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  Annotirovanniy spisok razdelov sayta

С. Б. Лихачева (Likhachyova Svetlana)

Анализ формы и содержания произведения
Д. Р. Р. Толкина "Лэ о Лейтиан"

(жанровые особенности, тематика, проблематика, перевод).

Linguistic and Contextual Analysis of the
"Lay of Leithian" by J.R.R.Tolkien

(genre peculiarities, themes, problems, translation).

Дипломная работа

студентки факультета английского языка
Московского Государственного Лингвистического Университета
научный руководитель - к.ф.н. Федосенок И.В.
Рецензент - доц. Змиевская Н.А.
Москва - 1993



       The story of Beren and Lúthien, one of the central legends of the "Silmarillion", which on the whole was meant as "the mythology for England", was evidently valued more by its author than anything else he wrote. In fact, he never left off working at it, therefore it counts a considerable number of versions, and undergoes many stages of development closely associated with Tolkien's own life, though the essential features of the story were never changed. The three principal versions are "The Tale of Tinuviel" ("Lost Tales"), the "Silmarillion" story of Beren and Lúthien and the unfinished "Lay of Leithian", the subject of this particular study.

       The chief reason of its attractiveness to the author himself is probably in the following: the story is in a way self-projected, having close biographic associations. The inscription on the tombstone of Tolkien's wife reads: "Edith Mary Tolkien, 1889-1971, Lúthien", which, as the widowed author wrote to his son "says for me more than a multitude of words: for she was (and she knew she was) my Lúthien". He proceeds to say "I hope none of my children will feel that the use of this name is a sentimental fancy... I never called Edith Lúthien - but she was the source of the story that in time became the chief part of the "Silmarillion" ("Letters", Letter 340). His own tombstone, as a matter of fact, bears the inscription "Beren".

       Tolkien's love for Edith lies behind Beren's love for Lúthien"(Randel Helms), that is what perhaps makes this particular story the most profound and moving of all the tales of Eldalie, the one worked out with the greatest elaborateness and care, endowed with greater precision of detail and emotional force. Beren's meetings with Lúthien in a woodland glade among hemlocks and all the consequent man-elf meetings echo Tolkien's own encounters with Edith in the countryside near Roos. In the letter cited above Tolkien recalls Edith of those days: "her hair was raven, her skin clear, her eyes brighter than you (Chris) have seen them, and she could sing - and dance".

       There are many more personal parallels than it seems on the face of it. Being an immortal child of Thingol and Melian, Lúthien is of course much older than Beren; the real Edith was three years older than John, and at the age that they met the difference of age is felt rather keenly by adolescents; she probably seemed to him far wiser and superior in a way. Lúthien, the immortal elf-maiden, was originally different from the human Beren; Edith, the Protestant Anglican, was likewise different from the Roman Catholic Tolkien; bu, as Lúthienchanged her nature out of love for Beren, Edith became a convert to Catholicism before they were married. Tolkien was an orphan like Beren; and his relentless guardian Father Francis was strongly against their union, just like King Thingol, and insisted upon the young people not seeing each other until his ward was twenty-one; a considerably easier task, one should admit, than the one set by Thingol. Still, John and Edith's union marking the end of a lengthy period of separation and unhappiness is not unlike that of Beren and Lúthien.

       But these biographical allusions are not the chief value of the story; to my mind it can be regarded as a gist, so to speak, of the philosophic and ethical concepts of the author, the principal problems being the problem of Death and Immortality, the role of Fate, the dilemma of "race-changing" and rightfulness of such "race-apostasy", the problems that pervade the literary heritage of Tolkien at all levels and cannot claim a single solution.

       The many-dimensional nature of Tolkien's creative heritage admits of various and versatile approaches which are manifest in the main trends of the criticism. There is the sophisticated tracing of sources, reviving the literary traditions of the past and marking out the elements of the transmyth; the attempts to reconstruct the mechanisms of mythopoeia, bringing forth the secondary worlds theory; there are detailed analyses of the ethical and philosophic concepts of the author and their possible projection on modern life dilemmas. Some critics are engaged in comparative literary analysis or purely linguistic investigations of certain aspects of Quenya and Sindarin (see "Introduction to Elvish"). The scale of critical reviews also differ: from global works embracing the whole mythological system to selective ones, concentrating their attention on a particular book or poem. In my case unfinished poem "Lay of Leithian" becomes the subject of literary analysis. The tasks that I set for myself are to define the genre peculiarities of the work in question, focusing my attention of the poetic form and introducing elements of stylistic analysis, to determine the influence of the poetic tradition of Breton lays, bringing into comparison the creative heritage of Marie de France and the epic tradition, and to provide a theoretical basis for the philological translation of the work in question, bringing light upon certain controversial points and difficulties that a translator inevitably comes across. In my work I recurred to the method of comparative literary analysis, bringing into comparison various genres and trends. Lexicographic analysis elements of etymological analysis were used, in the parts dealing with onomastics in particular.

       The structure of the paper mainly depends on the gradual realization of the tasks set at the beginning. Chapter 1 is dedicated to the investigation of the genre peculiarities of the ancient and modern samples of lays, and tracing the elements of other poetic traditions encompassed in the Lay. A brief stylistic analysis of the poem aims at emphasizing its literary merits, deciphering the aesthetic information that the poem comprises and determining language means and stylistic devices employed by the author. Chapter 2 is meant to apply the theoretical conclusions made in Chapter 1 to the translation process of the work in question. I intend to show how the stylistic peculiarities and tropes used by the author and characteristic of this particular genre can be transposed into the Russian language with a greater degree of approximation to the original. Trying to outline an adequate approach I used various illustrative material derived from the already existing prose and poetic translation versions. And, finally, the postulates of Chapter 2 were assumed as a basis for my own translation version of the selected Cantos which are supplemented in the Appendix.

       The "Lay of leithian", which unfortunately remains unfinished, provides a broad field for further literary and linguistic investigation, being of interest as a draft of a greater, completed prose-work and being in itself a work of Art, endowed with indispensable literary values. The emotional impact of the poem as such is still to be estimated. In his article "The Dethronement of Power" C. S. Lewis sums up the impression left of him by the "Lord of the Rings" in the following terms: "The book is too original and too opulent for any final judgement on a first reading. But we know at once that it has done things to us. We are not the same men". I suppose, the same commentary is more than applicable to the "Lay of Leithian".


1. Comparative Literary Analysis of a work of art;

2. The "Lay of Leithian" as an Eldarin Epic and part of Tolkien's secondary world;

3. Lay as a literary genre. Origin. Marie de France as a creator of the genre;

4. Sources. The matter of Britain;

5. Breton lays and the Lay of Leithian. Similarities and difference;

1) Verisimilitude;
2) Classification;
3) Titles;
4) Onomastics: toponymy and anthroponymy;
5) Structure of lays. Compositional frameworks;
6) Problems of lays. The notion of Quest and Adventure. Interrelations between
the real and the Faerie world;
7) Symbolic system of lays;
8) Characters of lays;
9) Stylistic analysis of lays;
6) Conclusion.



       It would be more than injust to say that J.R.R.Tolkien was directly influenced by any literary tradition or any separate work known to us in this particular book as well as in any other. Tolkien himself did not particularly approve of the academic search for "sources". He thought it led to distracting attention from the work of art itself and to undervaluing the artist by the suggestion that he had "got it all from somewhere else" (T.A.Shippey "The Road to Middle-earth" p.220). Here it would be appropriate to quote the unforgettable Screwtape's definition of the so-called Historical Point of View as a convenient weapon of the tempters; something that comes close to the comparative literary analysis in Literature: "The Historical Point of View, put briefly, means that when a learned man is presented with any statement of an ancient author, the one question he never asks is whether it is true. He asks who influenced the writer...and what phase in the general history of thought it illustrates, and what the general course of criticism on it has been for the last ten years, and what is the "present state of question" (C.S.Lewis "The Screwtape letters" p.306). As far as the prose works are concerned, it has become traditional to mention "Beowulf" and other relics of old English poetry, the Old Norse Sagas, the Finnish epic "Kalevala" as sources, though Professor Tolkien did not seem to like it at all. He was irritated by the "Lord of the Rings" being compared with "Der Ring des Nibelungen", for instance. "Both rings were round, - he snarled, - and there the resemblance ceased" (T.A.Shippey "The Road to Middle-earth" p.220).

       Nevertheless, it seems to be quite proper to offer a brief guide to certain works that were surely familiar to Tolkien, and to draw a few comparisons which might provide a deeper penetration into the textual structure and the poetic matter of the book in question. A great connoisseur of ancient epics and literary traditions of the past, he could not help being in some way influenced by certain forms and motives; as far as the "Lays of Beleriand" is concerned, I'd even say Tolkien deliberately imitated certain literary forms, though transforming them to the necessary extent so that they could fit most naturally with his own "secondary world". The literary tradition that I would like to bring to light is that of the so-called Breton lays and that of Marie de france. As for the "present state of question", there are no detailed investigations of the problem that I know of, though the name of marie de France has been mentioned more than once in connection with Professor Tolkien's creative activity. On the whole, the genre of lays was no alien to him. There exist some imitation of Marie de france by Tolkien, entitled "Aotrou and Itroun", 1945, though I did not happen to get hold of it. There exist his brilliant translation of "Sir orfeo", the anonymous Breton lay, composed probably in the South-east of England in the latter part of the thirteenth century or at the beginning of the fourteenth, most probably translated from the French original; preserved in three manuscripts (Tolkien's translation follows the Auchinleck text with some emendations). And, finally, there exist that wonderful, moving and enchanting "Lay of Leithian", the chief source of the tale of Beren and Lúthienin the "Silmarillion" - this purely original work of Eldarin art, which evokes in memory the more familiar lays of Men.

       When considering ancient epics, we inevitably treat them as an integral part of cultural heritage of this particular ethnos at this particular stage of its historical development, at some initial period merging with "true history". Indeed if we go back we cannot say whether we shall find "myth dissolving into history or history into myth"("Sauron Defeated" p.249). The psychology of the time and the race leaves a distinct imprint on any work of art. this is absolutely true about the "lais de Breton". That is particularly true of the "Lays of Beleriand". The thing is, it is not meant to be part of Professor Tolkien's creative activity, but of that of his characters, it is an essential constituency of the secondary world that Tolkien is said to have created. I would call it a case of "secondary subcreation', if i may say so: the author creates an alternative reality, and the inhabitants of that alternative reality create their own poetic tradition."Enchantment (the more potent and specially Elvish craft) produces a Secondary World into which both designer and spectator can enter, to the satisfaction of their sences while they are inside" (J.R.R.Tolkien "On Fairy-stories" p.52-53).

       The world of Arda, too minutely described not to be real, with its own geography, history, cosmology (real to such an extent that we know the arbitraries of the main rivers, the composition of certain alloys, the flora and fauna of particular regions and so forth) cannot make do without its own epic tradition. Actually in Tolkien's world there is more than one of them: from the verbose, sonorous Entish versification to the rustic nonsence-verses of the hobbits (cf. "Errantry" or "Mewlips"), well represented in the Red Book. The "Lays of Beleriand" belongs to the epic tradition of the Eldar, the race that is said to be an incarnation of the artistic side of human nature ("...The Elves represent, as it were, the artistic, aesthetic and purely scientific aspects of human nature raised to a higher level than is actually seen in Men..."R.L.Purtill "J.R.R.Tolkien: Myth, Morality and Religion"), the tradition cherished through countless ages, with its refined intricacies of line and stanza, deep structures of hidden meaning and exquisite complexity of form. That genre of Breton lays of the twelfth-thirteenth century with their strong Celtic flavour was chosen by the author as a pattern for imitation probably because it produces the impression of being very ancient, rooted in the beginning of time, recalling a myth in its purest and authentic form; on the other hand this particular form suits the purpose of narrative poetry at the same time allowing to achieve intricate variations of syntax, melodiousness of verse, great multitudiousness and depth of meaning. That is surely an epic, but that of a people that differs a great deal from those who populated the mediaeval European countries. Hence the similarities and differences between those two types of lays. I would dare say that the "Lays of Beleriand" is an old form filled with the new context.

       The very title of Tolkien's book bears the word "lay". Actually, it is a collection of the author"s major poetic works, including a version of the "Lay of the Children of Hurin", the "Lay of leithian" and a few extracts from the poems early abandoned (the "Flight of the Noldoli", "lay of Earendil' and the "lay of the Fall of Gondolin"). The "Lay of the Children of Hurin" and the unfinished extracts are examples of the alliterative verse, very close to the Anglo-Saxon heritage. But to the "Lay of Leithian"the term "lay' in its original meaning seem to be perfectly applicable. This brilliant literary imitation bears a distinct imprint of the author's personality and his own vision of the world, which in no way spoils the impression of authenticity. That accounts for the fact that Professor Tolkien's friend C.S. lewis chose a witty and original way of commenting upon it: he contrived his criticism as a heavily academic commentary on the text, pretending to treat the Lay as an ancient anonymous work extant in many more or less corrupt manuscripts, overlaid by scribal perversions in antiquity and the learned argumentations of nineteenth-century scholars. The text does look as if it were indeed an authentic document, though obviously distinct from those that are; but it certainly loses nothing in comparison with the best examples of Breton lays as far as its literary value is concerned.

       One more approach that can be applied to the "Lays of Beleriand" is to treat it as an attempt of the resuscitation of the obscure genre that lived for a short period of time, restricted to Marie de France's creative activity and a few more or less successful imitations. As I have mentioned before, the form was not chosen at random. The octosyllabic couplet of romance suits wonderfully the epic tradition, "if one wishes to avoid monotony and sing-song in a very long poem". So what is the genre that professor Tolkien managed to resuscitate?

       The term "lay" is probably derived from the Irish "laid", "loŒd", which means "a song, first applied to the so-called "lais de Breton". We know the term mostly in connection with the name of Marie de France, the one who is considered to be the first to have devised this particular poetic form. As it is presented by marie de France, a lay may be defined as a rather longish poem, varying from a hundred to a thousand lines, which retells preferably some sentimental and romantic love-story. The dictionary definition would be:"a short lyric or narrative poem meant to be sung" (The Concise Oxford Dictionary). The gravity and elevation of tone that reign there, the choice of the subject, in many a case fantastic, aristocratic and courteous characters - these are the typical traits of this genre. As I have mentioned, Breton lays existed before and irrespective of Marie, but in this case we mean something different. At the beginning the term "Breton lays" related to musical compositions of a peculiar character, of which little is known except that they were also of Celtic origin and differed a great deal from the French musical tradition of the time. It was their "strangeness" and "novelty" that accounts for the great success of the Welsh and Breton musicians when they began to introduce these compositions at the seignorial courts of England and France. The texts that accompanied the music, if any, were most probably lyrical ones, pure folklore,the recitation of remarkable adventures. Most likely, they served as a source of inspiration for Marie de France, who decided to collect some of those bizarre tales and to retell them in verse. In this respect we can say that the genre of lay as such did not exist before Marie de France and therefore she must be considered a true creator of this literary form which sprang into being alongside with the genre of courteous romance.

       Marie gives us a summary information about these mysterious breton lays which did not survive to be known by us:

De cest conte qu'o‹ avez
Fu Guigemar li lais trovez,
Que hom fait en harpe et en rote;
Bon‰est a o‹r la note.("Guigemar")
(Of this tale that you haveheard they composed the lay of Guigemar. It is sung by heart accompanied by the harp, And the air is very beautiful). Breton lays are actually referred to more than once in Marie's works. In the "Lay of Eliduc" she makes a reference to "un molt ancien lai Breton" (The most ancient breton lay).

       As for the personality of Marie de France, she seems to be a rather shadowy figure. She is thought to be the author of three surviving works: the Lays, a collection of Fables and a didactic, supernatural tale called "St. Patric's Purgatory". But we know next to nothing about the author, except for what she wanted us to know about her - small notices and hints inserted here and there in her works. Even the name that she bears nowadays in the annals of the world literature is not strictly speaking her own -- it is but a happy coinage of Claude Fauchet who extracted it from one of Marie's poems where she gives her first name and that of her Motherland:"Marie ai nom, si sui de France" ("Marie is my name, I am of France" Epilogue to the collection of Fables). She was born in the second half of the twelfth century, the epoch of the high tide of the ancient French literature, which gave birth to the Arthurian poems and the romance of Tristan. French by origin, as Marie states in her verses, she seems to have passed all her life far from her native country, in the kingdom of England, at the court of the Plantagenets, that of Henry II, the sophisticated patron of literature, and his queen Eleanor de Poitou. At that time the new aristocratic society was being formed in France, with a more refined taste, evidently satiated with the eternal songs about Charlemagne and Guillaume d'Orange, and looking for a new literary orientation, seeking new plots to express the new aspirations and ideas. The lays of Marie de France answered this necessity. That is what explains the unparalleled success of these tales, or, as they were called since, "Breton lays".

       Twelve surviving lays are ascribed to Marie de France with a high degree of certainty. In addition to them there exist at least eight more anonymous breton lays (e.g."Melion", "Graelent", "Desiré" etc.) which conspicuously copy the plots of Marie, let alone a few "false lays" which bear this fashionable name but which are in fact but common fablios (dated by the end of the twelfth century). If there happen to exist any other examples of that genre, I have never come across any reference to them. And now, after approximately eight centuries of oblivion, there springs into being a new and unexpected example of the genre, which can be rightfully added to this list - the "lay of leithian'.

       Before coming over to point-by-point comparison, I had better add a few words about the sources of breton lays. Marie's special interest was the matter of Britain, Celtic or "Breton' stories. But her stories are far from being all of only Breton or celtic origin. Among Marie's poems one can distinguish some that evidently do not have anything to do with the Welsh tradition. She says herself that the adventure of the "Lai des deux amants" takes place in Pitres in Normandy. That is indeed a Norman legend, strictly localised at the C“te des deux amants near Pont de l'Arche on the Seine. The plots of "Lai d'Equitan" and "Lai de Milon" (the battle between a farther and a son not knowing each other) belong to the "migrant themes" and are fairly common in the world literature. french and Latin sources are also easily detectable. For instance, "Sir Orfeo" immediately brings to mind Ovid's "Metamorphoses" and the "Story of Orpheus and Eurydice"(even the name are suggestive). The "lay of ChiŠvrefueil" is but Marie's remaking of an episode of the French romance (though the Tristan romances are of Celtic origin, of course). We cannot say for sure whether Marie knew Welsh at all or whether she reset the stories of Celtic folklore using the written French sources. That is true that Marie used some Breton words, like "bisclavret" ("bleiz lavaret" (bret) - a speaking wolf) for a werewolf and "laostic' for a nightingale, but she most likely found these words already present in the titles of the lays. Whatever be her other sources, there is a small group of lays, probably of the most beautiful ones endowed with certain very peculiar qualities, which french literature had never known before (there are no traces of magic whatsoever in the French epics of "Roland"or "Chansons de geste"). These are characterised by the presence of fantastic and magical elements: fays, male and female ("Yonec", "Lanval"); shape-changers, men that change into birds or werewolves, women of marvelous beauty endowed with supernatural powers; animals that speak with human voices; inanimate objects that become alive. Strange, irresistible forces carry men away into a mysterious world, the entrance to which is jealously guarded against common mortals and whence none had ever returned. These elements are purely Celtic: Breton and Welsh; the same motives reappear in the Arthurian romances and actually all of them are present in the "Lays of Beleriand", even if treated somewhat differently and given a new interpretation. Since further on in my comparisons I shall deal mostly with this particular group of lays, it seems to be right to lay a special stress on the dominance of the matter of Britain in both works inquestion.

       The first point that i would like to make a few remarks on, is the problem of verisimilitude. Whatever be the contents of epics and folklore texts, the most alluring quality of theirs is that the events depicted in them are presented as objective reality. The spell cast by myths and stories of marvel leads to a strong, more or less permanent state of the secondary belief. Marie states many a time that Breton lays are meant to commemorate some remarkable adventure - a true adventure that she has heard of:

Ne dutai pas, bien le saveie,
Ke pur remambrance les firent
Des aventures k'il oirent
Cil ki primes les comencierent.(The Prologue)
(I have no doubt that those Who were the first to compose these lays Created them to keep rememrance Of the adventures that they had heard of.)

       Marie repeats more than once that she wants to retell "an adventure", that is to say, a story, a singular event that she treats as a real one:

Les contes que je sai verais...("Guigemar" 19)

       The author means to say that she did not invent these stories herself; they are true because they are authenticized by the tradition. The same way of presentation, the striving for verisimilitude is found in anonymous lays:

Of adventures that did once befall
Some I can tell you, but not all. ("Sir Orfeo" 21-22)

Harpers in Britain in after time
these marvels heard, and in their rhyme
a lay they made of fair delight...(ibid. 597-9)

       this treatment of legendary motives as true, if distant events is very close to Tolkien's conception of the so-called Faerian or Elvish drama, the possibility of entering bodily into the Secondary World, once it is constructed convincingly enough. His own work is in perfect concordance with this conception: it rings absolutely true both to those within the Secondary World (it would be enough to remember an episode from the "Lord of the Rings", Aragorn telling Frodo and the rest the story of Beren and Lúthien) as an ancient Eldarin epic, and to the readers of the book entitled the "Lays of Beleriand", Unwin Paperbacks. This feeling of authenticity is achieved through the lay being part of an integral system which is accepted as objected reality itself, and through the author's invariable gravity of tone which does not admit of any condescending make-belief. "To create the secondary belief in the reader...there must be no break in the mood, no laughing at the magic...This seriousness about the work must be in the writer before it can be in the reader, and that is one reason why Tolkien speaks of his stories as if they were discovered rather than invented..." breton lays are authenticized by their antiquity and the age-long tradition; the "Lays of Beleriand", a myth in its purest in most perfect form, is true because the author willed so.

