Of Him They Do Not Sing by LadyBrooke

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Story Notes:

Written for the April 2017 Challenge, Ode to Arda, element: word pair king/spring.

I tried writing this, specifically a pindaric ode because I am bad at meter (really, at any type of structured poetry). Also, there's a surrounding story that explains where this ode comes from, because it felt lacking on its own. Title borrows inspiration from Tolkien's poem about Gil-galad ("Of him the harpers sadly sing")

 


“Adar, did you ever meet Denethor when he was king of the Nandor?” Celebrían looked up at her father from where she was propped up her bed, waiting for him to tell her a goodnight story.

Celeborn nodded. “Yes, I did. Why do you wish to know?”

“I heard some of the Silvan elves singing a song by the river this  morning, but I didn’t get to hear the whole thing, only a bit about he who is
forgotten. Why do they think he is forgotten, Ada? I know who he is,” she said.

“You are an exceedingly bright child, who is related to both the Nandor and the Sindar of Doriath through myself. Outside of the realms composed of the Sindar and Silvan elves, I doubt many have heard of him. Certainly the Noldor do not remember him, compared to their own kings and princes, and those that do see him as a fool who wasn’t wearing proper armor and therefore brought about his own doom,” he said.

“But didn’t most of the Noldor wear armor and still die?” she said.

“Well, yes, though you probably shouldn’t let your mother hear you say it that bluntly.” He winked, then looked as though he was considering something. “I can sing the whole ode for you, if you wish, though it’s not as cheerful as your normal stories are.”

“I want to hear it, please, Ada!”

“Very well,” Celeborn said and then began to sing.

Once in the early spring,
of Adra Marred and Morgoth’s reign,
there was a long forgotten king,
who ruled the woods where he was slain
and whose death heralded those Morgoth was yet to bring.
Sing of him, Lords of Elves and Kings of Men.

He was brought low
for Thingol could not reach his hill, 
and his followers could not stop the blow,
that laid him down and still,
never again to fight such a foe.
Sing, sing, of how they never fought again.

His father was Lenwë,
king of the Nandor,
not Finwë,
king of the Noldor,
nor Elu nor Ingwë.
Sing of he who is thus forgotten.

Who shall remember him,
who died ere the jewels
brought doom upon everyone?
Not Maglor, whose singing is now dim,
nor Daeron, who sings of only one.
Shall anyone sing of him?

“Well, you can sing of him,” Celebrían said. “And if I ever have children, I can sing the same ode to them, and then more of us will remember him.”

Celeborn laughed. “You can, and I think that would please those you heard singing it this morning. But for now, don’t you think you should go to sleep?”

“Do I have to?” she asked, looking at the books sitting on her table.

“Well, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt if you read one more chapter before going to bed, but then you have to go to sleep. After all, it will be much harder to continue your plot to remind your future children of Denethor’s existence if you become so sleep deprived you waste away into a book spirit,” he teased.

“Ada! Book spirits aren’t real,” Celebrían scolded.

“Oh, they aren’t? See, you are already schooling your poor father in things.”

Celebrían rolled her eyes. “I promise I’ll only read one more chapter, if you’ll teach me that ode tomorrow.”

“I promise,” he said and stood up to leave, pressing a kiss on her forehead. “Goodnight, sweetheart.”

“Goodnight, Ada,” she said back, already choosing which book she wanted and finally selecting one on the history of the Sindar in the early Second Age. “See you in the morning.”

Celeborn left, grimacing once he was through the doorway because of how hard it was to not flinch when reminded of how Denethor was neglected by history.




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