Thursday, October 27, 2005


One thing that really bugs me in fiction is killing off scores of people and expecting the audience not to particularly care. As long as the good guy triumphs, everything's all right. But every person has value. Furthermore, for every loudly lauded, conquering hero, there are plenty of folks behind the scenes who never get any attention but are vital in helping the goal to be achieved. I like to look for underdogs, for people in fiction and real life who are not given the appreciation they deserve.

Fatty Bolger strikes me as this sort of person. We don't know much about him, but we do know that he is a faithful friend of the four hobbits who set out from the Shire and that he has an important and frightening task of his own to perform. This is not the reckoning of his adventure, so we don't get to hear much about what he went through, and it seems his contributions would probably have been unnoticed by everyone within the world of the story, hopefully with the exception of his four furry-footed friends. Everybody always forgets poor Fatty. This is my attempt to lift him from obscurity. Every life counts, even in fiction.


It seems the Shire is duller now.
The greens are turning gray.
A shiver and a furrowed brow
Give Fatty’s fear away.

The faithful fellow Fredegar,
Abandoned by the pack,
Wonders if they have traveled far
And when they’re coming back.

He is not bitter. No, indeed,
He offered to remain,
Fulfilling quite a vital need.
But still, he is in pain.

What if his comrades have been caught
In peril grave and grim,
And what if – horrifying thought! –
They have forgotten him?

Do they remember their old chum,
A gentle soul and kind
Who’s seen so many troubles come
Since he was left behind?

No longer does his nickname fit.
His worry’s worn him thin.
But he won’t make a break for it
And let the darkness in.

He will get none of the glory,
The honor and the fame.
When they tell the epic story,
Few will recall his name.

Most folks will never know the role
The brave young Bolger played,
But pride and peace will fill his soul,
For he’s the one who stayed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Child of the Kindly West

I've been writing a lot of Tolkien-inspired poetry lately, but most of it has stemmed from Lord of the Rings. I fell in love with The Hobbit first, so it seems as though I should give Bilbo at least as much attention as Sam. So here's a poem rooted entirely in The Hobbit, revolving around the epithet so poetically applied to Baggins the burglar. Such was Tolkien's facility with language that the simple stringing together of five words has the power to make me misty-eyed. To one who deserves the description, from one who endeavors to earn it.

Child of the Kindly West

“Child of the kindly West.”
That’s what Thorin called him
Before he faded to his rest.
The tragedy appalled him.

They finally saw eye to eye;
They finally were friends.
How could he be allowed to die?
It was too soon an end.

The Dwarven lord had hated him
Through most of their long trip.
He’d constantly berated him
And made his spirits dip.

But Bilbo had intrinsic worth,
Which Thorin realized
Before his soul departed Earth.
Perhaps he was surprised.

Perhaps he harbored some remorse
Because glory and gold
Had set his life’s opulent course,
Obscuring joys untold.

Perhaps in hours before his death,
He dreamed of innocence,
Of fresh air gulped in giant breaths,
Of green lands with no fence.

Perhaps he dreamed of songs to sing
And picnics in the sun,
Of savoring the simple things
Before his life was done.

Reflecting thus, Bilbo could see
How his life had been blessed
And that he must forever be
“Child of the kindly West.”

Friday, October 14, 2005


Today, when I set out to write another poem, I said to myself, "I shall now write a poem that has nothing to do with Samwise Gamgee." So of course the first word of said poem turned out to be "Sam." I'm so good at following my own instructions. I actually have three entirely non-Sam-related Tolkien poems that I have yet to post, but those that feature him seem to possess a certain spark the others lack. The magic of Sam. Oh, well. Sam takes over again. Worse things have happened.

Warning: This poem may or may not have been unduly influenced by an Exceptionally Irritating video that can be found here: .


Sam is in the habit
Of cooking his dinner.
Forced to eat raw rabbit,
He would get much thinner.

Smeagol hasn’t tasted
Cooked food in so long,
He feels his meal’s wasted.
Sam’s doing it all wrong.

“Some taters would be nice,”
Sam mutters thoughtfully.
A splash of old Shire spice
Would help tremendously.

Gangly and unkempt,
Smeagol the Sam-hater
Hisses with contempt,
“Eh? What’s that? What’s taters?”