       The classification of lays has always embarrassed the critics because of the diversity of the plots and vagueness of the points of comparisons.At the beginning of "Sir Orfeo" lays are classified according to the thematic principle:

Some are of weal and some of woe,
and some do joy and gladness know;
in some are guile and treachery told,
in some the deeds that chanced of old,
some are of jests and ribaldry,
and some are tales of Faery.
Of all the things that men may heed,
'tis most of love they sing indeed. ("Sir Orfeo" 5-12)

       In case of Marie we can say that her twelve lays embrace all the traditional situations of a love-story: children, separated from their parents, tragic love, a guilty woman, a jealous husband, etc. The same is true about anonymous lays, which do not go beyond the limits set by Marie; indeed, the difference lies in their treatment of the subject rather than the subject itself. One can roughly subdivide lays into realistic and supernatural, the latter including "Bisclavret", "Guigemar", "Lanval" and "Yonec"(Marie de France), "Tydorel", "Sir Orfeo", "Graelent" etc (anonymous lays). later on I shall refer mostly to these, since Tolkien's Lay certainly pertains to this particular group. Magical or Faery motives are really strong in both, pervading the plot and subduing the characters; many an element of a fairy-story can be found in the Lay of Leithian, only what is treated as a folklore tradition and an embellishment in Breton lays, acquires a global status of mythopoeia in the "Lay of Leithian".

       As for the size, the original breton lays vary from a hundred to a thousand lines. For instance, the shortest one, "ChiŠfrefueil" numbers 118 lines, while "Eliduc' is as long as 1184. These limits seem to be a proper frame for a short, independent love-story episode, the complexity of the peripetias and the abundance of details dictating the required number of lines. But the "Lay of Leithian" goes beyond this limit considerably - it was written up to 4223 lines, but the work being unfinished, nobody knows what its volume might have been, had the author completed it. The matter is, that the "Lay of Leithian" is not merely a love-story (being that as well) or a tale of an adventure, of a heroic quest; the narration is not limited to a separate episode, but embraces a complicated chain of events, flashbacks and references to other legends, and consequently demands a more voluminous poetic form. Breton lays are self-centered, but there is a profound picture of the world behind the "Lay of Leithian", the mythopoeic creation - hence the difference in size.There are no inner division within the compositive structure of breton lays; the pieces of the whole collection of twelve are not interrelated; each has a plot of its own. The "lay of Leithian" is a sequence of 14 Cantos, each canto marking a new stage in the development of the events. The basic narrative unit is the verse paragraph (cf. "laisse" in the "Song of Roland"); each successive paragraph moving the action slightly forward. Yet each is a detached unit making a new start. This composition which strongly reminds of the Chansons de Geste, suggests a blending of the two genres: that of the lay and that of the gest, which is indeed reflected in the full title of the Lay:"The GEST of BEREN son of BARAHIR and LUTIEN the FAY called TINUVIEL the NIGHTINGALE or the LAY OF LEITHIAN, Release from Bondage". Both terms employes together presuppose an intricate combination of the elements typical for these two distinct genres.

       The first thing to attract a reader's attention is, probably, the title of a particular work of art. In Marie's lays, as well as in anonymous ones it is almost always a proper name of the protagonist ("Frˆne", "Yonec", "Lanval", "Sir Orfeo") or an appellation that bears a clear reference to the nameless characters ("Deux Amants"). In a few cases it might be a denomination charged with the poetic and symbolic value ("Laostic", "ChiŠvrefeuille"), which is, nevertheless, easily interpreted from the contents (see below). The title of the "Lay of Leithian" is not that transparent at all, being loaded with the symbolic meaning which admits of different readings. The word "Leithian", first of all, is given in the Eldarin language, i.e. in the language spoken by the characters of the Lay. Marie recurs to the same device, as a matter of fact, using Breton words for her titles to prove the authenticity of the lays; hence the werewolf becomes "bisclavret" and the nightingale "laostic". The "Lay of Leithian" title is straightaway translated into English as "Release from Bondage". Indeed, in the "Etymologies" ("Lost Road" p.368) we find "lheitho" - to release, set free; and "lheithian"- release, freeing. So the meaning is more or less clear, but we are left to choose among various applications that ca be seen in the poem. Is it the burden of the oath rashly given by beren to King Thingol that the title refers to - and his being finally set free of the oath by achieving his quest? Actually Beren is not the only person in the Lay to bear the consequence of pledging his word; many a person besides him is bound by some dreadful pledge to be set free in the long run - be it by means of death, as in case with Finrod. Or is it the magical jewel, the Silmaril, that is finally released from the darkness of Angband and the bonds of the iron crown? Or should we look for a deeper philosophic interpretation: the Elves are bound forever to this world "never to leave it so long as it lasts, for its life is theirs" ("Silmarillion" p.326), but Men are endowed with the gift to escape and leave the world, "for they are not bound to it in hope or in weariness" (ibid.). Lúthien , being of the immortal race of the Firstborn, becomes sundered from her people and chooses to share the fate of men, thus being released from the bondage of immortality, the burden of which becomes unbearable for those who possess it. The many-dimensional contextual structure of the Lay, the ambiguity of meaning leaving room for various interpretations can certainly be ascribed to the undeniable merits of this poetical work, as well as other works of the author in question.

       The toponymy and onomastics of the twelve lays of Marie confirm the assertions concerning the matter of Britain being the source of Breton lays. The geography takes us to Great Britain or the Armorican Brittany. The lays make mention of the country of Líon ("Guigemar", 30), saint-Malo ("Laostic"), Exeter ("Eliduc" 91), Cornwall ("Lanval" 435), Wales ("Milon"183). The toponymy takes us invincibly to the Celtic domain:
Vers Exestré, en cel pa‹s manoit uns hom molt poéstie...("Eliduc" 91-92).

A cardeil sejornait li roi
Artur, li preuz et li cortoispor
les escoz et por les Pis
Qui destruioient le pais,
En la terre de Logre entroient
Et molt sovent la damajoient -
A la Pentecoste en este,
I avoit li rois sejorné. ("Lanval")
(In Cardeil established his court Arthur, the valiant and courteous king, For the Scots and Picts Ravaged the country,Invading the land of Loengre And most often doing damage to it. So in Pentec“te in summer Abode the king.).

Sir Orfeo was a king of old,
in England lordship high did hold...("Sir Orfeo" 25-26)

       the vast usage of toponyms is a device not to be found in the folklore tradition, where the pkace of action in most cases remains obscure, being substituted by a cliché "once upon a time in a distant country". In breton lays the toponyms indicate the source of the legend on the one hand, and on the other hand help to intensify the impression of authenticity. Some of the toponyms are even charged with a certain historic significance, as in the extract about King Arthur, cited above. Still this significance is more than vague. The names mentioned are more an embellishment than a true geographic reference; the meaning of all those lands of Wales and Saint-Malo is somewhat close to "a distant country of old".

       The same is true about anthroponymy. in some cases the characters still remain anonymous ("Deux Amants"), which is typical for the folklore tradition. But many a person bears a name of his own, and a great deal of these names are purely Celtic, and some are charged with a vague historical significance. "Graelent", for instance, is a distorted name of a legendary king of Brittany (Gradlon or Grazlon). The names like "Yonec", "Muldumarec", "Guildeluec" are Breton. The vegetable names like "Frˆne" and "Coudre" certainly root in the folklore tradition, but their symbolic meaning, if there be any, is hard to perceive. There would be no reason whatsoever to call the heroine "Frˆne', but for the fact that she was found under an ash-tree ("frˆne" in French); there is still less reason to call her twin-sister "Coudre" (a hazel-tree), if not for the sake of making a hint to their kinship, which for a time is concealed from both. If I am not mistaken, none of the names mentioned in Breton lays are tokrn-names. Sometimes they seem to be chosen just for being exotic, and therefore hardly fit the context, as in case with Sir Orfeo (bearing distinct traits of the legendary Orfeus), whose "father of king Pluto came, his mother- of Juno", and who, nevertheless, reigns in England with Heurodic (Eurydice) his wife. That leads us to the conclusion that the proper names employed in Breton lays (this being a significant move forward from the anonymity of the folklore tradition) are mostly meaningless, bear no implication whatsoever and are as much an embellishment as the toponyms.

       It is far from being so with the "Lay of Leithian". This work roots in the secondary world created by Tolkien with great precision as part of the creative activity of the Eldar, and as such is bound to have the toponymy and anthroponymy of its own. The place-names and proper-names employed in it with far greater exactness than in breton lays, take us immediately to the realm of Beleriand, as those used by Marie convey us to the Celtic domain. They are not just fanciful coinages, they are 1) meaningful words originating from the languages of beleriand, put down by Tolkien (Tolkien himself said once that his "stories were made rather to provide a world for the language than the reverse", to give a frame to the "invented" speech. Thus the names should be regarded as part of a complicated, professionally devised linguistic system (and require a linguistic approach if the work is translated into another language; see Chapter 2) 2) they are not taken at random to embellish the narration, but there is always a strict correspondence between the notion and the name. In the "lay of Eliduc", for instance, the action is referred to exeter - but there are no details indicating this particular region, there is nothing whatsoever, that binds the action to this particular place; it could have been Nantes or Cornwall just as well. In the "Lay of Beleriand" the place of action is of vital importance: if this or that episode is bound to, let us say, Menegroth, it should be none other than Menegroth; neither Nargothrond nor Gondolin would do. 3) The geography and anthroponymy of the "lay of Leithian" are not self-centered, they are part of a system and therefore correlate with other Tolkien's works, with the "Silmarillion" first and foremost, the story of Beren and Lúthien being one of its central episodes, set in verse in the lay. Since the mythopoeic process included several stages, and the conception given in the "Silmarillion" underwent considerable changes, so did the toponymy of the Lay as we can perceive from the most informative and exhaustive commentaries of Christopher Tolkien to each canto; so we should take into concideration the traces of many a concept blended in this particular work.

       The onomastics of the Lay can be roughly subdivided into "place-names", "names of persons and peoples" and "things" (after the three sections of the "Guide to the Names"). Now what are the main place-names of this particular work? The very first Canto provides us with a brief geographical review, where the main regions to be mentioned in the course of the narration are outlined:

They dwelt amid Beleriand,
while Elfin power yet held the land,
in the woven woods of Doriath...
To North there lay the Land of Dread'
Whence only evil pathways led
o'er hills of shadow bleak and cold
or Taur-na-Fuin's hauntedhold...
to South the wide earth unexplored;
to West the ancient Ocean roared...
to East in peaks of blue were piled
the mountains of the Outer World...
beyond the tangled woodland shade...(41-61)

       Bearing in mind the information given here, the whole map can easily be reconstructed: the dreadful Taur-na-Fuin and Anfauglith with Thangorodrim in the North, the Great Sea of belegaer in the West, the Blue Mountains (Ered Luin) further to the East, and in-between the forest of Nan Elmoth. The geographical position of Doriath is given with great precision - there are not too many names in the first Canto, but by mere descriptions we can restore a missing toponym. And these are not just abstract names - at the end of the first Canto we already know what to expect of them. The North is of course the citadel of Evil, the source of discord and disharmony which are to trouble the happy equilibrium of Beleriand. The well-protected Doriath is, on the contrary, the incarnation of beauty and tranquility - and of magical powers to contest the former. Further on there will emerge other geographical entities: the beleagered Dorthonion (not actually named as such, but, again, easily recognisable), the Elfin realm of Nargothrond, the horrible Wisard's Isle. There are rivers and arbitraries, mountain-chains and forests, and all of them are to be treated as objective reality. On the other hand, there are place-names that are somewhat apart from the real world: in Marie's lays it is the island of Avallon (sic!). In the Lay the Other World is incarnated in the notion of Valinor, the deathless land of the Gods (Valar). All the place-names of the Lay are meaningful words, that is, all of them comprise a description of the notion they stand for: "Doriath" - the Land of Fence (Dor Iƒth), that is, protected by the Girdle of Melian; "Taur-na-Fuin" - the Forest of Gloom (Noldorin); Angband - the Iron Prison (ang+band, Sindarin); "Nargothrond"- River Under Veil (esgal "screen" + duin "river", Ilkorin). As we can see, all the languages of Beleriand are represented in the place-names and can easily be distinguished judging by the phonetic structure of the word. Some of the names are translated in the text, for instance, the first Canto has "Thousand caves" for Menegroth; the meaning of the others is impossible to deduce using the Lay only - one has to refer to other sources(the most exhaustive one being the "Etymologies" in the "Lost Road"); but all of them are part of that system which we have defined as the Eldarin world.

       A question might therefore arise, if these geographical entities correlate in any way with those of the "real world"? Are there any parallels between Beleriand and any part of theearth that we know? Only two hints can be drawn from the commentaries. The name "Broceliand" appears in manuscript A among other possible names for the land jotted down - to be replaced by "Beleriand" in the original version. Christopher believes that comes from the famous Forest of broceliande in Brittany of the Arthurian legends - that does seem to bridge the gap between the Eldarin and Celtic epics. and one more reference, no less vague, might be observed. In the "History of Eriol" of Aelfwine ("Lost Tales" 2, p.312) there are the following words: "There was a land called England and it was an island of the West...All that land the Elves name Lúthien and and do so yet." In Aelfwine 2 the name "leithian" is pencilled above, and England is still "Leithien" in the 1930 version of the "Silmarillion". we cannot say whether there is any connection at all between Leithian=England and "Release of Bondage" - can it be that one of the possible interpretations of the title would be the "Lay of England" and Beleriand becomes part of the european continent?

       What has been said about the toponymy, is perfectly true about personal names employed in the narrative.these are again meaningful words derived from the Eldarin languages. These are speaking names giving away certain information about their bearers. The following examples will certainly suffice: "Lúthien" (Noldorin "lh–th" - spell, "lhútha" - to enchant), hence "Enchantress"; "Thingol" - the Sindarized form of Quenya "sinde"- grey + "collo" - cloak, hence "Grey Cloak"; "Beren" - from Exilic Noldorin "beren" - bold, "bertho" - dare; "Finrod' - ON "phinde" - skill + "rauto" - metal, hence "Skilled in Metalwork"; the same root is is present in "Fingolfin" (+ ngolfine - magic skill); "Felagund" - the Dwarfish name of Finrod ("felak-gundu" - cave-hewer). The same is true about animalistic names: "Húan"- from Quenya "huan, húnen" - hound; Carcharoth - from "carch" - tooth, fang. Some names are real puns to be solved: the name of Thuringwethil, the hideous bat, translated as "she of hidden shadow", when used by Lúthien , might hint at her "cloak of shadow". There are names which are really hard to interpret. The disputable etymology of the name of Melkor, as a matter of fact, seems to be so discussion-provoking, that I shall allow myself a short digression. There have been attempts to interpret the name in question in many a controversial way, for the conventional etymology does seem to be rather vague.My estimated opponent (N.V.) offered the following approach: MEL (love) + KÒR (globe); which on the whole makes "The One Who Loves the World", claiming that professor Tolkien's translation "He who arises in Might" is altogether biased and wrong. Let alone that this statement strongly contradicts the contents, I would permit myself to disagree with it on purely linguistic grounds. The stem MEL, it seems to me, bears a passive meaning rather than active, denoting an object of love rather than the agent of it, Other words containing the same stem appear toprove that. MELIAN definitely means "Beloved by everybody", "enjoying universal love" rather than "She who loves everybody" (irrespective of anything); the word "melda" stands for "beloved", not "lover". To convey the meaning of disinterested love generated by the person in question a special suffix is used, as it is surely known to my worthy opponent, the one being NDIL/NIL, as in Eärnil, Valandil etc. Hence the name in question ought to be interpreted not as "He who loves the world", but as "He who is beloved by the world"(which is hardly the case). As for the element KÒR, which my worthy opponent correlates with the "world" since it stands for "round, globed", the researcher has as many reasons to correlate it with the material universe, as with, let us say, an apple or a Palantir, both possessing the same spherical form. I would offer an altogether different etymology, which seems to make sense: MIL(IK) (from Quenya "milme" - desire, greed; "maile" - lust) + ORO (up, rise, high, cf. Anaróre - sunrise); hence MELKOR (*Mailik¸) - "The One Who Arises in Lust", which perfectly suits the character in question. The interpretation given by Professor Tolkien himself comes very close to this, if we admit that the English word "lust" seems to correlate with the word "strength" (might). The original meaning is still preserved in word-combinations like "a lusty blow"(=a mighty blow). I do admit that this name might lead to different interpretations; but the stems seem to prompt this one, moreover it seems to suit the context.

       In addition to the names proper, there are a few cases of nicknames as well, which is typical for the Eldarin tradition. It was customary for a person to have a name or two names given by parents ("essi"), and to acquire an "after-name" ("epessë), not "necessarily given by his own kin, a nickname, mostly given as a title of admiration and honour; and an epessë might become the name generally recognised in later song and history" ("Unfinished Tales" p.266). These nicknames remind us most strongly of the Irish sagas. Lúthien was first called "Tinúviel" by Beren, that is "Nightingale", "for he knew no other name for her" ("Silmarillion"p.199.); and this aftername has been used since alongside with her proper name; it is even mentioned in the title. Finrod, the ruler of nargothrond, goes by his Dwarfish nickname, "Felagund", "the hewer of caves", mostly in the text of the Lay. Sometimes it does not really matter by what name the person goes, sometimes the choice of name is really significant. The people of nargothrond may use both names with equal frequency, but the Orcs, mentioning Finrod, are likely to use the name in the Dwarfish language, rather than pronounce anything in Sindarin.

       While the concept of the secondary world described in the Lay was being created, the anthroponyms underwent considerable changes, acquiring a new meaning with the story itself. In Manuscript A, for instance, the role of Beren is played by Maglor, son of Egnor (later it became the name of the third son of Fëanor); and in the "Lay of the Children of Húrin" the son of Egnor was an Elf;

...who once of old
fellowship had vowed and friendly love
Elf with mortal, even Egnor's son
with Húrin of Hithlum...

       probably originally the Lay was devised as a mere love-story of the two Elves, later on being filled with the new, much more profound significance as it centered in the symbolic union of the two distinct races, personified in a mortal and an Elfin maiden, in the merging of the two themes of the "two Kindreds which were made by Ilúvatar to dwell in Arda" ("Silmarillion" p.227.), which reaches its climax in Lúthien's song before Mandos. in the final versions Beren/Maglor and Barahir/egnor are explicitly Men (Barahir "once the Prince of Men was born") and, consequently, in Canto 3 the name "Maglor" is duly given to the second greatest singer of Elfiness. As for Lúthien , in the drafts for Canto 1 she was called Melilot, and her description differs greatly from the traditional version: the daughter of Thingol is represented blue-eyed and golden-haired. Actually, all these confusing name-shifts and concept-shifts affect Canto 1 most drastically the one which, being an introductory part, is pretty abstract. It has been observed by many a person, that Canto 1 resembles very much a traditional folklore fairy-tale or ballad beginning: the information that it contains can be brought to the following: there lived a mighty king and he had an extraordinaryly beautiful daughter, whom he valued above all his treasures; and then there follow the detailed descriptions of what he had, where he lived and what this of that of his possessions looked like. That part bears very few individual traits so far which could classify it as an "Eldarin epic", the conventional beginning could have fit any folklore tale. To my point of view all that suggests that the lay was started as an independant work, an attempt at a poetic imitation, bearing no reference to the "Silmarillion" at all. But in the course of its development it was very soon filled with the new meaning and became part of the mythological system of Arda and merged with the central story of the "Silmarillion".

       Like in Breton lays, the proper names in the "Lay of Leithian" are to such an extent meaningful narration units, that they admit of certain linguistic playing with them. They can be devised as puns to mislead the interlocutor, as in case with Lúthien using the name of Thuringwethil; they may undergo deliberate transformations much to the same purpose:

Nereb and Dungalef and warriors ten -
So we are called...

       say Felagund and Beren, disguised as Orcs ("No doubt Thû' s ponderings on the matter were too subtle", - Christopher Tolkien comments on this quite transparent device.) Nothing like that could be possible in Marie's lays since names have very little weight in the development of the plot there.

       In the "Lay of leithian" names are not the prerogative of living beings only. Personification of inanimate objects, very typical for epics in general and those with strong Faery tendencies in particular, endows certain objects of exceeding significance with names of their own. Now we do not come across this phenomenon in Breton lays, though personification is not totally excluded from them. As for the "Lay of Leithian", proper names are given to trees: we have "Hirilorn, the beechen queen", a huge beech, which became a prison for Lúthien ; actually, it acquires the gender together with the name, for it is constantly referred to as "she". In Canto 7 the Trees of Valinor are mentioned:

...where glingal once had bloomed with gold
and Belthil bore its silver flowers...

       which are also known as Telperion and Laurelin in the "Silmarillion" version. Yhey are certainly more than just plants, they acquire a status of magical, lightsome beings of a totally different race, thus in connection with them the verb "to slay", not "to hew" is used. Another typical example will be grond, "the hammer of the underworld", the terrible weapon of morgoth in his battle with Fingolfin. It is not at all unusual for epic characters to name their weaponry (cf. "The Song of Roland", but there is no such instance in breton lays. Some object-names of the "Lay of leithian" have not been interpreted yet, and it seems hardly possible to find a link between a name and the events of the past; for no evident reason the constellation traditionally called the Sicle of the Gods (Valacirca) bears the name of Burning Briar in this text, which is hard to account for (line 377). Just like in real life: some names seem to be oddly transparent, some leave room for further speculations.

       Breton lays are characterized by the simplicity of structure and scarcity of characters. The "episodical' nature of lays does not allow any digression from the plot. The action develops really quickly - hence the comparatively small volume of each lay. They do not tell us in any case about the characters' youth or their ancestry. The action commences at a certain starting-point, moves on smoothly through climax up to the denoument, and breaks off at that point. Whatever happened outside the boundaries of that period, remains unknown. There is nothing to break the chronological succession of the events, the narration is linear, so to speak. Flashbacks are exceptional, if they do occur, it is only to remind of the past that we know and the character does not (Frˆne, lines 296-302). The shorter lays are nothing more than an episode. The ampler ones seem to present a binary structure. E.g. Bisclavret tells his secret to his wife - she commits a betrayal (the first part), then the retribution follows (the second part). Her lover's death is a great tragedy for the woman in "Yonec"; the second part brings consolation and retribution again.

