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.