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My my my, where does the time go?

Superuser / Moderator

Jun 27 2013, 1:47pm

Post #1 of 23 (228 views)
My my my, where does the time go? Can't Post

So 14 years ago today, one of my coworkers came up to me and said "Hey, have you heard they're making a Lord of the Rings movie?" In some disbelief, I went online to verify this claim, and stumbled into tOR.N. I don't recall now what my first post was about (It may have been a discussion about who would be best to compose the music for it-- I was in a couple of those discussions early on), but I hopped more or less immediately into posting on the forums. And while I've had periods of lurkerdom in recent years and a few months of absentia due to real life, I've been here ever since. Seen a lot, seen a lot of friends come and pass over the western seas, but I'm still here. It's a great place to be, and I haven't gotten tired of it yet!

And, in the tradition of tOR.Niversaries, here's a mathom-- a 'bit of rhyme' I wrote, oh, probably 10 years ago or so now, based on a tantalizing bit of information left in the Akallabeth. I always have meant to go back and expand it, but I've never found the impetus. I suppose it's long enough as is, though. =)

Enjoy, folks.


The Gates of Morning

"The voyages of the Dúnedain in those days went ever eastward and not westward, from the darkness of the North to the heats of the South, and beyond the South to the Nether Darkness; and they came even into the inner seas, and sailed about Middle-Earth and glimpsed from their high prows the Gates of Morning in the East." -JRR Tolkien, The Silmarillion, "Akallabeth"-

Fair Numenor of Ages past:
A land of mighty Men.
Their mariners set forth to sea,
And seeing, came again.
To coasts of Middle-Earth they came;
There, fathers' homes had been.
They sailed to North, and South, and East, but westward never went.

The Valar's Ban still held their sway,
Steadfast their good intent
So, on to furthest reaches of
The East their thoughts were bent.
And sailing South where stars are strange,
And further, ships were sent.
The years sailed by, as years must do; yet yearning filled their hearts

To see, and search, and still sail on.
New ports and distant parts
And places to explore and view-
New wonders to impart.
Their ships and sailors voyaging,
They make their maps and charts.
As friends and teachers, they came to those distant ports and shores.

Knowledge rich and tales of old
As masters of that lore
They taught, they tutored faithfully
As did the Elves of yore
Teach to their fathers in an Age now past-
That knowledge opened doors
To break the chains of fear and doom that Morgoth had once wrought.

Faithfully their fathers strove
And with the Elves they fought
Against the evil of Angband
And power that it sought.
Faithful, still, these mariners--
Their homeland dearly bought
And paid for by their fathers' blood in wars against Morgoth--

These Men loved peace and learning drew
Them to their kin, and loth
Were they to come as conquerors,
Or men of greed and sloth.
A Guild of mariners gathered
To sail from home and croft.
To lands of legend and of lore, to follow still their hearts.

Among these sailors of renown,
A man of sailing art
Took forth his ship from Rowenna.
And five more did embark
To seek yet further than before.
In high hopes did they start.
The waves were cut by six high prows of Captain Handir's fleet.

For many days across the sea
Unbroken waves they greet.
Then land at last! Their labors brought
Them into havens sweet.
At Umbar, then, they resupplied
With stores of corn and wheat,
And setting forth into the South they sailed still far beyond

The lands inhabited by Elves
And Men of kindred bond.
On they sailed when night would fall
And on when day had dawned.
So far the seas were calm and still;
The wind, gentle and fond.
To Uinen they sang their praise, and Osse's wrath was stayed.

The weeks went past, also the sea,
And also lands of shade.
Into the South these ships still sailed,
Their journey not yet made.
And down into the darkness drear,
Where Ormal, once unmade,
Had left the lands in shadow still, nor sun nor moon shone through.

Still hope they had for passing safe
And on to lands still new
To mortal eyes, that never yet
Had taken in their view.
For still the oiolairë bough
Flourished green and true.
A token of good fortune shows the Valar bless their deeds.

But in the nether darkness deep
An Evil creature breeds
A spawn of foul Ungoliant
That hides in ocean weeds
The spider beast in hunger's hate
Lies waiting in its needs
Her home she chose to trap any who dared to venture near

The waters rough, the coastline safe,
It seems to sailors here.
For a raging whirlpool stood off
The barren coastline drear;
Yet sailing close into the shore
The waterway was clear.
Thus, spider spawn could lie in wait and trap mariners brave.

