Song of the Shieldmaidens: 1. Song of the Shieldmaidens

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1. Song of the Shieldmaidens

Author's Note
My inspiration for this poem came from Irish poetry, most especially what is referred to as Aishling poetry. Written during the colonisation of Ireland by the English, Aishling poems are usually about a vision the poet has of a beautiful woman, pleading for rescue, as she has been forsaken by her husband/sons. The person who tells the story (in this case, a forsaken woman) is not actually a person, rather she is a representation of the country - thus in this poem, she is a representation of Rohan, whose last defence is not the bold young Rider, but a young woman. I could imagine a song like this being passed on from one generation to the next, becoming a sort of binding myth for the Shieldmaidens.


Song of the Shieldmaidens

I loved you in the summer, so fair and young and bold.
The strongest Rider on his horse, the bravest son of Eorl.
Our loving was sweet within the field,
Sweet were your lips and strong your arm about me.
Alas my love! I loved you true.
Alas my love! You loved me not.
*
I loved you in the autumn, my lover strong and bold.
With you I danced through nights of moonshine and lightest joy.
You bound my brow with jewels of the field,
And long I followed as you tied the sheaves.
Alas my love! I loved you true.
Alas my love! You loved me not.
*
I loved you in the winter, as on the ground I lay cold.
Waiting on the blown plains, your rescue my final hope.
Yet you sat in Meduseld at feast.
Spared no thought for she whose heart loved you best.
Alas my love! I loved you true.
Alas my love! You loved me not.
*
You loved me in the spring, as over golden fields you rode
But t’was another gave me rescue, and I was gone.
A true daughter of the plains was she.
And in her I trust, she who was my shield.
Alas my love! I loved you true.
Alas my love! You loved me not.
*
And so I gathered her to me, my true friend of old.
Who lived as you had done, by sorrow and the sword.
She stood last, and there were few to see
With what just renown she did at last prevail.
Alas my love! You have forsaken me.
This tale you have not mind to hear.
Alas my love! I loved you true.
Alas my love! You loved me not.

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.

Story Information

Author: Fionnabhair Nic Aillil

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Poetry

Rating: General

Last Updated: 03/20/05

Original Post: 03/03/05

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