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The Tale of Tinúviel

Translation by Luthien-(T)
April 26, 2009

Poem chant from The Lord of the Rings:

"I will tell you the tale of Tinuviel", said Strider. "In brief, for it is a long tale of which the end is not known - and there are none now, except Elrond, who remember it right as it was told of old."
He was silent for some time and then he began not to speak, but to chant softly:

The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tinuviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.

There Beren came from mountains cold.
And lost he wandered under leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing.
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
And her hair like shadow following.

Enchantment healed his weary feet
That over hills were doomed to roam;
And forth he hastened, strong and fleet,
And grasped at moonbeams glistening.
Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.

He heard there oft the flying sound
Of feet as light as linden-leaves,
Or music welling underground,
In hidden hollows quavering.
Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves,
And one by one with sighing sound
Whispering fell the beachen leaves
In (the) wintry woodland wavering.

He sought her ever, wandering far
Where leaves of years were thickly strewn,
By light of moon and ray of star
In frosty heavens shivering.
Her mantle glinted in the moon,
As on a hill-top high and far
She danced, and at her feet was strewn
A mist of silver quivering.

When winter passed, she came again,
And her song released the sudden spring,
Like rising lark, and falling rain,
And melting water bubbling.
He saw the elven-flowers spring
About her feet, and healed again
He longed by her to dance and sing
Upon the grass untroubling.

Again she fled, but swift he came,
Tinuviel! Tinuviel!
He called her by her elvish name;
And there she halted listening.
One moment stood she, and a spell
His voice laid on her: Beren came,
And doom fell on Tinuviel
That in his arms lay glistening.

As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tinuviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering.

Long was the way that fate them bore,
O'er stony mountains cold and grey,
Through halls of iron and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless.

Translation to neo-Sindarin by Luthien-(T):

"Trenathon achen i narn Tinúviel", Aragorn ebent.
"Trenathon i drenarn thent - an narn anand, a i veth ú-istassen, ah si ú-ben, Elrond said, i rên ha sui trenoren io anann."
Ho dínen, ab lû thent, ú-ebent, dan linnant moe:

I *nimwaloth i bain a phant,
I laiss in end calen nadhras
A egennir galad vin lant
E geil vi dhúath thiliol.
Tinúviel i lilthas ias,
Na lind o *simp dholen a brand
A vi finnil dîn glîn ennas,
A vi chammad dîn míriol.

Nu laiss Beren erui padas
Ab aegais ring dad túliel,
Ennas i elduin sirias
Nûr a erui reniol.
Dan min laiss gwaloth tíriel
Glinthant lassui mellys ennas
Na choll a rainc dîn derthiel,
Sui dae finnil dîn aphadol.

I lûth nestant i dail naegrol
Berthennin dhyl athreviad;
Agamp geleg ho vell, bragol,
Mabant ithildim thiliol.
Trî 'aladhremmin eldorath
He dregas fair na dail lilthol,
Awarthant Beren reniad
Erui vi daur dhínen lastol.

Sui laiss dulus i thail ellint
Lastant ennas lhyss reviol,
A vi imlaid thyrin i lind,
Ennas eithelui tuiol.
Si nimwaloth i tharn, thinnol,
a thloss ab loss vin chelch thind
laiss e-mrethil vi daur dharthol
hain sui gwilwileth sí dannol.

Ú chir hen, revias palan
Laiss caedennin anann ennas,
Nu 'ilgalad a nui gúran
Vi menel edhring míriol.
Nu ithildim coll dîn tinnas,
Sui caw amon, haeron a brann
Na dail peliol, he lilthas,
I chîth gelebren hwiniol.

Udul he ad ne thrîw dregol,
Linn dîn leithiant i ethuil,
Sui tuilinn a rhoss dannol,
A nen udul ed loss glavrol.
Egenn tuiad niphredil
Na dail dîn, nestas aphadol
anírant lilthad na mrennil
Linnol am nadhras úbrestol.

He dregas ad, dan ho nerant:
Tinúviel! Tinúviel!
Eneg edhellen dîn estant
adhor ennas lû hen lastol.
Ne phost thent Beren, túliel
Na lûth ed lam dîn gen gwedhant,
Si barthannen Tinúviel
Dorthas vi rainc dîn thiliol.

Beren tirant na chîn iell
Vi 'wath finnil dîn velui,
O elenath aglar menel
Egent ennas i míriol.
Tinúviel elvanui †
Elleth alfirin edhelhael, †
O hon ring finnil fuinui †
A rainc gelebrin thiliol. †

I dhoer manath únodui,
Trî annon dûr, angren thamas,
Am ered gondeb, hithui
A thaur dhúatheb angoeol.
I aearon min hain dorthas,
Govanner hai na vedui,
Pelanner io anann ennas
Úníniel vi daur linnol.

* reconstructed words
_simp_ == reconstruction from Quenyan _simpa_ flute
_nimwaloth_ reconstruction 'white flowering' for 'hemlock umbel'
† <<Tinúviel elvanui ... gelebrin thiliol>> (4 lines) translated by David Salo for the LOTR movies

I'd like to thank Eryniel, Maewen and Ailinel of for their constructive criticism and help.

PLEASE NOTE: this translation from English into Sindarin uses unattested words (which formally renders it 'neo-Sindarin'). The words that I am aware of having been reconstructed are marked with an asterisk. I basically followed Thorsten Renk's interpretations of the existing ambiguities in our knowledge of Sindarin.

In answer to a question:
_said_ is a bit confusing maybe; it is also Sindarin, meaning "excluded":
said* [sˈɑjd] adj. private, separate, not common, excluded ◇ VT/42:20
It's pronounced differently though: like "sah-eed"