The Lay of Turin: 1. The Tale of Grief

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1. The Tale of Grief

When days are cold and nights are long,
Come gather round the fire,
To hear my song of grief and woe
And call me not a liar.

In days of old, or so it's said,
When Morgoth stalked the land,
Beside the Elves there faught some Men,
A Gold and Steadfast band.

When called to war they went forthwith
With banner and with sword,
And their greatest prize, a fated son,
They sent to Elven lord.

In forests deep he learned their ways
Amongst the Elves of Grey
And mighty with the years he grew
Until one fateful day.

A jibe he could withstand no more
He fled into the wood
He chased the elf who barbed him so
And slew him where he stood.

In grief and shame he flew that land
To dwell amongst the curs'd;
A band of thieves and brigands all,
Of Men they were the worst.

As winter passed and snow thick fell,
A figure he espied
Beleg Strongbow, friend of old,
From Doriath did ride.

Fair news he brought, or so he guessed
From Thingol who'd been wronged
All sins transgressed he had forgave
For peace was all he longed.

But back to them Neithan would not
For still he lived in shame
And Beleg, ever faithful he,
Would with him now remain.

By might of arms and dragon-helm'd
Together with their band,
They fought the orc-horde all about,
And rid them from that land.

But by that helm his name was known,
Betrayed by dwarf was he,
And captured by the foe he slew,
To ne'er again be free.

Strongbow came, to save his friend,
And with him Gwindor brought,
A prince of Narog's Elven halls,
Through Many Tears he'd fought.

Through forest thick to Gorthol's side
Their power did not wane;
But in the dark, by rescued hand
Brave Beleg there was slain.

In grief and guilt did Gorthol lie,
For days without a sound,
Then laid his friend, the Mighty Bow
With arms within the ground.

To Nargothrond, fair Elven realm,
Did Gwindor lead him then;
On Narog's banks a hidden place
From Morgoth and from Men.

Bloodstained then, he counselled war
To hide no more in fear,
Though Gwindor counselled secrecy
Orodreth would not hear.

On Tumhalad they pitched their war,
As Dragon came to bear;
Mormegil had brought an end
To Nargothrond the fair.

To halls all sacked and pillaged now
Did Agarwaen return,
To right his wrongs, his foolish words,
To face the Golden Worm.

A shadow then did Glaurung place
Upon his tortured mind;
Go to childhood lands he must,
His withered kin to find.

Released he then set out at haste
To go to Dor-Lomin;
Of evil Men he found a host,
But nothing of his kin.

In sickness then for loved ones lost
To Brethil had he strayed;
The Haladrim, they healed his wounds,
And with them there he stayed.

In Nargothrond an Elven maid
Had given him her heart,
But Brandir's maid was sweet and fair,
They would not be apart.

So Turambar, his Fate in hand,
To Niniel was wed;
And in joy so long forgotten
He took her to his bed.

Now Brandir, Lame and gentle,
He loved the Tear Maid too,
And though their foes were banish'd
Turambar's presence did he rue.

Now slain were orcs and goblins
And little left to fear,
But fire 'pon the horizon
And close within a year.

Forsaking Finrod's ruined halls
Came forth did Morgoth's beast;
And Haleth's folk cried out in fear,
But Turambar the least.

All but alone he ventured out
Gurthang gleaming, black as night,
And journeyed out to Teiglin's banks
To fight his final fight.

Beneath the cliffs he lingered long
In silence wait he must;
'Til Glaurung there did o'er-leap;
Through skin and scale he thrust.

Then came Brandir, the bitter wretch,
Into that killing glade
To tell of Nienor, his wife:
The sister he'd mislaid.

In anger at this cruel lie told
Did the Fateful take his life;
For such a thing could never be:
To take sister as a wife.

One baleful eye did Dragon turn then
To look upon his bane,
And lift the mist from off his mind
To bring him to his pain.

No lies had Brandir told that day,
The tale he told was right;
The creature laughed one final time,
Then died from Gurthang's bite.

Stricken then with grief and shock,
For the choices he had made,
Did warrior lie upon a mound
And fall upon his blade.

So here the tale must end, it seems,
For what else can I say?
Save Niniel came then hence to him,
And found him where he lay.

From Glaurung's spell she too was freed,
And knew all of her sin;
And with unborn child of brother's love
She died there with her kin.

So now this tale is truly done,
As is dark Morgoth's curse;
I pray you all remember now
The story of this verse.

From out of darkness unto this fire
I travel from afar,
To tell to all of those who'll hear
The tale of Turin Turambar.

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: SheBit

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Poetry

Rating: General

Last Updated: 06/01/05

Original Post: 05/11/05

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