Monday, May 30, 2016

I think this has to be my all time favorite poem...

The Road Goes Ever OnBy JRR Tolkein


Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star.
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen,
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green,
And trees and hills they long have known.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone.
Let others follow, if they can!
Let them a journey new begin.
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Still 'round the corner there may wait
A new road or secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

I  love this poem because it is all about pilgrimage, or quest, I think.  And, as you travel with the writer, you see the stages of pilgrimage--the eager beginning, the dudgeonly middle, and the end when you rest a bit, then beckon others to join you.  Lastly, it alludes to the eternal pilgrimage that all of us are on, and the final end that all of us must grapple with.

As I prepare for my own pilgrimage, it seems appropriate that I am reading the beginning of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy aloud so that my dogs have something with my voice to listen to while I'm gone.  I seem to take something new out of these books every time that I read them.  And, as an added bonus, I was re-introduced to this poem a few chapters ago.

Ultreia, everyone, Ultreia, until we all take those hidden paths.

Ruth