhere, far, the end is the beginning,
And there the prime becomes the final thing.
The ages blend in time-swept joyous singing;
The king becomes the lamb and he the king.


C. Baillie / '03



Christianity and Middle Earth