Original Compositions: Lament for Evenstar ~ In Ithilien ~ Darkening of Valinor

Translations of Tolkien’s English poems into Elvish: In Western Lands
Galadriel’s Warning ~ The Last Ship~ Words of the Seer

Note: This is "Neo-Sindarin". That is, while I am using Tolkien's language and grammar as much as is known, I am resorting to reconstructions such as those in the movies, some of which are subject to debate by Tolkien scholars. Where, for instance, JRRT did not show us how to change the tense of one verb, we guess that it follows the pattern of a similar verb. Sometimes we go back to his etymological notes to create new words based on roots and stems he has provided (e.g. making a compound from the words for "day" and "singer" to create a word for "rooster"). There are a number of spelling mutations and pronouns, in particular, that widely-respected scholars like D. Salo, Fauskager, and Derdzinski have posted on their websites based on years of research which are, however, merely educated guesses not attested forms.


Naergon an Thinnuel (a Tinw)

Lament for Evenstar (and the little star)

Ne minuial tôl lû
Ir tirich er-'îl gelair awarthannen
Ir in-elenath gwennin.
I 'îl thinna, i amar ú-dhartha.

At starfade a time comes
When you see one brilliant star left behind
When the starry host has departed.
The star fades, the world does not wait.

Am man darthon a linnon
Nu galad hen fireb?

Why do I linger and sing
Under this fading/mortal light?

Eirien vi elenyr
Enni e bain.
Brethil nui mellyrn
Enni e bain.
Gwilwileth or alph
Enni e bain.
Tinnu aphada Chelluin
Enni e bain.

There is a daisy among the elanor blossoms
To me it is fair.
There is a birch tree under the mallorn trees
To me it is fair.
There is a butterfly above the swan
To me it is fair.
A spark/small star follows Sirius
To me it is fair.

I laiss e-mallorn ernediaid.
El-lass dithen, el-lass fíreb
Gâr chinnen. Ir dannatha?

The leaves of the mallorn are numberless
One tiny leaf, one fading leaf
Holds my eyes. When will it fall?

I-'îl gelair fîr.
Si e gwanna Menel.
Si gwannathon i amar
Garel lass vi cammen.

The brilliant star is fading
Now it departs the heavens
Now I will depart the world
Holding a leaf in my hand.


In Ithilien  

The leaves of the beeches breathe
The sparkling air of day's awakening.
The birches spread the buds of leaves
For the small singing birds to linger there.
In Ithilien, land of the tuneful waterfalls
Wandering-together heals my beloved.

I laiss i-ferin thuiar
I 'wilith lim echui aur.
I mrethil peliar duiw laiss
Af filig linnol der' ennas.
Vi Ithilien, dôr lenthir lind
Gorain nesta velethril nín.

Noble Lady photosculpture
Noble Lady by silverswandesigns


I-'wathrad Balannor

The Darkening of Valinor

A! Tollen gûr na Balannor
Nu goll dhúath e nathron dhonn
Onethelais panna i nôr
Gelaidh gelaid go linnod an
Nestad. Ai nae úamdir dâr.

O! Come is death to Valinor
Under shadowy cloak of the dark weaver.
Yavanna fills the place
of the Trees of Light with a chant for
Healing. Ah alas, no hope remains.

Harnannin athan nestad bân
Telperion a Laurelin.
In edhil sí awarthar Dhûn
Farol i viriath corin
E galad vedui o Aman.

Wounded beyond all healing
Are Telperion and Laurelin.
The elves there depart the west
Seeking the jewels made
From the last light of Aman.

I aear dholl. Saer dîn vanadh.
Aphadar 'lîn e-fast i chîn
Finarfin. Athradar athrad
Chelegnen. Sí falas thrúnen.
I ithil eria. Romru cân.

The sea is dark. Bitter their fate.
They follow the gleam of the hair of the children
Of Finarfin. They cross the icy
Passage. There is the eastern shore.
The moon rises. Trumpets ring out.
Mountain Castle poster print
Mountain Castle poster by thalion_art


Vi Dýr Ennui

(translation of a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien)

In western lands beneath the Sun
In spring, flowers rise,
The trees bud, waters run,*
And the merry little birds sing.

Vi dýr ennui nu Anor
Ned echuir lyth eriar
I yrn ethuiwar, nin nurar
Ar aew verin linnar.

There it is cloudless night
And shuddering beeches hold
The starry host, the white jewels,
On their branching hair.

Ennas dû alfanui
A ferin 'irith gerir
I elenath, viriath fain,
Vi finnel gelfib dîn.

Here at my path's end I am lingering
In deep darkness buried.
Beyond towers strong and high
Beyond all mountains steep

Sí na veth bâden im derel
Vi dúath dofn tummen.
Atham meraid velig a tynd
Athan eryd bain beraidh

Above all shadows rides the Sun
And stars always dwell.
I will not say 'The day is done'
Or to the stars 'farewell'.

