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.”

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