Unbelief! Of all things Eru made, and comprehends, it is unbelief which alone escaped his all-seeing-eye, and for curing it that a first descent was made, as in the form of a man, unbegotten, without kin or place of rest, nowhere to lay his head, neither shoulder nor pillow. First of all in the Long Ages past, when among Men he roamed, Men forsaking his lore, being bewitched by madness and forgetting, having sacrificed their own seedlings to that Fire, offerings to Melko. Grief he found here, among their women, but not of the losses to their household, the children walking forth into flame, as Honored Ones; No, grief that none of the promises came to pass: Namely, to run and not be weary, to eat not and yet desire never food of Arda; to bless and to curse, to obtain all lore of beasts and birds, for their contempt was great. These first men, finding themselves without hope of redemption, and the Honored Few removed westward – as in a night, departing silently as thieves;
To nothing, said these Forsaked, Did such “faithless” wander, save into the Jaws of Eru, to be consumed in that hard maw, eternally.
Grief was encountered by Eru-as-Man (in form) as a mask for unbelief; that by not believing, they may make it so; but never has this been the way, nor ever shall it come to pass that contrary to Eru’s will, gainsaying, makes for other than nothing.
Unbelief nurtured by sweetness, mother to kin(d)lings, as though by masquerade they gained nothing; so coming to “truth,” deceived their children to unbelieve all that was taught by Elves or Men concerning Eru.
He alone came to comprehend this unbelief, a poison to the soul, unforeseen in the Halls of Ainur and their Endless, Boundless Music. To Him in time came also Thingol and Beren, having mastered Carcaroth in the ditches cut about his realm Doriathrin, amidmost the entrances to Eastern realms held back by the Sons of Feanor, Curufin and Angrod, chiefmost of these stalwart fences against the men of the East; These two (T & B) came among such men in the Southern Heats, disguised as traders left to begging, and to them came offering meats and fruits, of Manwe and his beloved (Varda), this Eru, rising as from a stream bank, a collector wayward and yet free of his substance; Neither Thingol nor Beren knew or comprehended as yet the Being before them, cloaked and offering fruits and dried meats, (for it was in winter time, even amid these heats, a season brief of cold pursued them across the plains south). [As they returned northward.]
Tell me, strangers, he asked, What know you of one named Eru Iluvatar, purported or rumored Divine, Beyond even the Powers upon Thrones yonder way?
And they looked one to another, fearful to reveal their knowledge (which was very great), and thus to endanger their game of reconnaissance, to learn what they could of the sons’ (of F) movements, fences and allegiances come yonder among the Petty Folk eastward.
To them [Petty Folk] these sons indeed came, in guise of Beast Divine, selecting some favored “fawn” or “ewe” to mate, against the wasting of the seed of these lowly men. To none did Thingol or Beren reveal this knowledge, horrible to fathom, and yet concealing more it was, their darker instruments: to bind by oaths every man, to murder whosoever had gain greater than they ought, and so to take in combination the wealth of other men, aggrandizing themselves, enriching the Body of Doers (carrying out the sale of little children, instead of their burning, if they might intervene >> Sons of F); for though mighty above any Man then Eastward, and haughty without measure, these sons (even as all Finwe’s sons) were no lovers of Evil, nor doers to service Melko, yet they ambitioned, that by stirring up these violences, and perpetrating worse through emissaries, to bring out agents of Melko, and then to ensnare some mighty cat in his service, or bat or wolf-hame upon a spirit of flame, revealed.
—You speak of one whose title we hold in reverence, Lord of All Creation, Beren answered in place of his Father-in-law, preserving his (T) lore to be added upon, in wisdom’s decision.
Tell us, what be thy station, and whence came ye, nether fold astray, bedraggled and seeming houseless as a fawn?
To this Eru succumbed in reply, being in constitution un-, without-lie; so he answered thus: From a further shore than you comprehend, wanderers two, came I into this world, to make, or survey what I could not guess; This!
And he pulled forth of his holey cloak, a treasure, to some a mere bauble, golden encased, to open and sing forth a tune enchanting, filling all the woods there roundabout with the song of tuneful fowl, as in unison, harmonious in the coming night, “This” Tinuviel, Nightingale, and in the glance to Beren, the Man-Restored was aswoon, smitten as of old in forests of Neldoreth, by her birdsong to whom he committed all his keeping and lore; and yet to one that kept the Silmaril against the heart’s wisdom of his love (Melian), no sound of that bauble came. Indeed, in the hand of Eru was naught, a mere gesture of giving a “This,” as though sweeping out to all the realm surrounding, and in comprehending the turn of his hand, Thingol sat down straightaway. And he wept, in foreknowledge of his losses beyond recounting, and recuperation.
Whose title holds these parts, Elf-chief of Doriath?
Whose voice holds thy soul’s lights interlocked,
Man of Neldoreth? The same, Tinuviel, and yet
Gave I to her greater than these mystry woods,
Fowls a-chant-ful, and fawns that may dance, and
Hold converse in the moon’s light. Greater still
Have I ordered thy realm, Thingol, than that
Held within the Girdle of thy Beloved, and yet
To gain the greater things of light-realms,
Traded for darkness, one of you must stay,
And tread not out away from Arda, but remain,
To keep watch until I return to check again
Upon thy realms, and those given to others
Of kin and order.
Now is not the time for decision, but for mirth.
And so through the night they told tales, and sang songs of old, and laughter was ever about their fire, warming aglow these three, setting behind them the shadow of what must be chosen: whose light would cast back the darkness and wildlands, and whose would depart hither to realms of Joy Everlasting?
Before dawn the stranger departed, in blessing each friend, while they slumbered, to dream upon the path Right for each, and assurance that in the Waking, as at the dream’s conclusion, these three would again light a kingly flame, golden and without any consuming, and there hold converse, and drink from goblets hewn of a silver tree’s horns and roots, revived in their tasks’ fulfilling.
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