Patiently she waits therein
For food upon the waves.
For fish or fowl or Elf or Man
Is but the food she craves.
No friend has she, or kin at hand
She waits in coastal caves
And striking soon and strong and fast, the fourth ship's crew surprised

The spider spawn seeks flesh and blood
And mortal meat she prized.
Valiantly the sailors fought
Though horror filled their eyes.
The beast they slew and left for dead,
And all that dark despised,
Though Beren bold and Borondor were slaughtered by the beast.

And many others wounded, yet
The ship hurt not the least;
And slowed by broken sails and mast
They limped into the east.
At long last reached they sunlit lands
And for repairs they ceased;
A mast was hewn and set and raised and sailcloth mended more

Then on into the inner seas
They sailed to virgin shore.
This land nor Elf nor Dwarf nor Man
Had ever seen before;
They were the first children of Eru
To see it, says our lore.
More wondrous lands they sought and saw as other tales have sung.

Our tale tells not yet all the things
They saw or they had done.
Four ships remained when last they stopped
And Handir's bell was rung;
On all the decks the crewmen came
To see what doom had come.
Yet glorious doom, if doom it be to see what lay ahead:

For upon Arda's very edge
The gentle winds had led.
And there a rocky atoll stood
And towers gleaming red--
A gate between the towers stood,
Of mithril wrought, 'tis said.
The stars of Varda glimmered down upon this wondrous sight

The towers, two, tall, wreathed in mist;
Yet still there shone soft light:
A golden hue from deep within
The towers, shining bright.
What gems or stones or metals rare
Composed their lofty height?
No tale has told, for mortal men have not set foot therein

But red and gold and glittering
They foretold fires within.
Beyond the craft of Numenor--
Or even of Elven kin--
Were made the towers of the Gates
Of Dawn and of Morning.
Aule, 'tis said, had wrought these Gates, and raised the towers fair.

Enraptured by the marvels grand
The sailors still gazed there.
Of mithril were the wroughten gates;
And pearl and opal rare
Were set within the silver doors,
Beautiful and fair.
In rune and figure, form and function, images and signs

The tale of Trees and Valinor:
A tale of happier times.
When Aman was still thrice blessed,
And peace in Aule's mines,
When light shown from Telperion,
Where Laurelin still shined.
The Darkening of Valinor is writ into those walls,

And in the Towers the Maiar wait
And walk the golden halls.
They man the gates and wait for dawn
And let the Sun rise tall;
And also Moon will exit there
And walk his path o'er all.
And as they watched the golden towers, and silver gate sublime,

The light within grew brighter yet,
All golden did they shine
And, lo! The Gates did slowly part!
For the appointed time
Of sunrise came, and with the dawn
The Sun began its climb.
The fruit of golden Laurelin, within its golden cage

Rose to greet the world beyond.
With its fire's rage.
For golden fruit in golden wain--
Or so is said by sage--
Is piloted by Arien
From past and distant age.
A Maiar of fire who, clothéd not in mortal body frail,

A naked flame-- a burning bright--
That Morgoth daren't assail.
That holy fruit, the blessed sun,
Doth pilot and doth sail
The seas of heaven, as men below
The mundane waters sail
And rising from the golden gates, the golden chariot flew.

Then Handir and his sailing men
Were called a blesséd crew.
No mortal man had yet beheld
The sight which to their view
Unfolded there before their eyes
As the mighty sun rose true.
The gates then shut, and lights within, burned the fainter now;

Their watch begun until the sun
Had set and Valar's vow
Is shown by Moon at night with stars
Their watchfulness allow.
And keeping watch with Moon and Sun
The lands of here and now.
All Middle-Earth within their gaze beneath their watchful Eye

The world of Men is guided yet.
And Manwe can descry
The deeds of Elf, of Dwarf, of Man
As the Eagles fly.
Handir, having seen this sight
Of Towers soaring high
And of the Gates of Morning bright, his ships he homeward bent.

