Poems Inspired by Lord of the Rings

A Man Like You
Once I rode a pony small;
I sat astride my father’s knee.
My mother sang fair lullabies
And placed her warm arms around me.
My father said, “Be strong! Be brave!
And strive to win whate’er you do.”
I scarce remember, just in dreams
That once I was a man like you.
Once my father passed away,
And I ascended to the throne,
My mother said, “Be strong. Be brave,
And make this kingdom now your own.”
I took the sword. I chose the blade
And wielded it to claim my due.
At least it seems thus in my dreams,
When once I was a man like you.
Once a noble came to me
Austere he looked in raiment grand.
Reading the desires of my heart,
He placed the future in my hand.
To me he said, “Fight strong. Fight hard,
This ring shall win what you pursue.”
And when I placed it on my hand,
I ceased to be a man like you.
And now my flesh has turned to ruin,
My fine robes rotting with my skin.
Now I with man no more commune
Except my howl upon the wind.
My blade now tears through mortal flesh,
Knowing no man’s blade can undo
This evil that I have become —
I, who was once a man like you.
So when you hear the howling wind,
Recall my voice as fell it falls —
The scream of evil agony,
Remind you of my father’s halls:
The boy I was; the choice I made;
The power I sought, then was seduced.
This evil token on my hand —
Could you refuse it – a man like you?

August 15, 2005

Published in the Summer 2005 edition of In Fellowship, the official Print Journal of the Gathering of the Tolkien Fellowship Community and Issue 1 of Silver Leaves, the journal of The White Tree Fund.
The Shieldmaiden’s Song
Alone have I been – cold, lost and afraid,
Those dear to me gone – to war or the grave;
And he who to me like a father had been
Was lost to me also, become but a shade.
One haunted my footsteps both daylight and night,
His words like a poison seeped through me as ice.
I looked for a hero to rescue this maid;
I looked for a shelter to banish my fright.
But I’m a shieldmaiden, a daughter of kings.
My destiny calls me to loftier things.
No longer shall I in my bower take flight,
For I have been called to defend what is right.
I take up the sword and I carry the shield,
For I have a purpose, a power to wield.
I look for no hero, a hero am I,
For I’m a shieldmaiden and daughter of kings.
In that fateful hour as I fought with my fear,
My future arrived as three strangers drew near.
A new wind was blowing and pierced through my soul,
Emotions ripped through me; my choice seemed so clear.
Awakened at last to a longing like fire
My heart beat in time to the song of desire.
I followed my Lord and I followed my King;
I followed my heart, but my heart was a liar.
But I’m a shieldmaiden, a daughter of kings.
My destiny calls me to loftier things.
No longer shall I in my bower take flight,
For I have been called to defend what is right.
I take up the sword and I carry the shield,
For I have a purpose, a power to wield.
I look for no hero, a hero am I,
For I’m a shieldmaiden and daughter of kings.
Deserted again, left alone, left behind,
I heeded no man; I made this battle mine.
Donning helm, mail and arms, I rode out with the host;
My war cry echoing the pain in my mind.
I took up the sword and I became the shield;
I rode into battle, my heart cold as steel.
I slew the fell witchking to rescue my Lord,
For I was a warrior with power to wield.
I am a shieldmaiden, a daughter of kings.
My destiny calls me to loftier things.
No longer shall I in my bower take flight,
For I have been called to defend what is right.
I take up my sword and I carry my shield,
For I have a purpose and power to wield.
I look for no hero, a hero am I,
For I’m a shieldmaiden and daughter of kings.
The dark breath consumed me; in darkness I dreamed.
Awakened at last by the touch of the King.
Deserted again as the forces rode South,
But this time I was not alone as it seemed.
The kindness of one who was wounded like me,
A gentle companion, yet noble was he.
He taught me to look past the darkness to hope,
And gave of himself and his love selflessly.
For I’m a shieldmaiden and daughter of kings.
My destiny drew me to more noble dreams.
No longer afraid in my bower to hide,
No more to be bound to my anger and pride.
I put down my sword and I lay down my shield,
The bright blade of love – this new power I wield.
A hero’s heart finally granted to me;
I am a shield maiden, and love set me free.
“A Pony, Name of Bill”
Well, we found ourselves in town town after we left the river rill,
And we met up with a stranger who sure looked like he could kill,
But we found a friend in Ranger who took us to Elvendell:
Three halflings, a gardener, and our new pony, Bill.
Well, I always loved the country; I love flower, blade and hill,
And I love my Master greatly and his cousins fit the bill.
And I came to love our Ranger, and I’m loyal to him still,
But I had a special fondness for a pony, name of Bill.
Well, at first he was malnourished but he had a stubborn will,
And he fattened as we wandered across vale and over hill.
And he followed us in badlands where the mines would suit him ill,
So we turned him loose, and I wept as I said good-bye to Bill.
Well, we had our share of sorrows, suffered more than one farewell.
We saw Elves, Goblins, and Eliphants, and an Elf Queen by her well.
I have seen my share of wonders, and great treasures I have held,
But I never could forget a certain pony, name of Bill.
Well, we found the fiery mountain after crossing the dead vale,
Where I fought that sneak that tracked us and some Goblins had to kill,
And I smote that monster Spider with light from a starry well,
And as we trudged I often wished I rode that pony, Bill.
Well, we finally won the battle, and our quest we did fulfill.
And they crowned our Ranger king over the land with pomp and frills.
To our home we finally returned; as we crested the last hill
The others rode fine ponies… me, I rode my old friend Bill.
Published in In Fellowship: The Journal of the Tolkien Gathering

