by J. R. R. Tolkien

Original Language English

Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
     O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander here
     Amid the world of woven trees!

Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
     Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath!
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
     In a far land beyond the Sea.

O stars that in the Sunless Year
     With shining hand by her were sown,
In windy fields now bright and clear
     We see your silver blossom blown!

O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
     We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
     Thy starlight on the Western Seas.

-- from The Lord of the Rings: One Vol. Edition, by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger


Sung by Gildor the Elf's company at the beginning of Frodo's journey from the Shire.

In Tolkien's mythology, Elbereth was one of the Valar (a god or angel) associated with light who spread the stars across the night sky. This was before the sun and moon were created ("the Sunless Year")

Frodo cries out her name "Elbereth" when he first defends himself against the Ringwraiths on Weathertop. Aragorn later says that the name, associated with the light of the Valar, probably harmed the Witch King of Angmar more than Frodo's sword did.

Recommended Books: J. R. R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings: One Vol. Edition