Wood-Elves leaving Middle-Earth

The Passing of the Elves

The Elvish Lament

Fanuilos heryn aglar 
Rîn athar annún-aearath,
Calad ammen i reniar
Mi 'aladhremmin ennorath!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel!
I chîn a thûl lin míriel
Fanuilos le linnathon
Ne ndor haer thar i aearon.

A elin na gaim eglerib
Ned în ben-anor trerennin
Si silivrin ne pherth 'waewib
Cenim lyth thílyn thuiennin.

A Elbereth Gilthoniel!
Men echenim sí derthiel
Ne chaered hen nu 'aladhath
Ngilith or annún-aearath

Snow White! Snow White! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander there
Amid the world of woven trees!

Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
Clear are thy eyes and bright is breath,
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
In a far land beyond the Sea!

O Stars that in the Sunless Year
With shining hand by thee were sown,
In windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown!

O Elbereth Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas

Text by J.R.R. Tolkien
Sindarin Translation by David Salo

Although a lament in itself is an expression of deep grief and sorrow, this composition is sung by the Elves in reverence of Elbereth Gilthoniel. She, under whose stars and constellations the Wood-Elves live, is described by them as “clear are thy eyes and bright is breath”. Since the Wood-Elves love best the light of the stars, it is no wonder they would worship her.

Samwise says it makes him sad, but he can`t explain why exactly. The mere fact that Wood-Elves are leaving for the Undying Lands is sure to bring grief to anyone’s heart. A race so mystical and magical, one would have to pinch oneself so as to make sure not be dreaming. Seeing them glide through the forest, the dreamlike sensation one experiences is overwhelming.

Subscribe to Newsletter

There is a mix of emotions I go through when hearing this particular acapella composition. It is mystical, enlightened, elegant and beautiful at the same time. It creates a sense of flow, a dynamic that is specific to the Elves. Since they are the „wisest and fairest of all beings“ as Galadriel put it, it is only natural that their music should reflect the uniqueness of their race. Every time I hear this piece it resonates so deeply. I have a feeling of a completely different universe expanding inside me. This warm feeling of calm and well-being.

How does this composition resonate with you? Feel free to comment in the section below.

Featured image by Ana Segota.

Liked it? Take a second to support me on Patreon!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.