THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING.
Two river folk in a boat once sat,
Lines in water calm and flat,
When all at once a line went tight,
And Deagol cried, ‘I have a bite!’.
The fish was strong beyond belief,
And, dragging Deagol underneath,
Where he saw a wonderous thing,
Buried in the sand, a ring.
Upon the bank he stood and stared,
And Smeagol soon was made aware,
That Deagol had found a shiny treasure.
“For my birthday, that would give me pleasure.
Give it to me, it is mine by right”.
But Deagol held the ring so tight.
Its power tugged upon his heart,
From this thing he would not part.
Smeagol, though, was stronger still,
And under the influence did kill
Poor Deagol who found the shiny thing,
And that’s how Smeagol took the Ring.
A murderer, he was forced to depart,
And the evil Ring ensnared his heart,
He forgot the smell of fresh young trees,
The taste of bread, the feel of a breeze,
Became Gollum, a creature grey and treacherous,
Whose only master was his Precious.
Near Mordor the shadows of evil crept,
And in the gloom two hobbits slept.
As Frodo awoke, Sam did beg,
‘Can you not eat some Lambas bread?
Unless your strength is somehow grown,
We will not make the journey home’.
While Smeagol lead them as their guide,
Aragorn and friends as well did ride,
Out of Fangorn, dark and dank,
To the ruined walls of fell Orthanc.
Now, Pip and Merry had found relief,
From battle in some long bottom leaf,
Saw Gandalf and co come riding hard,
“Welcome, my lords to Isengard”.
Treebeard’s ents kept guard below,
Waiting for Saruman to show.
“I can master stock and stone,
But the wizard, Gandalf, must be your own’.
And then the voice of Saruman,
Drifted down to them. It sang,
“Theoden, my old friend,
Have you any peace to lend?”
Theoden, said (where he stood below),
“We will have peace, when you’re sport for crows!”
Saruman, high on Orthanc Tower,
Cried, “Gandalf only thirsts for power,
He seeks the keys to Barad-Dur,
The staffs of wizards, Kings’ crowns for sure,
But in Palantir this fact I spy,
You and your friends are doomed to die.
You will loose your battle and fall in war,
No ranger shall sit on the throne of Gondor!”
Then it was Gandalf who replied,
His voice ascending to the sky,
“Saruman, I have spoken,
Your time is ended. Your staff is broken”,
The power of his words hit hard,
Saruman’s staff was broken shards.
A shadowy figure emerged from his side,
Who it was, did Theoden spy.
“Grima, who once dwelled in Rohan,
Why not leave this Saruman?”
Saruman sneered, these words did speak,
“Rohan men, they drink in the reek.
A thatched barn built on ramshackle logs,
Where the children roll around with the dogs!”
His words cut Grima to the core,
And of one fact he soon was sure,
Saruman would have to die.
He held his blade and with a cry,
Brought it down to stab his foe.
Saruman fell to the ground below.
Beneath the waters he disappeared,
And Pippin saw the Palantir,
“Give it to me”, old Gandalf spoke,
Hiding it safely beneath his cloak.
Back at Rohan, they drank their ale,
A toast for the battle they had prevailed.
Aragorn asked Gandalf, “do you know,
Any word of Sam and Frodo?”
“I do not know, but at a guess,
My heart says they are living, yes”.
Frodo and Sam both slept in a huddle,
But Smeagol was talking to himself in a puddle.
“We will lead them up the winding stair,
And into the tunnel that is her lair.
Her hunger is great, there is always the need,
She will take the hobbits and start to feed,
And once they are bones, it is ours you see,
The Precious again will belong to me!”
Sam heard his words, and his anger grew,
“You cannot be trusted, I always knew,
Get away you filthy swine”,
But Frodo was not quite as inclined,
To let Gollum be gone from the hobbits’ side,
For noone else could be their guide.
By nightfall Legolas saw disorder,
Dark clouds spilling from depths of Mordor,
As Pippin looked in the Palantir,
Legolas told Aragorn, ‘The enemy’s near”.
Pippin felt the urge to sneak,
Take the stone and in it peek,
For the will of the Eye did draw him on,
And, oh, its evil force was strong!
There in its light did Merry see,
The burning of an old white tree.
This vision showed Gandalf the hammer of war,
Was going to strike the city of Gondor.
“The city of Kings must surely fall,
Unless Rohan and others should heed the call”.
But Theoden king, he felt unsure,
Why should he order the ride to war?
“Where were they in our hour of need?
Why do we owe Gondor this deed?”
Gandalf told him, “The battle’s begun.
Things are in motion, that can’t be undone”.
