Denethor Poetry Writing Challenge

Palantir, The

1. The Palantir

   
   
   
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, keen but weary,
Staring through my stone at waves that broke upon Dol Amroth's shore--
While I wavered for decision, suddenly there came a vision,
Hosts of Mordor, fell divisions, marching toward my tower door.
"'T is only dream," I muttered, "we are safe inside Gondor--
Only lies and nothing more."

But the endless rows of marchers, orcs and Southron's mounted archers
Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that then, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
"All the might of Gondor's armies stand between them and my door.
All the stone of Minas Tirith must be broken ere my door--
Sauron's lies and nothing more."

Deep into Palantir peering, while I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, seeing things where Stewards never dared to peer before--
All the visions were unbroken, and the armies gave no token
And the only word heard spoken was the whispered "Numenor"
This I whispered and the east wind blew an echoed "Numenor"
Merely this and nothing more.

Startled at the lines retreating and the iron-shod orc feet beating,
'Doubtless,' thought I, 'what it shows me's nothing but the death and gore--
Caught from that unbodied master whose unmerciful disaster
Drove them fast and prodded faster til they reached the Pelennor--
Where the shadows of the eyrie and the Witch-King that he bore
Slew the guards of Denethor.'

And the Palantir that showed me all the rising dust glowed coldly
With the scene, as if the future in that sinking did outpour.
One more thing was then revealed, in the movements on the field--
Fell my son beside his shield from the dart that pierced his core--
Then I feared that he would follow in his brother's fate before.
Dead the sons of Denethor.

"Prophet, "said I, "thing of evil--prophet still if stone or devil--
By the One who rules above us, by the jewels of Feanor--
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, this side of distant Haven,
We shall see a new day blazing with the light of bright Anor--
Or but only dark hosts razing all that's left of fair Gondor."
It showed sunken Numenor.

This I saw and shrieked, upstarting, cursed the cold stone ere departing,
And I bore my son to houses where the bones of Kings are stored.
"We shall leave but ash as token, Mardil's line by us is broken--
I am Steward, I have spoken, lay the kindlings on the floor."
But my dying son was stolen and before they reached the door,
Choked out, crying--"Denethor!"

So the far-gaze, ne'er remitting, still is sitting, still is sitting,
On the marble bust of Mardil just inside my tower door.
And the eye has all the seeing and the demon's woke from dreaming,
While the torch-light flickers gleaming from the pyre on the floor--
And my soul from out those ashes that lie steaming on the floor
Shall not sink like Numenor.


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.

   
   
   

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Story Information

Author: rene

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 01/23/03

Original Post: 01/22/03

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