The Ballad of Nendaer and Celebiel



In Celondim upon the running Lhûn
Dwelled Nendaer the child of the wood
Who spied Celebiel beneath the moon
And awestruck at her silver hair he stood
Her willow form and features fair and good
And thus the heart of Nendaer soon fell
The moment he first saw Celebiel

To Nen Hilith had come Celebiel
Reposed and gazing at the hallowed sky
Which silv'ry cast its melancholy spell
And in the lake reflected stars flew by
While far away in Rath Teraig did cry
The wolf that on his hunting would consume
The hopes of Nendaer, and spell his doom

Yet blissful still was Nendaer that night
When silently his footsteps drove him on
To stand in abject wonder at the sight
Of fair Celebiel, now kissed by dawn
And to Nendaer too the maid was drawn
For as they spoke beneath the rising sun
Their hearts began to twine and beat as one

Such love deserved announcement to the world
Yet pride did still the heart of Nendaer
Not yet admitting of the love unfurled
Within him by Celebiel the fair
Within her sea-blue eyes and silver hair
And foolish Nendaer thought to conceal
Their love until it was no great ordeal

Celebiel was blind with love and so
She was persuaded by her lover's sooth
That for a time no other elf should know
That there in Nen Hilith their hearts beat truth
And so, flush with the folly of their youth
They made a vow, when moon had risen, then
They would both meet at Nen Hilith again

All through the day did Nendaer regret
His foolish pride that caused him to deny
The tender love he felt, and longing yet
He waited for the sun to leave the sky
So to Celebiel he could then fly
Yet soon he found he had another foe
His good companions would not let him go

In vain he made excuses to their claim
Upon his time within their company
Yet since his reason true he could not name
They pressed him, saying, 'what else is for thee
except to join us in our revelry?'
And by the time he had escaped his kith
The moon was falling over Nen Hilith

In vain he searched for fair Celebiel
Whom he had sworn to meet beside the lake
Despairing, he searched long within the dell
For fear his heart would burst for its own sake
For it was now Celebiel's to break
And then he spied a corner of her dress
And wolf tracks from dark Rath Teraig northwest

On swift feet borne by fear he roused the town
Confessing to Celondim all his heart
And spoke of fair Celebiel's silk gown
Which in his hand he held the smallest part
He called the hunters now to work their art
And all to Rath Teraig they must now tread
With vengeful Nendaer marching ahead

In vain they searched for hours, then for days
And many wolves the hunters slayed, but when
The search could not continue, his heart crazed,
Poor Nendaer fought to the wolfen den
A hundred wolves he slayed, and then again
But in the end beneath wolf fang and breath
Heartbroken Nendaer succumbed to death

The hunters charged to save poor Nendaer
But they came to his body far too late
And yet, a comfort on his final bier
The body of Celebiel did wait
The lovers twined at last in bloody fate
Both slain together, but now evermore
Again will find their love in Valinor