As Pippin had looked in the seer’s stone,
Sauron thought the Ring he owned,
He could not stay and so was fated,
From Merry to be separated.
While they rode to far Gondor,
Arwen journeyed to the shore,
Where boats awaited to take her away,
But she saw a vision of a boy who played,
With Aragorn, a king not young.
The vision showed she would have a Son!
Back to her father, Elrond she went,
“I tell you, father, hope’s not spent,
Now is the time for the blade, reforged,
Let the Flame of the West go forth to war!”
The City of Minas Tirith towered,
Built in a thousand years of power,
Old kings of glory built it high,
Its streets of marble touched the sky.
Shadowfax galloped ‘till they reached the door,
Of the steward of Kings, who was Denethor.
Denethor sat, his posture folorn.
In his lap was a broken horn.
“Greetings, steward to the kings”,
Said Gandalf, “Council, I do bring”.
Denethor muttered, “Perhaps you come,
To tell me why I lost my son?”
Pippin remembered Boromir,
Who saved them as the Orcs grew near,
He knelt before old Denethor,
“He was killed by arrows by the score,
Saving us, I will never forget,
I offer my service, in payment of debt”.
Gandalf’s council he would not receive,
“Palantir showed me your plan to deceive,
No ranger shall sit upon this throne,
The rule of Gondor is mine alone!”
Disgusted, Gandalf walked away,
“That’s how the city fell to decay,
The kings of old they once begun,
To love the dead more than their sons,
To study the stars in lofty towers,
‘Till the rule of Gondor had lesser powers”.
And over beyond the mountain summit,
The light of day began to plummet,
As shadows crept from Barad-Dur,
To aid the orcs as they marched to war.
Closer to Mordor went Frodo and Sam,
Through that landscape of the damned,
Then Samwise saw a hopeful thing,
A broken statue of a King,
Its head lay hidden among the grass,
But when a shaft of light did pass,
It lit up flowers and Sam turned round,
“Look, Mr Frodo, the king has a crown”.
The blackened sky grew darker still,
Pippin struggled to resolve his will.
“Being in battle is surely a curse,
But waiting to start is even worse”.
Gandalf replied, “war’s soon begun.
This is the breath before the plunge,
I bring you tidings of great woe,
Sauron will send his fearful foe,
The Witch King of Anomar,
No living man can kill in war”.
The citidal of Minas Morgul,
And nearby was a stony wall,
And in it was carved a dizzying stair,
Gollum said, “we climb up there”,
But the Ring was sapping Frodo’s will,
Towards Minas Morgul he went closer still,
Gollum and Sam dragged him away,
When a column of light lit up the day,
A Nazgul gave out its cry of hate,
And an army of orcs marched from the gate.
The column of light caught Gandalf’s eye,
“And now the hour we feared is nigh,
Come to it at last, the beast’s uncaged,
We face the battle of our age”.
Minas Tirith could not stand,
Alone and gain the upper hand,
The call for aid had to go out,
Of that fact Gandalf had no doubt.
So was Pippin asked to go a-sneaking,
And light a high and lofty beacon.
Its flame shone out, and then did a pair,
Another beacon, way over there,
One by one there leapt a flame,
Their light did form a mighty chain,
From peak to peak, the message shone,
Until finally spied by Aragorn.
“The beacon of Amon Din’s displayed,
Gondor has sent the call for aid”.
Theoden spoke as a king and master,
“Rohan shall be the one who answers,
If there is a battle my men will fight it,
At Minas Tirith will doom be decided!”
At Osgilliath was Faramir,
In secret the enemy drew near,
An army so stealthily did float,
In several wooden landing boats,
Almost too late the Orcs were seen,
Faramir’s men drew blades so keen,
As Orcs swarmed upon Osgilliath,
Swords were wielded with much wrath.
But though men fought with honour full,
None could stand against Nazgul.
Those evil creatures swooped from high,
Tossing men into the sky,
Faramir cried, “We are defeated”,
And back to Minas Tirith retreated.
Nazgul gave chase as they galloped away,
Picking up men like sport, like prey,
But Gandalf galloped to the fight,
Dispersed the Nazgul with shafts of light.
From Faramir, he heard the tale,
That Frodo was going to the Morgul Vale.
Denethor sat upon his throne,
His grief and madness still had grown,
“Why did you not bring me the ring,
I would keep it safe in the vault of kings,
Never to use for any deed,
Unless at the utmost end of need.
If only Boromir had lived,
He would have brought this kingly gift”.
But Faramir only shook his head,
“He would have fallen for the spell of dread,
Taken the ring, claimed as his own,
And once its evil full had grown,
The man you knew would be undone,
You would not recognise your son”.
