Did I know I was going to die, that day?
Perhaps part of me knew, quietly
A slice of foreknowing, a cold sting
You know, really, what happens
Don't hope too strongly for this
Focus on the people. Save our people.
We arrived at the Great Market
Holding off fetid-mouthed Orcs
Snarling over our white streets
But we became stranded there
An island of strong golden flowers
In a sea of feral forces, closing in
Smaller and smaller we became
And then a fire-drake slid in
Hissing with flame and blood-lust
Reaching and poisoning, felling us
One by one, like floating petals falling
And we died, our flowers wilting in flame
We had to retreat, back to the King
And onward we fled through smoke
And tainted streets, but dragon behind
And pained screams ahead, closing in
The Harp! Black emblazoned silver
Courage blazing in face and heart
Called to us and aided weary arm
Taking the dragon by surprise
They drove him back to the Market
And there they all fell, hopelessly
Tarnished by flame and poison smoke
O, the Harp! We could not save you.
The King in his courtyard needs us
So I gather my people to find him
I spy the Wing and the Fountain
Leaning hard in wounded pain
And Egalmoth arrives in light
Shining bright and strong
Bringing a crowd of wains
With women grim and strong
Ready to find the Secret Way
The way out of our beloved city
O Gondolin! We could not save you.
A dragon bursts out in rage
From the sweet Alley of Roses
And behind him frames a legion
Of Orcs and fell beasts of flame
And we stand, we are ready
But my men are fatigued and swaying
And I feel again the foreshadowing
This is the end. Of everything
But Ecthelion of the Fountain
Shining helmet in strong hand
Bids us a fierce farewell
And turns to face the Balrog
Gothmog stands with dark fire
In victorious anticipation
"Flee, Tuor! Save Earendil and tell him
Tell him to remember his friend"
And flies at the Lord of Balrogs
To save his friends. Save our city.
O House of the Fountain!
But we could not save you.
We turn, keening in bitter grief
As we flee to the Secret Way
And abandon our torn city
O Gondolin! We could not save you.
My heart turns to my brothers
Dark in smoke and deep in water
And my heart blanches and stops
My grief cannot find a way out.
I must just save my people.
My mantra echoes. Save my people.
I follow the Wing, but we are ebbing low
Our fatigue drags us down and we weep
As we push through heavy dark doors
And into silence and dank stone
Down, through endless turning stair
And dark passage ever narrowing
Into the quiet womb of the earth
Silence stills to the thudding heart
And our tears falling relentlessly
Where are my people, buried so deep?
Will this be our tomb, under Gondolin?
Let me save my people, I beg silently.
But we reach light and fresh cold air
Climbing again a dark, winding stair
Cut into the unforgiving cold mountain
My foreboding returns again
And my heart gives away its hope
Even as our precious refugees
Begin to stir and look and wake
Death lies resolute on Cristhorn
And it waits for us silently
Orc swords ring and flame flash
Races screaming into the open
As an orc ambush finds us
And we are now so spent.
But rage blind fills my sight
And I become as a Beserker
Sword flashing and flying fast
Like a sentient being in my hand
And the Balrog leaps high
Watching me follow in rage
And clash we did in steel and flame
Amidst a stark still audience
Pale faced and grey under the Moon
As he swings desperately
I ripped his arm, while whip curled
From his heaving body and he feared
As he looked and saw Death in my eye
And I looked and saw my death in his
By left I sought feebly for my blade
Short and sharp was my dirk
As we grappled fruitlessly on the edge
And I thrust it into black blood bubbling
Deep, into his burning dark skin
My blade rippling in front of my face
So tall was he, spanning two of me
But his scream ripped out shrilly
And he fell back, in his dying pose
Then his hand remaining clutches
And entwines itself in my golden hair
And pulls me into a lovers embrace
Yet a deadly one, as we spiral into blue
And so this is my end, I muse
I saved my people and they can go on
The wind rips past me furiously
And the ground pulls nearer
I call to Manwë, Lord of the Breath
"Save my people, old friend," I breathe
"Bring them home, they suffered enough"
I feel a cool whisper on my face
A phantom caress, as I close my eyes
And my last life shivers away from me
As I heave a last hitched breath
Farewell, my fair Gondolin.
I start to float, and I see slowly
A small boy clutching my hand
Flowers blossoming languidly
And eagles lifting my broken body
And people, my people, gathering
Bringing keepsakes and treasures
To stow in my cairn with me
Flowers, and amulets and smooth stones
Laid with care and sorrow and blessing
And then the cairn is laid so gently
For golden flower to grow there
A splash of colour in grey Mountain
As they remember and mourn
Those who saved their city
The people of fair Gondolin.
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