5. Under the Eaves of Mirkwood
The dwarves and hobbit went,
Where no birds sing, and no dogs bark,
And trees are all so bent;
Without a sound, (not even ‘hark!’)
The shadows were silent.
And as they marched, the darkness grew,
Till stifled they were all;
No wind there in the forest blew,
For trees there stood up tall,
Which left no way for fresh air through,
And let no sunshine fall.
Then night fell on them, by and by,
And they stopped there to rest;
And lighting fire they did try,
But then, it was no jest;
For blackish moths did at them fly,
Like uninvited guest.
And glowing out at them they saw,
Those dreadful creature-eyes;
And then they knew unwritten law,
That starlight should suffice,
But fire! Never should you draw
That demon, if you’re wise.
And so they sat in watch at night,
In darkness so pitch-black,
And tried to drive away their fright;
By throwing their minds back,
To many a happy, jolly sight;
And memories they did wrack.
And so, they walked into the dark,
And on for days they went,
As rations fell then short of mark,
And all were tired and bent,
There came to them, like brightest spark,
A water-stream, God-sent.
But as the dwarves did think to drink,
They remembered the warning;
That Big Beorn had let in sink,
That, “Be it night or morning,
To never drink from river’s brink,
From mug, or glass, or horning.
So, as it was, they thought to cross,
And looked across the stream,
But bridge was broke, and strewn with moss;
And broken was the beam;
And then they were at total loss,
And half-baked plans did dream.
And then said Bilbo, sharpest-eyed,
“ I think I know the way!
A boat on yonder bank I spied,
In small depression like quay.”
And said they, “Throw some rope out wide,
And let it hold, we pray.”
And so did Fili, strong and keen,
Throw rope at boat, and hook;
And then there was to still be seen,
For all that there may look:
If dwarves were strong as they had been,
Or journey had them shook.
A tug and a pull, and boat came free,
And Bilbo caught it hold,
And Balin helped him, don’t you see,
And boat both of them rolled;
And brought it near a nearby tree,
For planning to unfold.
And as they crossed in threes and fours,
And almost were across,
The last load of the boat took course,
But then they were at loss;
And, as if adding to their sores,
A deer their paths did cross.
But Thorin had his bow now bent,
And loosed his arrow swift;
And this shot deerling sprawling sent,
O, what a kingly gift!
But then, their fates, they underwent,
The most disastrous rift!
“O, Bombur! Silly, fat and slow,
He’s fallen in the water!”
Said Bilbo, so they all should know,
That Luck was such a rotter;
And swiftly as they could then go,
They fished him out in totter.
And tottering along the bank,
This dwarf, he fell asleep.
And then they had no one to thank,
And all could only weep;
And look with rue at nature’s prank,
To give them trouble deep.
For Bombur very heavy was,
And bulky too, to boot;
And four at least must leave their cause,
And bear him, as may suit
Their aching backs, and weary paws:
The rest must share the loot.
And so they set off, further on,
Into the wood they goed,
And as their strength was nearly gone,
On long and weary road;
When suddenly, some hope did dawn,
And lightened up their load.
For Bombur, after weary days,
Had woken from his rest!
Bu this was bad, in many ways,
In all their interest,
For of his dreams of food he says,
“Those dinners were the best!”
“And what use dreams of dinner be,
If we can share it not?”
They asked of Bombur, testily,
And began to get hot;
The whole of Thorin’s company
Just wished Bombur would rot.
Then suddenly, they stopped it all,
For lights went on in wood,
And singing voices did them call,
They followed as they could;
But as they went and stood up tall,
The darkness fell, like hood.
So, poof! The lights, they all went out,
And left the dwarves in dark;
And they ran here and there in rout,
When suddenly, they mark
That lights were burning further out,
Like fireworks and spark.
So twice they went, and lost it twice,
The elvish feasting-light;
But still they went like greedy mice,
And showed not any fright;
Though they should have learnt to be wise,
And held to roadway right.
And as they came for third approach,
The lights went out utterly;
They couldn’t hear praise or reproach,
And saw none, late or early;
And forest-elves did Thorin poach,
And held him in arms burly.
But Bilbo and the dwarves were lost,
And could not find each other;
And in their memories was embost,
A feeling of lost brother;
And under forest, cold as frost,
There passed out night another.
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.