Alfirin’s Lament

Nae, nae! nín melethron
Gwannant amin aearon.
Ne Bar-in-Edhil ar idh e dorthol,
Ar erin ennorath ú-reviol.

I walk on marble parapets at night
Beneath the silver of the Sheen,
While the firmanent is kindled with starlight:
Blazing diamonds in sable velveteen.

I walk on ramparts encircling high
Above the city in slumber drowned.
Beyond, nocturnal breezes sigh
And bring to ear a murmuring sound:

A restless refrain of halcyon days
When there was no cause to war or weep;
While ‘neath this endless tempo of the waves
Sings forth the chorus of the deep.

Myriad voices in a symphony raised,
An echo of divine ancientry
That sings anon adoration and praise:
A whisper of the timeless Ainulindalë.

Thus the rollers cast themselves a-land,
Foaming white like prancing steeds,
Leaving jewels upon the pearly sand,
Glistening amidst driftwood and water-weeds.

So they linger upon the dwindling tide:
Gems from the deep, an offering.
The star-fire in the heavens wide
Their glory on earth lies mirroring —

But for a moment; then they wane
Like stars before a hastening dawn.
In radiant yet ephemeral flame,
They flicker once and then are gone.

I look upon the littoral strewn
With fading crystals shining therein,
As memories of blissful years I had known
That once waxed bright are now diminishing.

Ah, a veil falls upon my thought,
And all into melancholy gloom recede,
While restless visions in despair fraught
With silent fingers steal my serenity.

Do I hear a clarion cry
Uttered from the immortal sea?
Shall these tears spring from my eye
As this voice calls unto me?

Once more, I hear him speak my name,
Beckoning with sweet embrace;
And whisper of peace beyond ruin and flame,
Of joyous reunion, face to face.

Shall I heed his yearning plea;
Forsake endless sojourn for endless rest?
Shall I sail the immortal sea,
At last, at last, to the blessed West?

Alas! Alas! my beloved has
Departed this Hither Shore.
He now finds rest in Elvenesse
And wanders abroad no more.

 

(written c. 2003)