HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

oiolairë

Type: Plants

Meaning: ever-summer

Description:One of the evergreen trees brought to Númenor by the Elves of Tol Eressëa. From this tree was cut the traditional Bough of Return set upon all departing Númenórean ships.

'At the centre of the Bay of Eldanna was the most beautiful of all the havens of Númenor, Eldalondë the Green; and hither in the earlier days the swift white ships of the Eldar of Eressëa came most often.

'An about that place, up the seaward slopes and far into the land, grew the evergreen and fragrant trees that they brought out of the West, and so throve there that the Eldar said that almost it was fair as a haven in Eressëa. They were the greatest delight of Numenor, and they were remembered in many songs long after they had perished for ever, for few ever flowered east of the Land of Gift...'

Unfinished Tales Part 2, Ch I, Description Of The Island Of Númenor


'Here must be told of the custom that when a ship departed from Númenor over the Great Sea to Middle-earth a woman, most often of the captain's kin, should set upon the vessel's prow the Green Bough of Return; and that was cut from the tree oiolairë, that signifies "Ever-summer," which the Eldar gave to the Númenóreans, 12 saying that they set it upon their own ships in token of friendship with Ossë and Uinen. The leaves of that tree were evergreen, glossy and fragrant; and it throve upon sea-air. But Meneldur forbade the Queen and the sisters of Aldarion to bear the bough of oiolairë to Rómenna where lay the Palarran, saying that he refused his blessing to his son, who was venturing forth against his will; and Aldarion hearing this said: "If I must go without blessing or bough, then so I will go." '

Unfinished Tales Part 2, Ch II, Aldarion and Erendis

Contributors: Zimraphel. 7/6/2003 Quotes added by Lyllyn 11/29/04

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