Bend In the Road, A
8. Last Words
Sam shook his head and sighed as he seated himself at my kitchen table. "Lonesome, even with Merry and Pippin to drive away the quiet. We all miss him, Lily, and that's a fact."
I nodded, brushing away a silent tear as I turned to my teakettle. "I think few feel his absence as you do, Sam."
He gently patted my hand as I placed a teacup in front of him. "Now, Lily, I know you're hurting too, though you try to be brave and bear me up." He smiled into my face and handed me a lovely book, bound in red leather covers. "This is what I came here to show you."
I sat down opposite him and stared at the book. "What is this, Sam?"
He laughed. "Don't you know? The book you and Frodo worked so hard on. It's near finished. I've only to tell the tale of going to the Havens. But I thought you might like to look at the very last page."
Puzzled, I turned the parchment leaves until I came to the final page. There, in Frodo's unmistakable hand, was an inscription and several lines of verse. I will try to reproduce it here for you as best I can:
Who gave me comfort many days in the Shire—
That she may not be forgotten by those who read our book.
The road rolls down to the sounding sea
On her rocky bosom she carries me
A seeker bound for the Utmost West
Only there can I find true rest
The Elven-lands I go to find
Though I leave my only love behind
Peace I'll have in the Golden Lands
But I leave my heart in her fair hands
Shining Earendil lights my way
'Cross ocean paths where fishes play
But amid the slendor of stars on the sea
I think only of her who longs for me
Sail on, ship, 'neath the evening star
My heart's with you, no matter how far!
Though I travel beyond the setting sun
I belong to you till my course is run.
I hastily handed the book back to Sam to avoid marring the ink with tears. "When did you find this? Did you know Frodo was planning to do something like this?"
Sam shook his head. "Hadn't a clue, Lily. I knew he wanted to do something special for you, but I didn't know what it was going to be. I hope you didn't mind me taking the liberty of reading it?" His broad brow furrowed in worry.
I smiled, wiping off my face with my sleeve. I never seem to have a handkerchief handy. "No, Frodo himself meant it for all who would read his book. I would never make it a private matter. I miss him so—but—I'm a little glad. A little glad to be living on in this book of his."
Sam grinned at me. "It's lovely verse, if I may say so myself. And I'll make sure it goes down in every copy I make of this book! A fit remembrance for a lovely lady."
Lovely lady I am not, and never think of myself as such, but Sam's compliments always made me smile, and I thanked him. We had a nice cup of tea together, and he was soon on his way back to Bag End.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.