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The Silmarillion › Quotes

The Silmarillion Quotes

It is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen.
Many are the strange chances of the world,' said Mithrandir, 'and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.
All have their worth and each contributes to the worth of the others.
Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that came down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures. And of these histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Lúthien.
And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.
For if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomable at the foundations of the Earth.
Farewell sweet earth and northern sky, for ever blest, since here did lie and here with lissom limbs did run beneath the Moon, beneath the Sun, Lúthien Tinúviel more fair than Mortal tongue can tell. Though all to ruin fell the world and were dissolved and backward hurled; unmade into the old abyss, yet were its making good, for this― the dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea― that Lúthien for a time should be.
Love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart; and remember that the true hope of the Noldor lieth in the West, and cometh from the Sea.
But he that sows lies in the end shall not lack of a harvest, and soon he may rest from toil indeed, while others reap and sow in his stead.
But of bliss and glad life there is little to be said, before it ends; as works fair and wonderful, while they still endure for eyes to see, are ever their own record, and only when they are in peril or broken for ever do they pass into song.
Their 'magic' is Art, delivered from many of its human limitations.
A sister they had, Galadriel, most beautiful of all the house of Finwë; her hair was lit with gold as though it had caught in a mesh the radiance of Laurelin.
And amid all the splendours of the World, its vast halls and spaces, and its wheeling fires, Ilúvatar chose a place for their habitation in the Deeps of Time and in the midst of the innumerable stars.
Take now this Ring,' he said; 'for thy labours and thy cares will be heavy, but in all it will support thee and defend thee from weariness. For this is the Ring of Fire, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts to the valour of old in a world that grows chill.
For so sworn good or evil an oath may not be broken and it shall pursue oathkeeper and oathbreaker to the world's end.
But Sauron was not of mortal flesh, and though he was robbed now of that shape in which had wrought so great an evil, so that he could never again appear fair to the eyes of Men, yet his spirit arose out of the deep and passed as a shadow and a black wind over the sea, and came back to Middle-earth and to Mordor that was his home. There he took up again his great Ring in Barad-dur, and dwelt there, dark and silent, until he wrought himself a new guise, an image of malice and hatred made visible; and the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure.
The doom of the Elves is to be immortal, to love the beauty of the world, to bring it to full flower with their gifts of delicacy and perfection, to last while it lasts, never leaving it even when ‘slain’, but returning – and yet, when the Followers come, to teach them, and make way for them, to ‘fade’ as the Followers grow and absorb the life from which both proceed. The Doom (or the Gift) of Men is mortality, freedom from the circles of the world.
You renounce your friendship even in the hour of our need ' he said. 'Yet you were glad indeed to receive our aid when you came at last to these shores fainthearted loiterers and well-nigh emptyhanded. In huts on the beaches would you be dwelling still had not the Noldor carved out your haven and toiled upon your walls.
Shall we mourn here deedless forever a shadow-folk mist-haunting dropping vain tears in the thankless sea.
to him that is pitiless the deeds of pity are ever strange and beyond comprehension.
These folk are hewers of trees and hunters of beasts; therefore we are their unfriends, and if they will not depart we shall afflict them in all ways that we can.
And its object is Art not power, sub-creation not domination and tyrannous re-forming of Creation.
In this Music [the singing of the angels in harmony] the World was begun; for Iluvatar made visible the song of the Ainur,and they beheld it as a light in the darkness.
Then the voices of the Ainur, like unto harps and lutes, and pipes and trumpets, and viols and organs, and like unto countless choirs singing with words, began to fashipn the theme of Iluvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Iluvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void.
Maedhros laughed saying: 'A king is he that can hold his own or else his title is vain. Thingol does but grant us lands where his power does not run. Indeed Doriath alone would be his realm this day but for the coming of the Noldor. Therefore in Doriath let him reign and be glad that he has the sons of Finwe for his neighbours not the Orcs of Morgoth that we found.
Last of all Hurin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered, and each time that he slew Hurin cried: 'Aure entuluva! Day shall come again!' Seventy times he uttered that cry; but they took him at last alive...
There came a time near dawn on the eve of spring, and Luthien danced upon a green hill; and suddenly she began to sing. Keen, heart-piercing was her song as the song of the lark that rises from the gates of night and pours its voice among the dying stars, seeing the sun behind the walls of the world; and the song of Luthien released the bonds of winter, and the frozen waters spoke, and flowers sprang from the cold earth where he feet had passed. Then the spell of silence fell from Beren, and he called to her, crying Tinuviel; and the woods echoed the name.
And when [Bëor] lay dead, of no wound or grief, but stricken by age, the Eldar saw for the first time the swift waning of the life of Men, and the death of weariness which they knew not in themselves; and they grieved greatly for the loss of their friends. But Bëor at the last had relinquished his life willingly and passed in peace; and the Eldar wondered much at the strange fate of Men, for in all their lore there was no account of it, and its end was hidden from them.
Here ends the SILMARILLION. If it has passed from the high and the beautiful to darkness and ruin, that was of old the fate of Arda Marred; and if any change shall come and the Marring be amended, Manwë and Varda may know; but they have not revealed it, and it is not declared in the dooms of Mandos.
There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made.
For that woe is past,' said Galadriel; 'and I would take what joy is here left, untroubled by memory. And maybe there is woe enough yet to come, though still hope may seem bright.
To him that is pitiless the deeds of pity are ever strange and beyond reckoning.
For Isildur would not surrender it to Elrond and Círdan who stood by. They counselled him to cast it into the fire of Orodruin night at hand... But Isildur refused this counsel, saying: 'This I will have as weregild for my father's death, and my brother's. Was it not I that dealt the Enemy his death-blow?' And the Ring that he held seemed to him exceedingly fair to look on; and he would not suffer it to be destroyed.
The Light failed; but the Darkness that followed was more than loss of light.
and suddenly she began to sing. Keen, heart-piercing was her song as the song of the lark that rises from the gates of night and pours its voice among the dying stars, seeing the sun behind the walls of the world.
Then sudden Felagund there swaying Sang in answer a song of staying, Resisting, battling against power, Of secrets kept, strength like a tower, And trust unbroken, freedom, escape; Of changing and of shifting shape, Of snares eluded, broken traps, The prison opening, the chain that snaps.
Galadriel his sister went not with him to Nargothrond, for in Doriath dwelt Celeborn, kinsman of Thingol, and there was great love between them. Therefore she remained in the Hidden Kingdom, and abode with Melian, and of her learned great lore and wisdom concerning Middle-earth.
They sat beside the stone, and did not speak again; and when the sun went down Morwen sighed and clasped his hand, and was still; and Hurin knew that she died.He looked down at her in the twilight and it seemed to him that the lines of grief and cruel hardship were smoothed away.
Thus died Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor, most proud and valiant of the Elven-kings of old.