       The abundancy of characters involved in the events, including numerous supporting roles; lengthy historical digressions and cases of retrospection in the "Lay of Leithian" build up a many-dimensional narration based upon a complicated compositional frameworks; in this respect the Lay is much closer to ancient epics than to the graceful and somewhat shallow Breton lays. The author often recurs to flashbacks which reproduce vivid pictures of the past and serve as a link between the legend of Beren and Lúthien and Beleriandic history on the whole. Many a Canto starts witha digression into the depths of history, meanwhile the events of the past ages have something in common with the events of this or that particular Canto; certain parallels are brought to light, certain recurrence of things to happen; history seems to repeat itself, only each time at a new level; and the flashbacks become a link between the past and the developments of different ages echo each other. Canto 3, devoted to the first encounter of Beren and Lúthien starts with a flashback which goes back as far as the First Age: the westward journey of the Elves, Elwë (Thingol) being enchanted in the forest of Nan Elmoth by Melian the Maia who had left "the gardens of Gods', and their founding the kingdom of Doriath in the Middle-earth. In this Canto this is but an anticipation of one of the central events of the story; the similar meeting of Lúthien, their child, "half elven-fair and half-divine" with a mortal man. Actually, here the principle of thrice repeated action can be observed: many years will pass before the story repeats itself once again, with the new characters: Arwen, the descendant of Beren and Lúthien and Aragorn, isildur's heir. Canto 6, which dwells on beren's coming to Nargothrond to seek aid in his quest starts with a recital of the events of long ago: the Two Trees of Valinor being slain by Morgoth, the Silmarils being stolen and Fëanor and his sons swearing their binding oath. Then follows the account of the Battle of the Sudden Flame, in which Barahir came to Finrod's aid and the latter swore "an oath of friendship to his kin and seed, of love and succour in time of need'; without which it is impossible to understand the further course of events. The central episode of this particular part is the Oath, no doubt - sworn long ago, it is repeated almost in the same words in the texture of the narration by Celegorm and Curufin; again the present echoes the past. Canto 11 (the disguising of Beren and Lúthien and their journey to Angband) opens with a flashback of the Battle of the Sudden Flame, mentioned earlier in the text; when the green and grassy plain was scorched and devastated (Dor-na-Fauglith) - this dreary landscape spreads before Beren as he approaches Thangorodrim. Canto 12 starts with the account of the battle between Fingolfin and Morgoth:

Yet Orcs would after laughing tell
Of the duel at the gates of hell...

       Again, this episode of the remote past anticipates the future: in the next Canto the horrible owner of Thangorodrim is challenged again - but this time to be defeated, by two adversaries, who are certainly inferior to him in strength, as was Fingolfin, - an Elfin maid and a mortal man. The flashbacks seem to flow smoothly one into the other, thus the narration moves forvard at two different levels, and the whole history of the Elder Days is interwoven into the episode of Beren and Lúthien . The falshbacks of that sort break the narrative; others are entwined with the thoughts and words of the characters themselves. The contest of the songs of Power fought by Finrod and Thû/Sauron recalls the events of long ago almost in the visual form; the visions of beauty and blissbreak against gloomy pictures of evil and violence;

Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
singing afar in Nargothrond,
the sighing of the sea beyond,
beyond the western world, on sand,
on sand of pearls in Elvenland.
Then the gloom gathered: darkness growing
in Valinor, the red blood flowing
besides the sea, where Gnomes slew
the Foamriders, and stealing drew
their white ships with their white sails
from lamplit heavens...(p.231).

       Flashbacks and flashforwards occur in Lúthien's magic song of growth; she foresees the events which are still to come:

All the names of things
tallest and longest on earth she sings...
the chain Angainor that ere Doom
for Morgoth shall by Gods be wrought
of steel and torment...(p.205)

       In addition to flashbacks the narration abounds in allusions and referenceswhich are impossible to decipher from the text of theLay and appeal to our background knowledge. Many a mythological figure is mentioned here and there: Uinen, the Lady of the Sea (line 1499), Oromë /Tavros (2242), Manwë and Varda (cf. Valaquenta); the "sylphine maidens of the Air (4077, cf. "Lost Tales 1". When Dairon the singer is introduced for the first time, his skill in music is compared to that of the other superior performers in a digressive passage:

Such players have there only been
thrice in all Elfiness, I ween:
Tinfang Gelion, who still the moon
enchants on summer nights of June...
Maglor whose voice is like the sea...(p.174)

       While the reference to Maglor requires certain background knowledge based on the "Silmarillion", Tinfang Gelion is not that easy to place. All these digressions, allusions, vague hints and references add to the feeling of immence profundity of this particular story as part of an immesurably greater, harmonious, many-dimensional whole. Actually, here and there there are slight discrepances between "historical flashbacks" and the traditional history as it is. For instance, in Canto 3 the Elves went across the sea to Valinor at the end of the Great journey in a fleet of ships, which disagrees with the version of an island-ship. But these discrepancies do not mar the impression of everything being exceptionally real; the mere existence of slightly different versions more or less distorted or incomplete produces the impression of history merging with myth - or myth merging with history.

       Unlike Breton lays the "Lay of Leithian" is strongly retrospective, which is not in perfect harmony with the law of the genre. The course of narration might be brokenby the character's reflecting upon what happened much earlier. A most typical example of this retrospective flashback is found in lines 563-92, when, on seeing Lúthien, Beren immediately forgets everything he had to go through during his journey to Doriath. A detailed enumeration of what he forgets, as long as 34 lines, follows. On this lewis commentsin the following way:"The artificial insertion of Beren's journey in its present place - where it appears as retrospect not as direct narrative, though defensible, belongs to a kind of art more sophisticated than that of the Geste: it is just such a transposition as a late Broceliandic literary redactorwould make under the influence of the classical epic" ("Lays of Beleriand" p.322.).

       Quick changes of perspective give certain profundity to the recitation in the ampler Breton lays (in "Eliduc' e.g. the stress is shifted from one character to the other more than once: here the principal part is played by Eliduc, here by guilliadon, there by Guildeluec). In the "Lay of Leithian' these shifts are still clearer. First there are two separate lines; the forst one roots in Doriath (Lúthien), the other one in Dorthonion (Beren), which merge into one in Canto 3. Further on they break off again and join each other more than once, they branch and diverge, other lines are woven into the narrative texture; the "Elvish" lines of kings and rulers frame the only "human" line of Beren - to be interwoven finally into one theme in Lúthien's song before Mandos, but, unfortunately, the narrative breaks off long before that.

       The problems dealt with in Breton lays are mostly those embodied in the "code of courteous love', though the interpretation varies, and so does the framing. The notion of love in Marie's interpretation tends to be more humane in comparison with that of the courteous romance. The image of a "belle dame sans merci" who is to be worshipped at a proper distance is replaced by a totally different ideal - a woman tender, loving and lovable, true to the choice of her heart. Hence the traditional code of love undergoes certain changes, and each separate lay is to prove and illustrate some simple truth ar assertion on which the relationship between a knight and his lady ought to be based. True love must not break the vow of secrecy (cf. "When made public, love rarely endures" The Rules of Courtly Love, 12 century), as in "Lanval". Jealousy destroys love, therefore love should remain a secret ("Yonec", "Deux Amants"). An infidel wife, who has no apparent reasons for infidelity, deserve severe punishment ("Bisclavret"), but the one whose infidelity is well-grounded, is totally acquitted and approved of ("Yonec"). Cf. "Marriage is no real excuse for not loving" ("The Rules of Courtly Love"). The framing whithin which these postulates are proves are not too intricate: a young woman, unhappily married, two lovers; undergoing a separation, a jealous husband etc. In spite of the diversity of the situations the notion of adventure is fundamental, though in Breton lays the motive of any quest is always love:

Of all the thingsthat men may heed
'tis most of love they sing indeed. ("Sir Orfeo").

       Unlike the epic quests, where many a theme is interwoven: a quest as service to God, a means of self-assertion and attaining spiritual perfection, a means of preserving and proving certain universal values; a quest for the woman is somewhere in the background if any. There is also a great difference between a quest in the Arthurian novels and Breton lays. In the former an adventure is something external, it exists irrespective of the character, waiting for anyone brave enough to undertake it. If there is a knight to fight, it does not matter who his future antagonist will be - anyone who happens to pass by will do. Neither does it matter for the protagonist whom to confront- it is an adventure for the adventure's sake. In Marie's lays it is not so - a quest is not self-sufficient, it is always a means to achieve some other goal. The adventure invades the protagonist's life as something meant only for him, "confronts him as a warning, as a portent, as his doom" (C.Conigliani, after "Essays on history of the West-european literature" A.A.Smirnov.). But,again, the quest is strictly limited within the domain of love. The declaration of one's love, the conquest of the fair lady's heart, an assigned task hard to perform - these are the elements typical for the quest in Breton lays. Tyolet has to bring a white hoof of a deer guarded by seven lions in order to gain the girl he loves and the realm as well ("Tyolet"). A youth has to carry the girl in his arms up to the summit of a steep hill without rest in order to be able to marry her ("Deux Amants"). These quest bear no inner significance whatsoever, they are just a self-sufficient task hard to perform, none of them being essential for the fates of the world. They exist only as long as the two lovers could overcome the difficulties and be joined at last, so that they could prove themselves worthy of each other. In the "Lay of Leithian', though the motive of love being gained at a high cost is one of the leading ones, the old form is filled with a new meaning. the quest is no longer external and incidental, as in Malory's writings; it is again "a warning, a portent and the doom", but it is not the story of the twolovers that the legend centers upon. Through their love the protagonists become "bearers of Fate", theydonot choose their quest, but, on the contrary, the quest chooses them, as it has been written down and foretold. Beren, a mortal man, was chosen to achieve the quest of the Silmaril long before the father of his father came into the world:"One of Men, even of Bëor's house, shall indeed come, and the Girdle of Melian shall not restrain him, for doom...shall send him; and the songs that shall spring from that coming shall endure when all Middle-earth is changed" ("Silmarillion" p.172.). It is not that the quest is a means for the two lovers to be united - the two lovers seem to come into the world and meet each other with the sole purpose to achieve this quest. The accents are shifted from the individual to the universal, for within the Silmarils "the fates of Arda, earth, sea and air lay locked" (ibid.p.73.). The desperate labours of the two against all the adversities acquire the universal symbolic meaning of the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. on the cosmological scale the love-story is important only so far as it corresponds to the purpose of Fate, as a powerful impetus to compel the protagonists to act as it is expected of them.

       The problems of the 'Lay of Leithian" are far deeper and more abstract than those of Breton lays of somewhat utilitarian nature; they are intricately interrelated with the subjects of philosophic disputes of all ages and nations; to understand the meaning and purpose of Being. The Lay admits of different reading (so do all the writings of the same author); it can be enjoyed for the sake of the adventure only, but surely the adventure is not the principal thing, but the way to prove certain philosophic assertions and resolve certain dilemmas. Its real theme is surely Death and Immortality, the same as in the "Lord of the Rings", "the mystery of the love of the world in the hearts of a race doomed to leave and seemingly lose it; the anguish in the heart of a race "doomed" not to leave it until the whole evil-aroused story is complete", according to Tolkien. The conflict of Death and the desire for deathlessness seems to cast its shade upon all other dilemmas of the Lay: pre-determination as opposed to free will, the righteousness and guilt in accepting (or desiring for) a doom set for a different race; the problem of escape and betrayal in "race-changing", the problem of assuming responsibility for oneself as well as for the others and the brink that separates responsibility from conscious domination of others' wills.And, of course, the problem of interrelation between this world and that of Faery.

       The magical and folklore motives permeate the anonymous breton lays and those of Marie, but the nature of the relationship between the "real" and "supernatural"beings is simplified to the utmost and again limited to the domain of love. The motive of a mortal falling in love with a supernatural being of the other World is fairly frequent in folklore (cf. "Tamline" and "Thomas the Rymer"). The Other World being can be a woman who appears as a fay ("Guingamor", "Graelent", "Lanval") or a man ("Tydorel", "Sir Orfeo", "Yonec"). The love between the two must remain a secret; absolute, even religious silence is required of Lanval, Graelent, Desiré - once the banis broken, the fay disappears. In "Tydorel" the queen is requested never to ask questions about the fairy she meets and it is precised that their love will last until they are seen together. Once a stranger sees them embraced, the supernatural being disappears, but the one who saw them falls ill and dies the next day at the same hour that he entered the queen's chamber. These are mysteries that the mortal has no right to know.

       In the "Lay of Leithian" Lúthien and Melian her mother are often called 'fays", but in this context the meaning is somewhat different from that of Breton lays. Who is to beregarded as a supernatural being in the world of Beleriand - where Elvish and human realms exist side by side and the interrelation between them is that of two distinct, but equally real races; they provide each other with military aid at times of need, they act as allies against a coomon enemy, study eachother's lore and trade to mutual profit. To a Beleriandic human an Elvish archer would seem as real a being as, say, a representative of a neighbouring country for us. 'Tis true, in many ways the Elves are superior to the humans, but this fact does not make them more ephemeral or provides sufficient grounds to doubt their very existence. History knows several intermarriages 9it is strange that, unlike in breton lays, here we see only a he-mortal and she-Elf couples, never vice versa); but the interrelationship between the two worlds is not restricted to that; on the contrary, these are exceptional cases. On the other hand, the "supernatural world" for the inhabitants of Beleriand, both Elves and Men (and other races) is embodied in the notion of Valinor, the deathless land of the Valar (called "Gods' in the Lay, for that is their status among those living in the Hither Lands). Melian belongs to that supernatural race, and so does her daughter, half-elven and half-divine, hence the term "fay". For Men Valinor is but a "rumour and a distant name", for mortals are not admitted there, but the Elves are; they are in a sort of in-between position, a link between the totally "real" humans and totally "supernatural' powers. Thus we can say that the world fo the "Lay of Leithian" is that of three levels, unlike the strictly binary world of Breton lays.

       In Breton lays the Other World is not profoundly described. In "Guingamor" and "Graelent" it is clear that rivers mark the frontiers of the invisible world. the realm of wonder lies further on, at the other side of the waters. Probably that is why the fay of Lanval puts up her tent on the riverside. The motive of water-boundaries is present in many a legend. In the "Pearl", the old English poem, the protagonist speaks with his daughter across a stream and beholds the paradise/new Jerusalem on the opposite bank, but is not allowed yet to cross the river:

Therefore I thought that Paradise
Across those banks was yonder laid;
I weened that the water by device
As bounds between pleasances was made;
Beyond that stream by steep or slade
That city's walls I weened must soar;
But the water was deep, I dared not wade,
And ever I longed to, more and more.("Pearl" p.84).

       the Western seas lie between Valinor and Hither Lands in Professor's mythological system. The fay in "Lanval" carries her lover to the enchanted island of Avallon (which echoes most ambiguously the name of a haven on the Elvish isle of Tol Eressea near the coasts of Valinor, which bears the name of Avallonê, "for it is of all cities nearest to Valinor" ("Silmarillion" p.320):

Quant la pucele ist fors a l'us,
Sor le palefroi detriers li
De plain esclais Lanval sailli
O li s'en vait en Avalon,
Ce nos racontent li breton,
En un ille qui molt est biaus...
Nus hom n'en o‹ plus parler,
Ne je n'en sai avant conter.
(When the lady went out through the door On the steed behind her Lanval jumped with ardour And it took him to Avalon As the Breton say, -To this most beautiful island... Since then nobody has heard of him And I am unable to tell you anything else about it.).

       The strangeness of the Other World is sometimes stressed by introducing the detail of the mortals finding its dwellings empty and seemingly desolate (cf. Eärendil's arrival to Tirion). In "Yonec" the fantastic city's deserted streets seem dead. That is how the heroine's way there is described:

Icel sentier errat e tient,
De si que a une hoge vient.
En cele hoge ot une entree,
de cel sanc fu tute arusee
...Tant ad le dreit chemin err‚
Que fors de la hoge (est) issue
E en un mut bel pre venue...
La trace en suit par mi le pre...
Assez pres ot une cit‚,
De murs fu close tut entur.
(She followed thispath up toThe foot of the hill, In that hill there was an opening All stained with blood.She went due straight Until she came out of the hillAnd found herself in a very beautiful meadow. She followed the track tu the middle of the meadowAnd saw a city Within the walls.).

       Here the allusion to the mysterious folk of the hills of Ireland, the Sidhe, is clearly perceived. Sometimes, strange as it might seem, the land of Faery is associated with the Land of the Dead, as in "Sir Orfeo":

Then he (Orfeo) began to gaze about,
and saw within the walls a rout
of folk that were thither drawn below,
and mourned as dead, but were not so.
For some there stood who had no head,
and some no arms, nor feet; some bled
and through their bodies wounds were set,
and some were strangled as they ate...
and some were withered in the fire,
and some on horse, in war's attire. ("Sir Orfeo" p.125)

       Death in all its hideous forms is revealed to Sir Orfeo's eyes as soon as he enters the Faery realm in search of his wife. As for the supernatural beings of that place, even when they appear in the real world, they remain apart from it, like shadows of the past: wandering in the forest, Orfeo often sees a fairy-host, but it seems to be only a vision, for they never stop and never take heed of him or answer back:

...never a beast they took nor slew,
and where they went he never knew...("Sir Orfeo" p.122)

       In Professor Tolkien's mythological system the Land of the Dead is indeed part of the supernatural Valinorean world (halls of Mandos), but surely not the whole of it! On the contrary, the Far West is the place of renascence and eternal bliss as opposed to the mortal lands of woe and darkness; the contrast is clearly perceived in the last reference to Felagund:

...there on hill-top might one find
a green grave and a stone set,
and there there lie the white bones yet
of Felagund, of Finrod's son -
...while Felagund laughs beneath the trees
in Valinor and comes no more
to this grey world of tears and war.(2869-2877)

       According to the folklore tradition and consequently that of breton lays the supernatural world is not liable to death and old age, it is almost immobile, where three days of happiness last so long that in the real world they equal three hundred years ("Guingamor" lines 533-540). The same is partly true about Valinor; these lands do not know death and passing away, but if in the lays this seems to be the quality of the place itself, in Tolkien's mythological system "it is not the land of Manwë that makes its people deathless, but the deathless, that dwell therein have hallowed the land" ("Silmarillion" p.326), and if a mortal happens to get there, he "would but wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and stedfast" (ibid.). In Breton lays it is not so; anyone lucky enough to find the magic land acquires immortality and enjoys the bliss of its original inhabitants - on certain conditions, of course, for a ban is set for the lucky one. Guingamor comes back to the mortal lands after three ages of happiness which seemed to him three days, forgets the interdiction not to eat anything and hardly has he eaten three apples that he falls from his horse, weak and powerless, a withered old man. Eating fruits of the mortal lands return to Guingamor the frail nature of the mortals - but nevertheless according to the lays it possible for a mortal to denounce it for a while, until the ban is broken. It is not so in the Professor Tolkien's world; in comparison with it the folklore conception looks much more primitive and naive: can a living being change its nature and, leaving one's own people, become part of the other by means of a geographical transposition only? Now what about fairies themselves - are they subject to death? here the concept of breton lays comes very close to that of professor Tolkien: judging by a few examples fairies know neither natural death nor old age (fays of "Lanval" and "Guingamor" do not seem to grow older), but they can be slain and salin they are ("Yonec") - just like the Quendi described by Tolkien. There are many other fairy motives in breton lays which are present in the "Lay of Leithian" as well: animals speakingwith human voices, inanimate objects becoming alive, shape-changers etc. In "Tyolet" the protagonist is taught by a fay to attractwild beasts by a whistle, and the strange gift, amounting to a certain power over animals, helps him later on. In Tolkien's world there are a few cases (not exactly in the Lay) of human children being brought up among the Elves and thus becoming superiorin knowledge to other humans. Tydorel, born by a supernatural being and a mortal woman, has a magic gift of not sleeping at all. This gift, however, seems to have no other significance than to indicate his background, for, as he is justly told:

...n'est pas d'ome
Qui ne dort ne qui ne prent somme.
(The one who does not sleep is not a man.).

       Bearing this stigma he belongs to the Other World, the world of a different nature, which is shown by his final disappearance in the depths of the lake at the end of the lay - the lake that is the land of his father and his true motherland. In Tolkien's world children of "mixed marriages" are always marked with a magic gift (Lúthien inherits the power of enchantment from her mother the Maia; Eärendil is troubled with quenchless longing for the Wide Sea); but, unlike in breton lays, these distinctions are always motivated, for their bearers come into the world to fulfil a certain mission and "the high doom is upon their brow". It is not for nothing that the call of the sea has such a power over Eärendil - he is destined to bear the message of the two people to the Valar; but for the power of enchantment inherited by Lúthien, the quest of the Silmarils would have certainly failed. Breton lays seem to pile up magical elements just for the sake of embellishment, for the folklore concept of the faery realm and its laws is certainly very vague and somewhat primitive; it bears an imprint of the humans'ways of thinking; in the "Lay of Leithian" every slightest detail is endowed with great significance; everything is well thought-over, every action is well-grounded; it is so true to the laws of faery that it might have been written by an Elf.

       Analysing Breton lays one cannnot fail to notice certain cases when an object in addition to its function in the development of the plot acquires a symbolic meaning which adds certain depth to the narration and and helps to build up a certain mood. In "ChiŠvrefeille" the image of honeysuckle and hazel that live in symbiosisand die if separated suggests the vital importance of Tristram and Isaud's union. The clothes of Bisclavret are at the same time the pivot of action and an emblem of thecivilized life; once he quits them, he becomes a savage beast; once he puts them on, he becomes a man again. These images seem to be really genuine, but most of them are trite, reflecting the traditional correspondence between an object and an idea that it evokes in mind; the correspondence which is reproduced in the imagery system of many a folklore tale and ballad. The nightingale killed and its blood staining the lady's apparel above her breast, the trap set for the bird by a jealous husband; the moonlight that allows the lovers to see each other at night, the windows that allow the exchange of communication - all these symbols are fairly transparent and monosemantic; their meaning is easily perceived leaving no room for controversial interpretations.