“Potatoes. Boil ‘em, mash
‘Em, stick ‘em in a stew,”
Sam says. “No one could pass
That up, not even you.”

“Oh, yes we could!” spits Smeagol,
Determined to be rude.
Let’s strangle him like Deagol.
Let’s break him like his food.

Sam can’t hear Smeagol’s threats,
But he senses them still.
If Frodo would just let
Him move in for the kill...

The fierceness of his blow
Would strike the Stinker down.
The Slinker, too, would go.
Sam eyes him with a frown.

Poor Frodo wearily
Is haunted by the hunch
That in the future, he
Should be in charge of lunch.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Her Sam

I have so many reviews to write and so little time in which to write them. Hopefully I'll have a couple more soon, but till then, I'll tide you over with another Tolkien poem. That's practically all I've been writing lately. The floodgates have opened! I adore Sam Gamgee. Generally not so crazy about Rosie, only because I'm jealous. Or because their relationship seemed far less developed than Sam and Frodo's.

But in reality, it wasn't. Set aside the movie version, in which Rosie's a barmaid who Sam has a crush on and can't get up the nerve to ask out until after he's returned from his quest. Please. Okay, there's some element of sweetness to that, but it goes back to everything that was wrong about Sam in the movie. He was not a wimp by any means, and he certainly would not have been afraid of Rosie. The way I read it, though she's mentioned very little, Rosie was his best friend. Their being together was as simple and beautiful and natural as everything about Sam, and Tolkien himself had the following to say:

"I think the simple 'rustic' love of Sam and his Rosie (nowhere elaborated) is absolutely essential to the study of his (the chief hero's) character, and to the theme of the relation of ordinary life (breathing, eating, working, begetting) and quests, sacrifice, causes, and the 'longing for Elves', and sheer beauty."

I am also drawn to this passage by L. M. Montgomery, describing a critical revelatory moment in one of my favorite fictional romances:

"Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one's life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; Perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways; Perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath."

There's nothing really to back up the idea, presented in my poem, of Rosie having multiple suitors. I imagine her actually as quite a homely lass. But I like the idea of her turning down the brightest and best in the land for her closest comrade, a simple, chubby, unremarkable gardener. Even if nobody else ever did express an interest in her, I am convinced that if they did, she would not have given them a second thought. Here's to true love in your own backyard.

Her Sam

Lovely Rosie, sweet as posies,
Cheerful, always charming.
Some hobbits might find just the sight
Of this lass disarming.

Fetching water, Tolman’s daughter
Also fetches gazes
From the fellows. Mild and mellow,
Rosie’s poise amazes.

Some are handsome. Some would ransom
Riches just for her hand.
Some are quite strong or strut along
As if they owned the land.

Some are clever. Rosie never
Treats them impolitely,
And yet their schemes touch not the dreams
She lingers over nightly.

She is bereft. Why her Sam left
She may not ever learn,
But still she copes with prayers and hopes
That he will soon return.

His pudgy frame will be the same,
His gentleness unchanged.
Perhaps he’ll bring a wedding ring
From someplace far and strange.

They’ll take a bow and seal their vow
Tenderly, with a kiss.
With joyful hearts, the two will start
A life of wedded bliss.

The games they played in golden glade
When they were very young
Will live again, and in the den
Splendid songs will be sung.

And in due time, the tots will climb
On Dad’s lap for a story,
And he will tell his tale so well,
Its sadness and its glory.

She’ll take her seat next to the feet
Of him whom she adores.
Her eyes ashine, she’ll think, “He’s mine,
And I loved him before.”

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fool of a Took

Sam is my favorite of the quartet of hobbits in Lord of the Rings, but Pippin is a fairly close second. In the films, I was surprised to find that the scamp managed to supersede Sam for first place in my heart. Sam will always be number one, but in the Tolkien According to Jackson, I'm afraid Pippin wins out most of the time. So I had to write about him sometime. Actually, I found a poem I wrote about him my freshman year in high school, for a project, but from my vantage point now it seems most unsatisfactory. This one is only a few days old and hopefully better - and the first of several. In it, Gandalf, at some point after his and Pippin's arrival in Gondor, ruminates about his foolish young companion. Enjoy!

Fool of a Took

I don’t know what to do with him, this nuisance of a halfling
Who’s proven to be nothing but a pest
Throughout our short acquaintance. Looking back, I find it baffling
I concurred to include him on this quest.

