The Star of Eärendil

Estarfin sat under the stars, reading the book he had taken from Danel's collection. It was a record of the fall of Gondolin and the history of Eärendil. He knew little of the history, only what rumour or gossip ran around the camps of warriors long ago. He had come to realise how little he knew of the great events of Arda that he had not been directly involved in, after long conversations with Danel and Parnard. He was surprised by the valour and pride described in the poetry, for although he knew the worth of those such as Belegos and Vorongwë, he had always thought little of the other Gondolindrim. Turgon had marched to the Union of Maedhros of course, but other than that, to Estarfin's knowledge, what had they done save hidden behind their many gates?

At times he wished to simply cast the book away, for it spoke of the deeds of Tuor with great love and admiration. It stirred difficult memories in him, and challenged the hatred in his heart towards the unhappy race of Men. Again he remembered the Edain that had fought and died beside him in the desperate defence of Barad Eithel. Yet he knew that ignorance was no virtue, so continued to read, even when the pages spoke of the darkness at the Havens of Sirion, and the ink on the pages ran with tears.

Finally, he closed the book and looked to the Heavens, watching Gil-Estel with renewed understanding.

Lo! the flame of fire and fierce hatred

engulfed Gondolin and its glory fell,

its tapering towers and its tall rooftops

were laid all low, and its leaping fountains

made no music more on the mount of Gwareth,

and its whitehewn walls were whispering ash.

 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "II. Poems Early Abandoned: Fragment of an alliterative Lay of Eärendel