       In the "lay of leithian" the system of symbols is not that easily deciphered; they admit of more than one interpretation, the ambiguity and polysemy of images adding to the impression of the many-dimensional, polyphonic world of the Lay. The pivot of action, the object of the Quest and the compositional centre of the Lay, the crossroad of all the plot-lines is the Silmaril of the Iron Crown: the symbol of primordeal, unsallied, pure and purifying light, a crystal filled with the blended radiance of the Two Trees created apart from Evil and Darkness, in which the fates of arda are locked; the portent of the final, though immesurably distant victory of light and Good, when the world will be restored to its original, unmarred, perfect form - in the global, cosmogonical sence. it is not for nothing that its light does not fade even in the pitch-dark pits of Angband, where any other thing alive is either destroyed or distorted. In a more restricted sense it becomes a symbol of Hope, a guiding star for the afflicted people of the Middle-earth. In a more pragmatic sense, the one dictated by the plot, it is but a hard-accessible treasure to be won from the enemy; a wedding-gift of Beren to King Thingol, a precious stone, the acquisition of which proves a mortal worthy to be numbered among the heroes of the legendary days and to claim an Elf-maiden, the incarnation of Beauty and magic power, in marriage. The Ring of Barahir becomes a pledge of friendship and help in time of need between an Elfin house and that of Beren - but it is also a fatal chain binding Felagund's fate and life to the fates of those involved in the Silmaril Quest, bringing him into the scene of action irrespective of his will, depriving him of the opportunity to act otherwise, as indeed it was foretold by Finrod himself himself:"An oath I too shall swear and must be free to fulfill it and gointo darkness".("Silmarillion" p.155.). Hence a pledge of frienship and gratitude becomes a bond of death; and Beren producing the ring in proof of his, Beren's origin, turns therefore into a herald of Doom for the elf-king. The horrible subterranean fortress of Angband, called more than once "the iron hell', in which gloomy pits everything alive perishes, loses its original nature and, distorted, succumbs to its master's dominant, corrupting will is a symbol of physical pain and torture, of death in its most hideous form on the one hand, and the source of hopelessness and tyranny which grow apace while new territories are crumbled under the Dark lord's hand and new wills are bent to his, threatening the very existence of the world we know, on the other hand. Lúthien's song is, on the one hand, a means of defeating the enemy; on the other hand, a proof that the enchantments of light and beauty are more powerful than those of darkness and evil. the mythological invention of Tolkien surprises the reader by the colourful richness and divdrsity of its symbolism, which leave room for individual interpretation, according to the interpreter's background information, mood and his own vision of the world.

       Now if we turn our attention to the arrangement of characters in Breton lays, we shall see they are not numerous. Lays being the so-called "literature of action', the author is interested in the intrigue; the character-drawing is very rapid, sketchy and "summary", the narration is restricted to a retelling of a moving story without any complications or superfluous details. Even the protagonists are quite schematically drawn, strictly divided into good, bad and neutral ones, without so much as an attempt at a more psychological approach. They are verypredictable, being in a way a personification of a certain concrete quality, a romance clichés, so to speak, the same types that travel from one lay to another: an exemplary knight, brave, noble and courteous (Lanval, Tyolet, graelent, Tristram), a beautiful lady, lovable, true and tender-hearted (Frˆne, the fay of "Lanval", the heroine of "Yonec"), a treacherous wife (in "Bisclavret" and "Lanval'), a jealous husband (Muldumarec in "Yonec"). These characters are but static, i.e. they do not undergo any changes with the development of the plot; from the beginning to end they remain the same. there is an attempt at a deeper psychological dilemma in "Eliduc", where the protagonist is torn between his love for the young Guilliadon and his marital duty towards his wife, and, while this inner struggle makes him irresolute, the conflict is happily solved by Guildeluec the wife, who prudently withdraws from the scene and the lovers marry happily. The situation is far from being psychologically convincing, though; still more improbable is the end; all the three renounce the notion of carnal love and are happy in a convent in a sort of a celestial union.

       The psychological insight of "Eliduc" is very superficial so far, being rather an exceptional case for the genre. The secondary characters are not-too numerous either, being endowed with the auxiliary function of giving help to the hero or his enemy, they are totally deprived of all psychological profundity; moreover, of a particular physical aspect or individualised characters They are also "clichés" - a noble an arbitrator in the trial Bisclavret versus his wife an unjust judge misled by his wicked wife in-Lanval's but in any case the embodiment of the supreme executive power; a wicked servant-woman ("Yonec") or a faithful steward in "Orfeo", or servants deprived of any individuality whatsoever, almost part of the settings as the fay's handmaids in "Lanval".

       The characters employed in the "Lay of leithian" are far more numerous, though the degree of their involvement into the action varies greatly. The interwoven plot-lines allow us to count more than two protagonists (Beren and Lúthien first and foremost, Finrod and Thingol, and their antagonists whose influence upon the development of the plot is fairly weighty), plenty of supporting roles (like dairon and barahir, celegorm and Curufin, Gorlim and Eilinel etc.); and numberless creatures just alluded to, some referring to the background knowledge of the reader, some really difficult to place (Maglor, Fëanor, tinfang gelion); the index of names being a verylengthyone. There are no anonymous characters - each one is duly named and dulyplaced. In accordance with the law of the genre some characters are to a great extent"one-sided", that is, displaying one side of their nature, that produces an impression of certain integrity. But psychological insight is always present, to a greater or smaller degree, even in the case of the secondary characters. They are dynamic: the adversities that they go through leave a distinct imprint upon their personalities. Beren, a hot-headed impetuous youth of the first cantos is certainly different from a much wiser person who has lived to see his friends die because of his rash promise and survived in the prisons of the Wisard's isle; the one rueing bitterly his oath on the brink of Dor-na-Fauglith, and grimly determined to shield Lúthien from the consequences of it:

Thrice now mine oath I curse, - he said,
that under shadow thee has led!(p.278)

       A heart-rending case of a human tragedy in war-time is Gorlim the Unhappy, "traitor betrayed", torn between his love for his wife and loyalty to his friends:

But all he thought twixt love of lord
and hatred of the king abhorred
and anguish for fair Eilinel
who drooped alone, what tale shall tell?(p.163)

       This passage of inner struggle and bitter reflexions seem to fall out of the genre of the lay (and that of the geste) with its predictability, bases upon the characters being "programmed' form the very beginning, integral and unchanging. King Thingol is a very controversial case. For many a reader he is but a petty tyrant, separating the lovers and sending Beren on a perilous quest, in order to keep his oath (not to hurt this mortal) verbally and still get rid of him once and for good. On the other hand, his actions are more than justified: in what other way is a king expected to treat a ragged and wayworn stranger of a presumably inferior race tresspassing on his territories and claiming his only daughter, his most valuable treasure in marriage? Just and wise, as it suits a powerful Elfin King, he is nevertheless capable of acting spontaneously and even rashly, blinded by anger and parental love, which make him more attractively "human", so to speak; but, perceiving his mistake, he is willing enough to do justice to the wronged person. his rashness and princely pride are well balanced by divine wisdom of the sage, merciful, farsighted melian, one of the most attractive characters of the Lay. Another controversial case is Dairon the minstrel, another one in the long row of "unwilling traitors", who loved Lúthien and betrayed her twice; one more case of bitter inner struggle and instant repentance of what he has done:

But Dairon looked on Lúthien,
and would he had not spoken then,
and no more would he speak that day...(p.1810)

       But did he betray Lúthien because of malice and jealousy towards Beren, or only because he was anxious to save her from the dangerous fate she was eager to face?

       In Breton lays it is the attitude of secondary characters towards the lovers that defines their status: they are either friends or foes. in the Lay not everyone who threatens Beren and Lúthien is totally evil. Fëanor's sons Celegorm and Curufin, kidnapping Lúthien, wounding Beren, provoking a riot in Nargothrond, setting its citisens against their lawful king, the initiators of discord and enmity seem to be disagreeable enough. But a short historical excursus with which the Canto opens, arouses certain doubts as to the degree of their guilt. The dreadful oath that they pledged under the greatest provocation possible gets the upper hand of them, drives them on, compelling them to commit their crimes in order to prevent a mortal from getting hold of their heirloom:

Be he friend or foe, or seed defiled
of Morgoth Bauglir, or mortal child,
that in after days on earth shall dwell,
no law, nor love, nor league of hell,
no might of gods, not moveless fate
shall him defend from wrath and hate
of Fëanor's sons, whotakes or steals
or finding keeps the Silmarils,
the thrice-enchanted globes of light
that shine until the final night. (p.211-212)

       Such sacred names did they bring to witness, that the oath could not be broken "though earth and heaven shake'. The two brothers are a tragic example of fates ruined and distorted, they are evil-doers not wholly responsible for their deed and actually detesting what they are doing, when the oath turns almost into a living being, guiding the Fëanorings'actions, thoughts and decisions, while the latter ones are almost deprived of their individuality, which otherwise would have proved an outstanding, generous and gifted one, and become but instruments of some evil Doom. there is much justice in that: those who claim the role of Doom eventually become its instruments and slaves, not its masters, but one cannot help sympathising with Fëanorings in spite of all their ill-doings, moreover that they pay most dearly for what they are guilty of. They are victims, too - the victims of that merciless evil force that emanates from Angband, the evil unquestionable and unjustifiable.

       Many critics have stated that in Tolkien's world the division between Evil and Good is very sharp indeed and admits of no compromise. in the light of modern literature where vice is but too often justified and praised, and painted in most attractive colours, where a villain and a hero are often blended into one and the boundaries are blurred, it seems really essential to me to be able to draw a borderline - when the world is moving steadily to the point at which the distinction between good and Evil, growing vaguer and vaguer, would disappear altogether and everybody would be only too happy to seal a compromise. Tolkien's children, as he writes in a note to his essay "On Fairy-stories", often asked him with a great degree of personal involvement, whether this or thatcharacter was good or evil. "That is, they were more concerned to get the right side and the Wrong side clear. For that is a question equally important in History and in Faërié" ("On fairy-stories' p.38.). In Tolkien's world it is no less important. there are creatures corrupted and misled, the good side of them being cruelly surpressed or destroyed altogether by a stronger will; they can be sympathised with. but there is nothing to justify in the forces that mislead and corrupt them, for they are the embodiment of Evil itself. The source of this Evil and its guiding centre is incarnated in Angband and its master, called Morgoth, the Dark foe, equally perilous and destructive for the fates of the World and for the fates of the individuals. there are but a few books where Evil is depicted so repulsive and hateful, where Good is portrayed so radiantly beautiful and powerfully attractive; no doubtdue to the pervading influence of the Christian belief of the author. his approach is far from being biased: the evil forces are so repulsive not just because it isnecessary to produce certaingrounds for fighting against them; it is not for abstract likes and dislikes, and preference of Darkness to Light that the dark forces are accused; it is not a different vision but quiteconcrete, real, repulsive actionsand deeds that are condemned. Almost allof them are duly mentioned in the contents of the Lay, mostly in the flashbacks: the slaying of the Two Trees, the stealing of the Silmarils and thus ruining the life of the whole house, nay, of the whole people of the Noldor/Gnomes, who "fought and laboured in the North far from their homes"; boundless tyranny and blood-spilling;

With fire and sword his ruin red
on all that would not bow the head
like lightning fell. The Northern land
lay groaning neath his ghastly hand. (p.161)

       Another passage would illustrate the statement wonderfully: that is what awaited the rebellious ones in the pits of Angband:

There hammers clanged, and tongues there cried
with sound like smitten stone; there wailed
faint from far under, called and failed
amid the iron clink of chain
voices of captives put to pain. (p.295).

       one cannot help mentioning playing dirty tricks upon the unfortunate creatures driven by despair to putting their trust in the forcesof Evil (Gorlim and Lilinel). No less hateful is Morgoth's "pupil", Thu/Sauron, the master of the Wisard's Isle:

Now was he Morgoth's mightiest lord,
master of Wolves, whose shivering howl
forever echoed in the hills and foul
enchantments and dark sigaldrydid weave and wield...(p.228).

and his vile servants: Orcs, fell beasts and other devilish creatures:

...No ruth did feel
the legions of his marchalled hate,
on whom did wolf and raven wait;
and black the ravens sat and cried
upon their banners black, and wide
was heard their hideous chanting dread
above thereek and trampled dead.(p.161).

       Neither of them can create; their mission istotally destructive, and the only thing they can produce is new means of the destruction of life; and here roots the source of their boundless strength and power, the idea being well formulated by V.Krapivin: "Беда в том, что злу живется гораздо легче. У него ведь одна цель: уничтожить добро. А у добра целей две, во-первых, творить, строить, созидать мир,а во-вторых, защищать то, что уже сделано, от зла. Значит, и энергии нужно вдвое. А ее у добра и зла, увы, поровну... " hence their temporary superiority over the forces of good. But here also roots their doom: since they are unable to create, they have no future. That iswhy, probably, in spite of its dark atmosphere and great sadness, envelopping the world of the Lay, "amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death the light that endures".

       Among the character-drawing means descriptions play an important part both in Breton lays and the "Lay of Leithian". But it is sufficient to compare two passages to see the difference. For instance, that is how the fay of "Lanval" is portrayed:

Ele ert vestue en itel guise
De chainsil blanc et de chemise
Que tuit li cost‚ li paroient
Qui de deux parz laci‚ esoient..
. Le col plus blanc aue noif sor branchi,
les eulz ot vairs et blanc le vis,
Bele bouche, nes bien assis,
Les sorciz bruns et bel le front
Et le chief cresp et auques blont.
Fils d'or ne giete tel luor
Com si chevel contre le jor...

(She wears a white robe trimmed on both flanks with silken threads; The neck is whiter than the snow on branches; her face is fair, her eyes changing,hermouth is pretty, her nose regular, Her eye-lashes are dark and her front perfect,Her hair isblond and wavy; Threads of gold do not shine so brightlyAs her ringlets in the rays of sun.).

And here is the portrait of Lúthien:

Such lissom limbs no more shall run
on the green earth beneath the sun;
so fair a maid no more shall be
from dawn to dusk, from sun to sea.
Her robe was blue as summer skies,
But grey as evening were her eyes;
'twas sewn with golden lilies fair,
but dark as shadow was her hair.
Her feet were light as bird on wing,
her laughter lighter, than the spring...(p.155)

       In Breton lays the descriptions are less picturesque, so to speak, they aremore detailed and concrete; those of the Lay are more abstract and imaginative, more metaphorical; they are not limited by the meticulous enumeration of colours and forms, but create an image ofsurpassing emotional influence. The Lay abounds in comparisons on a global scale ("from dawn to dusk, from sun to sea", "grey as evening", "lighter than the spring"); while in Marie's lays it is material objects that are brought into comparison ("threads of gold"). The great merit of Marie is having preserved in her tales their primitive, folklore form, while theexpressiveness, psychological complexity and exquisite poetic form of Tolkien are certainly of a higher level.

       One more character-drawing means is speech-characteristics. Breton lays make no use of it, though there are many a case of direct speech in them:

Respont la dame:"Or i alons!
S'il est mort, nos l'enfuirons;
Nostre prestres nos aidera.
Se vif le truis, il parlera".

(The dame respods:"Let's go there: If he is dead, we shall bury him,And our priests will help us. If he is alive, he will speak".)

       The speech of the characters is not stylistically marked, while in the Lay it is one of the most powerful means of individualization of the characters. The difference is no in grammatical structures, but in the choice of vocabulary rather. The speech of Orcs is no less grammatical than that of, say, Beren, but such epithets as "this robber fool" betray their coarse, uncivilised nature. The speech of Elf-lords abounds in obsolete words and literary archaisms ("mayhap", "naught", "guerdon") as well as archaic grammatical forms ("Who art thou stumblest hither?") which add to the sonorous majesty of their conversation. A peculiar detail can be observed if we compare the two Gorlim-episodes: the one in the original manuscript and the corresponding passage in the Lay Recommenced. In the first case it is Morgoth himself that the unfortunatevictim confronts; in the second case it is Thu/Sauron. It is evident that which of the two it was isnot essential for the plot - both delight in such low treachery; but it is curious to notice the striking difference in their speech-characteristics. Morgoth is elaborately polite in his conversation; he NEVER swears, he is exquisitely, mockingly amiable - with that amiability and politeness of a murderer that makes him even more frightfully real (the expression "O traitor dear!" is inimitable); while the less civilized Sauron, evidently more hot-tempered and impetuous, a rougher creature in all respects, finds immense pleasure in abusing his defenseless captive ("mortal base", "thou thrall", "base, cringing worm"). The elaborate character-drawing means employed by Tolkien, i.e. action, descriptions, inner monologues, speech-characteristics etc. make his characters far more vivid and individual than those of Breton lays, adding to the indisputable literary merits of the Lay.

       Now I would like to proceed to the literary analysis of the form, of the phonetic, lexical and syntactical aspects of the lays. Marking some points of similarity and difference between the two, we should bear in mind that the two authors, between whom there is roughly speaking a gap of eight centuries, represent two distinct traditions: Marie pertains to the French one, though strongly influenced by the matter of Britain, while Tolkien's works bear an imprint of the Anglo-Saxon one; one should also take into consideration the peculiarities of their creative methods. Marie preserves the simplicity ot the original primitive form, while Professor Tolkien relishes in unprecedented intricasies of stanza and line. "Romanticism, multitudinousness, imperfect comprehension: these arethe poet's goals achieved stylistically much more than semantically", - thus T.A. Shippey characterises what he calls the "elvish tradition" in Tolkien's writings, saying that "suggestiveness is much aidedby devices not of sense but of sound". Indeed, the melodious effect, achieved in Tolkien's versification is almost unprecedented.

       Rhyme and rhythm are easy to recognize; the metrical arrangement of both Breton lays and the "Lay of leithian" being practically identical, can be described as iambic tetrameter or octosyllabic couplet. In the more energetic Breton lays we come across the one-syllable feminine and masculine rhymes only; in the Lay there are cases of two-syllable rhymes, like "growing-flowing'; but they are pretty scarce and that makes one think that in the final variantthey would possibly have been eliminated; to my mind they do not improve the rhythmic pattern. Within the "Lay of leithian" there is a case of the rhythmic pattern being changed - something that I have not come across in breton lays. That occurs in Canto 7, the new meter being especially suitable to a riddle contest; but pretty soon the verse returns to the common metrical pattern and the riddling element disappears. This is the only variation in the rhyming-rhythmic arrangement to be observed; otherwise the pattern seems to be identical:

A king there was in times of old:
ere Men yet walked upon the mould;
his power was reared in cavern's shade,
his hand was over glen and glade.("Lay of Leithian")

En ce tens tint Hoilas la terre,
Sovent en pais, sovent en guerre,
Li rois avoit unsien baron
Qui estoit sire de Lion. ("Guigemar").
(At those times Hoel ownes the land In war and peace.there was a baron of his Who was Lord of Leon.).

       It is not typical for French poetry to intensify the desired effect recurring to any other phonetic devices. On the contrary, alliteration, assonance etc. constitute an integral element of the Anglo-Saxon and therefore English tradition. Professor Tolkien, being a great connoisseur ofthese (see his essay "On Translating Beowulf" and his own translations), good at rendering the alliterative models of "Sir Gawain" and phonetic intricacies of "Pearl" into Modern English, introduces these devices into the syllabo-tonic "Lay of Leithian". The amount of the phonetic devices in this particular poem is certainly much greater than in any other syllabo-tonic verses; and they fit in a most natural and organic way into its texture, creating a polyphonic, euphonic, melodious effect. There are whole passages, not separate lines, just ringing with alliteration (and creating a problem hard to resolve for a translator into Slavonic languages, since alliteration is originally alien to them). Here is an example of such a passage:

An autumn waned, a winter laid
The Withered leaves in grove and glade;
the beeches bare were gaunt and grey,
and red their leaves beneath them lay...
By dawn and dusk he seeks her still,
by noon and night in valleys chill...(p.178).

       and later: The wind of winter winds his horn... Tolkien seems to be especially fond of the alliterative tight semantic fits, like "grove and glade', "noon and night", "dawn and dusk", which are also immensely difficult to render into Russian.

       There are cases of onomatopoeia, both direct (sea roars, birds shrill) and indirect (the murmurouth warmth).

       Great attention is payed to the phonetic structure of proper names. In professor Tolkien's writings the theory of the sound-meaning correlation seems to be absolutely true. It is enough to pronounce a name irrespective of the context so that it became absolutely clear whether the said character is good or bad; cf.Carcharoth, where the cacophonous combination of H, K, O, R sounds produces an impression of something snarling and unexpressively nasty, and Tinúviel which is song itself with its I,EL, U, N. It is hard to judge in the case of Breton lays, since proper names are not too numerous there; still a particularly unpleasant name Muldumarec is given to aa equally unpleasant person, while names like Guilladon and Lanval produce quite a favourable impression.

       One of the most powerful image-building means is lexical stylistic devices. Unlike the comparatively simple breton lays the "Lay of Leithian" abounds in intricate comparisons, picturesque metaphors, colourful epithets piled up. Metaphors, transferring some quality from one object to another, are very common in the Lay: daylight melted into shade...(line 81)
...when first the shaggy wood unfurled...(404)
...beneath the dark and starry dome
that hung above the dawn of earth...(406-7)
...smokes and steams,
stabbed with flickering lightning-gleams...(3874-5)

       In most cases the quality is transferred from an animate object to an inanimate one, which creates a strong impression of the inanimate world being endowed with life of its own, the world where some animative powers are at work. Thus the feeling of faery, of the multiformity and many-dimansional structure of the world is intensified; everything speaks with its own voice, the border-line between the abstract and concrete, the animate and inanimate becomes blurred and vague. There are in fact misleading cases where what seems to be a metaphor is actually not, where the direct meaning of the word should be takeninto consideration, not the transferred one. For instance, the lines:

...before the sun and moon we know
were lit to sail above the world...

       would be understood metaphorically in any other work of art; but here, in accordance with the background information about the laws of this secondary world, they are to be taken literally: indeed, the sun and the moon were lit by Varda; indeed, Arien and Tilion were chosen to sail them above the world, like ships in the sea. I suppose, the same is true about seeming hyperboles: can there be any in the narration describing a Faery world based upon the laws drastically different from the world we are accustomed to? If it is stated that the King of the Northern land was "far older, stronger, than the stone the world is built of"(lines 110-1), you may be sure it is not just a figure of speech, an exaggeration; indeed, he is older than the stone, for he was created before the beginning of the world, and possibly stronger, since the stone is the result of creative work of the Powers themselves, he once being numbered among them.

