Tolkien Site > Poetry > Firiel-(T) > The Death of Turamarth
The Death of Turamarth
Beside the dragon dormant lay
A black-haired man. A cloth was bound
About his hand. He stirred and cried
Dark torment’s cry; a cruel one’s play.
He felt with fingers stiff his form
And found his forearm in cloth wound
About his wound; his blade now lay
Upon his chest, the shining steel
That darkness deadly dealt to foe
A cleaving cut – a breaking blow –
That bent the life of man to death.
He took a gasping, shudd’ring breath
And stood, and saw dark Dimrost’s spray
Sprinkle his sword, that cloaked in stain
Of blood reminded him. His pain
Now pressed upon him, made him reel
Beside the falls of Silver-rain.
He clutched his cut, and thro’ clenched teeth
He cursed, and stood. The smoking wreath
Of hazy hurt seemed now to die
E’en as he gripped his blade, and said,
“Foul Bauglir, see, thy thane is dead
Of what men dare against thy lies
And wrecking wars. So foul he flies
Before the form of valour fierce!”
He sheathed the sword and strode away
Reveling in his wrath. He spoke
Unto his blade. “Hail Death! You pierce
The proud one’s scales and send his soul
On wailing wings. Forgotten folk!
Those I have also silent sent
To smoking halls of thither hate.
You shimm’ring said in steel, ‘Abate!
To halls of harmless hate now fly!’”
And so he passed in proud array
Unto the halls of all his folk.
“Hear now: I slew the dreadful drake
And drew his doom to him! Now where
Within here rests Níniel fair?”
They dared not answer, for she passed
Into the morrow, did attest
Brave Brandir. Who his doom not dealt:
“Behold, the maid is dead. And thou
O Túrin Turamarth, art tall
In shames and dark in deeds. The drake
Ye slew had laid on her a bond
Of broken world, unthinking life.
The one that you have had to wife
Is named Nienor, Morwen’s maid.
Yea! Meet thy mortal sin, and shrink.
You drove her to dark Dimrost’s brink
And broke her on its bowl. You broke
Thy sister, forced her to that fall.
She passes from the world. I vow
There is no greater gloom than thine!
What else but Morgoth’s wiles design
Thy doom!” And while they gaped aghast
Great Gurthang glimmering faint flashed
And Brandir broke. He storming passed
Thro’ there; and so to Dimrost dashed
But Mablung met upon his flight
Who stayed the storm of mighty wrath
And bade him halt. He checked his might
Restrained the ruin of his path
A moment to reveal the wrack
That Morgoth made, a fearsome fate
Poured forth. “What tidings of my kin
Too cursed by cruel and cunning, black
Bauglir who enmeshed all the ilk
Of Húrin in a malice great
That guides my blade and bows my head–
What, then, of them? If they are lost–
I heard that harboured in the cave
Of Thingol whom I truly trust
They rest – and is it so, O friend?
Decieve me not – nor news untrue
Guided to my ears to feed thro’ there
With news of falseness never woo
The son of silent Thalion.
Pray what, thou Hunter bold? Now bend
Not as cruel Bauglir word, that silk
The son of Húrin hears, if truth
Is tidings dark of fear that feeds
On fearful souls. Halt not for ruth
But render me the full.” “Alas!”
The Hunter spoke of heavy-hand
“Thy father’s friends saw Morwen pass
With Nienor and nothing knew
Save that the dragon drove them forth.
Nought other, can I tell to you.”
So Túrin Turamarth then took
To bosom bitterness. “In troth!
No darker doom had any wove
No Vala written, than my own.”
He cried a curse on Morgoth’s throne
And fey he flew across the land
And flung to them, “But night had nought
The fulness yet; now full it flies.
Now comes the night!” They gasping gave
The greater ground to him; they thought
Him madness-taken. But he sped
And halted heaving by the Stair
And said to Gurthang, “Blade unbound
No bonds you know. Now drink my blood
In payment of another’s wound!”
He set the steel against the ground.
They came up but to find him dead–
The death of Turamarth the doomed.