Observations of a Woodland Animal watching in Lórien as Legolas sang the Song of Nimrodel

Malthenglî [Golden Honey] was a small rabbit with a golden honey-colored fur coat who lived in Lothlórien. The color was very important because it was able to hide herself amongst the golden Mallorn leaves that came falling to the ground. It was late in the year and the day was almost gone. The wind was rushing away, to where, Malthenglî did not know. It seemed that the wind was always in a hurry.

In a hushed voice Glî said: “Master Wind, don’t be so hasty. Be a little stiller tonight. For I can feel that something is afoot.” Then through the shadow which loomed through the Wood, Glî saw a band of travelers, which was not unusual for many Galadhrim, but it seemed that it was a company of a strange sort. She saw an Elf she had not seen before. I wonder where he may be from. By his dress he could be a Silvan Elf, although his hair is not dark but light. Not many times has one of the Elves from another Elven Kingdom strayed into Lothlórien. She heard sounds and saw shadows which could not be Elven, but the guttural sounds she heard were familiar. Glî had once strayed into the Misty mountains when she was younger. There she had seen the Naugrim, the Dwarves, the Folk of Durin. Now the Fellowship sat down. She noticed several beings of an unknown race. They were shorter than the Dwarves, and had no beard at all, but were smooth of face.

Malthenglî’s family had lived in the Golden Wood for many generations and had been here when the first Elves arrived. She had heard many stories about them. Glî was happy by nature. It looked like the Company was trying to cross on an Elven rope which is not easy, but it can be done. She was surprised that none had fallen into the Water. The river was in a spacious valley, with trees gently waving to the Wind. A tranquil landscape. The waterfall of the River Nimrodel was still singing its ancient song and like the river Lethe who could make you forget and not remember, but caught you in its spell of the music of the voices of the River. Suddenly she heard a voice, as sweet as honey and clear as Glass. It sounded like silver bells ringing. She noticed that the Elven Lord was the one who was singing.

Glî laid herself into the emerald green grass and let the music and the words wash over her. It was so exquisite, it almost hurt. Almost at once she recognized the song. It had been told many times since she had been born, because she lived around the river. Nimrodel was an Elven Maiden of great beauty. Her lover had been Amroth and the two were greatly in love with each other but they got separated when her people were fleeing the Balrog that had risen in Khazad-dûm, but on her way to Dol Amroth she had been lost in Ered Nimrais.

An Elven-maid there was of old, a shining star by day… her mantel white was hemmed with gold, her shoes of Silver-grey

Glî could almost see the maiden dancing under the canopy of Golden Mallorn Leaves in her shining white and gold mantle with silver shod feet dancing with quick graceful steps.
A star was bound upon her brows, a light was on her hair.

“I can almost see her,” Glî thought. A bright shiny star, an almost Silmaril-like radiance that would guide herewith her hair alight with the Glowing with which only the Eldar were surrounded.

Her hair was long, her limbs were white,
And fair she was and free…

Malthenglî could imagine what she must have looked like with her hair flying in the wind, her white and flawless skin surrounded by the sunshine.

And in the wind she went as light
As leaf of linden-tree.
Like a Linden tree in the breeze, bending but not breaking

Glî was starting to get excited; the next verse was her favorite because in this verse the Maiden would come to the River that now bears her name.
Beside the falls of Nimrodel,
By water clear and cool

This is right here. Glî jumped up and down as though she wanted to run to the brook and hear the song of Nimrodel herself, the one that was sung by the water itself. If she could have cried out, she would have shouted. “Listen, she is singing tonight. If you just have ears to hear…”

Her voice as falling silver fell
Into the shining pool

“See, this is the pool it fell in. Can’t you hear her singing?”

Where now she wanders none can tell,
In sunlight or in shade;
For lost of yore was Nimrodel
And in the mountains strayed.

As always, tears came into Glî’s eyes when it came to this part. She could almost feel the pain and the bitter sweetness of being lost without the one you love.

The Elven-ship in haven grey
Beneath the mountain-lee
Awaited her for many a day
Beside the roaring sea.

She wished she could have run up to the Elf, who was shining almost as bright as Nimrodel, and comfort him, for he seemed to get more sorrowful with each verse.

A wind by night in Northern lands
Arose, and loud it cried,
And drove the ship from Elven-strands
Across the streaming tide.

The others who were there paid close attention of what was said. Glî jumped out of the thicket and ran as fast as she could across the Glen where they had settled. She jumped off and ran into the woods a little further. She ran to the nearby hole in which she had her children safely hidden. She woke them up and they very quietly hopped back. She said to them: “This is very important to learn because it tells us of Nimrodel who lived in these woods. Pay very close attention.”

When dawn came dim the land was lost,
The mountains sinking grey
Beyond the heaving waves that tossed
Their plumes of blinding spray

As the Elf continued on, it was as if the birds hushed their singing. The four little rabbits were spellbound by the music as she knew they would be. Curling up against one another, they listened to the rest of the poem.

Amroth beheld the fading shore
Now low beyond the swell,
And cursed the faithless ship that bore
Him far from Nimrodel.

Of old he was an Elven-king,
A lord of tree and glen,
When golden were the boughs in spring
In fair Lothlórien.

From helm to sea they saw him leap,
As arrow from the string,
And dive into water deep,
As mew upon the wing.

The wind was in his flowing hair,
The foam about him shone;
Afar they saw him strong and fair
Go riding like a swan.

But from the West has come no word,
And on the Hither Shore
No tidings Elven-folk have heard
Of Amroth evermore.

By the time the Elf finished the song, the little rabbits were in tears. “Oh how sad mom. Whatever happened to the poor Nimrodel? Is she still straying here somewhere?”

Shaking her head Glî said, “Hush now, nobody knows where she is. Come along and give these people some privacy.” Having said thusly, she gathered them together and took them back to their cozy little hole and said: “This was the first of many history lessons. Now go to sleep.” Malth laid herself down and slept, dreaming of Amroth and Nimrodel.

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