Metonymy is typical for ancient epics, where part of the whole becomes a symbol for some global notion. There are plenty of such cases in the "Lay of Leithian":

...The Northern land
lay groaning neath his ghastly hand.(lines 125-26)
Yet small as was their hunted band,
still fell and fearless was each hand...(134-5)
...far away beyond the ken
of searching eyes...

       Various interjections aid to intensify the emotional tension; at the same time, as I strongly suspect, helping to fill in the rhythmical pattern:

O traitor dear! (223)
Ha! Beren comes too late!

       Placed at the beginning of the line, they create an additional melodious effect, at the same time laying a particular stress upon the line that they precede, making the passage still more moving and emotionally loaded:

A! Lúthien! A! Lúthien!
More fair than any child of Men;
O! loveliest maid of Elfinesse,
what madness does thee now possess!

       Carefully chosen epithets, bound to "create an atmosphere of objective evaluation, whereas it actually conveys the subjective attitude of the writer" (I.R.Galperin. Stylistics.) embellish the textual structure of the Lay. They are simple ("sweet surprise", "woven woods", "ghastly hand") and compound ("many-pillared tomb", "many-pillared hall"); some of them form alliterative units with the nouns they modify; some of them are sort of clichés, which are repeated more than once in the text as set-expressions ("lissom limbs"); some form set-combinations with proper names, becoming constant modifiers of this or that particular character with a greater degree of predictability, like "Barahir the bold", "White Eilinel", "Gorlim the Unhappy". A great amount of epithets are employed as post-modifiers - this syntactical peculiarity of the Lay probably can be accounted for by the influence of Breton lays, where, according to the laws of the French language, adjectives are found in postposition ("lances keen", "trumpets long", "challenge strong", "shadows bleak and strong"). There are cases when epithets "frame' the noun, placed between a postmodifyer and a premodifyer:"wide earth unexplored', "golden lilies fair". Lush piling up of the epithets brings the Lay really close to ancient epics enjoying in verbous descriptions:

to West the ancient Ocean roared,
unsailed and shoreless, wide and wild...

       Again, there are misleading cases when the original meaning of the author in this or that particular epithet and the reader's comprehension unfortunately fall apart. There is a funny case with the "dizzy moon", C.S. Lewis commenting on the epithet as follows;"This sort of half-hearted personification is of course to be distinguished from genuine mythology" ("Lays of Beleriand" p.323), when what the author really meant by that was not personification at all, but only the fact that the moon looked dizzy and twisted because of the tears in the eyes of Beren looking at it.

       Token-names, which can be regarded as a case of antonomasia within the linguistic domain of Quenya and Sindarin have already been discussed. There is just to be mentioned that this particular stylistic device probably signals the influence of Icelandic sagas, where it was customary for a character to bear a nickname, like Harald Fair-haired or Thornstein Bloody sword.

       Similes, characterising the object by bringing it into contact with another thing, belonging to an entirely different class, are quite common both in Breton lays and the "Lay of Leithian". Those of Breton lays are more earth-bound, whereas the similes of Tolkien are more imaginative and high-flown; Marie compares material objects, while in the Lay we find a much higher degree of abstraction. There was an example cited above;

Fils d'or ne giete tel luor
Com si chevel contre le jor. ("Lanval")
cf. Grey as evening were her eyes...
dark as shadow was her hair.("Lay of Leithian")

       Piling up of similes within one sentence builds up uncommonly vivid images, intensifying the atmosphere of, say, horror, as in the scene of escape from Angband:

As gleams of swords in fire there flashed
the fangs of Carcharoth, and crashed
together like a trap, that tore
the hand about the wrist...(4216-19)

or that of uncomparable beauty and awe, as in Menegroth:

...There a light
like day immortal and like night
of stars unclouded, shone and gleamed.
A vault of topless trees it seemed,
whose trunks of carven stone there stood
like towers of an enchanted wood...(992-996)

       Periphrasis, not uncommon in the "Lay of leithian", which serves the purpose of renaming of the object, identified in different ways, brings to mind the kennings of Anglo-saxon poetry, the device which can be observed in "Beowulf'. A set of epithets was traditionally applied to a certain notion, for instance: the sea is characterized as "the whale's way', "the waves'domain"; the set-expression "giver of rings" is usually applicable to the king; while in case with Grendel we have got a various set of periphrases like: "the hellish fiend", "ranger of moors', "the brutish demon", "this gruesome creature", "notorious prowler of the borderland' etc.

       The author of the "Lay of Leithian' never runs short of the ingenious means of identifying his characters, expressing his own attitude on the one hand and creating versatile, vivid images on the other. Thus Thu/Sauron is "demon dark", "phantom vile", "one most evil"; the dreadful wolf of Angband is described as "a biding doom', "the waiting threat", "the Red Maw',or "unhappy, tortured thrall". Lúthien, in accordance with her background and personal endowments, is "the loveliest maid of Elfiness', "that elfin maid", "the daughter of the deathless queen" and "Thingol's elfin child". We shall not come across such diverse ways of characterizing one and the same thing in far more simplified Breton lays with their straightforward and unambiguous directness of nomination; "la pucelle" or "la damoiselle" for a heroine, "le dancel" for a hero, without going into further detail.

       The choice of words in the "Lay of Leithian" is also very specific, unlike that of Breton lays, the bulwark of its vocabulary being neutral. Tolkien's style is euphonious, high-flown and lofty. In order to produce the elevated effect, matching the seriousness of the matter discussed and the feeling of remoteness, the author recurs more than once to obsolete, obsolescent, archaic or rarely used literary words. The impression would would have been totally ruined by insertion of colloquial words or slang-expressions, so there isnone, even in the speech of the most uncouth and disagreeable characters. After all, it is meant to be a translation from the ancient Eldarin language, and the translators of ancient texts favour the device of revival of obsolete words (e.g. K.Crossley-Holland, translating "Beowulf" revives an Anglo-Saxon word "scrian": "hell-whisperers shrithe in their wonderings", that is, slip along menacingly, like a snake.) Christopher Tolkien kindly provides the readers with a glossary of obsolete words, to facilitate the process of understanding, and it is a lengthy one. Here are a few examples of nouns and pronouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs:

methinks it is that thou hast seen!(227)
from dolour long in clinging night...(2814)
who in this wood have chains enow...(1304)
for fain thy dancing I wuold see! (823)
...loath or lief...(3417)

there are some archaic grammatical forms:
...the earth quook...(3582) - old past tense of "quake";
...with silken robe and silver shoon...(4900 - old plural of "shoe";
...a-hunting fleet...(46)
adjectives like "atwinkle' (mod. "twinkling"), "aquake"(mod. "quaking");
verb-forms like "cometh", "hast seen" etc.

There occur unrecorded forms as well: sylphine maidens of the air...(adj. "sylphine" of the noun "sylph" is not recorded).

There also occur the so-called historic words:

...about him sat his awful thanes...(3896) match the weregild of a king...(177, Lay Recommenced)

       That also add to the atmosphere of remoteness and antiquity, while reviving certain notions of the past.

       The "Lay of Leithian" is characterized by a well-developed, intricate syntactical structure with certain peculiarities of its own. I have already mentioned the preference for postmodifiers, like in "shadow bleak and cold", "Barahir the bold" etc. Inversion is also very common, though not typical for the English language with its word-order strictly fixed. It is true that poetry admits of a comparatively free word-order, but in this particular work the amount of inverted phrases is certainly much greater than in the traditional versification. I am inclined to think that the influence of the French pattern is manifest here. In the Old french Language, the language of Breton lays the word-order was comparatively free, the object as well as the predicate could precede the subject of the sentence - that suggests a special speech fashion, where the relics of the synthetical language structure were of a considerably greater importance:

...A Cardeil sejornait li roi...(In Cardeil abode the king.) (Adv.mod. - Pred. - Subject) ...Guigemar nomment le dancel...(Guigemar they called the youth.).(Obj. - Pred. - Obj.) ...A merveille l'amoit sa mere...(Surprisingly loved him his mother.).(adv.mod. - Pred. -Subject)

The same freedom in the word-order is observed in the Lay:

...the creaking of the boughs he heard...(O - S - P)
...together fled they, by the beat
affrighted of their flying feet (the "normal" word-order would be:"affrighted by the beat of their flying feet");
nnnand her the king more dear did prize...(O - S - P);
...and never came or moon, or day...(AM - P - S)

       Inversion attaches logical stress or additional emotive colouring to some particular part of the utterance and certainly helps to fill the linear structure;though to my mind when the structures are distinctly alien to the traditional syntactical arrangement of the English language, it might hinderthe comprehension, as in some of the examples cited above. (The desired effect comes more natural with "there"-constructions.) The same can be said about the elliptical sentences, though there are not too many cases:

...a song more fair than nightingale...(671) (Presumably "a song more fair than that of a nightingale");

       The Lay also abounds in "fillers" like "did", "doth" etc., which, bearing certain stylistic colouring, serve first and foremost as a metrical aid:

...Lúthien danced while he did play...(515)
...Enchanted moments, such as these
do come...(441-43);

       Parallel constructions seem to be the author's favourite device, the one he is surprisingly skilled at, that add to the verses the unprecedented melodious effect and syntactical harmony. Actually they also come from Breton lays:

En Flandres va por son pris guerre:
La ot toz jors estrif et guerre.
En Lohereigne n'en Borgoigne
Ne en Anjou ne en Gascoigne...
A ce tens ne pot hom trove
Si bon chevalier ne son per.("Guigemar" lines 50-56)
(He went to wars to Flanders There were always conflicts and combats there;
neither in Lorrain, nor in Burgundy,There was a knight So valiant, nor equal to him.).

Por ce le tienent a peri
Et li estrange et si ami. (ibid.)
(Both strangers and friends Held him for a lost man.).

       Tolkien uses parallel constructions within a line; a successful find, duly commended by C.S.Lewis:

and sharp his sword, and high his helm...(710)

in a few successive lines:

He heard afar their hurrying feet,
he snuffed an odour strange and sweet,
he smelled their coming...(4198-4200)

Too swift for thought his onset came,
too swift for any spell to tame...(4206-7)

with left he caught at hairy throat,
with right hand at the eyes he smote...(4212-13);

in a few successive passages:

A summer waned, an autumn glowed...(6530)
An autumn waned, a winter laid...(673);

And, finally, he would start the two successive Cantos with the same line;

Into the vast and echoing gloom...(Beren and Lúthien's descent into Angband, Canto 13);
Up through the dark and echoing gloom...(Beren and Lúthien's escape Angband, Canto 14);

       In addition to being a purely syntactical embellishment, this device produces an impression of the events harmoniously succeeding each other and in a way repeating themselves, add a certain orderliness and symmetry to the eventful narration. The same device can be observed in manypoems by Tolkien, much to the same purpose: cf. the uniting effect of the first lines of the successive passages in the "Hoard" ("The Adventures of Tom Bombadil"):

There was an old dwarf in a dark cave...
There was an old dragon under grey-stone...
There was an old king on a high throne...
There is an old hoard in a dark rock...

       Repetitions also add to the melodious effect of the rhythmical structure, at the same time intensifying the emotional tension, while laying a particular stress to the element repeated:

with right hand at the eyes he smote -
his right, from which the radiance welled...(4213-14)

one croaked:"Ha! Beren comes too late",
and answered all:"Too late! Too late!"(285-6)

Beleriand, Beleriand,
the borders of the faery land.(399-400)

There are cases of root-repetition as well:

...defenseless to defend...(4210)

       It is a disputable question, whether more sophisticated stylistic devices affect the feeling of authenticity of the work in question, for, after all, the syntax of ancient epics was simple to the utmost. For instance, C.S.Lewis doubts the appropriateness of chiasmus, which looks "suspiciously classical":

the sunlight dark and cold the air...(775)

       To that the author responded:"But classics did not invent chiasmus! It is perfctly natural". It might be so, though, again, natural as it is, it is just not typical for this particular literary genre. But that is the advantage of a literary imitation - the narration can be embellished by the discoveries of more than one genre, it is not restricted to one particular literary pattern; on the other hand, it is by its complicity and intricacy that an imitation can be distinguished from an authenticwork.

       Exclamatory sentences and questions in the narrative help to intensify the emotional tension in the most moving parts:

A! Lúthien! A! Lúthien!
More fair than any child of Men!
O! loveliest maid of Elfinesse,
what madness does thee now possess!

       Now it is natural for Breton lays to let sound not only the voice of the narrator, but those of his characters as well. Hence actual speech of characters is reproduced in the form of the direct speech:

"Dame, - fit il, -je muir par vos
Mes cuers en est molt angoissos.
Se vosne me volez garir,
Donc m'estuet il en fin morir.
Je vos requier de dru,faerie.
Bele, ne m'escondites mie!"
..."Lady, he says, - I am dying for you,
My heart is full of sorrow.
If you do not want to heal me,
Then I shall die at the end.
I beg your friendship,
My dear, do not refuse me!>.

"Flee, Lúthien!" and "Lúthien!"
from hiding dairon called again;
"A stranger walks the woods! Away!"

       That provide the author with an additional opportunity to create a convincing character by means of speech characteristics - though the authors do not seem to make much of it. At thetime of Marie de France the stylistic differentiation of speech was not used yet, the words of all the characters are stylistically neutral and canboast of no peculiarity of their own. The speech-characteristics of the protagonists of the Lay do not convey much additional information about the speaker either, as a matter of fact. Orc-speech does not drastically differ from that of the Elf-lords stylistically. Represented speech, both uttered and inner would be a device too sophisticated for a lay or a geste, so ther is none - though in some lines written by the narrator we distinctly hear the voices of his characters:

...not half enough
the price he deemed to come at last
to that pale moon when day had passed,
to those clear stars of Elfinesse,
the hearts-ease and the loveliness. (591-595)

       These words might well have been the inner monologue of Beren at themomentof his first encounter with Lúthien dancing upon the grass.

       Enumeration plays an important part in ancient epics. Not particularly interested in the inner conflicts of their characters, the feelings and emotions being not very sophisticated and discussion-provoking, the authors restricted themselves to the narration of the successive events, embellishing the text with lengthy enumerations of objects and their detailed descriptions. This particular device is not uncommon in the Lay. Enumerations normally concern somebody's property and serve as a traditional embellishment of the narration:

There beryl, pearl and opal pale,
and metal wrought like fishes'mail,
buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
and gleaming spears were laid in hoard...(14-18)

       The author delights in accumulating as many details as possible; as a result there appear lengthy, verbous "catalogues" of objects and notions, for instance like the one describing what Beren forgot on seeing Lúthien - the one looking suspiciously like "thestream of consciousness" and enumerating with great precision everything he came across during his journey; it occupies about 30 lines.

       As the genre of lay and geste definitely belong to the literature of action and it is the succession of events that principally matters, it seems really difficult to combine the metrical and syntactical division, so sentences are only too often carried over to the next line and the breaking-points do not always coincide with the logical pauses within the sentences:

and Beren desperate then aside
thrust Lúthien and forth did stride
unarmed, defenceless to defend
Tinuviel until the end. (4208-4211).

       The brief stylistic analysis of the "Lay of Leithian" given above aims at emphasizing numerous literary merits of thisparticular work of art and its doubtless aesthetic value, as well as the points which should inevitably attract attention of a translator; at the same time it but provs that we deal with a work far more intricate and sophisticated than the original Breton lays, and though this fact by no means ruins the pervading feeling of authenticity, it indicates that this is an example of versification on a level far superiorthan that attained by the minstrels of the eleventh century. Departing from the breton lays pattern, Professor Tolkien creates a new tradition, the one of unsurpassing exquisiteness and beauty - the Eldarin one, the Eldar being "the incarnation of the artistic side of human nature".

Plan of Chapter 2.

1. The appropriateness of translating the "Lay of leithian". "Versions" and "drafts", their literary value.

2. The notion of philological context.

3. Philological translation. Tasks and requirements.

1) adequate command of English
2) impossibility of additions and omissions
3) erroneous Russification
4) rendering of names: graphic form, phonetic peculiarities, the problem of stress
5) requirements to the poetic form
a) phonetic stylistic devices
b) rhythm and metrical arrangement
c) nature of rhyme-syllables
d) principle of equilinearity; translation transformations
e) metrical and syntactical division
f) syntactical structure
g) types of tropes
6) appropriate vocabulary choice
7) the author's concept
8) comparative analysis of four Russian versions of the "Last Ship"

4. Conclusion.



       The legend of Beren and Lúthien was on of tolkien's favorites and, alongside with Túrin and Eärendil episodes, the central part of his mythology, which underwent considerable changes at different stages of its development. First devised in the trenches of France during the World War 1 as part of the "Lost Tales", it was set in verse during the Leeds period, its final version being, it will be no exaggeration to say, one of the loftiest and most moving parts of the "Silmarillion". Now a controversial questions may arise: whether it is proper to publish versions, which were actually re-written or rejected by the author himself, the versions which remained incomplete; whether it is acceptable in the ehtical grounds as far as the author is concerned and whether it is necessary to the reading public? Moreover, whether it is proper to translate such drafts into other languages, considerably enlarging the number of potential recipients?

       My personal point of view is that there exists a drastic difference between "drafts" proper and different "versions", the latter embodying various approaches to the same event (thus "Akallabêth" represents the Eldarin point of view, while the "Drowning of Anadûne" seems to be the humans' interpretation of the downfall of Númenor), different concepts and distinct literary forms.Certainly, the "Tale of Tinúviel", the "Lay of leithian" and the "Silmarillion" story of Beren and Lúthien are not drafts of one manuscript, but three distinct works of Art, each endowed with indisputable aesthetic and literary values. On the other hand, even drafts are of great interest, if only for research purposes, when we deal with a truly masterful work of Art, a masterpiece, the recipients of which get interested not only in its contents, but in the process of its creation as well. And, finally, the author himself did mean to see the "Lays of Beleriand" published, the manuscript being submitted to Allen and Unwin shortly after the immediate success of the "Hobbit", but being rejected due to the circumstances which did not have anything to do with the author's willingness to see his work published. Let alone the interest it presents for the comparative literary analysis, the "Lay of Leithian" is a genuine work of Art, the one of unprecedented beauty and overwhelming emotional influence, a gem in the treasuries of world literature and a challenge for a translator. To my mind, it is more than appropriate and even timely, the interest for Tolkien's writings growing apace, to speak about the possibilities of it being translated into Russian.

       Not long ago Tolkien's works remaines practically unknown to the Russian reader. Recently the situation has drastically changed, Tolkien having become one of the most widely-read and widely-translated authors. There have appeared plenty of translations, some of them of pathetically poor quality, for the praiseworthy enthusiasm does not unfortunately make up for the lack of language-awareness and philological education. That concerns the prose-works as well as poetry. I would like to suggest a few points of seeming importance as far as translating Tolkien's works is concerned, at the same time trying to indicate what seems erroneous to me and, without claimingto offer a universal solution to all problems (for Tolkien's works are too controversial a case for professionaland amateur translators to be ever reconciled about), to justify my own approach to the greatest rhyming poetical work of J.R.R.Tolkien - the "Lay of Leithian".

       Before going into detail I would like to touch upon the notion of philological context, introduced by V.Y.Zadornova in her thesis entitled "Philological Basis ofPoetic Translation". Zadornova differentiates between the "narrow" context, set within the limits of the work in question, and the "wide' context, dealing with facts and phenomena which are not to be found in the text proper and cannot be derived from it (by this she means the background information of historical and philological nature based on other works of the same author, the peculiarities of this particular literary genre and trend etc.). The "Lay of Leithian" being an integral part of Professor Tolkien's mythological system, the translation of it comes next to impossible without the background knowledge of other works, the "Silmarillion" first and foremost. In Chapter 1 I touched upon numerous links, allusions and deviations which bind the poem to the factual information contained in other books; without being aware of it all of them would seem just "dark places" hard to interpret and, most likely, running the risk of being interpreted in the wrong way. On the other hand, certain background knowledge of the Elvish poetical tradition is required (based mainly on such examples of Elvish poetry that we come across in the "Lord of the Rings", with their intricacies of syntax, phonetics and lexical stylistic devices and means) in order to render the form itself with the utmost accuracy. It might be also advisable to compare Elvish versification with other poetic traditions of the Middle-earth, so that its peculiarities became more striking. The linguistic approach to the style of the poem seems essential, too.

       Attempting the translation of the Lay, i meant it to be a philological translation from the very beginning. I do admit that free interpretations have a right to exist - that is, when the imagery system of the author is substituted by that of the translator; well, if the translator happens to be a gifted poet himself, then what we get is just a new work of art (as it is the case with Lermontov's "Air-ship', for instance), only alongside with it there should exist aphilological version as well, to convey the idea of the original to the reader in its pure, unchanged form. There is a saying that a translator is a servant in prose and a rival in poetry; well, I tried to reconcile myself to the role of a servant even in poetry. "The best translation of a poetic work is no more than approximation to the original; evidently, the less is the gap between the two, the closer to perfection is the translation. The approximation concept is proved by the fact that the most famous works of world literature have been translated into the same language more than once, the search for adequate means to minimize the gap between the original and the translation still going on" (Т.А.Ледовская, Ф.И.Маулер стр.25.). V.Y. Zadornova sums up her own concept of the philological translation in a set of rules which on the whole seem quite reasonable to me. Further on I shall try to show how these rules can be applied to the work in question. The illustrative examples that I am going to use are taken from prose-translations as well, for most of the errors a translator lapses into are common for prose and poetry as far as Tolkien's works are concerned, the number of prose versions considerably exceeding that of poetic ones and therefore giving more room for the general analysis.

