The Words Loved

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?

They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

J.R.R. Tolkien — from “The Lord of the Rings”

The words loved me before I loved the words.
These architectures, perfect in their sound,
I dwelled within and walked upon, among –
Before their written images I’d found.

For love, all love, is music at its heart;
We hear before our eyes first feel the light,
Then feel the phrase that shivers, or that calms,
And find a world inside the thing said right.

My mother’s voice it was that read to me,
Or spoke but soft old words of poetry.
The words had sheltered her within her youth:
A beauty true, and so much more than truth.

Our suns must set, our lives at last be hid –
The words loved me, as she who spoke them did

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,—
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember,
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ’tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heav’n
Than when I was a boy.

Thomas Hood — “I Remember, I Remember”

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7 Thoughts to “The Words Loved

  1. I started reading this and knew I recognized Tolkien’s work. I love The Lord of the Rings. 🙂 And ah the beauty and power of words!

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