3. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord - Oromë
The door is firmly shut behind her. With a sigh, I turn around to watch the hound dozing at the fireplace, while Nerdanel's request still repeats itself in my thoughts.
"I cannot take him, it would be unwise for him to take up residence in Tirion while not everyone has forgiven him."
Nerdanel's eyes mirrored her pain and confusion, but who was I to tell her that her son was equal in his creation of her and is therefore part of her life, too? Aye, I do admit that surprise overtook my soul for a moment when I learnt of Mandos' decision to release the most tempestuous of the seven. But then, those dark halls are no place for Celegorm whilst I know that his eyes long for unbridled landscapes and lands to explore. He can only achieve redemption if we acknowledge the approach fitting his temper. And such is my task today.
I remember the day when I came to know him. Escorted by his father and grandfather, I accepted him as my apprentice. Yes, I had my concerns, for he had not yet grown into full stature, but now I realise that my concerns were unwarranted. Many years have passed since. From afar, I had to witness how his dire hunt for his father's pledge replaced his love for nature and creatures. Often I blamed myself for creating the greatest huntsman of all, but who can comprehend the full intent of our all Father?
Aye, Father, I do now understand what I should have done: allow me to repair this. Freed from the chains of his sins, I know now that I am one of the few who understand him fully, the one who can guide him along his path to achieve the eternal rest many of the exiles long for. Understanding is mine, yet again, as his master; I will prepare him for his righteous part in the music, now that his feä no longer wanders astray. If this is my task Father, I will accept this responsibility.
A forlorn sigh from Huan interrupts my thoughts. The hound was permitted to leave the halls the moment his anguish became too much, but his head has hardly left his paws since he passed through the same door which Nerdanel just closed behind her. Vána's voice quivered when she beheld his sorrowful eyes and did not leave his side for months until he started to eat again. Whereas the flowers hearken to her voice, Huan could not be swayed to leave his place for her. How can I make amends to him after he once so joyously accepted his new master and followed him willingly to the other shores?
Ah, faithful friend, how can I take away those memories that haunt your thoughts? How can I convince you that I, as your old master, am more than willing to make you the chief of that pack of hounds who eagerly await your leadership again? Can you not see that you have been spared for a reason? Have you forsaken all recollection of our Creator's thoughts and intent?
I lower myself beside him onto one knee and his eyes meet mine. My hand strokes his grey fur to offer him consolation, for I understand that Nerdanel's plea to spare her son from the hands of revenge also felt like a hammer stroke to him, even though he was not to blame. How can I make him understand that his heroic deeds have reached the hearts and minds by means of Eärendil's words?
I know that I do not need to speak the words of encouragement again. I also know I cannot bring myself to tell him that his role within the Ainulindalë has not ended yet. For now, I shall rejoice in his simple reacceptance of his old master. I watch how Huan, with trembling paws, raises his mighty body from the floor and his tail wags slightly. My heart rejoices to see his eyes glimmering again. Ah, such glory to see him delivered from his anguish and I know now for certain that the everlasting dark shall not be his lot.
Blessed Lord Jesus, grant them rest, Blessed Lord Jesus, grant them eternal rest.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them rest.