A year, and more, they journeyed back
Their sailing hearts now spent;
For what sights could they now behold
To make heart more content?
Through inner seas, through nether dark
They always homeward went.
And to the King, Tar-Minastir, they told the wondrous tale:

Of seas, and places they had been
And Pearly Gates so pale,
And Towers gold that shone with light
Brighter than Elven mail.
And treasure they had gathered, too
Those sailors bold and hale,
But though the King took greater joy from spoils and treasure gained

And Captain Handir and his men
Were welcomely proclaimed
As heroes and as conquerors bold,
Their joy, merely restrained
For glory of King, or Numenor
Seemed to them but feigned:
And still within their hearts they saw the Coming of the Sun.
And ne'er content with land or sea; their hearts those Gates had won.

Good night, tOR.Nados. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely delete you in the morning.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 27 2013, 2:22pm

Post #2 of 23 (135 views)
Many happy returns of your TORniversary, Inferno! [In reply to] Can't Post

Fourteen years, and you still remember the very day? A chance "mention", to paraphrase a more-familiar quote, started you on a very unexpected journey! Cool

I want to thank you for all the computer expertise and wisdom you have given us all over the years, it has been most appreciated (understatement here!), and solved many a problem...and even helped create these new Boards! Heart

And thank you for your mathom, it does remind me of the poem of Earendil, did that influence you when the idea of writing it first came to you?


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

Lily Fairbairn

Jun 27 2013, 2:33pm

Post #3 of 23 (130 views)
Happy TORniversary! [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh my, yes, the time does speed away, doesn't it? Shocked Thank you for the delightful mathom!


Jun 27 2013, 3:06pm

Post #4 of 23 (129 views)
Happy TORNiversary, Inferno! [In reply to] Can't Post

I first found TORN about the time TTT came out in theaters - not quite as long as you!

Superuser / Moderator

Jun 27 2013, 3:29pm

Post #5 of 23 (135 views)
I was sort of inspired by a few things [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien had written a number of Lays-- or at least fragments of them-- and I was looking to do something in that sort of style. I also was playing with the conceit that a lot of our later stories and myths stemmed from Middle-Earth related events (The Merry Old Inn song becoming Hey-Diddle-Diddle, for instance), and was going to base it off the events of the Odyssey to some extent. The bit with the spider I mention in the poem was based on Scylla and Charibdis. I meant to go back and reread the Odyssey and add in some more (polyphemus, circe, the lotus eaters, etc.), but I've never gotten around to it. Maybe someday when I'm retired and have more leisure time.

And you're welcome for the computer expertise. I'm happy to share when I can. =)


Good night, tOR.Nados. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely delete you in the morning.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 27 2013, 5:09pm

Post #6 of 23 (128 views)
Happy Torniversary, Inferno! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm so glad you found this place, and you've been able to stay throughout all these years. Life sometimes take us in unexpected directions, but somehow we keep coming back here Smile.

Here's to another fourteen years!


Jun 27 2013, 5:27pm

Post #7 of 23 (125 views)
Happy Anniversary! [In reply to] Can't Post

And a Merry New Year!

That's an excellent poem!

Brothers, sisters,
I was Elf once.
We danced together
Under the Two Trees.
We sang as the soft gold of Laurelin
And the bright silver of Telperion,
Brought forth the dawn of the world.
Then I was taken.

Brothers, sisters,
In my torment I kept faith,
And I waited.
But you never came.
And when I returned you drew sword,
And when I called your names you drew bow.
Was my Eldar beauty all,
And my soul nothing?

So be it.
I will return your hatred.
And I am hungry.

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jun 27 2013, 5:28pm)

Superuser / Moderator

Jun 27 2013, 7:40pm

Post #8 of 23 (107 views)
Happy TORNiversary,Inferno! :) / [In reply to] Can't Post


Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories

Aunt Dora Baggins

Jun 27 2013, 7:57pm

Post #9 of 23 (109 views)
Happy TORniversary! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've always been in awe of your skills with poetry.

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 27 2013, 8:59pm

Post #10 of 23 (102 views)
Happy Torniversary! // [In reply to] Can't Post


Storm clouds


Jun 27 2013, 9:08pm

Post #11 of 23 (95 views)
Happy TORniversary Inferno :-) / [In reply to] Can't Post


The Shire

Jun 27 2013, 10:22pm

Post #12 of 23 (95 views)
happy TORniversary! [In reply to] Can't Post


"Alas for us all! And for all that walk the world in these after-days. For such is the way of it: to find and lose, as it seems to those whose boat is on the running stream. But I count you blessed, Gimli son of Glóin: for your loss you suffer of your own free will, and you might have chosen otherwise. But you have not forsaken your companions, and the least reward that you shall have is that the memory of Lothlórien shall remain ever clear and unstained in your heart, and shall neither fade nor grow stale."


