The Cellar Read by Tolkien Glǽmscribe Mathoms News
Quenya Sindarin Telerin Qenya Gnomish & Noldorin
Adûnaic Westron Khuzdul Black Speech Valarin
Old English – Tolkien Old English Middle English
Gothic Old Norse Finnish Welsh Latin
Monath módaes lust
Old English – Tolkien

    
Monath módaes lust mith meriflóda
My soul’s desire over the sea-torrents
   ⸱    
forth ti foeran, thaet ic feorr hionan
forth bids me fare, that I afar should seek
   
obaer gaarseggaes grimmae holmas
over the ancient water’s awful mountains
    :
aelbuuina eard uut gisoecae.
Elf-friends’ island in the Outer-world.
       
Nis me ti hearpun hygi ni ti hringthegi
For no harp have I heart, no hand for gold
       
ni ti wíbae wyn ni ti weoruldi hyct
in no wife delight, in the world no hope:
        :
ni ymb oowict ellaes nebnae ymb ýtha giwalc.
one wish only, for the waves’ tumult.

J. R. R. Tolkien played with variously rewriting the Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer throughout his unfinished novels The Lost Road and The Notion Club Papers. This variant version is from The Notion Club Papers: it is supposed in the narrative to be an older and better tradition of the text.

It is accordingly given in a more archaic form of Old English; for instance one can notice the presence of final unstressed æ and i that both merged in e later, or the vowel spelt oe that later became e. There is also a difference of dialect: in The Road to Middle-earth, p. 264, T. A. Shippey says that the archaic version is in Old Mercian, not in Old West-Saxon like the other ones. The spelling is also imitated from the earliest record of Old English and not form the more familiar forms of the 9th and 10th centuries; instances of such archaisms are the use of th instead of þ and ð, of ct instead of ht, of b instead of f to denote the sound [v], and doubling letters to mark long vowels.

The text with its modern adaptation in alliterative verse is from Sauron Defeated, p. 243-244. There are some differences due to metric requirements with the more literal translation of the equivalent West Saxon version provided in The Lost Road p. 244.

In the record a more archaic pronunciation of Old English has been attempted, based on Alistair Campbell’s indications about the evolution of English sounds in his Old English Grammar. Notably: The text is transcribed in tengwar or “letters of Fëanor”. Tolkien created two different adaptations of the general use of the Third Age to Old English, presented in Sauron Defeated pp. 318-327. We especially attempted here to emulate the mode of the so-called “Text I”. We made use of Måns Björkman Berg’s typeface Tengwar Eldamar.  Open this mode in Glaemscribe

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. Sauron Defeated – The End of the Third Age: The History of The Lord of the Rings, part four & The Notion Club Papers & The Drowning of Anadûnê. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London: HarperCollins, 2002. 482 p. (The History of Middle-earth; IX). ISBN 0-261-10305-9.
Shippey, Thomas Alan. The Road to Middle-earth: How J. R. R. Tolkien created a new mythology. London: Grafton, 1992. 337 p. ISBN 0-261-10275-3.
Campbell, A[listair]. Old English Grammar. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971. 423 p.

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.
Last update of the site: September 22nd 2019. Contact us: