Frodo's Lament for Gandalf

by J. R. R. Tolkien

Original Language English

When evening in the Shire was grey
his footsteps on the Hill were heard;
before the dawn he went away
on journey long without a word.

From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darkling woods he walked at will.

With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongues he spoke.

A deadly sword, a healing hand,
a back that bent beneath its load;
a trumpet-voice, a burning brand,
a weary pilgrim on the road.

A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
swift in anger, quick to laugh;
an old man in a battered hat
who leaned upon a thorny staff.

He stood upon the bridge alone
and Fire and Shadow both defied;
his staff was broken on the stone,
in Khazad-dum his wisdom died.

-- from The Lord of the Rings: One Vol. Edition, by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger


Sung by Frodo in the forest of Lothlorien when they finally have time to express their grief. Gandalf fought the Balrog, a fire demon, on a bridge in the underground realm of Khazad-dum. Gandalf the Grey is, at this point, thought to be dead -- and, in fact, he does die, but he is sent back by Iluvitar (God), reborn as Gandalf the White.

"weary pilgrim" One of Gandalf's names is The Grey Pilgrim, a reference to the fact that Gandalf never settles in one place but constantly travels throughout Middle Earth.

Recommended Books: J. R. R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings: One Vol. Edition

Frodo's Lament for