The Song of Ælfwine

There lingering lights still golden lie
on grass more green than in gardens here,
On trees more tall that touch the sky
with swinging leaves of silver clear.
While world endures they will not die,
nor fade nor fall their timeless year,

As morn unmeasured passes by
o’er mead and mound and shining mere.
When endless eve undimmed is near,
o’er harp and chant in hidden choir
A sudden voice upsoaring sheer
in the wood awakes the Wandering Fire.

The Wandering Fire the woodland fills:
in glades for ever green it glows,
In dells where immortal dew distils
the Flower that in secret fragrance grows.
There murmuring the music spills,
as falling fountain plashing flows,
And water white leaps down the hills
to seek the Sea that no sail knows.
Through gleaming vales it singing goes,
where breathing keen on bent and briar
The wind beyond the world’s end blows
to living flame the Wandering Fire.

The Wandering Fire with tongues of flame
with light there kindles quick and clear
The land of long-forgotten name:
no man may ever anchor near;
No steering star his hope may aim,
for nether Night its marches drear,
And waters wide no sail may tame,
with shores encircled dark and sheer.
Uncounted leagues it lies from here,
and foam there flowers upon the Sea
By cliffs of crystal carven clear
on shining beaches blowing free.

There blowing free unbraided hair
is meshed with beams of Moon and Sun,
And twined within those tresses fair
a gold and silver sheen is spun,
As fleet and white the feet go bare,
and lissom limbs in dances run,
Shimmering in the shining air:
such loveliness to look upon
No mortal man hath ever won,
though foam upon the furthest sea
He dared, or sought behind the Sun
for winds unearthly flowing free.

O! Shore beyond the Shadowy Sea!
O! Land where still the Edhil are!

O! Haven where my heart would be!
the waves that beat upon thy bar
For ever echo endlessly,
when longing leads my thought afar,
And rising west of West I see
beyond the world the wayward Star,
Than beacons bright in Gondobar
more clear and keen, more fair and high:
O! Star that shadow may not mar,
nor ever darkness doom to die!

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