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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
1892 - 1973
( .. )


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THE HOARD

When the moon was new and the son young
of silver and gold the gods sung:
in the green grass they silver spilled,
and the white waters they with gold filled.
Ere the pit was dug of Hell yawned,
ere dwarf was bred of dragon spawned,
there were Elves of old, and strong spells
under green hills in hollow dells
they sand as they wrought many fair things,
and the bright crowns of the Elf-kings.
But their doom fell, and their song waned,
by iron hewn and by steel chained.
Greed that sang not, nor with mouth smiled,
in dark holes their wealth piled,
graven silver and carven gold:
over Elvenhome the shadow rolled.

There was an old dwarf in a dark cave
to silver and gold his fingers clave;
with hammer and tongs and anvil-stone
he worked hus hands to the hard bone,
and coins he made, and strings of rings,
and thought to buy the power of kings.
But his eyes grew dim and his ears dull
And the skin yellow on his old skull;
through his bony claw with a psle sheen
the stony jewels slipped unseen.
No feet he heard, though earth quaked,
when the young dragon his thirst slaked,
and the stream smoked at his dark door.
The flames hissed on the dark floor.
And he died alone in the red fire:
his bones were ashes in the hot mire.


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