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Just think, Eru stood and wrapped his arm around Thingol, enraptured by the grief and joy of what before him unfolded, Just think, wandering elf-lord, all this could be yours.

And Thingol bent over, in tears of laughter baptized anew into recovery of his joy amid yet free now of sorrow, All this, he replied, waving grandly before the mire, ruined fences and upheaved slags of mountain vomit, All this? I’ll say what Melian most loved and beyond compare in wiselore and beauty practiced, what she said when brought to my prepared halls: Well, what a … hole.

Eru paused then and warned Thingol that such a place could be by him taken up, should he remain, and resist that desire to flee westward, over sea. Yet also should you flee too soon, friend, let me be characteristically recondite, this and worse you may also inherit.

Leave it to Thu? Then? How Friend, can I look upon this former realm of peace (though not everlasting, the more poignant to recall) and leave it as thus it crumbles? Speak plainly, and give some counsel, friend to one trusting, yet wary of arriving too smoothly to its interpretation.

Thingol, recall when Oromë the horseman of Valinor ran upon your rude folk, and staying, gave you such lore to add to your inborn (though unborn) innocence, and seeing there the Truth take hold, he thought himself to carry out the summons, then only conceived by Doom, and not yet decreed? You only among your kind came, willingly, and two else besides, who remained. Why did you not stay among the Powers, having delivered your witness and testimony of their trusty league, and desire for alliance coeval? Why did you linger, and in so going ensnare many folk herein, and not thyself, nor thy house, the least-y-e-entangled in webs by others spun?

I heard and knew in my heart that thou Great One should come among the lands where dwelt men, for though not yet deposited whither thou would, nor yet fallen from their First Estate, and mistrusted thy command; yet for thee I did tarry, and in staying my course off course, as it were, came I then into my fantasy, unlooked for, yet behold I Melian, and thereafter none – even though housed in the very Trees of Valinor, and bedded upon her spreading branches – none might then from her countenance – having been received into her beauty, and enwrapped by love all about—

And he lingered in memory, while Eru wandered away.

I behold that even beheld by Eru’s attention, the mere memory of her may not easily be escaped, and he laughed, and tossed a stone into a dying tree, sending to flight the carrion fowl then anticipating some black feast.

Not always recondite, Thingol answered the crack of stone on wood, For now I behold the best course I will take: to wait upon the wraith, seeing him re-secured and housed again, and then to depart from these shores, and rest awhile with my wife, leaving you and mankind to plot the next course thy friends ought to consider.

Never here will Man dwell, save in terror, for whether you will or not, stay, tarry too briefly or lingering beyond wise delay, a Red Star foreseen shall arise, and consume by its glance the hopes of creatures by unbelief begotten, and even as Silmariel with Elros thy son (distant-speaking) climbed upon Dolmed, first to step upon the Holy Mount now by Thu’s breath defiled, and resting awhile there, beheld in vision all that has now and may yet come to pass, concerning their seed, and thy own lineage there revealed. Dolmed they named it, in thy tongue, first foot of Doriathrin to step where now the words of Great Kings are sawed off from their roots, and by the heart estray to the mind. Confusion hence reigns, though stay not shall Sauron and his men from enlaying their plans to overwhelm the gods, and slaughter all the Elves in peaceful rest now lingering near those shores.

To them also will I pass these words in warning, should I arriving find them otherwise anticipating, or conceding their folk to the resistance of all man’s interventions. One now accompanied me upon this exact errand, working its outrolling before our very eyes, who as a man strayed not by his will to those lands of keen sighted, and finding there love even as I long ago became entangled, in a mesh of another’s wo’ving, stayed awhile, and by his report, came of this union man and wife (mortals both), seven holy maids to Heaven ascended, as servants to seat in waiting upon Varda amid starlight; and one son, Machir by his report called.

The Jeweled Easterner, composer of Dreams, oft to my bedside has in rapturous sight asleep arrived, and upon him I smiled, saying to him nothing else; for by fate no man be utterly bound, though often also did I laugh to see him puzzled to find my silence, asmirk. Go to his household, and leave them not without council, lest all his hopes fail, and this good man in our work passing interrupts, find himself marred and without restoration.

My secret heart you have looked upon, by my leave, Lord of All that is; to test whether indeed such an Asenath there lives, and matches the beauteous songs of her he sings – between us, somewhat untunely, and a bit belabored in my estimation (and both laughed, knowingly of Men). And I desire before achieving my own reunion, to see first theirs, upon everlasting shores, never removed nor by evil deed threatened.

That may be a long while, he replied, Though both shall be desires fulfilled, and added to by whatsoever grace may be by me contrived.

And as Thingol turned away from the plain where yet smokes twirled about, and a rising sun in the East made all to glow red, he looked again upon Eru (before costumed long ago as a beggar, though confused giving with receiving), he turned about also to face Thingol, and the rising sun, and Thingol laughed again, to think of his comely grace, without any to compare or establish a similitude, and mud was streaked garish over that singular face, and suddenly Eru laughed, and scooping more of this muck of Mordor, least holy yet here indeed tread many great holy feet – and tossing it, splattered green and brown over the spirit before Him supplicated.

Thus shall we meet again, though it be a great many thousand years, and ages swing past, the rising Man and Fading Elf, Here become as one, under this One, flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone, Thingol friend, beloved, trusting, with me in the mire, amucked, and tuneful.

And reaching forth, stretched out his hand, and was pulled down into the earth itself.

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