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Before King Turgon, Dairon sang a tale ancient even then in that First Age of Noldo upon Beleriand, telling how it was Thingol wavered in his return, and was ensnared by his own darkness, (though not in any way evil-dark), and brought into union of heart by Eru; Melian his queen, Maiar-kind, estranged of her Order upon the gardens of Lorien’s Rest in Valmar, wended her way thus, as upon a wheel wandering, and finding her heart through there, welded her kind’s fate to that of a wandering, lost-elf whose gown-garment she knew, and long coveted (!) seeing within it the turn of her joy upon Arda, revealed; so it was, she with him lost, set about their realm, stakes impenetrable, save by One whose fate greater thus wound a thread golden-divine, yet again (though higher in orders) through her mazes; and tying to Tinuviel one end, the other was down-thrust to Hell, thrice-descended, and returned; lastly by his own power, and so he wound about his own beloved, where before she was mighty to ensnare and ravel, even that Ain- forsaken, who yet upon malice broods, howsoever he may bring to pass – using Men most likely – the crumbled ruin of Thingol’s lair, and of his captains (as he sees it) Turgon Lord and Orodreth deep in Narog’s burrows.
Here in song the elf Dairon held before the king, a ring, ancient of days, and it was wrought of serpent’s horns, when long ago a drake horned flew in terror, encircling the First Ones; so it was Oromë came a flying on Naha, and laughing, rushing to their aid, spoiled its joust there, and being grounded by his bolt none withstanding, shot forth flame, into whose burning strode the Vala, and into whose heart of black fire he thrust his sword, Gale. This ring was of its single horn wrought, Dragon- Ivory; and though Turgon King – high of all Noldo, though seldom revealed or sought for council—
—Ah, not of all Noldo, he intervened—
—Not though highest yet high king here — and he winked to one nearby standing, and she smiled — may open his treasury weighty in Valinor’s prodst, above all that Realm begat, here is kept in my scale’s reckoning, bright most brilliant, unfaceted, howsoever shining, that this ring alone I give in trade, heart for horn, of dragon-fell shorn.
And he turned and walked as if departing, court a- puzzle, when a sudden Dairon stopped; and waiting as for guidance, was by his hand led, being clasped, as perpetual bond, to she he named Gladhwen: Irimë of old-Valmar-time, kin to Turgon and half-sister herself to that Spirit of Fire whose gems’ fire burn or light, ignite and consume.
So they departed, and it was revealed that previous to his performance, they had wed indeed, near a stream high up a glade, flower-meadow surrounded; promising one to another, forever to abide as One, whatsoever befalls the Realm of Arda;
And long in the making was this oath before taking, first of that light to Dorian known of Melian’s glow-countenance, she thus shone amid all the stars gathered at that feast called first in Return,4As recounted in the Silmarillion, “Mereth Aderthad,” Feast of Reuniting, was held soon after the Noldor returned to Beleriand, and was attended by many elves, two alone being sent by Thingol as ambassadors of Doriath. merriment abounded, and prospects of Future-time enriched the wine and food consumed; striken at heart, Dairon departed and to Doriath returned, yet to none did his secret pain open; so when Beren so opened those fences, and to Luthien stumbled, and before his own father Ancient jousted word for deed renown, thus was opened in fresh hurt that long burrowing heart-sickness, to gather of her light whose name he learned and reverenced, a house to light some forest of his own hewing and stacking, streams to order and furrows to set; and when she departed, once and thereafter knowing to her brother- half (by decree alone, kin) which way set her heart in Beren’s broken hand, first of Hirilorn escaped, and then of Arda’s Fold into Mandos’ embrace (for a Man!); returned at last they forever entwined, and he more so rejoiced twice, seeing in their union hope of his own – for how should the Father now dispute union with kin of Fëanor, daughter of Finwë his friend? And he learning her mood to rest amid the encircling mountains northern of his home, discovered the way Hidden, and not by ruse, or manner of spy, revealed itself: he following her scent whom he recalled as in hroa-flesh, at feast, so lightened she his mind; And there found her, he; and now but a year remained before that Year of Lamentation, and a year spent, only;