Up and up the winding steps,
Frodo, Sam and Gollum crept.
There they slept upon a ledge,
A dizzying height plunged from the edge,
With evil intent and plan of dread,
Gollum stole the Lambas bread.
Crumbs, he sprinkled over Sam,
Threw the bread. Then his voice rang,
“Master, Master, the bread has gone,
Fat hobbit ate it all along!”
Sam sat up, these words did cry,
“Don’t listen, it’s a filthy lie”,
Alas, he was not there to see,
Gollum’s prior treachery,
For he told Frodo an untrue thing,
Sam was going to take the Ring.
Its power was feeding on the Hobbit’s strength,
“Go”, he told poor Sam at length.
The thought of orcs in Osgilliath,
Only added to Denethor’s wrath,
“The city should not be lost so light,
Are there any men with will to fight?”
Faramir saw in his father’s stare,
That he wished Boromir was there,
“I see your mind within your eyes,
You wish me dead, and he alive,
But since it is Boromir who’s dead,
I will battle in his stead”.
The streets of that grand old city,
Lined with people, full of pity.
Flowers were strewn across the courses,
Of brave men riding by on horses.
Toward the fallen Osgilliath,
Faramir’s men did set their path.
At his table sat Denethor,
While his son rode off to war,
He gorged himself on bread and things,
While ordering Pippin to stand and sing.
Somewere else was Theoden king,
“Too little spears do our armies bring,
I see six thousand, for double I’d hoped.”
Aragorn saw the Dimholt road,
A path to a mountain, cursed and dread,
Where lurked an army of the dead.
With Eowyn stood Meriadoc,
Of his sword they both took stock.
“That blade is blunt, run to the smithy”,
Her brother asked, “Why encouragment give he?
While I do not doubt his heart,
When the blood and the horror of war full starts,
He would flee, for, Eowyn,
war is the province of none but Men”.
In the night, Aragorn slept,
And into his tent a messanger crept,
“Theoden King he sends for you”,
But he saw someone else he knew,
For Elrond stood and he displayed,
The Flame Of the West, a mighty blade.
“Take this sword and your destiny,
Become what you were born to be,
Armies of Dead must march to war,
They answer to Heir of Isuldir”.
Along the evil Dimholt road,
Aragorn, Gimly, Legolas rode.
Into the mountain tunnel crept,
Where living dead that never slept,
Surrounded them, but without fear,
Aragorn held his sharp blade near,
And cried ‘by the sword of Arundil,
I will hold your oath fulfilled,
If all of you will fight today,
You have my word, now what do you say?”
But they would not agree to fight,
And Aragorn and friends took flight,
As skulls rained down to bury them.
Outside they saw the enemy’s men,
Going by upon their boats,
And then the dead king near did float,
It seemed that he had seen the light,
For he agreed that they would fight.
A hundred thousand orcs, or more,
Were nearing the city of Gondor.
Mighty trolls did beat on drums,
A sound to make a brave heart numb.
That great host halted by the walls,
And their general gave out the call,
To fling the severed heads of Slain,
On frightened folk those heads did rain.
Faramir was close to death,
And Denethor, he felt bereft,
Of hope and courage. He had no will,
So Gandalf ordered the men be still,
“Defend the city, protect its walls!”,
But from the sky there came the call,
And plunging down there were Nazgul,
And catapults shattered walls.
The gate, though, still stood strong,
So the Orcs brought forth the ram called Grond.
A thousand voices cheered its name,
Slowly but surely, the wolf’s head came.
Frodo had climbed the winding stair,
And Gollum lead him to a lair.
A tunnel, in which the light was dim,
Making fear come over him.
But Frodo could not turn away,
For now he had no other way.
Gollum’s voice called out ahead,
And into the tunnels was Frodo lead.
But now he knew not where to go,
And where was Gollum? He did not know.
Soon the truth shone through like rays,
By Gollum, he had been betrayed.
Samwise, alone and in distress,
Made his way down the winding steps.
But slippery was the stoney ground,
And so he fell a part way down.
The breath knocked from him as he landed,
And there he saw the Lambas stranded,
On a ledge where he lay, so
He knew Gollum would betray Frodo.
And he resolved to stop his fate.
Frodo knew now he was betrayed.
The tunnels twisted, the exit unknown,
In the dark he was all alone.
And dead things twirled on sticky rope,
Frodo was now bereft of hope.
In panic he ran, not knowing where,
A prey that knew he was ensnared.
But no! He heard a fair voice cry,
Was it in his head, or from the sky?
