Tolkien Tribute: Erebor

Born of fire, the Mountain rose, alone amid the plain,
and stood there steaming for an age, cooling in the rain
that fell and gathered in stream and pool and marshes, fen and pond
until a lake lay at its feet, and stretched over the lands beyond.

Came a hearty race of wandering folk
that sheltered there out of the night
bringing songs and tales, and hammers and ales
and eyes so very bright!
Caverns they found in the Mountain’s folds,
and made themselves at home,
delving chambers and corridors
from the Mountain’s patient stone.

The Mountain yielded treasures of gems,
of gold, and of silver gleaming,
an endless source of beauty and wealth,
as it lay there quietly dreaming.
And Aule’s Children, they cut and carved,
and made of the darkness a wonder
and lit it with lamps of the glittering gems
they’d from the Mountain’s heart plundered.

Other folk came to the lands round about
and planted town and crop,
That rippled, reflected in the shining lake
alongside the Mountain’s top.
In alliance they feasted and raised fine toasts
in many a mighty flagon,
And while they sang and the Mountain slept
there came like a storm, the Dragon.

Woe and sorrow, for all that died,
for the wealth and the glories lost–
The few that lived, ran for their lives,
to the tempests of fortune tossed.
The Beast, he bellowed and gathered together
a glittering golden bed
of all that the Dwarves had left behind
when those weeping survivors fled.

Grim the years, and cowed the folk
who lived on the lake in the gloaming,
ever in fear of the Dragon’s penchant
for malicious and fiery roaming.
But as the time passed, the Dragon grew older
and fat on the fruit of his malice,
and finally mostly all that he did
was sleep at the roots of his palace.

In lands afar, the vagabond Dwarves,
they made what poor life they could
but ever they dreamed of return and revenge
and knew that someday they would
defy that great Dragon, that arrogant Wyrm,
and drive him away from their hall–
They dreamed and planned in exile far,
though their resources were small.

The Mountain moved not, nor noticed nor cared
who dwelt in the halls nor how former lords fared;
Alone on the plain, it slept away ages
while Men, Dwarves and others filled History’s pages…

A day came indeed when the Dwarf-kind
returned and the ancient Dragon was roused
and goaded and teased until he stirred
from the halls where he comfortably housed.
He flew off towards the town on the lake in a fury,
his outrage errupting in fire
and there at the point of a long black shaft,
did the wicked old Wyrm expire.

Parades there came of Men and Elves
and Dwarves and Goblins and all
the races that live in Middle Earth,
old, young, and short and tall…
Armies met and clashed and killed
and died in defiance and rage
in a Battle that heralded the opening blows
of the end of another Age.

Hammers and swords, songs and laments
have echoed on the Mountain’s side;
Lives have been lived there in joy and despair
and many a death has been died;
Great and mighty have dwelt in its deeps
from swaddling clothes to shrouds…
The Mountain drowses alone on the plain,
where the reaching earth touches the clouds.

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