And thus with child was Irimë, when the call to arms and league arrived, sent of Maedhros’ folk, to gather and keep encircled by friendship unwavering, unwearying, that enemy without name; And going there to battle in secret with Turgon’s House, Dairon hoped to find and clasp in hand (his one hand, anyway) Beren, and to see how it was, how thus a world between them parted, and whether his own child would foster awhile with him, and in trade, reveal the fruit of Irimë not yet forthcoming; so as to barter, in friendly way, kin to kin, children honored, and thus honoring;
Yet Beren, and none of Thingol’s house (save Dairon) to battle went, and going ill, the fight was abandoned, all going awry, in betrayal, men to Elda; mistrusting then his stay, he returned to Gondolin nonetheless, waiting only upon the birth of child, to depart and find some elsewhere to remain, hidden. Yet forbade he [Turgon] all to depart, even those not kin or by oath partaking of his leaguer; and Thingol also as Turgon closed his gates awaiting another time; thus they remained, Dairon and Irimë, after the birth of Celebrimbor, to become Gondolin’s jewel-master, and of rings a forger still renown, in After-days; he learning all the lore of those mountain people long in living among Aulë in Valinor, devised first of all in that realm, cisterns of wells unfathomably deep; wrought in steel also he turned its steps, from stone; and about this well threw up many marvels, to move as by wind or water turning, rolling about as living things, to delight the few children who now were born in its last days; an artificer wise, putting into contraption the songs of his fathers, and the lights there carried of Valinor, he welded to eagles’ eyries, so that all about that land was recalled the Roof of Varda; devised he also First Rings of Magic (good), and these giving apart freely in token of gratitude for all his education there obtained, found to his surprise his heart’s thought there still abided, as in wrought courses about a finger wrapped; and as though living, thoughts too came to their wearers, some afar off, others recalling ancient days before Melkor’s feet crushed their lands; devised he thus many marvels, and not all were to every Gondolindri made known.
Fortune was behind those secret works; for in its latter days, Gondolin and Gondolindri grew both wary of many portents – not least, the man Tuor’s arriving, bearing warning of Vala to hasten their way west, as in First Days, Retreating before the darkness consumes all lighted things – and also growing abundant pride, that here would maybe come in retreat, Ulmo, whom they loved, of little accounted his fore-vision; (who trusts water, that stone erodes?)
Then when Celebrimbor became himself adulted, and took to wife the Framsillien nymph recovered deep in wellsprung without the king’s court; did words of trouble to his mother come, of her horned band, crying of encircled hosts, encircling, and that dread was brought in gift, parting; Thingol she said to Dairon was she feared among those killed, but howso, he couldn’t guess; and later too, others to Doriath broke in upon Dior-Ausir, threatening to unmake his lands, if he that gem refused to part, in a year’s circling;
So that Son of Thingol made secret plans to leave Gondolin, forever if unwelcome to return; and he taking in cover of night, a secret-delved way, to Celebrimbor known alone, departed alone, bearing before him that companion unwanted ever, anguish, regret, fear, in one; but not hopeless;
So later too came that way, Irimë, and her son and his betrothed-wife, sickening of water’s unflowing, being all stopped up in cisterns not by her lover hewn; but rather in preparation of war, or in defense of war; or to hold in reservoir, unleashing as opportunities arrived; and thus spared the sudden rise of Maeglin Eol’s son, and tumbling of Turgon as into decrepitude, if not also sudden dotarding, as by a mist of that same water, being blinded; so also Maeglin (it is now believed) seeking for secret paths by which Gondolindri departed, was captured by orc-fiend, being himself fascinated to feed them to whoredom of spiders, bred by him and others accursed, a monster-army to call, should Gondolin’s lands be encircled, without hope; to those halls afester in much of spider-whores, feeded orc-parts to bait their pleasure, and thus by Maeglin harnessed to his own will; so by webs he himself spun, about his realm arising, was he caught; and of his deeds we make no more mention; save of this one: to Melkor gave he, as in faith’s tryst to bring to power in wrath upon those rebels squirreled among his mountain passes, a ring; and being so bound in promise of betrayal, he was forever coached, father to evil works; and so did Irimë set aside her horned ring, gone to bone, as ash, when removed, she knew what could not be said: that the city was betrayed; and here we leave her, in a hidden place, where at designated days would come in council, Madhros, Maglor, and Curufin, Caranthir, and Celegorm.
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