No one answered. The noon bell rang. Still no one spoke. Frodo glanced at all the faces, but they were not turned to him. All the Council sat with downcast eyes, as if in deep thought. A great dread fell on him, as if he was awaiting the pronouncement of some doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken. An overwhelming longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo’s side in Rivendell filled all his heart. At last with an effort he spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice.

'I will take the Ring,' he said, 'though I do not know the way.'

Frodo of the Shire


Shrouded rhyme and mystic riddle, shadowed whisperings of night
Written darkly on the wind are here with me;
From old lands I know in story come the lords of fabled might,
Seeking counsel to divine the days to be.

These are strong and bold in battle, but I have no sword to bear;
These are warriors with axe and blade and bow.
But my strength is in the kindly things, in pastures green and fair,
In the tree-roots deep and rivers running slow.

Rising voices, bitter voices, harsh in anger, none to yield,
Fragment voices like the tinder-drying leaves;
And they burn with hungry fire come too early to the field,
Flame for stubble wild amongst the harvest-sheaves.

And I watch the golden evil that I brought into this vale
As its poison fume assaults the elven air,
And remember every walking-song I sang in wood and dale,
All the pleasant toil of exploration there.

Breath and heartbeat gave the rhythm and contentment made the load
As I paced the gentle passing of each day.
But each footstep I was taking brought me to this sudden Road,
Even while I strode unfettered on my way.

For I wandered onto hidden paths beneath the moon and sun,
And I followed, thinking I was running free,
But the little lanes of yesterday have gathered into one
And the ways I thought were mine were leading me.


C. Baillie / '03