Could it be my wits were addled by too much time with Old Toby?
Can a little leaf confound a wizard’s mind?
Did my love of hobbits strip me of my logic long ago?
See the way affection leaves an old man blind!

First that mischief at the Pony – yes, I heard all about that,
When he glibly blurted out poor Frodo’s name.
And that pebble in Moria; why, I could have knocked him flat!
When the orcs arrived, I fear he was to blame.

Now he’s mingled with a malice that he cannot comprehend,
And I’m certain the encounter left him scarred.
More than ever, I endeavor to protect him till the end.
I shall try – but goodness gracious, it is hard!

He lacks Bilbo’s intuition, but he also lacks his pride;
He is humble, and he knows that he’s a fool.
And I’m told he wept for hours when he thought that I had died.
He is tender in a world that’s often cruel.

Did he know what he was getting into? Never! Not a chance!
He was reckless; there are those who’d call it brave.
He relinquished leisurely life, full of food and drink and dance,
For a friend he would do anything to save.

When I see him, I recall the gentle goodness of the Shire
And that if we failed, how great would be the cost.
Though I would not soon admit it, he has virtues I admire,
And without that foolish Took, I would be lost.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

A Gardener's Temptation

Yes, I'm writing about Sam again. I can't help it. This poem followed naturally from the poem I wrote about Bill the Pony, since I had Mr. Gamgee on the brain. This is another pivotal scene from the book that did not make it into the movie, which is a shame, though there's a nice rendition of it in the Rankin and Bass version. Hooray for Sam's sense!

A Gardener’s Temptation

He beholds the golden garden
Of his imagination,
And his gentle features harden
With grim determination.

Sam is coldly bold, declaring,
“I could make Middle-earth thrive,”
For the moment little caring
Whether Frodo’s still alive.

With his sword so brightly blazing
It would blind the enemy,
He would lead with skill amazing
Fearsome troops to victory.

He’d spread greenery and flowers
With a flicker of his hand,
And his orders would send showers
That could quench a thirsty land.

Though the hobbit can intuit
Cruel temptation’s sneaky sting,
He thinks, “I know I could do it
If I only kept the Ring.”

Samwise clutches the Ring, sneering
In a voice unknown and stark,
And is startled, fully fearing
This descent into the dark.

All at once, the shadow passes.
His plain hobbit sense has won.
He’ll command neither the masses
Nor the flora, clouds and sun.

He recalls his sacred duty
And, with not a word or sound
But a thought for truth and beauty,
Drops the Ring and turns around.

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Equine Loyalty

I had a nice IM conversation with my uncle Dave yesterday, so when I went to work I had Tolkien on the brain, as much of our discussion involved him. Aside from one guy who bought 11 calendars (!) it was typically slow, so I found myself composing this poem in my head, writing it down whenever I finished a stanza. I was highly amused because just as I finished writing the fourth stanza, the song Wedding Bell Blues (which I always think of as Bill) came on the mall radio. I took it as a good sign. Anyway, I always thought Bill was a pretty great pony, even though my brother assigned that moniker to a little plastic donkey I had and took to attacking me with it whenever he entered my room. Grrrr. Sideshow WETA put out a sculpture of Bill and Sam, which I found a bit ironic since their relationship was so undeveloped in the movie; I don't think they even said Bill's name. But I really wanted that sculpture. Alas, it sold out, and now I shall never get one. Sniff. Anyway, here is the poem.

Equine Loyalty

Down through valleys, over hills,
Hardy, never tiring,
Plods the patient pony Bill,
Solid and inspiring.

Nurtured by the steady Sam,
Gentlest of masters,
Bill braces and thinks, “I am
Able to go faster.”

Grateful to find freedom from
That loutish brute in Bree,
He will take whatever comes
To him gracefully.

Larger, stronger horses might
Bolt, braying “Why bother?”
Bill will not succumb to fright.
He thinks, “I’ll go farther.”

One day Sam will let him go –
“For your own good,” he’ll say.
Bill, with footsteps sad and slow,
Will faithfully obey.

Wandering with careful gait
Paths pristine and weathered,
He’ll come home at last and wait
Till Sam, having fulfilled his fate,
And he can be together.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Lucy's Lament (Lincoln's Army, Johnny McAvoy)

With the impending arrival of the first - and probably not only - Narnia blockbuster, I find my thoughts turning frequently to that glorious world created by C. S. Lewis. Though I know several people whose immersion into that world exceeds my own, I nonetheless consider the Chronicles among my favorite books, Lewis among my favorite writers.

