Tolkien Tribute in honor of Frodo’s & Bilbo’s Birthday!

These next two poems are pantoums, a minstrel’s form, intended to be sung and designed to be remembered. It is a form most suited to Hobbits, who, according to Tolkien, enjoy playing with words and forms in their poetry.

THE GUEST OF HONOR

Old Bilbo Baggins is eleventy-one!
For a hobbit, indeed a respectible age.
Though he loves to sit out with his pipe in the sun
He acts like a lad in his tweens, not a sage!

For a hobbit, indeed a respectible age
He’s well on his way now to match the Old Took!
He acts like a lad in his tweens, not a sage–
In his eye there’s a bright bit of rascally look!

He’s well on his way now to match the Old Took
With a spritely spring in his wandering stride.
In his eye there’s a bright bit of  rascally look
And it’s long been suspected, there’s a Took inside!

With a sprightly spring in his wandering stride
He is like to go off with a bang and a flash
And it’s long been suspected there’s a Took inside
A-craving adventures foolhardy and rash.

He is like to go off with a bang and a flash
Though he loves to sit out with his pipe in the sun,
A-craving adventures foolhardy and rash…
Old Bilbo Baggins is eleventy-one!

SHADOW OF THE FUTURE

The lanterns they glow with a comforting light
as they hang in the boughs gently swinging
illuminating the gathering night
and the company, happily eating and singing.

As they hang in the boughs gently swinging
they shine warmly down on the dearest of friends
And the company happily eating and singing,
never thinking that sometime a festival ends.

They shine warmly down on the dearest of friends
in their merriment and their dancing and glee–
never thinking that sometime a festival ends,
that the lamps will, finally, burn out in the tree.

In their merriment and their dancing and glee
it’s a world replete with wondrous delight!
That the lamps will, finally, burn out in the tree
holds nary a worry, or thought of a fright.

It’s a world replete with wondrous delight!
Celebrating the peaceable passing of years
holds nary a worry or thought of a fright–
No thought that the future holds danger and fears…

Celebrating the peaceable passing of years,
illuminating the gathering night,
no thought that the future holds danger and tears:
The lanterns, they glow with a comforting light…

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