Journey to the Sea
Brave archer-son of woodland elves
In evil’s growing shadows dwelt.
In Elven halls of fantasy
Beneath the stars, under the trees.
Gone, the years of complacency:
No more the magic dinner feasts,
Deer driven out by cunning beasts.
The shadows grew a doom to tell
That must be brought to Elvendell.
A culminating prophecy.
Around the table tales were told
Of dark wraiths seen and rings of gold;
As tempers flared he made his case
To aid a friend, defend his race —
Irked by the dwarf’s obduracy.
A strange pact forged in anger bound
Son of the tree, son of the ground.
Nine walkers made the choice that day,
A journey planned and then… away!
To carry war’s diplomacy.
O’er barren lands to goblin mines.
Trolls, goblins, threats his bow would find –
Fell victims of his accuracy.
Through dark and danger, fire and flame,
The Demon’s whip and burning mane.
At last escaping at great cost –
Their guide, their friend, the Wizard lost.
Despairing in their misery,
Still pressing on o’er glade they ran,
Into the trees – enchanted land –
In golden woods to find release:
A time to mourn, a time of peace,
Until the fateful prophecy…
A boat ride South with seven friends,
Where waters fall, the River ends;
As did the Fellowship that day.
Two halflings gone; two swept away
By Necromancer’s progeny.
There one strong man succumbed at last,
Then lost his life while standing fast
Against goblins’ foul piracy.
To horse lands fast on foot they flew
To find their friends, their bonds renew.
Into the living woods they dared –
A meeting caught them unprepared:
The White Wizard’s conspiracy.
Dark days grew darker as they tread
Where none would go – paths of the dead.
There a Ranger cast off his doubts;
His power drove the dead to rout
To usher in his legacy.
By Great River the dead host sailed
Vows were fulfilled — the host prevailed.
Yet in triumph on battle’s field,
The Elf-son knew his doom was sealed
While gulls called o’er the war’s frenzy.
As one lord spurned the Wizard’s plea,
Snared by his own complicity.
Faithful companions journeyed on.
The company looked for the dawn
While battle raged on endlessly,
Fighting the fell and monstrous beasts.
They bravely suffered selflessly
Until the reign of terror ceased,
The ring destroyed, the lands released;
The King was crowned; the world knew peace.
For Elven-son – dichotomy…
Such wonders have I known and seen,
Such friends I’ve had, such victories,
Such joy I’ve felt beneath the leaves…
No more for me… no more to be…
No more at rest under the tree,
My home become a fallacy.
Gulls on the shore call out to me;
The tides rise in supremacy.
A yearning born from dormancy
Waking me from complacency.
My heart cries out for clemency,
For succor from the thing it seeks —
The doom proclaimed in prophecy.
Will my heart never more run free?
Until at last it finds release
Beside the sea… beyond the sea…
© 2005-2011

Find The Lord of the Rings at Tolkien Town
More Poems Inspired by The Lord of the Rings
The Shieldmaiden’s Song
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The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

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Poetry by Kathryn E. Darden – Poems, Tips, Poetry Workshops and More…
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