I tend to identify more with male characters in literature, cinema and television, but in this case, Lucy Pevensie, the girl who first discovers the Narnian entrance through the wardrobe in the home of Professor Kirke, most captures my imagination. Well, there is Aslan, of course, but He's rather on a different level. I like to think I'm a lot like Lucy, though I suspect her virtues exceed mine. Nonetheless, I can't help but think that it would be very difficult for Lucy to accept the idea that she can't go back to Narnia. I think of all the children, her connection was the strongest, so the everyday world just wouldn't feel right to her anymore. I've always felt a bit like a fish out of water in modern society, but imagine if you'd actually lived in that fantasy world, actually served a vital role there! How hard it would be to come back and be an ordinary girl in a contemporary world where Magic seems to have no place! This was my mindset as I wrote the following filksong to the tune of the Irish Rovers' Lincoln's Army.

Lucy's Lament

She rests in her room, distracted and gloomy,
Impervious to the pale moonlight's embrace,
And silently sighs as cerullean eyes
Shed teardrops that trickle through troughs down her face.
The lines betray years when, despondent and weary,
To bring to fruition the fate she'd foreseen,
She strove and she pleaded with cries all unheeded
To go back and reign as a Narnian queen.

Her world is uncertain. A fluttering curtain
Of dread brushes past her. She fears an attack
Of the spoken Deplorable Word, an immoral
Action that never could be taken back.
The teen is forlorn, for though Aslan had sworn
That He could be found here, she's not seen Him yet.
In whispers, she wonders if she was under
A spell when it happened, and should she forget?

But sparkling rivers, congenial beavers
And ancient trees thickened with glistening snow
Call to her softly, though her sister scoffs
And claims 'twas a game that they played long ago.
Yet she too was there, and she clung to His hair
On the glorious morn when He conquered the grave.
She too heard His roar and, as never before,
Felt strong and compassionate, faithful and brave.

How Lucy has missed her, this sweet older sister
Who shared the most marvelous job in the world.
Su now calls her weird, but how she once cheered
With the rest when the Narnian flag was unfurled!
How could she abandon that glory for random
Accoutrements of an inferior land?
Lu can't help but feel that those times were more real
And that England will never be nearly so grand.

With hope growing fainter, she's touched every painting
And opened each wardrobe that she's come across.
She's searched every station in deep desperation;
Her spirit sags with a profound sense of loss.
He told her to stay here and make her own way here,
But it's not the haven it was way back when.
Her true home lies hidden till a Storm - or a Kitten -
Summons her back to her kingdom again. 

Lincoln's Army

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

For Peter Jennings - May We Strengthen You as You Strengthened Us

This has been a very difficult week. I haven't been this emotionally overwrought since 9-11. Yes, that was a very different experience, as shocking and violent as the Pope's passing was expected and peaceful, and the recent tsunami disaster was far more devastating. Nonetheless, it isn't often that nations come together so forcefully to respond to an event. On such occasions, I find myself glued to the television for hours on end, counting on the news anchors to be the calm in my confusion. Most of all, it seems, I depend on Peter Jennings. I particularly leaned on his presence during the dark days of 9-11, and I was a bit surprised at how little I've been seeing of him in the past few days.

Today I learned why. Jennings has just been diagnosed with lung cancer. At this point it looks as though he is prepared to fight this insidious disease with everything in his arsenal. I wish him the best and hope they caught it very early. But this was not the news I needed to hear as I am trying to muddle my way through this week.

A few days after 9-11, in a fit of gratitude to this honored anchor for helping to keep me sane, I composed the following poem. I've noticed when I write tributes I tend to always write "we" instead of "me"; I always feel like I'm tapping into a powerful sense of community. I still see him as a leaderly figure, and my thoughts are with him. I suspect he will appreciate all the support he can get.

For Peter

You’ve stood before us as a rock, the solid, firm foundation
Of the newscasts that have kept us captivated.
From your impassive lips we’ve heard the horrors that our nation
Has endured, unfolding terror calmly stated.