       First of all, good command of English is surely expected. Such a requirement might seem absurd, for it should go without saying - but for the fact, that many of the recent translations have been done by people not too sure of their English; there are many a case of factual mistakes. David Doughan, reviewing Estel's "Silmarillion" in his article "Russian Tolkien Update" (VT #26, 1992, p.29.) mentions the following case:

       The translator's comprehension of the rather archaic language used in the "Silmarillion" is sometimes quite inadequate: for example, when the Elves being urged to depart on the Great Journey "were swayed" by the words of their leaders, this is translated as "поколебались", which must make it rather hard for Russian readers to work out why they suddenly seem so enthusiastic about going.

       One of the other very common cases of incomprehension concerns the episode with the Two Trees. In the original text the Golden Tree, Laurelin is definitely referred to as a being of the feminine gender:"her blossoming", "her branches ("Silmarillion" p.33-34.). This case of personification seems to be very important, but it was unfortunately overlooked in the two published "Silmarillion" versions:

...Лаурелин угасал...дождь Лаурелина...(пер.Н.Эстель, стр.26) (further referred to as "Estel".).

...на двенадцатый час (отцвел) Лаурелин...
...вслед за тем сияние Лаурелина гасло...(издательство Власова, пер. не упомянут, стр.26) (further referred to as VS).

       The first requirement set by Zadornova is that the translation should not admit of any additions or abridgements; again, this should go without saying (be it out of respect for the author only), but for the numerous cases contradicting the rule. Again, i strongly suspect that additions and omissions mainly proceed from the translator's being not too sure of his comprehension of this or that particular phrase - it is easier to omit it altogether, just to be on the safe side! There is a particularly unlucky phrase which was omitted in both "Silmarillion" translation versions that I refer to, probably because its meaning might seem rather vague. The original text, the dialogue between Manwë and Yavanna questioning him about the expected coming of the Children, runs as follows:

"It is true", said Manwë. "But why dost thou ask, for thou hadst no need of the teaching of Aulë?"

the second part of Manwë's cue evidently seemed superfluous to the translators:

Да, это так, - ответил Манвэ. - Но почему ты спрашиваешь об этом? (VS, p.31)
-- Это так, - отвечал Манвэ. - Но почему спрашиваешь ты о том? (Estel, p.33)

Meanwhile what is meant here, is the following:"Why should you ask Aulë, since you are supposed to know yourself?" My own version would be:

"Правда это, - отвечал Манве. - Но почему вопрос твой, разве нуждаешься ты в наставлениях Ауле?"

       It is of cours just a small case which might have passed unnoticed, but for the fact that it signals a very dangerous tendency in the "translation school" - if you do not understand, then pretend the pharase is not here at all. That is how we can account, for instance, for Estel's omitting the whole passage in "Ainulindalë", which is evidently one of the "darkest" places in the text.

       Rule 2 deals with sticking to the norms of the language into which the work is being translated. Again it involves a certain degree of professional skills and language awareness on the part of the translator, a decent command of his own language. Word for word translation generates such monstrous phrases:

She went to the gardens of Lórien and lay down to sleep. ("Silmarillion", p.68)
(Потом она ушла в сады Лориэна и легла там на сон.) (Estel, p.54)

For they came to the seat of Morgoth in his nethermost hall. ("Silmarillion" p.219)
(Они явились перед троном Моргота в наиподземнейший его чертог. ) (Estel, p.162)

or even create such word-combinations and phrases which may seem somewhat ambiguous:

Он легко клялся, этот Мелькор, легко, потому что смеялся над любой клятвой. (VS, p.59)

That leads to the following interpretation: this particular Melkor did not take seriously any oath, but other Melkors were presumably more trustworthy...

Удивленная, остановилась Лучиэнь, и...молча ждала подходящего Берена. (VS, p.143)

       Again the interpretation might be somewhat unexpected: many a Beren lurked around, but none of them suitable, and she was still waiting for a suitable one. One should differentiate between the homonymous forms: "подходящий" - "coming" and "suitable".

       But to avoid grammatical constructions and phrases running counter to the norms of the Russian language does notmean to Russify the text. Quite on the contrary, deliberate Russification ruins the atmosphere of the text completely, as it happened, to my mind, in V.Muraviev's case. I am not sure whether any drastic emendations are acceptable from the ethical point of view (the author's concept should at least be expected), but surely the "Englishness" of the book is one of its most indespensable qualities, the author intending all the time to create a mythology for England (not for the Slavs), so any Russian culture-bound words would seem to my mind eclectic in the translation. Coinages like "здравур" might seem to be a happy find to a Slavophil, but they will not possibly seem such to the author, who unambiguously stated in his letter dealing with the translation of the "Lord of the Rings" into Polish: "This is an English book and its Englishry should not be eradicated" ("Letters", p.299.). After all, Professor Tolkien wrote about Eldarin, not Russian princes!

       The original style should be preserved at all costs. Tolkien's style, archaic, loftyand high-flown, does not allow of any colloquial words and expressions, let alone slang. In VS the style is deliberately lowered and somewhat vulgarized, which certainly does not improve the quality of the text. The translators found it possible to insert some slang-words of their own imagining where originally there were none - probably in order to adapt the text to the tastes of the modern reader? It would be enough to compare the original version with a few examples from VS:

If thou wilt be slain, i will slay thee gladly.("Silmarillion", p.263)
Ищешь смерти, недоумок? Ну что ж, я с удовольствием прикончу тебя! (VS, p.192);

Die now and the darkness have thee!("Silmarillion" p.274)
Околевай здесь, мрак тебя возьми! (VS, p.199);

But he bade Mablung go, and return to Doriath, with curses upon it. ("Silmarillion", p.278)
Потом он посоветовал Маблунгу убираться в свой треклятый Дориат. (VS, p.202);

Thrice now I curse my oath to Thingol, - he said. ("Silmarillion", p.271)
Будь трижды проклято мое дурацкое обещание! - в сердцах воскликнул он. (VS, p.157);

       These colloquial words seem still more incongruos and pitifully out of place in a work of a philologist with his passionate adherence to the literary norm - indeed, in Tolkien's writings even the Orcs speak in the high-flown style:

The Orc-captain laughed, and he said to Mîm:"Assuredly Túrin son of Húrin shall not be slain". ("Silmarillion", p.252)

Of course, in the VS version the Orcs are less cordial - but does a translator have any rights to change the text that drastically?

Вожак Орков густо расхохотался и хлопнул Гнома по плечу, едва не пришибив его. - А как же! Ну конечно! Уж убивать его мы не будем, это точно! (VS, p.184);

       V.Muraviev feels even less scruples about his Orcs, coming next to using the four-letter words, which most likely make the author turn in his grave. I strongly feel that Volume 3 of Muraviev's translation version is a book to be kept out of children's reach.

       Numerous cases of the Elf-lords'words, rendered into Russian in this non-chalant, colloquial fashion, are still more difficult to account for. Hence follow one of the loftiest passages of the "Silmarillion", the terrifying and binding oath of Fëanor's sons and its Russian version:
       Be he friend or foe, whether demon of Morgoth, or Elf, or child of men, or any other living thing in Arda, neither law, nor love, nor league of hell, nor might of the Valar, nor any power of wizardry, shall defend him from the pursuing hate of Fëanor's sons, if he take or find a Silmaril and keep it. ("Silmarillion', p.205)

Мне наплевать, друг он Морготу или враг, Эльф или Человек, или какая другая живая тварь! Ни закон, ни сами Валары и никакое колдовство не спасут этого бродягу от нашего Гнева, если он попробует присвоить Сильмарилл. (VS, p.147);

       As for the orc-speech in the lay, of course it should differ stylistically from that of the Elf-lords, but, in strict compliance with the original, it should not be brought to obsenities. A few neutral colloquial words here and there, formed with the help of diminutive suffixes mostly, which add a derogatory tint to the speech, contrasting the elevated style of the whole passage, will produce the desired effect. Here follows my translation of an-Orc-monologue from Canto 2:

"This ring in far Beleriand
now mark ye, mates", he said, "was wrought.
Its like with gold could not be bought,
for this same Barahir I slew,
this robber fool, they say,
did do a deed of service long ago
for Felagund. It may be so;
for Morgoth bade me bring it back,
and yet, methinks, he has no lack
of weightier treasure in his hoard.
Such greed befits not such a lord,
and I am minded to declare
the hand of Barahir was bare!
("Lay of Leithian", p.166)

("Колечку, братцы, нет цены,
И равного не знает мир:
Сраженный мною Барахир,
-Лесной разбойник и бахвал, -
Встарь, говорили, оказал
Услугу Финроду: удел
Завидный! Моргот повелел
Колечко принести ему -
Но только стоит ли? К чему?
Во тьме подземных галерей
Вещицы есть и поценней.
Пристало ль мира королю
Скупиться? Я неуступлю
Сокровища! Ищи глупца!
Сболтну, что не нашел кольца!")

       Certain impartiality is also required of a translator. One should not in any case introduce one's own likes and dislikes into one's translation. The translators of VS are very keen on showing their disapproval of this or that particular character by deliberately lowering the style or introducing some details or epithets of their own devising, not to be found in the original text. To translate a polysemantic word according to the notion it defines, that that is one thing: for instance, "a valley" as a dwelling-place of the Elves is certainly "долина", as the lair of Ungoliant, probably "расщелина". Morgoth's servants will probably be "прислужники", but those of the Elf-lords - "вассалы"; the race of Orcs is "племя", the race of Elves is "народ", etc. But these shades of meaning are already present in the semantics of the word. To add something from oneself is, to my mind, totally wrong, and sort of unfair, both for the reader and the character in question. The author is usually very explicit about his characters, they are not in need of additional abuse or laudation on the translator's part. For instance, the translators'personal resentment towards Mîm the dwarf can be observed in the way they tackled the following passage:

       Then with hatred long-stored Mîm stepped up to Beleg, and drew forth the sword Anglachel...MŒm in terror fled wailing from the hill-top. And Beleg criedafter him:"The vengeance of the house of Hador will find you yet!"("Silmarillion", p.253)
(Долго копившаяся ненависть вспыхнула в маленьких подслеповатых глазках Гнома, он боком подскочил к лежащему окровавленному Эльфу и потащил к себе Англахель...Мим заверещал от ужаса и бросился бежать, а вослед ему несся голос раненого: "Месть дома Хадора найдет тебя, плешивый сморчок!") (VS, p.184);

       The last epithet, which would be absolutely out of the question in the Elf-speech, needs no commentaries. The same approach is evident in the translators'treatment of the Fëanor's sons - whenever they are mentioned, it is with an addition of some disparaging epithet not to be found in the original text:

They lamented the fall of their king, saying that a maiden had dared which the sons of Fëanor had not dared to do...("Silmarillion", p.213)
(Многие говорили, что слабая девушка свершила то, на что не отважились горластые сыновья Феанора.) (VS, p.154);

       I can perceive that the translators strongly dislike the Fëanorings - what I cannot understand is why they believe it necessary to inform their readers about it.

       The importance of the adequate approach to the characters'speech-characteristics as in case with the Orc-speech can well be illustrated by the episode I have mentioned before: the address of Morgoth the Black Foe to his helpless, deceived victim Gorlim the Unhappy. Morgoth actually never swears: his mock politeness of a torturer is probably more terrifying than the emotionally coloured abuses and swear-words of Thu/Sauron in the corresponding episode of the Lay Recommenced. I failed to realise that at once, and it was fairly tempting to insert a couple of disparaging words; then, in strict compliance with the text I had to get rid of them. Here follow the original text and the two translation-versions, the draft-version and the final one:

Quoth Morgoth:"Eilinel the fair
thou shalt most surely find, and there
where she doth dwell and wait for thee
together shall ye ever be,
and sundered shall ye sigh no more.
This guerdon shall he have that bore
these tidings sweet, O traitor dear!
for Eilinel she dwells not here,
but in the shades of death doth roam
widowed of husband and of home -
a wraith of that which might have been,
methinks, it is that thou hast seen!
Now shalt thou through the gates of pain
the land thou askest grimly gain;
thou shalt to the moonless mists of hell
descend and seek thy Eilinel". ("Lay of Leithian", p.164)

Version 1;

И Моргот отвечал: "Ну что ж -
Ты Эйлинель свою найдешь -
Там, где она давно, скорбя,
Скитается и ждет тебя.
И боле вас не разлучат,
Несчастный! Лучшей из наград
Достоин тот, кто мне принес
Такие вести! Жалкий пес!
Жена твоя не здесь, заметь!
В стране теней, где правит смерть,
Она скитается одна,
Любви и мужа лишена, -
Тот бледный призрак, что в окне
Ты видел ночью, мнится мне.
Глупец, ступай же к ней теперь -
Мой меч тебе откроет дверь.
В разверстой бездны глубину
Ступай, ищи свою жену!

Version 2:

И Моргот отвечал:"Ну что ж -
Ты Эйлинель свою найдешь-
Там, где она давно, скорбя,
Скитается и ждет тебя.
И боле вас не разлучат.
Предатель милый! Буду рад
Вручить награду - нет ценней
Тобой доставленных вестей! -
Предательства венец и цель!
Здесь нет прекрасной Эйлинель -
И не бывало! Знай же впредь:
В стране теней, где правит смерть,
Она скитается одна,
Любви и мужа лишена -
Тот бледный призрак, что в окне
Ты видел ночью, мнится мне.
Но ты к ней попадешь теперь -
В разверстой бездны глубину
Ступай, ищи свою жену!"

       So I tried to get rid of all the "unparliamentary expressions" - after all, Morgoth did not use them indeed, why should I?

       Rendering names hs always been a controversial point, which causes many a dispute between Tolkien-admirers. Since the Lay abounds in toponyms and anthroponyms, the discussion of the correspondence between the graphic and phonetic form of proper names appears to be very essential. Of course, it might seem of minor importance, since an average reader will not probably care for the phonological aspect of the characters' names - the factual information is what really matters. But if we take into consideration that the author is a prominent philologist, a linguist who tried to realize his linguistic concept in a work of fiction, who stated that "The stories were made rather to provide a world for the language than the reverse...", the language, that is, the "invented language" would prove as essential as the factual information, if not more. All the names used in the text are meaningful names, and to ignore the linguistic aspect of the story and translate them into Russian at random means to impoverish the book, to deprive it of one of the most essential values upon which the evasive flavour of the work greatly depends. Since the names are in Eldarin languages, the Eldarin phonetics should be given as much consideration as possible. It seems reasonable to work out a set of rules, a system, before setting oneself to translate them at all. The author himself cared so much about this particular aspect, that he provided the potential translators with the "Guide to the Names", where exhaustively expressed his recommendations. As far as the Slavonic languages translations are concerned, there is a clear recommendation in Letter 217 concerning the Polish version of the "Lord of the Rings":"As for a general principlefor her (Mrs.Skibniewska's) guidance, my preference is for as little translation or alteration of any names as possible". Hence Muraviev's Russifications seem to be an inexcusable violation of the translator's ethics. What I would like to do is to analyse the possible erroneous variants (which seem such to me) of rendering the names into into Russian, as far as the graphic form is concerned.

First of all, there are sounds that do not exist in Eldarin languages at all. To use them in the Russian versions seems to be absolutely wrong. One cannot account for "Лучиэнь" (Lúthien) and "Целеборн"(Celeborn), since neither [ч] nor [ц] is to be found in Quenya.

       The а/э variations ar sometimes observed in Russian where there is "a" in Eldarin. The matter is, once again, that the names are not English, and therefore they are not subject to the rules of the English phonetics, and it was explicitly stated in Appendix E to the "Lord of the Rings" that "a"in Eldarin sounds approximately like that in "father", that is, [a]. In VS, nevertheless, we have either "a" or "э", though it remains unknown what the choice is dictated by. Hence Хэлдор (Haldor), but Хaлмир (Halmir), Халдад (Haldad), but Хaдор (Hador), and Лотлэнн (Lothlann), and Тэрас (Taras). In my version I always stick to the a-variant: Аглон (Aglon), Маглор (Maglor), etc.

       The е/э variations where there is "e" in the original text are also frequent.Here both variants seem to be acceptable, but either one or the other, not the unsystematic mixture of the two. In VS we have got a mixture again: Нэлдорет (Neldoreth), but Бретиль (Brethil). The same is in Estel's version: Арэдэль (Aredel), but Кементари (Kementari). In my own translations I decided to stick to the e-variant, when it stands alone, since "э" seems to be alien to the Russian phonetic system and looks somewhat conspicuous; but I preserve "i>э
" in diphthongs for purely phonetical reasons: hence Бельтиль (Belthil), Берен (Beren), Ороме (Orome), Дириэль (Diriel) etc.

       There have been observed unaccountable changes in the phonetic structure of the word. In VS we find "Ган" instead of "Húan" (consonant-change and monopthongization), "Ванна" instead of "Vana" (the consonant is doubled), "Барлог" instead of "Balrog" (consonant interchange), "Карафин" instead of "Curufin" (vowel-change), "Хэйлифь" for "Haleth" (diphthongization), "Ар-Паразон" for "Ar-pharason" (consonant-change). Again, these changes seem to be hard to account for.

       The л/ль variations are also unsystematic, though there is ground for a system. It is stated in the Appendix that "l" is "to some degree "palatalized" between "e", "i" and a consonant, or finally after "i", "e". It might be a happy way out to render the palatalized "l" with the help of the Russian "ь" - to differentiate between the two. But in VS "l" seems to be palatalized according to the translators'whim, not according to the Eldarin rules: hence Ольве (Olwë), but Элрос (Elros), Альдарион (Aldaron), but Телперион (Telperion), Галадриэль (Galadriel), but Эарендил (Eärendil). N. Estel is more consistent here, but there are some confusing cases in her translation as well: Хелкараксе (Helcaraxë), but Ольвэ (Olwë). In my translations Itried to stick to the rule formulated above: Эарендиль (Eärendil), Бельтиль (Belthil), Горлим (Gorlim), Мелиан (Melian) ("l" is palatalized automatically, due to the following "e", "и" vowels), but Эсгалдуйн (Esgalduin) - "l" is hard.

       Now comes the turn of the controversial TH-question. The traditional variant of rendering it into Russian is either "т" or "c" (К вопросу о раскрытии содержательной структуры имен собственных в переводе", Д.И.Ермолович). In Grigorieva-Grushetsky's translation of the "Lord of the Rings" there have been noticed at least 5 variants of rendering this combination into Russian:

[t] as in Тингол (Thingol)
[ц] as in ацелас (athelas)
[ч] as in Лучиэнь (Lúthien)
[тх] as in Гортхаур (Gorthaur)
[ф] as in Анфауглиф (Anfauglith);

       N.Estel seems to prefer ф-variant, though there are names, one must admit, where she mercifully leaves "т": Ородреф (Orodreth), but Талат Дирнен (Talath Dirnen). I am far from blaming anyone for "ф" or any other variant; after all, the Russian language does lack the corresponding sound, it is no more "т", strictly speaking, than "ф" or "с". But, again, the variant once chosen, the translator is expected to stick to it throughout the book. What seems to me quite a happy solution has been suggested to me - the Russian "т" (after all, it is the traditional variant) with diacritics, to show the difference between "t" as in Taras and TH. Hence I stick to the form Лутиэн (Lúthien), Моргот (Morgoth); the same diacritics mark is used to differentiate between D and DH, hence Дайрон (Dairon), but Майдрос (Maidhros); between W and V, hence Манвë (Manwë), but Таврос (Tavros); between H and KH, hence Хуан (Húan), but Адунахор (Adunakhor) (This name is not cited in the Lay.) (except for KH in Dwarfish or Orkish, where it is rendered as "кх", according to the transcription principle, since it is pronounced this way, hence "кхазад" (Khasad) (This word is not found in the Lay). This system of symbols is easy in usage, it seems natural enough not to offend the eye and performs its differentiating function quite successfully. This is particularly important since the difference in the graphic form causes the semantic difference). Needless to say, the translation should be preceded by a short introduction with the required explanations of the system employed. One more thing is to be mentioned here is that I tried to avoid rhyming names ending in TH with any Russian words, for, strictly speaking, such a case should be considered an assonance, where exact rhymes are required. Thus it might be advisable to place such names at the beginning of the line:

They dwelt amid Beleriand,
while Elfin power yet held the land,
in the woven woods of Doriath...(lines 41-44)
Белерианд, цветущий край,
Лес Дориата, птичьих стай
Зеленая обитель...

       As far as i-dipthongs are concerned, I tried to render them into Russian with the help of "й", since it is stated in the Appendix that they are pronounced as one syllable, hence Дайрон (Dairon) and Майдрос (Maidros).

       A certain difficulty arises as far as the plurals and the feminine gender are concerned. Again, I am strongly against Russian modifications, being fully persuaded that the grammatical rules of the Eldarin language are to be observed. In VS there have been attempts to add Russian feminine gender ending to Eldarin names, though not very consistent attempts either. E.g.: Унголианта (Ungoliant) - the a-ending; though Мелиан remains as such, not "Мелиана". Then there are Галадриэль (Galadriel) and Нимлофь (Nimloth) with the final "ь"(feminine) as opposed to Эарендил (Eärendil) and Ородреф (Orodreth) (masculine). This system of differentiation seems to be hardly justified. TH is never softened in Elvish languages, for all I know, and -a is not to be added at will. I would insist on the "Унголиант" version. The same is with the plural forms: they are approximated to the norms of the Russian language:
Пелоры, Аданы (VS). I would use Пелори (Pelori), the i-ending forming the plural in Quenya, and Эдайн (Edain), according to the Sindarin rules, forming the plural by changing the root-vowel (Adan - Edain).

       In addition to what has been said about names, I would like also to mention the problem of poetic stress. In the Appendix it is explicitly stated that the stress falls on the second or the third syllable from the end, according to the set of rules. To this aspect, as well as to the others, too little attention has been paid by the translators:

...И вот
Упал перед ним побежденный Финрод. ("Сильмарильон", IMAPRINT)

...Там услыхал Эарендил
Слова, запретные иным...("BK" изд."Северо-Запад")

       Actually, at first I did not pay special attention to the stress either. A passage from Canto 13 first ran as follows:

"Что нового в земле отца?
Тингол, как прежде,
ждет конца В своем краю,
где гладь да тишь,
Забившись в нору, словно мышь?
...Иль Тингол
Других шпионов не нашел?

