Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

'He went alone to look in Mirror mere.'

     They rose and looked about them.  Northward the dale ran up into a glen of shadows between two great arms of the mountains, above which three white peaks were shining:  Celebdil, Fanuidhol, Caradhras, the Mountains of Moria.  At the head of the glen a torrent flowed like a white lace over an endless ladder of short falls, and a mist of foam hung in the air about the mountains' feet.

     'Yonder is the Dimrill Stair,' said Aragorn, pointing to the falls.  'Down the deep-cloven way that climbs beside the torrent we should have come, if fortune had been kinder.'

     'Or Caradhras less cruel,' said Gimli.  'There he stands smiling in the sun!'  He shook his fist at the furthest of the snow-capped peaks and turned away.

     To the east the outflung arm of the mountains marched to a sudden end, and far lands could be descried beyond them, wide and vague.  To the south the Misty Mountains receded endlessly as far as sight could reach.  Less than a mile away, and a little below them, for they still stood high up on the west side of the dale, there lay a mere.  It was long and oval, shaped like a great spear-head thrust deep into the northern glen; but its southern end was beyond the shadows under the sunlit sky.  Yet its waters were dark:  a deep blue like clear evening sky seen from a lamp-lit room.  Its face was still and unruffled.  About it lay a smooth sward, shelving down on all sides to its bare unbroken rim.

     'There lies Mirrormere, deep Kheled-zaram!' said Gimli sadly.  'I remember that he said:  "May you have joy of the sight!  But we cannot linger there."  Now long shall I journey ere I have joy again.  It is I that must hasten away, and he that must remain.'

     -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring:  Book Two, Chapter VI:  "Lothlorien"

Wassail, my friends.  -- C.

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"