You drew us to you Tuesday, and we watched for twenty-four
Straight hours as the breaking news came in.
You introduced the President who said we were at war
But promised we, the strong of heart, would win.

Your stiff lip trembled slightly as the correspondents spoke
From their posts among the rubble and the ashes.
Aghast, you saw the columns crumble in a cloud of smoke
And heard the chilling chaos from the crashes.

“I called my kids,” you told us in a voice so faltering
That we wondered if you might break down in tears
For the families that were torn apart. You paused, urged us to ring
Our loved ones, and continued. But our ears

Picked up on every foible, every word you mispronounced,
Every sentence that you couldn’t quite get right.
And your face displayed your sorrow as you heard the names announced
And beheld the faces of those killed in flight.

We’ve witnessed your exhaustion. We see and sympathize.
You have given us better than your best.
But now it’s time to loose the tears that hide behind your eyes,
To mourn at home and take a well-earned rest.

We thank you for your dedication and serenity.
You’ve done as much as anyone could do.
Although you battle terrorism in security,
We think that you have been a hero, too.

Saturday, April 2, 2005

A Tribute to His Holiness John Paul II - The World's Grandfather

I am not Catholic. But today I feel like I am, or like I should be. I spent four wonderful years in a Catholic high school, so sometimes I feel I'm semi-Catholic by default. But it makes no difference that I'm a Lutheran. I suspect it might not make much difference if I weren't a Christian at all. John Paul II was an extraordinary human being, a man of the people and a reminder of the best we all should strive to be. He was a voice of compassion in a world in which the cruellest voices are too often the loudest; he was that whisper in the background that had been there all my life. I knew that I would miss him when he left us. I don't know if I could have anticipated how much.

Upon reflection, I've decided I've regarded Pope John Paul II as the world's grandfather. Perhaps it was his unabashed affection for the common people that moved me most. I wish I could have seen him in person, been a part of one of those enormous crowds pulsing with youthful energy. In spite of a lack of a personal connection, I'll always regard this Pope as a powerful influence, a Lukan model of kindness and morality. His legacy will endure.

The following is my first meager attempt to honor a man who ranks with Abraham Lincoln as a public figure for whom I have boundless admiration and affection. You're missing the melody, but the lyrics are the important part anyway. Here's to you, Holy Father.


1. We gathered in the shadow of the window where you stood
So many times to bring us words of hope.
We sought in solemn silence any signal that we could
Return that comfort to our precious Pope.
Our candles dwindled dimly as your life began to fade.
It seemed a hush enveloped all of Rome.
Yet you strengthened us once more with one last blessing as we prayed,
Whisp'ring, "Children, I am glad that you have come."

In times of crisis, Holy Father,
We have looked to you.
With courage and compassion,
You have shown us what to do.
You said, "Let the children come,"
And we were happy to obey.
We all are orphans today.

2. We cry for little Karol, for the child we never met -
Though in a sense, we saw him every day.
Your life was touched continually by tragedy, and yet
The joy that filled you never went away.
We weep for our defender, for a man known as "Old Friend,"
For a peacemaker and pilgrim we adored.
Now our golden years together have at last come to an end.
We release you to the glory of the Lord.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Shadow of Smeagol

A poem about Smeagol, one of literature's most tragic characters...

The Shadow of Smeagol

He sneaks and scuttles sulkily about,
A creature cowering beneath the weight
Of emptiness. He cannot live without
The object of his longing – and his hate.

The token is a treasure, forged of gold
Commingled with the lifeblood of a king
Whose terror reigned in centuries of old.
His power lies within this tiny ring.

Now wretched, withering away, the wild-
Eyed wanderer is desperate to reclaim
The precious gift that left him so beguiled
And took away his comrade and his name.

“Nice hobbit,” Gollum sighs. He sees a shade
Of Deagol, who he murdered and he loved,
In Frodo. Both elated and afraid,
He trembles as old Smeagol, too long shoved

Aside, emerges. Memories creep in
And cast away the cobwebs in his mind.
The years of agony stretched him so thin,
He had forgotten what he left behind...

...gently sloping fields of windswept grain skies with wispy clouds of white
...crystal streams sustained by summer rain
...sparkling stars that shone throughout the night

...smoke-rings drifting off across the hills
...riddle contests lasting all night long
...pastries cooling on the windowsills
...taverns filled with merriment and song...