The Elvin queen Galadriel,
“I give you the light of Earendil”.
Frodo help up the little vase,
Which shone with light as if a star,
But something crept at Frodo’s back,
The giant Spider Shelob attacked!
But the blinding light of Earendil,
Thwarted her attempts to kill,
And Frodo managed to run away,
But webs galore soon caught their prey.
Frodo suspended in their sticky embrace,
Shelob was coming, giving chase.
Gollum said, “naughty little fly,
Caught in a web, hear him cry”,
Frodo beat at the web with his sword,
One by one he cut the cords,
And just as Shelob was to claim her prize,
Frodo was free! He ran outside.
Gollum leaped upon his back,
With tooth and nail did he attack,
But Frodo threw him to the ground.
Gollum made a pitiful sound.
“Master! The precious made me do it”.
The ring was evil, Frodo knew it.
“I must destroy it, for both our sakes,
Mount Doom is now the path I take”.
On hearing this, did Gollum cry,
He would not let his Precious die!
But in his rage did Gollum slip,
And he fell screaming from the cliff.
A battle raged on the Penethor fields,
And still the gate refused to yield,
But Grond’s insistent attack continued,
And each dull thud touched each man’s sinew.
Meanwhile, hopeless in face of war,
Out marched the steward, Denethor.
His sons were lost, his line was broken,
And these words by him in pity spoken,
“Gondor is lost, no hope for men”.
He directed his guards to a lonely den,
“We shall not sleep in death embalmed,
No lonely slumber forever calmed,
But burn like Heathen kings of old.
Bring wood and oil!”, the guards were told.
With one last pull was Grond brought back,
And crashing down came its attack.
The great door burst in splintered array,
And Gandalf’s voice was heard to say,
“You are soldiers of Gondor! Stand your ground!”
The trolls cried out their battle sound,
Their maces swept the men away.
A fortress was in Frodo’s way.
He hid himself behind a wall,
But behind him, silently, Shelob crawled.
Frodo’s attention was on the tower,
Not on the spider’s creeping power.
Too late he suspected it was near,
But by its stinger was Frodo speared.
The venom was pumping in his veins,
Shelob at last had claimed her prey.
Samwise, though, had found his friend,
Shelob’s life would have to end.
In desperation he fought the spider,
And stuck an elven blade inside her.
But Frodo wrapped up in Shelob’s web,
Was cold and limp, and surely dead.
And now the orcs were on their way,
And one of them was heard to say,
“Shelob does not eat the dead,
Fresh blood is only what she’s fed.
This fellow’s alive, but in the morn,
He’ll wish that he was never born”.
Frodo was dragged off by the Orcs.
Armies swarmed in on Gondor caught,
And there amid the chaos and rout,
Did Gandalf hear friend Pippin shout,
“Denthor, he has lost his mind,
And is burning Faramir alive!”
But as he galloped to stop the scheme,
He heard a grim and deadly scream,
A Nazgul stood and blocked his path,
And at his fear, the Witch King laughed.
“Men will fall, this is my hour!”
And under his strong and evil power,
Gandalf’s wizard’s rod was broken.
But then a thousand voices spoken,
Ringing out in the rising dawn,
The sounds of horses, troops, and horns.
The hosts of Mordor saw on the hill,
Riders of Rohan standing still,
Soldiers on horses beyond all count,
Theoden king upon his mount.
His men held up their battle spears,
As Theoeden’s voice was heard to cheer,
“A sword day! A red day! Ere the Sun rises!”
Spears were shaken, and other noises,
Increased in volume as they came forth,
The Riders charging upon their horse.
The orc troops fired arrows galore,
But for all they killed there were many more.
The blood soaked plains of Penethor field,
Resounded to sounds of flashing steel.
Denethor stood upon his pyre,
Commanding his men to start the fire.
Gandalf arrived in the nick of time,
To prevent the burning of Faramir crime.
But Denethor could not be appeased,
“Against the power from the East,
There can be no victory”
From someone he wrestled a flame torch free,
And threw it down upon his feet.
Soon the flames began to beat,
And just as death was drawing near,
Denethor saw Faramir,
Seeing, at last, his son alive,
But then in pain the Steward cried,
And in flames ran out of the door.
So passed the steward, Denethor.
The Riders of Rohan had cleared a path,
Orcs were fleeing from their wrath.
No enemy was shown some pity,
For they had shown none for the city.
But just as victory seemed in reach,
Enemy horns were heard to screech,
And there before them, standing still,
Were troops on giant Mumakill.
Huge elephants, machines of war,
They weighed a hundred tons or more,
And every footfall shook the ground,
And every trunk made piercing sound.
