So many ages he’s wandered, so many roads his footprints mark,
in lands of many men and few, of hottest sun and deepest dark,
He seldom speaks a word aloud, gives no greeting nor farewell,
sings not, nor prays in any language any living soul can tell…
Midnight-indigo, his old cloak is bound around him tight,
a shadow in the sunlit days; he blends, becomes one with the night.
Upon his ageless weary face, read exquisite poetry of pain;
Note, on the dragging hem of his soul, an everlasting stain…
He passes through the paths of healing, but never does he tarry,
nor finds he comfort in those ways, for ever does his own thought harry
him and prod and pierce, and drive him onwards, peace forsaking,
before his mind’s eye, ever himself, his every sacred promise breaking…
This one has never been a youth, so youth cannot excuse him
from willful, prideful, evil choices– his own life does accuse him.
There is no forgiveness in him, nor does he seek for it in others–
He was abandoned long ago, when he forsook his only brothers.
No redemption can there be for one so deep in fault bemired
no salvation for him who abandoned Light, who with evil Dark conspired.
He knows this truth, and daily wears it, ’round his neck like twisted rope,
and suffers it, for deeper yet, he bears the bitter curse of Hope.
The Istari were the Wizards who were sent to Middle Earth to contest Evil. One was White, one Grey, one Brown, and two, who never appear in any story except in vaguest reference, were Blue. This poem reflects Tolkien’s own stated supposition that the Blue Wizards went into the East and were presumed to have fallen under the influence of Evil or to it.