B2MeM Challenge: o67: Adûnaic: breath; poetic Forms: Sonnet; Rangers of the North: Sceptre of Annúminas; Scientific Achievement: Pharmacy
Warnings: None, really-- does bad poetry count?
Characters: Anárion, Amandil
Summary: A final appeal to decency...
The morning after the death of the King's chief physician (and temple under-priest) shocked the island, a paper began circulating with this written on it:
A Númenórean Death
As he lies there, half-witless on the ground
All rhythms, feelings, stopping, on the brim--
Beyond there, Death awaits him with his shroud
Above him, voices cluster, fearful, grim:
"Gone are the days of hawthorne, basil, youth!"
"Of what did all his dark descent avail?"
"Of what the arts, the potions-- bitter truth!
We could not stop his breath becoming frail."
Then comes the wailing-- seemingly sincere--
but listless ears account it noise, and hollow--
A guise of grief made up to mask this fear:
"Whither thou goest soon we are to follow!"
Thus, busy finding different ways to cleave
hearts are so spent that they forget to live.
When the paper reached the Lord of Andúnie (in all but name, for his sceptre, as his power, was tucked away in a box somewhere in Rómenna), Amandil merely smiled.
"You are getting too bold, Anárion," he said. "The Star was supposed to reach only the Faithful."
To this, Anárion answered, "I cannot fathom your meaning." A minute shrug. "But, I will say this: reaching only the Faithful, we do nothing."
Blessed he who still thought there was something to be done!
"It's a different vein, too: sounds more like a plea than a criticism."
His grandson's shoulders dropped. "If neither criticism nor doom-saying work, maybe an appeal for humanity? For dignity?"
The Lord of Andúnie-- Andúnie never-forgotten-- sighed and walked to the window. He wished he could tell his grandson not to lose hope, to keep working, keep trying. The afternoon would end in rain if the wind kept blowing in the same direction and, in the gathering gloom, the only certainty they had was that Númenor was dying.