Poetry- Moria’s Lament

These are not holes,’ said Gimli. ‘This is the great realm and city of the Dwarrowdelf. And of old it was not darksome, but full of light and splendour, as is still remembered in our songs.’
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Book 2, Ch. 4

Edited to incorporate suggestions from the wonderful DarkJackal. Thanks so much for the help!

My tale is deep and near as old
As mountains high in stories told.
My dark is like a mourning veil
So none my sorrows may behold.

In times past I was a marvel,
My halls were filled with light and sparkle
Of treasures sought and loved by all,
To me for riches would they travel.

The dwarves made crafts within my hall
With stairways long and pillars tall
Their passion for their work was great-
So great it caused their realm to fall.

They dug for mithril fair and bright
And freed a terror of the night
That struck them down with fire and shadow
Turning my glory into blight.

Swiftly I withered; then I died
While my halls were swept by raging tide
Of death and ash and thieving hands
From which the dwarves could scarcely hide.

My light was gone for many years.
I know for me the dwarves shed tears
They knew the danger and stayed away,
With longing mixed among their fears.

Time passed on and darkness strengthened,
Yet somehow the dwarves’ fears weakened.
They made resolve to return and raise
My glory up from sorrow untended.

But gone is glory, having fled;
My light and splendor have long been dead.
The dwarves’ attempt to save me failed,
And trapped within my halls they bled.

I only live in history,
Which none on Middle-Earth now see.
I am changed: a symbol of dread.
My soul is lost in memory.

My tale is deep and near as old
As mountains high in stories told.
My dark is like a mourning veil
So none my sorrows may behold.

Author’s Note: Gah, Gimli’s chant in ‘A Journey in the Dark’ is so much better. Why do I even bother? Anyway- constrictive criticism and any other comments would be lovely!

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9 thoughts on “Poetry- Moria’s Lament

  1. I like this one, maybe because it’s darker and creepier than the Shire one. Some of the syllables line up in a strange way, so my only suggestion would be to think more about making some of the lines flow a little better. I’ve tried to write poetry before too. It’s really hard! It took my a LOT of effort, and even then it didn’t sound right. I like haiku because you don’t have to rhyme… You totally have the skills though.

    • Yeah, it’s hardly my best work and I’m dreadful with meter anyway. I like working with rhymes a lot, but I have difficulty when it comes to syllables and stress. Mostly I just try and get it to sound decent if it were being read aloud. But I’ll definitely try and work on the syllables more.
      And yeah, poetry is immensely difficult, hence why I’m trying practice it here… hopefully there’ll be some improvement soon.

  2. Adore this. Since you asked for critique, will have a few suggestions later about how you might improve the rhythm by deleting a word here and there. Can’t do much from mobile, but when I get home…

      • Feel free to delete this post once you read it. This is just how I would alter it to suit my ear.

        My tale is deep and near as old
        As mountains high in stories told.
        My dark is like a mourning veil
        So none my sorrows may behold.

        In times past I was a marvel,
        My halls were filled with light and sparkle
        Of treasures sought and loved by [all], (I like one less syllable here, but not sure why)
        [To me, for riches, would they travel] (There was something halting about this line. Not sure if this helps or not)

        The dwarves made crafts within my hall
        With stairways long and pillars tall
        [The] passion for their work was great- (suggested change so it doesn’t repeat “their” twice)
        So great it caused their realm to fall.

        They dug for mithril fair and bright
        And freed a terror of the night
        That struck them down with fire and shadow
        Turning my glory [into] blight.

        Swiftly I withered; then I died
        While my halls were swept by raging tide (deleted “a”)
        Of death and ash and thieving hands
        From which fleeing dwarves could [nary] hide. (deleted “the”, and not sure if nary is appropriate here, but just a thought)

        My light was gone for many years.
        I know for me the dwarves shed tears
        They knew the danger and stayed away,
        With longing mixed among their fears.

        Time passed on and darkness strengthened,
        Yet somehow dwarves’ fears weakened. (deleted “the” and “were”)
        They made resolve to return and raise
        My glory up from sorrow untended. (Maybe I’m not pronouncing this right, but “untended” isn’t rhyming well with “strengthened” or “weakened”, but I don’t know how to change it)

        [But gone is glory, having fled;] (trying to avoid a repeat of “long” in this section)
        My light and splendor have long been dead.
        The dwarves’ attempt to save me failed,
        And trapped within my halls they bled.

        I only live in history,
        Which none on Middle-Earth now see. (deleted “can”)
        Changed I am: a symbol of dread. (deleted “now” so it isn’t repeated from previous line, and rearranged words because I like everything to sound like Yoda??)
        My soul is lost in memory.

        My tale is deep and near as old
        As mountains high in stories told.
        My dark is like a mourning veil
        So none my sorrows may behold.

        But enough of my suggestions! It is beautiful, and worthy of Gimli. Would you mind much if I added a link to this on my fanfic page?
        http://thorinoakenshield.net/fan-fiction/
        So far it is woefully lacking in fanfic, and poetry about Moria and Durin’s Bane comes under the realm of Heirs of Durin subject matter.

        • Thanks so much for taking so much time with this! Seriously, those changes were about a million times better than what I had before. Thank you so much for providing them. And I would be very flattered if you put this poem in your archive. Never will you hear me refuse advertisement! 😀

  3. Wow – this is really good. I especially like the opening/closing stanza – it sounds quite Tolkien-ish. I may have to share this with a Tolkien-loving friend or two.

  4. Pingback: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring | captainmarks1

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