24 December 2016
Grim was the world and grey last night:
The moon and stars were fled,
The hall was dark without song or light,
The fires were fallen dead.
The wind in the trees was like to the sea,
And over the mountains’ teeth
It whistled bitter-cold and free,
As a sword leapt from its sheath.
- "Noel" by J.R.R. Tolkien
It is not bitter-cold here in my land presently, but in the imaginary world that Tolkien creates, the winds of winter are blowing through these lands. The mountains have teeth, I imagine them white-capped with snow. Alluding to the biting cold, the chilled wind slices over the mountains. All the while, the world was grim and grey. It is always when the night seems darkest that the shadow of light begins to emerge, slowly, just at the edges of dawn.
This poem of Tolkien's was discovered about three years ago, in a school program. How amazing is it, that the poem (only a portion of it is shown here, as the whole poem isn't yet published that I can find) remained hidden for so many years? This gift of lost words bodes well with Tolkien's love of history and myth. Discovered stories emerge like pieces of history being unearthed.
As dawn approaches, Noel is here. The Light has split the darkness. The darkness shall not overcome it.
Joyeux Noel is French for Merry Christmas. And a very Merry Christmas I wish for you.