Or 'waith bain nura Anor
A panlû elin cuinar
Ú-pedithon 'i-aur gwann'
Egor nai îl 'namarië'.

*I gelydh cerir dhiw, i nin nurar. "The trees make buds, the waters run."
I had written this, but decided I wanted something closer to the meter of the original line so I could still sing it using the tune in the BBC radio adaptation of LOTR. There's a verb, edlothia-, meaning "to blossom", evidently built from loth, "flower". So I tried to construct a verb from "bud", tuiw, and wound up with ethuiwa-, then used the shorter archaic word for "tree". Also note dýr should have a circumflex, but most fonts disagree with me!

Mirkwood card card
Mirkwood card by thalion_art


Galadriel’s Warning to Legolas

(translated into Elvish from a poem in The Two Towers)

Al Legolas aun beth hen:

"Dorthol ui nu 'aladh Legolas
Vi glass: avo anglenno i aear!
Ae lastathach ganed 'wael o falas
Gûr lín ú-eritha hîdh bor vi taur."

To Legolas she sent this word:

"Legolas Greenleaf long under tree
In joy thou hast lived. Beware of the Sea!
If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore
Thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more."

Rainbow Wave T-Shirt shirt
Rainbow Wave T-Shirt by Flynn_the_Cat


I Gair Vedui (The Last Ship)

from The Tolkien Reader

When stars faded, Fíriel looked out:
The gray night was going.
The dawn-singer, reddish-gold bird, from afar
Crowed its cry clear and shrill.
The trees were dark, the dawn pale,
The yellowhammers were singing.
A wind passed, which cool and frail
Across the dim leaves strayed.

Ir geil thinner Fíriel tirn-ed:
I fuin thind gwannol.
I orlinn, aew goll, palan-
Nallant gaun lim a maeg.
Gelaidh dhuir, minuial ’ael
In emlin gliriel.
Gwaew athrant, i ring a lain
Trî laiss dhyll reniant.

At the window she watched the gleam growing
Until the long light [was] glimmering
On land and leaf; on the grass there
The gray dew [was] glittering.
Over the floorboards her white feet crossed
And down the staircase twinkled,
They sailed leaping through all the grass
Which was holding drops of dew.

Na chenneth tirn i ’lîn ’alol
Al lû calad and ’ael
Bo talf a lass; bo thâr ennas
I vîdh vith hilivren.
Or phain tail thín fain athranner
A dad bendrath tinner,
Revianner cabel trî thâr
Bân i garel ’wing mîdh.

The edge of her garment held jewels;
She ran down to the river.
Holding the stem of a willow as a prop
She watched the glinting water.
A kingfisher dropped down like a stone
Falling in a blue flash...

Taeg hammad thín gâr viriath;
Norn e dad i hîr,
Be dulu garel delch dathren
E tirn i nen thinnol.
Heledir dannant dad be harn
Vi aglar thlûn dannol...

(To be continued) This is not a word-for-word translation, because I needed it for a song in a story, and the meter had to be consistent enough that one could imagine singing it with a minimal amount of fudging. Therefore I am afraid I've changed the wording in some places. The English above is the translation of my Elvish, not Tolkien’s original poem.

Gray Havens postcard
Haven by silverswandesigns


The Words of the Seer

(translated into Elvish from a poem in Return of the King)

Pent Malbeth i Diriel:

Erin ennor pelia gwathand,
nan annn rovail môr rimmol.
I vinas gîr. Nan serch erain
manadh anglenna. I echui
I Firn. I lû Gwedwerwaith tôl:
Ne Gond Erech adylithar;
Lastathar romru ath emyn.
Man gerel rom? Man estol hain
E thinnu thind, i 'waith ú-rîn?
I chîl pen amman gwestanner.
O Forven telitha. Baur horth'.
Athratha Fen nadh Raid i Firn.

Spoke Malbeth the Seer:

Over the land there spreads a long shadow,
westward flowing wings of darkness.
The Tower trembles. To the tombs of kings
doom approaches. It is the awakening of
the dead. The Oathbreakers' time comes:
at the Stone of Erech they shall stand again
and will hear a horn ringing across hills.
Who [will be] holding the horn? Who [will be] calling them
from the grey twilight, the forgotten people?
The heir of him to whom they swore.
From the North shall he come, need driving [him]:
He shall pass [the] Door to the Paths of the Dead.

Great Shadow Tree Houndstooth T-shirt shirt
White Tree by EvenstarAB


Dedicated with thanks to all my teachers and friends who have answered the eager questions of a "Tinw". This page is a collection of works-in-progress, my Sindarin poetry in various stages of polish. Corrections, comments, and suggestions are welcome Original poems © 2003, E. Brundige.

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