Legacy YM

Canto 7 - OF GORLIM UNHAPPY

8

Gorlim Unhappy, Angrim's son,

as the tale tells, of these was one

most fierce and hopeless. He to wife,

while fair was the fortune of his life,

took the white maiden Eilinel:

dear love they had ere evil fell.

To war he rode; from war returned

to find his fields and homestead burned,

his house forsaken roofless stood,

empty amid the leafless wood;

and Eilinel, white Eilinel,

was taken whither none could tell,

to death or thraldom far away.

Black was the shadow of that day

for ever on his heart, and doubt

still gnawed him as he went about

in wilderness wandring, or at night

oft sleepless, thinking that she might

ere evil came have timely fled

into the woods: she was not dead,

she lived, she would return again

to seek him, and would deem him slain.

Therefore at whiles he left the lair,

and secretly, alone, would peril dare,

and come to his old house at night,

broken and cold, without fire or light,

and naught but grief renewed would gain,

watching and waiting there in vain.

In vain, or worse for many spies

had Morgoth, many lurking eyes

well used to pierce the deepest dark;

and Gorlim's coming they would mark

and would report. There came a day

when once more Gorlim crept that way,

down the deserted weedy lane

at dusk of autumn sad with rain

and cold wind whining. Lo! a light

at window fluttering in the night

amazed he saw; and drawing near,

between faint hope and sudden fear,

he looked within. 'Twas Eilinel!

Though changed she was, he knew her well.

With grief and hunger she was worn,

her tresses tangled, raiment torn;

her gentle eyes with tears were dim,

as soft she wept: 'Gorlim, Gorlim!

Thou canst not have forsaken me.

Then slain, alas! thou slain must be!

And I must linger cold, alone,

and loveless as a barren stone!'

One cry he gave and then the light

blew out, and in the wind of night

wolves howled; and on his shoulder fell

suddenly the griping hands of hell.

There Morgoth's servants fast him caught

and he was cruelly bound, and brought

to Sauron captain of the host,

the lord of werewolf and of ghost,

most foul and fell of all who knelt

at Morgoth's throne. In might he dwelt

on Gaurhoth Isle; but now had ridden

with strength abroad, by Morgoth bidden

9

to find the rebel Barahir.

He sat in dark encampment near,

and thither his butchers dragged their prey.

There now in anguish Gorlim lay:

with bond on neck, on hand and foot,

to bitter torment he was put,

to break his will and him constrain

to buy with treason end of pain.

But naught to them would he reveal

of Barahir, nor break the seal

of faith that on his tongue was laid;

until at last a pause was made,

and one came softly to his stake,

a darkling form that stooped, and spake

to him of Eilinel his wife.

'Wouldst thou,' he said, 'forsake thy life,

who with few words might win release

for her, and thee, and go in peace,

and dwell together far from war,

friends of the King? What wouldst thou more?'

And Gorlim, now long worn with pain,

yearning to see his wife again

(whom well he weened was also caught

in Sauron's net), allowed the thought

to grow, and faltered in his troth.

Then straight, half willing and half loath,

they brought him to the seat of stone

where Sauron sat. He stood alone

before that dark and dreadful face,

and Sauron said: 'Come, mortal base!

What do I hear? That thou wouldst dare

to barter with me? Well, speak fair!

What is thy price?' And Gorlim low

bowed down his head, and with great woe,

word on slow word, at last implored

that merciless and faithless lord

that he might free depart, and might

again find Eilinel the White,

and dwell with her, and cease from war

against the King. He craved no more.

Then Sauron smiled, and said: 'Thou thrall!

The price thou askest is but small

for treachery and shame so great!

I grant it surely! Well, I wait:

Come! Speak now swiftly and speak true!'

Then Gorlim wavered, and he drew

half back; but Sauron's daunting eye

there held him, and he dared not lie:

as he began, so must he wend

from first false step to faithless end:

he all must answer as he could,

betray his lord and brotherhood,

and cease, and fall upon his face.

10

Then Sauron laughed aloud. 'Thou base,

thou cringing worm! Stand up,

and hear me! And now drink the cup

that I have sweetly blent for thee!

Thou fool: a phantom thou didst see

that I, I Sauron, made to snare

thy lovesick wits. Naught else was there.

Cold 'tis with Sauron's wraiths to wed!

Thy Eilinel! She is long since dead,

dead, food of worms less low than thou.

And yet thy boon I grant thee now:

to Eilinel thou soon shalt go,

and lie in her bed, no more to know

of war or manhood. Have thy pay!'

And Gorlim then they dragged away,

and cruelly slew him; and at last

in the dank mould his body cast,

where Eilinel long since had lain

in the burned woods by butchers slain.

Thus Gorlim died an evil death,

and cursed himself with dying breath,

and Barahir at last was caught

in Morgoth's snare; for set at naught

by treason was the ancient grace

that guarded long that lonely place,

Tarn Aeluin: now all laid bare

were secret paths and hidden lair.


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

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