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Sam’s invocation of Elbereth at Cirith Ungol

      ⸱
A Elbereth Gilthoniel o menel palan-diriel,
O Elbereth Starkindler from heaven gazing-afar,
    
le nallon sí di-nguruthos!
to thee I cry now in the shadow of death!
   ⸱  
A tiro nin, Fanuilos!
O look towards me, Everwhite!

These inspired words of Sam Gamgee recall the hymn of the Elves A Elbereth Gilthoniel and are in the same metre. Tolkien analysed and gave a poetic adaptation of it in The Road Goes Ever On. He left too a more literal translation in a letter to Rhona Beare (n° 211 in Humphrey Carpenter’s edition), that we reproduce here.

The text is transcribed in tengwar or “letters of Fëanor” according to the general use of the Third Age created by Tolkien. An instance of its application to Sindarin is found in the third manuscript of the King’s Letter, published in Sauron Defeated p. 131. We made use of Johan Winge’s typeface Tengwar Annatar.  Open this mode in Glaemscribe

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Lord of the Rings. London: HarperCollins, 1999. 3 vol. ISBN 0-261-10235-1.
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel & Swann, Donald. The Road Goes Ever On: a song cycle. Poems and decorations by J. R. R. Tolkien, music by Donald Swann. London: HarperCollins, 2002. 84 p. ISBN 0-00-713655-2.
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. Selection edited by Humphrey Carpenter with assistance by Christopher Tolkien. London: HarperCollins, 2006. 480 p. ISBN 0-261-10265-6.

The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
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