Jun 27 2013, 11:16pm

Post #13 of 23 (98 views)
Happy Torniversary! [In reply to] Can't Post

Poem is wonderful Inferno - I love the meter Smile

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Jun 28 2013, 2:05am

Post #14 of 23 (88 views)
*applause* Happy TORniversary, Inferno!!! :D [In reply to] Can't Post

WONDERFUL!!! Here's to another 50 years of partying with sibbies!

4th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - May 1, 2013


"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!

TIME Google Calendar
TORn's Geeky Observations Lists (updated soon)


Jun 28 2013, 2:09am

Post #15 of 23 (101 views)
Happy TORniversary Inferno! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's to many more!


Bag ENZ Home of the Hobbit *with thanks to cameragod ;D*

One by one they faded, and fell into shadow...

One book to rule them all
One book to find them
One book to bring them all
And in TORn bind them
In the land of TORnadoes...where the brilliant play


Jun 28 2013, 5:44am

Post #16 of 23 (80 views)
Happy TORniversary, Inferno! [In reply to] Can't Post

May there be many more!

Lovely poem - just lovely. Many thanks!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 28 2013, 6:27am

Post #17 of 23 (79 views)
Happy TORNiversary, O Chaotic Bard! [In reply to] Can't Post

I always enjoy a re-read of your works when you post them. Smile


"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dûm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."


Jun 28 2013, 1:30pm

Post #18 of 23 (72 views)
Merry Celebrations! [In reply to] Can't Post

That is quite a gathering of Tornniversaries ye queen of BTU's.

I hope it was a goodly day:).

Flame on!LaughSmile

''Sam put his ragged orc-cloak under his master's head, and covered them both with the grey robe of Lorien; and as he did so his thoughts went out to that fair land, and to the Elves, and he hoped that the cloth woven by their hands might have some virtue to keep them hidden beyond all hope in this wilderness of fear...But their luck held, and for the rest of that day they met no living or moving thing; and when night fell they vanished into the darkess of Mordor.'' - - -rotk, chapter III

Faerie contains many things besides elves and fays and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are one in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted."
— J.R.R. Tolkien


Jun 28 2013, 1:32pm

Post #19 of 23 (71 views)
Happy Torniversary! and many thanks... [In reply to] Can't Post

not only for that beautiful poem (well done there!) but for all you do helping keep this such a lovely place.

Before kids, exercising with LOTR meant listening to the soundtrack while I ran.

After kids, exercising with LOTR means having an all out dance party with the little ones to the "Break the Dam Release the River" disco mix form the Lego game.

Grey Havens

Jun 28 2013, 4:30pm

Post #20 of 23 (72 views)
Happy TORniversary, dear Bard! [In reply to] Can't Post

So glad you've stuck around all these years. I remember you hosting one of the very first Fiestas that I attended, and asking for a saucer of milk for the puppies that my dog had just had the day before. The puppy I still have from that litter is now over 11 years old!

Impressive poem. You've got a lot of talent. Smile


Jun 29 2013, 5:53am

Post #21 of 23 (56 views)
Best wishes on your tOR-niversary [In reply to] Can't Post



Jun 29 2013, 6:10am

Post #22 of 23 (72 views)
My! what an epic voyage of discovery you have had. [In reply to] Can't Post

Your poem is wonderful it reminds me of another poem I read once, so long ago called the "The Ancient Mariner". Cool

Superuser / Moderator

Jun 29 2013, 8:43pm

Post #23 of 23 (44 views)
Here's to another 14 years! [In reply to] Can't Post

That sounds unreal, doesn't it? Lol! I'm sure that none of us who stumbled on this site thought our sojourn here would climb into the double digits! But, I'm glad it did and so glad you're still here with us! Wonderful mathom too! It had to be a poem or a parody. Wink

*hugs!* HeartSmile

Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.

"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase


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