1. Unweaving the Rainbow
The fractured song of the sun's light, parsed by hundreds of crystals, lashed the stark walls of the workshop. The studen of Nienna, still unaccustomed to the corporeal, squinted at the cacophony of hues thrown forth by suspended geometries.
Sensing his presence, the servant of Aulë turned to his peer. He smiled and beckoned.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" said Aulë's man, gesturing to the fragmented light.
"Yes, the colors are lovely, but there is much to be said for the pure light of the sun."
"That is so, but I wish to understand the light's order from its spectrum."
Harmonics from a remote plane entered the discomfited thought of Nienna's pupil, and he recited the words:
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We know her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine—
Unweave a rainbow...
The servant of Aulë immediately countered:
Did ever poet image aught so fair,
Dreaming in whisp'ring groves by the hoarse brook?
Or prophet, to whose rapture heaven descends?
Ev'n now the setting sun and shifting clouds,
Seen, Greenwich, from thy lovely heights, declare
How just, how beauteous the refractive law.
"Your curiosity will be your downfall," said Nienna's student. "He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."
"And he who does not seek to discover the order of a thing will never comprehend it."
Aulë's servant turned away, resuming his measurements of the white light that unraveled into vibrant tones of soprano violet to basso red. Nienna's devotee reconsidered the uncompromising beauty of the refractive law, his foresight informing him this was only the beginning of the debate.