Canto 16 - Canto 16
Songs have recalled, by harpers sung
long years ago in elven tongue,
how Lúthien and Beren strayed
in Sirion's vale; and many a glade
they filled with joy, and there their feet
passed by lightly, and days were sweet.
Though winter hunted through the wood,
still flowers lingered where they stood.
Still unafraid the birds now dwell
and sing on boughs amid the snow
where Lúthien and Beren go.
From Sirion's Isle they passed away,
but on the hill alone there lay
a green grave, and a stone was set,
and there there lie the white bones yet
of Finrod fair, Finarfin's son,
unless that land be changed and gone,
or foundered in unfathomed seas,
while Finrod walks beneath the trees
in Eldamar and comes no more
to the grey world of tears and war.
To Nargothrond no more he came
but thither swiftly ran the fame
of their dead king and his great deed,
how Lúthien the Isle had freed:
the Werewolf Lord was overthrown,
and broken were his towers of stone.
For many now came home at last
who long ago to shadow passed;
and like a shadow had returned
Huan the hound, though scant he earned
or praise or thanks of Celegorm.
There now arose a growing storm,
a clamour of many voices loud,
and folk whom Curufin had cowed
and their own king had help denied,
in shame and anger now they cried:
'Come! Slay these faithless lords untrue!
Why lurk they here? What will they do,
but bring Finarfin's kin to naught,
treacherous cuckoo-guests unsought?
Away with them!' But wise and slow
Orodreth spoke: 'Beware, lest woe
and wickedness to worse ye bring!
Finrod is fallen. I am king.
But even as he would speak, I now
command you. I will not allow
in Nargothrond the ancient curse
from evil unto evil worse
to work. With tears for Finrod weep
repentant! Swords for Morgoth keep!
No kindred blood shall here be shed.
Yet here shall neither rest nor bread
the brethren find who set at naught
Finarfin's house. Let them be sought,
unharmed to stand before me! Go!
The courtesy of Finrod show!'
In scorn stood Celegorm, unbowed,
with glance of fire in anger proud
and menacing; but at his side
smiling and silent, wary-eyed,
was Curufin, with hand on haft
of his long knife. And then he laughed,
and 'Well?' said he. 'Why didst thou call
for us, Sir Steward? In thy hall
we are not wont to stand. Come, speak,
if aught of us thou hast to seek!'
Cold words Orodreth answered slow:
'Before the king ye stand. But know,
of you he seeks for naught. His will
ye come to hear, and to fulfil.
Be gone for ever, ere the day
shall fall into the sea! Your way
shall never lead you hither more,
nor any son of Fëanor;
of love no more shall there be bond
between your house and Nargothrond!'
'We will remember it,' they said,
and turned upon their heels, and sped,
saddled their horses, trussed their gear,
and went with hound and bow and spear,
alone; for none of all the folk
would follow them. No word they spoke,
but sounded horns, and rode away
like wind at end of stormy day.
Canto1 - OF THINGOL IN DORIATH
Canto2 - OF LÚTHIEN THE BELOVED
Canto3 - OF DAERON MINSTREL OF THINGOL
Canto4 - OF MORGOTH & THE SNARING OF GORLIM
Canto5 - OF THE SAVING OF KING FINROD FELAGUND BY THE XII BËORINGS
Canto6 - OF TARN AELUIN THE BLESSED
Canto7 - OF GORLIM UNHAPPY
Canto8 - OF BEREN SON OF BARAHIR AND HIS ESCAPE
Canto9 - OF THE COMING OF BEREN TO DORIATH; BUT FIRST IS TOLD OF THE MEETING OF MELIAN AND THINGOL
Canto10 - Canto 10
Canto11 - Canto 11
Canto12 - Canto 12
Canto13 - Canto 13
Canto14 - Canto 14
Canto15 - Canto 15
Canto16 - Canto 16
Canto17 - Canto 17
Canto18 - Canto 18
Canto19 - Canto 19
Canto20 - Canto 20
Canto21 - Canto 21
Canto22 - Canto 22