Gandalf – why speak not when you fell
Into the deepest pits of hell
Down countless fathoms, miles deep
Among dark beasts that never sleep?
Where waters quench all fires hot
And nameless monsters lurk – long forgot –
Reside there since the world was made
Alone in sunless, airless shade.
Where, under earth, you grappled death
Hewing the balrog every breath
You remained in the cold and dark
Until it fled. What vital spark
Of life made you fix fast its heel
As up it went – no sense but feel
And touch remained! – ascending fast
The Endless Stair it reached at last
To burst out into open air
On Celebdil? How fought you there
Again until you cast it down
The balrog, wizard of renown?
Why is your fight unsung? Unseen
As though your toils had never been?
Say, Gandalf – when the mountain broke
Beneath the balrog dead, what spoke
You to the powers, to your kind?
What thoughts, what prayers went through your mind?
What hidden paths then did you walk?
Why of these mysteries won’t you talk?
How did your colour grey to white
Transform when you lay out of sight
All broken, powerless and spent
On Silvertine? What powers lent
You strength to come back from the dead?
Upon the eagle’s back you sped:
Sent back to us, new life regained,
But with so much still unexplained?
What wizards know, they secrets keep.
Some unwaked truths are best asleep.
Ride on White Rider – never rest
Until your toils with fruit is blessed
With victory over destroyed foe:
Then Gandalf shall be free to go
A condign reward he shall earn
And – at last – to the West return.
This poem was first posted on Antipodean Writer.