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The Story of Ellomë - by Larindyl

Cirdan was a shipwright, and he lived with his kindred in the Havens of Brithombar and Eglarest. But when the havens were destroyed in the malice of Melkor, and the tower of Barad Nimras lain to ruin, Cirdan fled with certain of his kindred and with Ereinion Gil-galad to the Isle of Balar, and there regrouped his people.

Among his kindred was Ellomë, so named because she was born at twilight under an evening star. She was young and beautiful, but there was a sad light in her eyes, for she was the daughter of a mariner, and that mariner had never returned from his last voyage. He had been gone 20 years, and yet every morning she watched the western horizon, hoping to spy his sail finally coming home to harbour. But she lived with comparative ease on the Isle of Balar, a wooded isle stiff with creeks and inlets, a haven now for Cirdan, who plied his craft here and wrought many ships, light and swift, for the sake of the mariners who lived there.

And so it happened that Turgon sent messengers out of the fair city of Gondolin to search for the outermost west, and they came via the mouth of the waters of Sirion, and thence they came to Cirdan. Cirdan received them well, listened to their errand and prepared the fashioning of their ships, for they were to be ships of the highest quality, swift and light, ready for the passage to the west. On the night that they arrived he and his household held a banquet, which Ellomë also attended, and there she met Aranwë and his sons Voronwë and Tirinwë. And of the two Voronwë was the elder, and he had a serious face, and a sensible countenance, but Tirinwë had light eyes full of fun, and he smiled at Ellomë across the table and raised his goblet to her in mock severity and said ‘To the lady most worthy to grace the streets of Gondolin.’ And she laughed out loud, and said, ‘Good sir, you presume that I would want to grace the streets of Gondolin fair, but truly my heart is wed to the sea and to the lady Uinen.’ And then she looked suddenly sad, for the thought of her father crossed her mind. But she was turned towards Tirinwë already, and he towards her.

Over the next few months they spent much time together, talking of matters close to their hearts, and they sang togther often, for both were musical, and he had been renowned for his songs in fair Gondolin, and both delighted in music. And he wrote a song for her, so that she might remember him when he was gone,

Ellomë of the Emerald Isle,
Long I will travel, mile on mile
Through the wide world following
The secrets that the west will bring

Ellomë, though the time will pass,
Always shall our love long last
And then I will return to you
To home, to new life, to my lover true.

And she answered him thus,

And you my love, look up at night
Watch Earendil, shining bright
Think of me then watching too
Waiting for a sign of you.

And so on the eve of the day that Tirinwë sailed with his father and brother, they plighted their troth on a cliff, facing westwards, and kissed under the stars. On the morning after their ship left the harbour, last of the seven, Ellomë stood on a cliff alone, and watched until the seven white sails had disappeared into the west. And she prayed to the lady Uinen.

Lady Uinen of watery hair
Watch the seas between us two
Bring him safely home to me
Across the seas and oceans blue

Then she sighed, and thought ‘Now fate decrees that I must wait for two mariners,’ and every morning she again watched the horizon, waiting for any sail which might bear hence those she loved best. The years passed, and no tidings came to Balar of the fate of six of the seven ships, and yet Ellomë never lost hope. However, one night, there came from the west a huge storm, such as had not been seen in Middle-Earth for many a long year. The waves crashed on the cliffs, and the towers shook from their very foundations. But Ellomë fashoined she heard a voice, and ran to the sands, and heard this song,

Ellomë of the Emerald Isle,
Still I seek you, mile on mile,
Through the wide world following
Love — a white bird on the wing

Ellomë though the world wax old
Never shall our love grow cold
Still while youth and spring are sure
Lives out love and shall endure

Ellomë, in the after-time
Poets still shall fit their rhyme
Tell of love beyond compare
My love for Ellomë the fair.

Then she cried aloud to Uinen in anguish, ‘Lady, lady Unien I beg of you, grant me this one wish, that you will calm the storm and return him to me, for I know he is in trouble.’ Uinen heard and was troubled and tried her hardest to soothe the wrath of Ossë, and in despair in turn called to Ulmo, ‘My lord, Ossë wreaks havoc on the lands, do you not see? Save the mariners who are in trouble, for the sake of a lady who fears for her love.’ And Ulmo the mighty was moved, and went to the scene of a wreckage, for a ship had foundered on the rocks, but Alas! when he arrived there was but one mariner still living, and as the fates had decreed long ago, this was Voronwë, son of Aranwë, and Ulmo set him ashore at Nevrast, to await the coming of Tuor.

But in the morning after that dreadful storn, lying among the stiff reeds which were abundent in Balar, the people of that island found Ellomë, her dress soaked, her eyes closed, and a small smile on her face. And the people knew that Ellomë had found at last those whom she had missed. And when the gentle winds blew, the reeds rustled, and seemed to sing a song, like the others, but with slightly different words.

Ellomë of the Emerald Isle
No more I seek you, mile on mile,
Now we sit here following
The songs that those out west do sing

Ellomë though our love was brief
Our love surpasses our belief
I love you now, I always will
And we will be together still.

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