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Lúthien’s song

   
Ir Ithil ammen Eruchín
When the Moon, jewel of the firmament,
  
menel-vîr síla díriel
shines on the watch for us, Children of the One,
      
si loth a galadh lasto dîn!
then flower and tree, listen in silence!
    ⸱
A Hîr Annûn gilthoniel,
O Lady of the West, Starkindler,
    
le linnon im Tinúviel!
to thee I sing, I Nightingale!

This poem was written in the 1950s or afterwards when Tolkien went back to the Lay of Leithian - published in The Lays of Beleriand p. 354. The style is the same as in the hymn of the Elves A Elbereth Gilthoniel, and it is evidently another song of praise to Elbereth. Neither J. R. R. Tolkien nor his son Christopher gave any translation of the poem; yet it is fairly well understood, even if not everything is fully clear in it: the syntax especially is difficult and probably much bent for the sake of the metre. Our English translation is based on one possible interpretation.

The reader will of course remember that Tinúviel “Nightingale” is the nickname given by Beren to Lúthien.

The text is transcribed in tengwar or “letters of Fëanor” according to the mode of Beleriand created by Tolkien and illustrated for instance by the Moria gate inscription in The Lord of the Rings, book II, chapter 4. We made use of Måns Björkman Berg’s typeface Tengwar Parmaite.  Open this mode in Glaemscribe

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Lays of Beleriand. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London: HarperCollins, 1994. 393 p. (The History of Middle-earth; III). ISBN 0-261-10226-5.

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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