       But, strictly speaking, it must be FinROD, EäRENdil, THINgol, according to the rules of Eldarin pronounciation. I had to change this passage in order to restore the original stress:

"Что нового в земле отца?
Что Тингол?
Верно, ждет конца
В своем краю, где гладь да тишь
Забившись в нору, словно мышь?
...Или он
Лазутчиками обделен?

In case with Finrod (Canto 7) I have the following:

...И Финрод, побежденный, пал...

       The final vowel can have an additional stress, particularly at the end of a poetic line (N.Martsch "Basic Quenya"), which accounts for placing a personal name at the end of the line, like in:

for fairer than are born to Men,
a daughter had he, Lúthien.(lines 21-22)

Thingol and deathless Melian,
whose magic yet no evil can

       I found it possible to use the additional poetic stress in Russian as well:

Отпрянула под своды стен...(Песнь 13)

...В сумраке полян
Звучали песни Мелиан...(Песнь 13)

Так пал отважный Барахир
Под сталью вражеских секир.(Песнь 2)

       But this rule concerns only three-syllable names, I guess, so to be on the safe side it is better not to place names at the of the line at all, if there is no precedent in the oroginal text. What remains a mystery for me is how "Melian" can rhyme with "can" and "man", since in the first case it is [a], in the second [ae]. Did Professor Tolkien find it possible to break one's own rules - or are these lines meant to be a consonance? I tried to use exact rhymes, in any case.

       The phonetic aspect of the original should be preserved in the translation, if that be possible. The problem is, that phonetic stylistic devices like alliteration are historically alien to the Russian versification, but, as I stated in Chapter 1, they are an essential part of the "Lay of Leithian". One cannot preserve it to the full without making considerable sacrifices as far as the form and the contents are concerned. The alliterative tight fits ("dawn and dusk", "lurk and lay", "wide and wild") are almost impossible to render into Russian - bu, though it cannot be helped, one feels that something is irrevocably lost. There might be happy exceptions, though: a country fair
of ever-eve I came, far from the seas. ("The Sea-bell")

...Вечный вечер царил над волшебной страной...

       There was an episode where I allowed myself to introduce a case of onomatopoeia, which actually was not there, though the episode itself was very suggestive of one. That is the episode when Beren returns to the outlaw's lair in the marshes only to hear carrion-birds croaking over the dead bodies:

The raven and the carrion-crow
sat in the alders all a-row;
one croaked: "Ha! Beren comes too late!
and answered all: "Too late! Too late!"(p.165)

       I cannot possibly imagine a crow pronouncing a sentence: "Too late, too late!" without a single r-sound in it. Otherwise it must have been an owl, since there is too much of [u:]. In my version this passage runs as follows:

..То вОроны подняли крик,
Рассевшись на ветвях осин.
"Не скор был Берен!" - так один
Закаркал, и зловещий хор
Откликнулся: "Не скор! Не скор!"

       One of the rules set by V.Zadornova is to preserve the rhythmical and metrical structure of the original. That includes the following points;

a) rhythm and length of the line

       The translation version reproduces the rhythmical arrangement of the original: iambic tetrameter or octosyllabic couplet. Compare:

There once, and long and long ago,
before the sun and moon we know
were lit to sail above the world,
when first the shaggy woods unfurled,
and shadowy shapes did stare and roam
beneath the dark and starry dome
that hung above the dawn of Earth,
the silences with silver mirth
were shaken; the rocks were ringing,
the birds of Melian were singing...(Canto 3)

Давно, в былые времена,
Когда ни Солнце, ни Луна
Не прочертили путь небес,
Когда листвой оделся лес,
Наполнив мрак в тени ветвей
Игрою призрачных теней -
Безмолвия прервался сон.
Смех, серебристый перезвон
Наполнил тишину полян:
То пели птицы Мелиан.

       What I allowed myself to do was to change what I thought to be defective lines - the ones, where the rhythmical pattern is conspicuously broken and there are extra syllables - in the translation version I constantly kept to the eight-syllable line:

Therefore at whiles he left the lair
and secretly, alone would peril dare, (2 extra syllables)
and come to his own house by night,
broken and cold, without fire or light. (1 extra syllable) (Lay Recommenced)

Один, тайком, ночной порой
Он лагерь покидал лесной
И приходил в свой старый дом,
И пред остывшим очагом
Напрасно ждал, напрасно звал...

       In a case where three successive lines are rhymed instead of two, I allowed myself to preserve the couplet form in the translation (lines 2175-77).

       And, finally, when the words rhyming are actually the same words, I allowed myself to dispense with it in the translation:

But ere he dared to call her name,
or ask how she escaped and came
to this far vale beneath the hills,
he heard a cry beneath the hills! (177-8)

..Но прежде, чем посмел опять
Ее окликнуть, разузнать
Как удалось ей ускользнуть
И отыскать неблизкий путь
В долину эту средь холмов -
Он слышит вдруг зловещий зов...

       The thing is, these exceptional cases are tobe regarded to my mind as defects of the draft, for they are not numerous and if we analyse the "Lord of the Rings" verses, we shall never come across such careless treatment of the form; I am sure that the author would have introduced the necessary changes into the final version - so it might be to the improvement of the work to dispense with these "slips' in the translation version.

b) nature of rhyme-syllables

       As I have mentioned above, the pattern is based upon the one-syllable rhymes, though there are cases of two-syllable rhymes as well. Considering this to be a draft-defect, I tried to avoid them where I could:

He lay beside his fellows few
in a secret place; and darkness grew,
and waned, and still he watched, unsleeping,
and saw the dismal dawn come creeping...(191-5)

...среди числа
Соратников. Сгустилась мгла
И расступилась вновь, но он
Глядел во мрак, забыв про сон...

с) principle of equilinearity

       When we come to considering the difficulties of the English-Russian poetic translation, proceeding from the very nature of the Russian and the English language, the translator trying to stick to the equilinearity principle, has to cope with the difference in the word-length. The average number of syllables in an English word is considerably less than that of a Russian word. The difference is really striking if we try to compare the "key-words" of the Lay, so to speak:

Elfin, Elven (2 syllables) - эльфийский/ая (3/4 syllables) king (1 syllable) - король (2 syllables) maid (1 syllable) - дева (2 syllables) bat (1syllable) - летучая мышь (two words!) star (1 syllable) - звезда (2 syllables)

       I suppose the principle of equilinearity is really essential in translating works of smaller volume and more intricate stanza; for instance, in the "Adventures of Tom Bombadil" I deliberately stuck to it; but it is certainly less important in a lengthy epic poem of the octosyllabic couplet form, where the number of lines is of minor importance in comparison with the contents of the poem and exactness of detail. This is the only principle of V.Zadornova, therefore, that I deliberately and consciously ignored. On the whole, the number of additional lines varies from 20 to 30% of the original quantity in each passage. Still, even in this case a certain amount of poetic transformations was inevitable. In the following passage analysed it can be observed that the types of transformations are very much the same that occur in prose-translation:

There bow was bent and shaft was sped,
the fallow deer as phantoms fled,
and horses proud with braided mane
with shining bit and silver rein,
were fleeting by on moonlit night,
as swallow arrow-swift in flight;
a blowing and a sound of bells,
a hidden hunt in hollow dells.
There songs were made and things of gold,
and silver cups and jewels untold,
and the endless years of Faëry land
rolled over far Beleriand,
until a day beneath the sun,
when many marvels were begun. (85-95)

Свистели стрелы, гнулся лук,
Олени мчались через луг,
В неясном отблеске луны
С летящей гривой скакуны,
Звеня серебряной уздой,
Летели вскачь порой ночной.
Охотники трубили в рог,
Будя уснувший дол и лог;
Слагались песни; мастера
Ковали чаши серебра
И украшений без числа,
И слава Фэери росла,
Но пробил час, и рок судил
Свершиться воле тайных сил.

Synonymous transformations: "on moonlit night" - "в отблеске луны", "hollow dells" - "дол и лог";

Generalisation: "braided main" - "c (летящей) гривой";

Concretisation: "there were made (things of gold)" - "мастера ковали"; "with silver rein" - "звеня серебряной уздой";

Addition; "deer fled" - "олени мчались через луг"; "слава Фэери росла" (line 95);

Omission: "fallow deer" - "олени"; "as phantoms fled" - "мчались"; "hidden hunt" (line 92), etc.;

       The transformations described above do not seem to surpass the limits set for prose-translation, and in spite of certain inevitable losses and additions the information is conveyed fairly close to the original text, and there are no grounds to call this particular bit a "free exposition" and not a translation in the strict sense of the word.

       d) correspondence between the metrical and syntactical division (carrying over to the next line):

       The genre of lay pertaining to the literature of action, the narrative structure of the Lay naturally reproduce a succession of events; hence complex sentences hard to place within one considerably short line are employed, and the discrepancy between the metrical and syntactical division inevitably appears. there are many a case of carrying over to the next line which do not always coincide with the logical pauses:

and Beren desperate then aside
thrust Lúthien and forth did stride
unarmed, defenseless to defend
Tinúviel until the end. (4508 -9)

       At times a sentence is carried over throughout 6-7 lines; the translation, consequently, reproduces the original form.

e) syntactical structure:

       The peculiarities of the structural design of utterances, which bear additional emotional colouring and aesthetic, predetermine the semantic aspect and affect the arrangement of the stanza, therefor adding to the aesthetic value of a poetic work, are to be preserved in the translation version. The syntactical stylistic devices and means found in the Lay and their literary value have been thoroughly analysed in Chapter 1; here I would like to illustrate the way they are rendered into Russian.

       "Fillers" like "did' and "doth" in addition to filling in the line,perform a special emphatic function in the English poetry, so they are not altogether void of all meaning like the Russian fillers like "и", 'же", "вот", "уж", which but betray the incompetence of the translator. I tried to avoid them in my version; at least not to imitate hte following:

Вдруг - и музыка вдали Нежно зазвучала... ("The Last Ship", transl. by A. Zastyrets)

       Due to the free word-order in the Russian language the emphatic function of the inversion is less evident, but repetitions are of greater importance, addingto the melodious effect and emphasizing the most essential element of the utterance:

So Lúthien, so Lúthien!
A liar like all Elves and Men! (3995-6)
Ну что ж, о Лутиэн, ну что ж - И ты, как Эльф и Смертный, лжешь!

"Not thus, O king! Not thus!" she cried. (4047)
"О нет, не так, король! Не так! "

down, down upon the floors of hell.(4097)
Вниз, вниз в кромешный пали мрак.

So are the parallel constructions:

and sharp his sword, and high his helm (71)
Высокий шлем, могучий лук.

Such lissom limbs no more shall run
on the green earth beneath the sun;
so fair a maid no more shall be
from dawn to dusk, from sun to sea. (23-26)

Не помнит трав лесной ковер
Столь легкий шаг, столь ясный взор,
Не помнят травы и цветы
Столь совершенной красоты.

       Needless to say, the author's tropes are to be given as much consideration as their significance for building up the imagery system of the Lay requires. The most common types of tropes were analysed in Chapter 1; here again I would like to give a few instances of correspondence between the original and the Russian version:

a) metonymy

...many lurking eyes
well used to pierce the deepest dark...(Lay Recommenced)
Немало глаз его пути/ Следили

His hand was over glen and glade. (4)
Над сенью чащ, над кряжем гор Он длань державную простерю

b) metaphor
The moon, that looked amid the mistupon the pines, the wind that hissed
among the heather and the fern...found him no more...(373-7)

Луна, что смотрит сквозь туман
На сосны; ветер, что волной
Колеблет вереск голубой
Напрасно ждут его назад...

с) epithets:

to west the ancient ocean roared,
unsailed and shoreless, wide and wild...(56-57)

На Западе у темных скал
Ревел и дыбил пенный вал
Бескрайний, бурный океан...

d) similes and comparisons:

Like startled moth from death
like sleep...she darted swift...(635-7)

Как бабочка, пробуждена
От заколдованного сна,
Вскочив, она метнулась прочь...

Huge shapes there stood like carven trolls...(3855-6)

Там идолов кошмарных ряд
Подобно чудищам немым...

       One shouldpay special attention to the concreteness of Tolkien's tropes, for each one creates a vivid, suggestive image that is to be rendered into Russian with all possible exactness, otherwise the narrative structurewill beconsiderable impoverished and simplified.

       V.Zadornova warns against too free a usage of archaic and colloquial words, as far as translations of Shakespear are concerned. But the "Lay of Leithian", according to the author's design, abounds in archaic, obsolete words and grammatical constructions. The elvated, high-flown, euphoneous style of the poem depends a great deal upon the choice of lexics; and that is dictated by the author's intention, not by the norms of the language of the epoch, as in Shakespear's case. There should not be a gap, to my mind, between the vocabulary layer chosen by the translator and that of the original; so I tried to make my version sound slightly archaic, too;

jewels untold - украшений без числа
many lurking eyes...his comings would mark - немало глаз его пути следили

and softly songs were sung at eve of marvels he did once achieve...
...Искусный бард Пел доблесть Берена...

"Cледить пути", "петь доблесть", "без числа" - such expressions convey a slightly archaic tint to the translation without overdoing it. As for the historic words, which add to the poem a distinct authentic flavour, I chose to preserve the rare word "лэ" in the very title of the poem, though the traditional variant of rendering "lay' into Russian would be "песня". To my mind the chosen variant preserves the flavour of ancient times, evoking in mind the lays of Marie de France and mediaeval minstrels; and, being an obscure poetic term, seems to emanate the feeling of mystery and remoteness, which suits the atmosphere of the poem itself.

       What I think absolutely erroneous to do is to introduce conspicuously modern words and clichŠs, especially those with distinct ideological colouring. Cf. in VS:

Пришло время великого строительства...(p.23);

Олве в отчаянии взывал к Оссе, но тот не пришел, остановленный категорическим запретом Валаров... (p.70);

Эарендил сам стоял за штурвалом "Вингилота", когда в ночном мраке над волнами пронеслась, словно падучая звезда, морская птица...Он поднял птицу, отнес в каюту, укрыл одеялом, а сам вернулся на вахту. Каково же было его изумление, когда утром увидел он спавшую на койке свою ненаглядную Эльвинг. (p.223);

Он так увлекся картинами, проплывавшими перед его извращенным внутренним зрением, что совершил роковую ошибку, ослабив на миг волевой контроль над девушкой.

       That produces a comical effect, completely destroying the elaborately created atmosphere of remoteness and wonder, the author's primary design.

       The exactness and success of poetic translation depends a great deal upon the translator's ability to decipher the author's concept - the ability based of the background knowledge of the translator and the wide philological context. Lacking this background knowledge, the translator inevitably fails to preserve certain details of the original which promote comprehension of the author's artistic design, and consequently misrepresents or even distorts the said design. In this respect I would indicate just one notion which sets certain difficulties; the term "Gnomes". The author uses this particular term throughout the Lay referring to one of the Elfin Houses, the one that bears the name of Noldor in the "Silmarillion". The first variant occurs in the earlier writings ("The Lost Tales") to be totally replaced by the "Noldor" form in the final version. There arises a difficulty of rendering "Gnomes" into Russian. The direct translation "Гномы" does not seem to be the appropriate one, for it evokes an image of "a legendary dwarfish spirit of subterranean race", the term itself being invented by Paraselsus and having nothing in common with the skilful and proud Elfin race meant by Tolkien. On the other hand, it seems important that this particular folk should be differentiated from the rest of the Eldar, for Tolkien says: "...and Elf and Gnome/ his slaves". So the generalising term "Эльфы" will not work either, since the author insists on concretisation. I thought the only way out was to use the "Silmarillion" term "Нолдор", for, being Tolkien's authentic creation, it renders the notion that is meant with great exactness, though, strictly speaking, it is not used in the Lay.

       To sum up all the above-mentioned, I would like to present a short analysis of four distinct Russian translation-versions of the same verse by Tolkien - it is not an extract from the Lay, stricktly speaking, and it is not exactly "Elvish poetry", but rather a hobbitish imitation of such. I chose #16 from the "Adventures of Tom Bombadil", a moving story about a mortal maiden called Fíriel (which stands for a "mortal maiden" in Quenya, a name, which is really a description, an Everymaiden), who chanced to behold the last of the Elven-ships going down the river and hear the call inviting her to go on board - but refused the summons and remained an "Earth-daughter". The two passages that I chose for the analysis, representing the words of the Elf-lords addressed to Fíriel, well illustrate possible errors and defects of form as well as possible merits of a poetic translation of Tolkien's verses. The original version runs as follows:

"To mortal fields say farewell,
Middle-earth forsaking!
In Elvenhome a clear bell
In the high tower is shaking.
Here grass fade and leaves fall,
and sun and moon wither,
and we have heard the far call
that bids us journey thither".

The oars were stayed. They turned aside:
"Do you hear the call, Earth-maiden?
Fíriel! Fíriel!" they cried.
"Our ship is not full-laden.
One more only we may bear.
Come! For your days are speeding.
Come! Earth-maiden elven-fair,
Our last call heeding". ("The Adventures of Tom Bombadil", p.63)

Version 1:

"Оставив смертную землю разлук,
Средиземье мы покидаем.
Над родиной Эльфов плывет чистый звук,
То колокол с башни вещает.
Здесь вянет трава, облетает листва,
Луна и солнце хиреют.
К нам зов несется издалека
И манит нас силой своею.
Не он ли на берег привлек тебя?"

Тут замерли весла гребцов.
"Пришедшей наша открыта стезя -
Оставь же землю отцов.
Здесь дни твои быстро к концу прибегут -
Лишь это тебе суждено.
Взойди на корабль! Владыки зовут
И есть еще место одно". (пер. И. Забелиной);

       This version, to my mind, though accurate enough in rendering the factual information, is unbearable defective in form, showing considerable lack of professionalism and language-awareness on the part of the translator. Cacophonous assonances instead of exact rhymes of the original, like "вещает" - "покидаем", "тебя" - "стезя", "листва" - "издалека"; crude variations in the amphibrahic metrical pattern (which fails to reproduce the iambic octameter of even lines and dactyl of uneven ones):

Над родиной эльфов плывет чистый звук- / - - / - - / / - /

inedequate word-choice and clumsy phrases like:"колокол с башни вещает", "луна и солнце хиреют", etc., a particularly strange figure of speech "зов...манит нас силой своею" (I suppose a call is not expected to allure anybody by force) betray but a poor quality of the translation. The author's concept seems to be distorted by rendering "Elvenhome" as "родина эльфов" - for it is common knowledge (among Tolkien-readers at least) that the Elves' Motherland is the shore of the Cuivienen lake in the Middle-earth, not Valinor, where the ship was heading for.

Version 2:

Со Средиземьем простились мы,
С прекрасной смертной страной.
Где вянут травы в предвестье зимы
И меркнут Солнце с Луной.
И слышим мы из адльних краев:
Тоской наполняя грудь
Звон колокольный, печальный зов
Велит нам пускаться в путь.

И звали Эльфы:"О дочь Земли
С эльфийскою красотой!
Приди к нам, мы взять бы тебя могли
Туда, в наш мир золотой.
Идем же! Так мимолетны дни
Для вас, созданий земных,
А нас навек из смертной тени
Уводит песня волны". (пер. М. Виноградовой)

       This version seems to be uncomparably better from the point of view of its literary values. The evasive, tremulous accented verse pattern seems to be a happy find to reproduce the unstable iambic/dactylic altenation of the original; more accurate rhymes (except for the assonance of lines 14-16) add to the melodious effect; and exquisite imagery is expressed in good Russian; I would particularly commend lines 6-8, 13-14, 16; though "дочь Земли с эльфийскою красотой" does sound a bit clumsy. On the whole, this version produces a favourable impression, closely following the original, sticking to the norms and laws of the Russian language and representing a fairly good poetic form.

Version 3:

С башни кличет нас туда (в Эльфландию - С.Л.)
Колокол веселый.
Так прощайте навсегда,
Средиземья долы!
Здесь недолог век цветов,
Свет во мраке тает,
И домой далекий зов
Эльфов увлекает.

Здесь, эльфийской красоты
Девушка земная,
Все равно увянешь ты
Радости не зная.
Хоть живешь ты на Земле -
Молви лишь словечко -
Фириель! На корабле
Есть одно местечко". (пер. А. Застырец; "Уральский Следопыт" 12-1992)

       Here again we see that the form of the original is not preserved; the translator chose the dactylic meter. But neither exact rhyming, nor strict adherence to the once chosen metrical pattern does not make up for the dreadful inadequacy of style and evident distortion of the author's original design:

Молви лишь словечко -
Фириэль! На корабле
Есть одно местечко".

       One almost expects them to give a meaningful wink, accompaning an indecent proposal.These words are far from being the high-flown, binding, mingled with infinite sadness speech of the Elf-lords (even in hobbitish interpretation). The trope "колокол веселый" is absolutely out of place, for the atmosphere of the poem is that of sorrow, frustrated hope and feeling of irrevocable loss. The departing Elves (if we remember the "Silmarillion") are torn between their love for the Middle-earth and longing for the blissful lands of their kin; their departure is a sad and heart-breaking one, not a picknick outing; the "merry bell" introduces a note which sounds like an assonance, an alien element, running counter to the author's concept.

       And finally I would dare to introduce my own version of the passage inquestion:

"Прощай, земля теней и снов,
Навек о нас забудь!
Далекий звон колоколов
Давно позвал нас в путь!
Здесь блекнут травы, вянет лист,
Тускнеет свет луны.
Мы слышим зов, певуч и чист,
Мы прочь спешить должны".

Плеск весел смолк.
Лишь голос пел Под мерный шум ручья:
"Нас мало, мало, Фириэль,
И не полна ладья.
Для столь прекрасной, для одной
Мы место отвели.
Иди же к нам! Твой срок земной
Не вечен, Дочь Земли!"