Like flies and bugs they tossed aside,
The horses on which brave men did ride.
And now the Nazgul came flying in,
And in its mouth caught Theoden King.
But Eowyn stood in its way,
“You shall not touch him”, she did say.
The witch King’s voice was cold and cruel,
“Do not get in my way, you fool.
Do you not know who I am?
I can be killed by no living man!”
Eowyn held her sword up high,
“I am no man” is what she cried,
And plunging sword she pierced her foe,
Who fell dead upon the ground below.
Ships arrived and from them stormed,
Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn,
And with them fought the dead men too,
And so new hope was born anew,
The elephants of Mordor slain,
The upper hand at last regained.
But on the blood stained battle ground,
Theoden by Eowyn, found.
His eyes grew dim as death was near,
His voice grew weak and hard to hear,
“I go to my fathers, feeling unshamed”,
And the old king never spoke again.
Meanwhile, tied up inside the tower,
Frodo remained in the enemy’s power.
The Orcs were squabbling over his shirt,
For all of them could see the worth,
In a fabric as rich as a Mythril weave,
And so their swords were soon unsheathed,
And fighting hard amongst themselves,
Many a Mordor orc was felled.
And as the chaos grew and ran,
Frodo was rescued by his friend, Sam.
But no hope to Frodo did this bring,
For he no longer had the ring.
Certain it was in the enemy’s power,
Frodo faced his darkest hour.
“It’s over Sam, do you understand?
The ring is in the enemy’s hand!”.
But Samwise smiled and shook his head,
“You’re wrong, I took it myself instead.”
He held up the ring upon its chain,
And Frodo felt a keening pain,
His heart reached out to its embrace,
Desperation on his face,
As if he were a victim damned,
“Give me the ring quickly, Sam!”
He snatched it from his friend’s loose grip,
Around his neck the chain was slipped.
And so at last the hobbits stood,
Where there was no grass or rivers or woods,
But only rocks, chaos, disorder,
Frodo and Sam arrived in Mordor.
Gandalf had lost them from his sight,
But knew how much they were in plight,
10,000 Orcs lay now lay between,
The hobbits and the desperate scheme,
To throw the ring into the fire,
Of Mount Doom, as Frodo was required.
But Aragorn devised a cunning plan,
To aid the passage of Frodo and Sam.
He held aloft a Palantir,
Drawing Sauron’s red eye near,
“Long you have saught me, know me still,
Behold the blade of Elendill!”.
And so it was that with Aragorn,
The Troops rode of in the early morn,
And arrived at last at the great black gate.
“Bring forth the lord who must meet his fate”.
Upon the black and smoking ground,
With fire and brimstone all around,
Frodo and Sam trudged on their way,
But Frodo swift was falling prey.
The ring grew heavy and dragged him down,
Till at last he fell upon the ground.
Mount Doom loomed up, so near, so far!
But in the light of a lonely star,
Sam found hope and strength anew,
“I can’t carry it, so I’ll carry you!”
With Frodo on his back he went,
Up to Mount Doom’s smoking vent.
The Mouth of Sauron stood at the gate,
And spoke a tale of deadly fate,
“I see the halfling was dear to thee,
Know he suffered miserably”,
Aragorn struck off his head,
As the Hobbits listened on in dread.
“I do not believe it!” Aragorn cried.
Frodo now was stood inside.
Upon the ledge with fire below,
But the rings fell power did grip him so.
“Throw it in, let it go”, cried Sam,
But Frodo had another plan,
For the ring at last had claimed his mind,
Made him its slave. “The Ring is mine!”
From its chain he pulled it free,
Slipped it on, vanished completely.
But Gollum, not dead, leapped for the attack,
Pushing his invisible enemy back.
His teeth bit a finger painful in two,
And how his joy now grew and grew,
It flooded his system and felt infectious,
Gollum at last, reclaimed his precious!
He danced and sang and jumped about,
But Frodo with an agonized shout,
Leapped at him and so they fought,
For both were in its power caught.
Nearer the edge they wrestled and so,
Gollum fell to the fires below.
The Ring to liquid gold did turn,
Destroyed in the heat to which it returned,
A piercing cry burst forth from Mordor,
Orcs and Nazgul in disorder,
Crumbling, the tower of Barad Dur,
Sauron’s power was no more.
And So the Age of Kings was born,
With the coronation of Aragorn,
And some time later the Hobbits retired,
And journeyed back to their home, the Shire.
Sam got married, and Frodo, he,
Sailed with Bilbo out to sea,
Along with Elves but their voice still sings,
Of the Legend of the Lord Of The Rings.