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October 3, 2012
Written for the 15th Anniversary of the Valar Guild
The words of Ioreth, as given to me:
What does he want athelas for? It's not good for anything except old
men's sniffles. The master is too sick now, no more will he ride. I
know it some since a child. It might have to come from afar. We used to
sing this about it:
When the black breath blows
and death's shadow grows
and all lights pass,
come athelas! come athelas!
Life to the dying
In the king's hand lying!
Water he wants? We have plenty of that. Water won't cure the ill, only
wash the dead. Here are those wretched leaves, too few to use I'm
afraid. Now he blows upon them? What is it that I smell? The air is
fresh and clean. Is it life I breathe? The young master is stirring and
the man stands. Well now! Who would have believed it? The weed is
better than I thought. It reminds me of the roses of Imloth Melui when
I was a lass, and no king could ask for better. Ioreth pauses a moment
and thinks. He called the man 'King' and he offered to follow. Who is
he anyhow? Perhaps as I said:
The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.
Poetry and quote from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Ch. 8 "The Houses of Healing"