Above these images, his memory
Is overwhelmed with feelings long ignored.
Compassion, tenderness, fraternity...
Love’s purity pierces him like a sword.

For many years, obsession is the sole
Emotion he has known. This newfound light
Is blinding as it seeps into his soul.
He backs away and leaps in joy and fright.

“You stay back!” Samwise shouts, awakened by
The sudden movement. “Back, you stinking thing!”
The creature Gollum shrinks back with a cry
As Smeagol scampers off. The golden ring

Rests safely on the dozing Frodo’s chest.
Sam watches Gollum narrow-eyed, annoyed
By his intrusion. Gollum, gazing west,
Sighs. Sam will never know what he destroyed.

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Sestina Celebrating Radar O'Reilly

I really ought to spread these out a bit more, but I'm in a poem-posting mood, so here's another one. I wrote it a couple years ago in response to an assignment in poetry class requiring us to write a sestina about a sit-com character. I chose Radar because M*A*S*H is my favorite sit-com and he is my favorite character. Without further ado...


Like a little lost boy, he clutches his teddy bear
In his arms, nervously wiping his grimy glasses.
The war wants him to grow up fast, but he declines
To change. He wraps his naivety around him like a warm
Blanket to shield him from cold reality. High
School never prepared him for the arrival of choppers

Laden with wounded. The first time he saw it, his choppers
Could not consume the chow in the Mess. He simply could not bear
The sight of so much pain. Abandoning his dinner, he high-
Tailed it outside to get some fresh air. "You dropped your glasses,"
The kindly colonel called. He smiles at the memory. How warm
And fatherly was Blake. But now his face is creased with lines

Of sorrow, recalling the descent behind enemy lines –
No, the Sea of Japan should have been safe – of the chopper
Carrying his mentor home. How his hand, practically still warm
From that last handshake, trembled as he gripped the telegram, bare-
Ly able to read it through the fog of his tear-stained glasses!
If only he’d made it home, he would feel no guilt in his high

Opinion of Potter, a horse-lover and high-
Ly efficient commander who frequently inclines
An ear to the clairvoyant corporal behind those glasses,
Who has come to rely on the unexpected cry: “Choppers!”
Hawkeye, B.J., Charles...all rush to the deceptively bare
Field which, moments later, is filled with the stench of warm

Blood as wounded are unloaded. Today is a reprieve. Warm
rays of sun filter through the window; he squints as he writes, “Hi,
Ma...” He pauses, seeking soothing words to fill the bare
Page. And so he writes, filling his letter with lines
Of pleasantries, letting cheerfulness mask the dread of choppers
Looming ominously in his mind. Delicate as glass, his

Words protect her. “...Love, Walter,” he finishes. His glasses
Fog at the thought of home, and he seeks refuge in the warm
Fur of Fluffy, grateful that Hawkeye refused to chop her
Up beyond repair. The gentle rabbit’s presence is a high
Point in his homesick days. Stroking her, he imagines the lines
Of crops in Iowa, the newborn calves, his bedroom – bare.

A rabbit and a teddy bear, a pair of filthy glasses...
They are his only lines to his home, so distant and warm.
Sighing, he sips a Grape Ne-Hi and awaits the choppers.

Saturday, January 8, 2005


This poem is an illustration of one of my favorite moments in Lord of the Rings (just the book, unless this scene sneaked its way into the extended edition, which I will know soon enough). Enjoy!


His master lay in sleep’s embrace,
His face engraved with lines of care
Too deeply felt to fade away
While Sauron’s malice laid him bare.

Within the shadow of Mount Doom,
In gloom the steadfast Samwise kept
A vigil, but the foul air clad
Him in despair as Frodo slept.

A vast expanse before him stretched,
And etched into the barren ground
Were rivulets where never more
Would trace of water yet be found.

But through the weariness of night,
A light arose to comfort him.
An ancient star of ivory hue
Enlivened hope that had gone dim.

For beauty lingered even here,
So near to torment and defeat,
And whispered, “‘Tis no lasting thing.
The dark, though vast, is incomplete.”

Stout Samwise, startled by the thought,
Found naught could drive away the voice
Of providence. His placid heart
Found confidence to make a choice.

Foregoing pride and opened eyes,
Samwise the brave – Samwise the blessed –
Lay down at his beloved friend’s side,
Surrendering to blissful rest.