Upon the hearth the fire is red

Sunday, 29 December, 2013

On 23 May this year, J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic, unfinished poem, The Fall of Arthur, was published. The largely unknown version of the Arthur story starts with King Arthur going to war in “Saxon lands” before returning home to confront the treachery of his nephew Mordred. The work is considered to be “his finest and most skilful achievement in the use of the Old English alliterative metre.”

“Upon the hearth the fire is red,
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet,
Still round the corner we may meet
A sudden tree or standing stone
That none have seen but we alone.
Tree and flower, leaf and grass,
Let them pass! Let them pass!”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring


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