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Worlds Without End Blog

Bilbo’s Last Song Posted at 11:30 PM by Jonathan McDonald

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As part of our ongoing effort to underscore the classier side of genre literature, we continue our Genre Poetry series with a selection from J.R.R. Tolkien.

Bilbo’s Last Song (At the Grey Havens)
by J.R.R. Tolkien

Day is ended, dim my eyes,
But journey long before me lies.
Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Foam is salt, the wind is free;
I hear the rising of the sea.

Farewell, friends! The sails are set,
the wind is east, the moorings fret.
Shadows long before me lie,
beneath the ever-bending sky,
but islands lie behind the Sun
that I shall raise ere all is done;
lands there are to west of West,
where night is quiet and sleep is rest.

Guided by the Lonely Star,
beyond the utmost harbour-bar,
I’ll find the heavens fair and free,
and beaches of the Starlit Sea.
Ship my ship! I seek the West,
and fields and mountains ever blest.
Farewell to Middle-earth at last.
I see the star above my mast!

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3 Comments

Dave Post   |   08 Feb 2012 @ 15:02

This poem has always read to me like the author’s own farewell to Middle Earth. Thanks for posting it.

Rico Simpkins   |   08 Feb 2012 @ 15:22

He alternates between iambic and trochaic tetrameter, like waves in the ocean pushing up against each other.

Emil   |   09 Feb 2012 @ 02:31

Peter Jackson missed a trick by not including this as a song at the end of the movie, when Bilbo and Frodo sailed into the sunset. Although Annie Lennox’s "Into the West" did have the emotional resonance required for the ending, Bilbo’s own words would have been more fitting.

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