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8
In Memorium

In Memorium


Dawn broke over the distant Ephel Duath, there on the East side of the River Anduin. Ruvemir son of Mardil left his house in the Sixth Circle, the guest house where once four Hobbits, an Elf, a Dwarf, and a Wizard dwelt for a season, until the time came for each to depart to his own place once more. He was thinking on that as he headed for the ramp up to the level of the Citadel, on how in so many ways he had followed the footsteps of the Ringbearer and his companions through the wilderness and the twists of this city.

It was March 25th, the anniversary of the day on which Sauron was cast down so many years past. Today at noon there would be the customary ceremonies before the memorial to the four Pheriannath who had come from their small, fertile land far to the West and North, bringing out of it the Enemy’s Ring to Its destruction, going from danger to danger, little understanding just what it was they did until all was almost done. And among the four of them far more was accomplished than any had ever dreamed of foreseeing—Saruman unmasked and deprived of power and authority, the Witch-king of Angmar destroyed on the Field of the Pelennor, a great troll slain and the lives of many Men saved before the Black Gate, and the great Ring of Power at last brought back to the place of Its making so that in the end It might be unmade and the tyranny of Mordor overthrown.

Once he had reached the top of the ramp the mannikin sculptor turned toward the end of the keel of rock that reached out from the flank of Mount Mindoluin toward the East. He was not the first, he realized; the King and Queen were before him, guarded this morning by Lord Eregiel, Thain Peregrin Took standing beside his liege on one side, Master Bard Faralion beyond their Lady Queen, all singing to greet the dawn.

He recognized the words sung this day—not the Lay of Frodo of the Nine Fingers this time, but the song sung by Samwise Gamgee as he fought off despair, having searched through the orc tower vainly for his beloved master.

"In western lands beneath the Sun

the flowers may bloom in spring,

the trees may bud, the waters run,

the merry finches sing.”


Ruvemir moved to join the others, adding his own voice to the song.

“Or maybe there ’tis cloudless night,

and swaying beeches bear

the Elven stars as jewels white

amidst their branching hair.”




Others were coming now, converging on this spot to join the singing. He could hear Gimli’s rumble, Legolas’s clear tones, Hardorn’s rarely heard voice, Pando Proudfoot’s singing.

“Though here at journey’s end I lie,

in darkness buried deep,

beyond all towers strong and high,

beyond all mountains steep,

above all shadows rides the Sun

and stars forever dwell.

I will not say that day is done,

nor bid the stars farewell.”


All stood and looked Eastward, where once two small Hobbits had travailed, persistent, stubbornly clinging to life and purpose when all stronger folk would have gladly laid themselves down and died, bringing triumph out of near destruction.

At last the King spoke, his eyes focused on what had been the Enemy’s stronghold, the place of torture and near-death for the one he thought of as his small brother. “Eglerio, Frodo, Samwise. Eglerio; a laita te. I praise you with great praise.”

Ruvemir smiled as he joined the rest in a deep bow Eastward, then as they turned West and bowed again.

For the Ringbearer, he thought, smiling.

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