       The original form is but partly preserved (the iambic pattern instead of the iambic/dactylic alternation, the two-syllable rhymes joining the uneven lines are substituted by one-syllable rhymes, like in even lines). The trope "mortal fields" is rendered as "земля теней и снов", under the strong influence of C.Lewis's "shadowland", as I suspect. And, finally, I failed to mentio that the maiden was "elven-fair", which seems to be a serious loss in imagery. For quite understandable reasons I cannot comment on possible lack or presence of literary values in this particular version, it just represents my own vision of the episode in particular - and Tolkien's poetry on the whole.

       The same can be said about my translations of the selected Cantos of the "Lay of Leithian"; I did not mean to commend or criticise; the only thing I wanted to do in this particular chapter was to point out certain possible errors in translating Tolkien's works, outline the difficulties and problems a translator might face and possible ways of solving them, using my own work as an illustration. The "Lay of Leithian" is certainly a masterful and valuable work of Art to deserve a competent, well-considered approach on the part of the translators. "Philological, linguistic, mythological interests of J.R.R.Tolkien, alloyed in the epic novel, to our mind call for the creation of several translation versions, which in the long run can generate a single, unified text, corresponding to the author's design", - said N.Grigorieva and V.Grushetsky in the introduction to the first Russian edition of the "Lord of the Rings". I suppose, the same words are justly applicable to the "Lay of Leithian".


       This paper aims at the literary and linguistic evaluation of the largest poetic work by J.R.R.Tolkien, the "Lay of Leithian", which up to now has not been the subject of a thorough analysis. The chief source of the corresponding "Silmarillion" episode, the poem remains nevertheless an independent and purely original work of art with indisputable merits of its own.

       In Chapter 1 the attention was focused on the peculiarities of the genre, the aim being to trace the development of the literary trend up to its creator, Marie de France, to bring the work in question in the comparison with Breton lays, to outline the difference and similarities, evaluating the possible degree of influence of the literary tradition of the past on the mythopoeic process. It was shown how Tolkien creates a believable world in which his aesthetic, philosophic and ethical concepts and ideas assume shape and act; and there appears an imaginative creation generatin the overwhelming sence of secondary belief in the recipient, much due to the fact that Professor Tolkien was a writer of genious as well as a moral visionary. I proceeded to investigate the poetic structure of the Lay as well as its thematic contents since it is in the conjunction of the two that the power of the imagination is manifest. A brief stylistic analysis, which focused on the literary values of the work in question, brought light upon the phonetic, syntactical and lexical peculiarities of the Lay and presumably led to a deeper penetration into the author's artistic design and facilitated the aesthetic evaluation of the poem, as well as concentrated upon certain points which could attract the attention of the translator.

       In Chapter 2 the problem of translation proper was investigated, concerning Tolkien's prose-works in general and poetic works in particular. I tried to indicate what seems erroneous to me and to outline possible solutions, as well as to draw attention to a few points ignored before, to the rendering of onomastics in particular. Without claiming deep penetration into the poetic translation theory, this part of the paper provided a theoretical basis for the practical input, at the same time leading to the conclusion of the necessity and timeliness of the translation of the work in question.

       Since the theoretical part was meant to provide certain grounds for practical work, outlining one of the possible approaches, I found it worthwhile to supplement the paper with poetical translations of my own, the said supplement consisting of 3 parts:

       Appendix A comprises 4 selected Cantos from the Lay proper, representing different prose-systems and moods, each one being a logically complete episode of the Lay. Canto 1 is mostly descriptive as an introductory part, Cantos 2 and 3 are mostly narrative with elements of description and monologues inserted; Canto 4, drastically contrasting the other three, is meant to illustrate another side of Tolkien's imaginary world, its emotional colouring being morbid and dark, with elements of horror, unlike in Cantos 1,3, where the atmosphere of joy and beauty prevails, though pervaded with noted of sadness and vague anticipation of disaster.

       Appendix B includes two verses from the "Adventures of Tom Bombadil", which are meant to illustrate certain difference in form, since they belong to a distinct poetic tradition, though strongly influenced by the Eldarin one. On the other hand, these particular texts referred to in the paper and now given in full are essential for better understanding the philosophic and ethical concepts of the author.

       Appendix C includes two logically complete episodes from the "Silmarillion" story with extracts of the Lay inserted into the narrative texture. This part is meant to give a glimpse of Tolkien's creative prose-work heritage, embellished with verses, where rhyming extracts fit most organically into the prose-framing, merging with it, the result being a harmonious, unified whole - which I would call a new and purely original type of the emotive prose, the creative achievement of Tolkien.

       The mythopoeic process, an essential part of creative writing, achieves an unprecedented level in the works of Professor Tolkien, and the artful way in which he gives form to the fantastic, can be justly compared with the best examples of the belle-letter style. In this respect it is advisable to speak about further investigations of Tolkien's secondary world, recurring to a deep philological analysis of the language means employed by the author, tracing the sources and the degree of influence of various literary traditions, distinguishing elements of transmyth and reconstructing mechanisms of the mythopoeic process. The field of investigation might be sufficiently enlarged by recurring to bordering disciplines of humanitarian orientation, Tolkien's philosophic and ethical concepts being of unabating interest. And, finally, all the above-mentioned calls for the creation of adequate translation-versions of Professor Tolkien's works, the "Lay of Leithian" certainly being included in their number.


Песнь 1 (О Тинголе.)

Встарь, до того, как род людской
Явился в мир - тогда землей
Могучий правил властелин.
Над гладью рек, над тьмой долин,
Над сенью чащ, над кряжем гор
Он длань державную простер.
Копье его - залог побед -
Сияло сталью; звездный свет
Мерцал в шелках его знамен;
Был лунный отблеск отражен
В щите; венец из серебра
Ему ковали мастера,
И труб серебряная трель
Взвивала звездную метель.
Заклятия волшебных чар
Хранили древний край тот; встарь
Там красовался, горд и строг,
Высокий каменный чертог.
В сокровищницах царь собрал
Берилл, и жемчуг, и опал,
Металл чешуйчатых кольчуг
И копья для могучих рук,
Мечи, щиты и топоры
Во тьме хранились до поры.
Но ни во что не ставил он
Блеск всех сокровищ всех времен,
Что для царей имели вес -
Пред девушкой, что Эльфинесс
Встарь озаряла красотой:
Владыка Эльфов всей душой
Любил дочь, Лутиэн, милей
Земли прекрасных дочерей.

Не помнит трав лесной ковер
Столь легкий шаг, столь ясный взор;
Не помнят чащи и цветы
Столь совершенной красоты.
Синей небес ее наряд, И, словно летний вечер, взгляд.
Гирлянды золотых лилей
Венчали ночь ее кудрей.
Походка, как полет, легка,
А смех - нежнее ветерка.
К воде склонившийся тростник,
В зеленой чаще света блик,
Весной цветущие поля,
Хрустальный перезвон ручья -
Что лучше передаст черты
Ее бессмертной красоты -
Сокровище в стенах дворца
И гордость своего отца?

Белерианд, цветущий край,
Лес Дориата, птичьих стай
Зеленая обитель, встарь
Им домом был; эльфийский царь
Владел им много лет назад.
В лесную чащу, говорят,
Немногим был известен путь.
Немногие когда-нибудь
Вступали в дивную страну:
Не смел нарушить тишину
Ни звон копыт, ни гончих псов
Призывный лай, ни звук шагов.
Отсюда к северу лежал
Край Ужаса, где тени скал
Дрожат средь призрачных глубин
Пещер; где Таур-на-Фуин
Пронизывают тропы зла;
Где Мрачная Ночная Мгла
Укрыла земли той страны,
Где нет ни Солнца, ни Луны.
На юг, бесплодные, легли
Пространства сумрачной земли;
На Западе, у черных скал
Ревел и дыбил пенный вал
Безбрежный, бурный океан.
К Востоку голубой туман,
Венчая снеговой убор,
Плащом окутал пики гор,
Что вознесли безмолвный строй
Над сумрачной лесной страной,
Над сенью спутанных ветвей -
Сосредоточьем чар - древней,
Чем утро; перезвон их струн
Звучал, когда наш мир был юн.

Менегрот, Тысяча Пещер,
Дворец во тьме подземных сфер
Близ вод реки Эсгалдуин
Таил без счету средь глубин
Высоких залов, галерей
В сиянье факельных огней.
Там правил Тингол - горд, могуч,
Король лесов и горных круч,
И чащ, где ясень, вяз и бук:
Высокий шлем, могучий лук.

Там Лутиэн, легка, как тень,
Кружилась в танце; таял день,
И музыки певучий звук
Звенел в листве; и мир вокруг
Стихал, внимая ей - звончей,
Чем птичий щебет; слух людей
Средь шумных пиршественных зал
Прекрасней песням не внимал.
Был зелен лес, и долог лист,
Звучал мотив, высок и чист,
Лилась волшебной флейты трель -
То Дайрон, дивный менестрель
Среди полян в венце из рос
Слагал мотив любви и грез
К эльфийской деве, Лутиэн,
Той, что он сердце отдал в плен.

Свистели стрелы, гнулся лук,
Олени мчались через луг;
В неясном отблеске луны
С летящей гривой скакуны,
Звеня серебряной уздой,
Летели вскачь порой ночной.
Охотники трубили в рог,
Будя уснувший дол и лог,
Слагались песни; мастера
Ковали чаши серебра
И украшений без числа;
И слава Фэери росла,
И длился бесконечный век,
И над землею свет не мерк;
Но пробил час, и рок судил
Свершиться воле тайных сил.

Песнь 2. (Предательство Горлима и месть Берена.)

На Севере, в краю теней,
В неверном отблеске огней,
Мерцавших отсветом костров
В дыханье ледяных ветров,
В пещерах горных погребен,
Во тьме таился черный трон.
Стонало эхо; темный дым
Клубился облаком живым,
Свивался кольцами, душил
Лишенный Солнца мир могил.
Подземных тварей мерзкий род
Там копошился; темный свод
Венчал собой чертог глубин.
Там правил Темный Властелин -
Не Эльф, не Смертный; равно чужд
Земле и Небу, зову нужд
Добра и милости; могуч,
Как горный кряж под сенью туч;
Древней, чем скалы: зол, угрюм -
Сосредоточье черных дум.
Стальные копья били в цель,
Сметала все, как тьмы метель
В слепом стремленье убивать
Его безжалостная рать.
Волк и стервятник по пятам
За нею следовали; там,
Где пролегал кровавый след,
Знамена тьмы застлали свет;
И хриплым карканьем ворон
Был заглушен предсмертный стон
Поверженных; огонь и меч -
Удел для тех, кто смел навлечь
Гнев Властелина. Вечной мглой
Укрыл он Север; над землей
Простерлась, тьме сбирая дань,
Его карающая длань.

Но жил, таясь, в стране лесной
Отважный Барахир - герой,
Рожденный, чтоб повелевать,
Лишен, преступнику под стать,
Владений и наследных прав
Скрывался средь чащоб и трав.
С ним - верных воинов отряд
И Берен, сын; не наугад
Разили стрелы; меч сверкал
И гнулся лук. пускай был мал
Отряд изгнанников лесных -
Отважные деянья их
Вселяли трепет во врагов.
Им жизнь средь сумрачных лесов
Была милей, чем жалкий плен
И рабство средь подземных стен.
Прислужников свирепых рать,
Безумных в жажде убивать:
Людей и троллей, псов, волков
Слал Моргот против смельчаков.
Все было тщетно: царь не мог
Ничем им повредить - но рок
Настиг и их: о том рассказ,
Что слезы исторгал не раз
У слушавших в былые дни
Недолог - против западни
Хит¡щ расставленных тенет
Спасенья не было и нет.

То Горлим был, что как-то раз
Ночной порой, в недобрый час
Один отправился сквозь тьму
В долину: тайный друг ему
Назначил встречу; чей-то дом
Проходит: в сумраке ночном
Белеет смутный силуэт
На фоне звезд; лишь тусклый свет
Мерцает в маленьком окне.
Он заглянул: и, как во сне,
Когда, отрада скорбных дум,
Тоска обманывает ум,
Являя видимым - фантом,
Свою жену пред очагом
Узрел он: прядь седых волос,
И бледность, и пролитых слез
Следы, и нищенский наряд
О днях страданий говорят.
"А! Нежный друг мой, Эйлинель,
Кого я почитал досель
Низринутой в кромешный ад
Подземных тюрем! Верно, взгляд
Мой обманулся! Мнилось мне,
Тебя убитой при луне
Я видел - в роковую ночь,
Не в силах горя превозмочь,
Когда я волей злобных сил
Утратил все, чем дорожил".
С тяжелым сердцем, изумлен
Глядел извне, из мрака он.
Но прежде, чем посмел опять
Ее окликнуть, разузнать,
Как удалось ей ускользнуть
И отыскать неблизкий путь
В долину эту средь холмов -
Он слышит вдруг зловещий зов.
То - уханье совы ночной
Звучит во тьме. Он слышит вой
Волков, предвестников беды:
Волк проследил его следы
Сквозь сумрак ночи. Злобный враг
Ночных убийц неслышный шаг
Направил в ночь не наугад.
И Горлим отступил назад,
Надеясь увести врагов
От Эйлинель; под сень лесов
Он устремился прочь, один,
Через ручьи и зыбь трясин,
Сквозь лог, ночною мглой одет,
Как зверь, запутывая след,
Пока не оказался там,
Где лес стал домом смельчакам, -
Вдали от сел, среди числа
Соратников. Сгустилась мгла
И расступилась вновь - но он
Глядел во мрак, забыв про сон,
Пока унылый свет небес
Не озарил промозглый лес.
Измучен, Горлим был готов
Просить о милости врагов
И предпочесть позорный плен
И цепи - если бы взамен
Обрел жену. Так дни текли -
Но что за спор в душе вели
Долг, преданность друзьям, и честь,
И ненависть к врагу, чья месть
Грозит любимой, скорбь и страх -
Кто мог бы передать в словах?

Прошло немало дней - и вот
Раздумий горестных исход
Был близок. Горлим, обуян
Тоскою, сам направил в стан
Слуг Моргота свои пути,
И повелел им отвести
На суд их грозного царя
Смирившегося бунтаря,
Что полагается едва
На милость обрести права
Своим известием о том,
Где находил в краю лесном
Отважный Барахир приют,
И тайных тропах, что ведут
К убежищу под сенью крон.
Так бедный Горлим был введен
Во тьму глубин, в подземный зал;
Пред троном на колени пал,
Своим доверием почтив
Того, кто был от роду лжив.
И Моргот отвечал:"Ну что ж!
Ты Эйлинель свою найдешь -
Там, где она давно, скорбя,
Скитается и ждет тебя.
И боле вас не разлучат.
Предатель милый! Буду рад
Вручить награду - нет ценней
Тобой доставленных вестей! -
Предательства венец и цель!
Здесь нет прекрасной Эйлинель -
И не бывало! Знай же впредь:
В стране теней, где правит смерть
, Она скитается одна,
Любви и мужа лишена -
Тот бледный призрак, что в окне
Ты видел ночью, мнится мне.
Но ты к ней попадешь теперь -
Мой меч тебе откроет дверь.
В разверстой бездны глубину
Ступай, ищи свою жену!"

Так умер Горлим, и не раз
Он клял себя в предсмертный час.
Так пал отважный Барахир
Под сталью вражеских секир.
Так все деянья старины
Напрасно были свершены.
Но Моргота коварный ков
Не удался - не всех врагов
Он одолел: война все шла,
Круша хитросплетенья зла.
Сам Моргот, верят, колдовством
Явил тот дьявольский фантом,
Что Горлима склонил ко злу, -
Так, чтобы канул вновь во мглу
Надежды свет, что рос и креп.
Но Берен, волею судеб
В тот день охотился средь скал
И, утомясь, заночевал
Вдали от лагеря. Но сон
Был мрачен: мгла со всех сторон
Надвинулась - и мир исчез.
Он видит: облетевший лес
Под ветром гнется, как жнивье;
Но вместо листьев - воронье
Крича, расселось на заре
И на ветвях, и на коре.
И клюв у каждой обагрен
В крови; но встать не в силах он, -
Не разорвать - напрасный труд! -
Невидимых, но прочных пут:
Измучен тщетною борьбой,
У озера, в глуши лесной
Лежит он на сыром песке.
Вдруг видит Берен: вдалеке
Гладь неподвижных, сонных вод
Заколебалась, дрогнув; вот
Сгустилась тень, бледна, светла,
И очертанья обрела.
Неясный призрак в тишине
К нему приблизился во сне
И молвил:"Горлим пред тобой -
Обманутый предатель, твой
Соратник бывший. Не страшись -
Спеши! Смыкаются, сошлись
Персты врага, тиски кольца
На горле твоего отца.
Враг знает все. Враг знает путь
К убежищу". И козней суть
Раскрыл тут Горлим. Сон же вдруг
Прервался. Берен, меч и лук
Схватив, помчался в тайный стан,
Стремительней, чем ураган
С холмов, чей яростный порыв
Ломает ветви хрупких ив.
Жгли сердце языки огня;
Так, поутру второго дня
Достиг он места, наконец,
Где Барахир, его отец
Разбил свой лагерь. Видит взгляд
Знакомых хижин жалкий ряд
На островке среди болот;
Рой птиц вспугнул его приход.
Но то не цапля, не кулик -
То вóроны подняли крик,
Рассевшись на ветвях осин.
"Не скор был Берен!" - так один
Закаркал. И зловещий хор
Откликнулся: "Не скор! Не скор!"
И Берен, с мукой на челе
Отцовский прах предал земле,
И над могилой храбрецов
Воздвиг курган из валунов,
И имя Моргота над ним
Он трижды проклял, одержим
Желаньем мстить. Но не рыдал -
Могильный холод грудь сковал.

Через леса и зыбь болот
Направил Берен путь - и вот
Вблизи кипящих родников
Он, наконец, настиг врагов:
Наймиты мрака, палачи
Разбили лагерь свой в ночи
У гейзеров, под сенью скал.
Один со смехом показал
Кольцо, что некогда носил
Сам Барахир; и объявил,
Любуясь на трофей войны:
"Колечку, братцы, нет цены,
И равного не знает мир:
Сраженный мною Барахир, -
Лесной разбойник и бахвал -
Встарь, говорили, оказал
Услугу Финроду: удел
Завидный! Моргот повелел
Колечко принести ему -
Но только стоит ли? К чему?
Во тьме подземных галерей
Вещицы есть и поценней.
Пристало ль мира королю
Скупиться? Я не уступлю
Сокровища! Ищи глупца!
Сболтну, что не нашел кольца!"
Но в этот миг взвилась стрела
И в грудь изменнику вошла.
Был Моргот, верно, рад узнать,
Что злейший враг его, под стать
Слуге, с кого особый спрос,
Удар ослушнику нанес.
Но смех Врага, должно быть, смолк
От слов, что Берен, точно волк
Метнулся из-за валунов,
Один ворвался в стан врагов,
И выхватил кольцо, и вмиг
Исчез во мраке. Злобный крик
Бессильной ярости потряс
Уснувший лес. В счастливый час
Рожден был Берен. Вихрь стрел
Взметнулся в воздух, но задел
Лишь сталь: броня, крепка, светла,
От стрел владельца берегла.
Так Берен скрылся: след пропал
Средь вереска и темных скал;
Отряд кровавых палачей
Не проследил его путей.

Был Берену неведом страх:
Могуч и стоек, он в боях
Являл отваги образец,
Пока был жив его отец.
Теперь же свет небес померк
Для Берена. Скорбя, отверг
Он смех и радость, и мечтал,
Чтоб меч, стрела или кинжал
Прервали жалкой жизни нить.
В неистовом желанье мстить
Страшась лишь участи раба,
Он смерти вызов слал - судьба
Хранила дерзкого. Молва
О славных подвигах слова
Несла повсюду: стар и млад
Внимали ей; искусный бард
Пел храбрость Берена; хвала
Дерзаньям доблести росла
И крепла: так сражался он,
Один, врагами окружен,
Затерянный в кромешной мгле.
Слуг Моргота в лесной земле
Смерть поджидала даже днем
За каждым деревом и пнем.
Его друзьями в трудный час
Надолго стали бук и вяз,
Пернатый и пушной народ
Лесной глуши, и духи вод
И гор, и каменных глубин,
И скал, и сумрачных долин.
Но участи бунтовщика
Конец печален. Велика
Власть Моргота. Не знал преград
Ни злобный ум, ни зоркий взгляд:
Не помнят Короля грозней
Сказания минувших дней.
Неспешно, тщательно, не вдруг
Он сети стягивал вокруг
Непокоренного врага:
Как пали первые снега,
Покинул Берен наконец
Край, милый сердцу, где отец
Обрел могилу средь болот:
В сырой земле, близ сонных вод,
Где,поникая на пески,
Свой плач слагают тростники,
Лежит прославленный герой.
В кромешной тьме, ночной порой
Пробрался Берен сквозь заслон
Врагов: бессонных стражей он
Минует. Не заметил враг
Его путей: бесшумен шаг
Лесных скитальцев. Средь листвы
Не слышно звона тетивы;
Смолк свист стрелы; не вспыхнет щит,
Никто главы не преклонит
Средь вереска в тени полян.
Луна, что смотрит сквозь туман
На сосны; ветер, что волной
Колеблет вереск голубой,
Напрасно ждут его назад.
Ночные звезды, что горят
В морозном воздухе ночном
Искристым, трепетным огнем,
Теперь ему светили вслед,
Струя холодный, чистый свет
На горный кряж и сонный пруд:
"Пылающий Шиповник" люд
Встарь называл огни небес,
Что озаряют дол и лес.

Край Ужаса, где без числа
Переплелись дороги зла,
Оставил Берен за спиной,
Стремясь на юг. Крутой тропой,
Что вьется в Сумрачных Горах,
Лишь тем, кому неведом страх,
Дано пройти. Могуч, высок,
Вознесся северный отрог:
Там - смерть и боль, там рыщет враг.
Обманчивый, неверный мрак
Окутал южный перевал:
Там громоздятся глыбы скал,
Там средоточье мрачных чар,
Край мертвых вод, ночной кошмар.
А вдалеке, за цепью гор,
Мог различить орлиный взор
С недосягаемых высот
Скалистых круч, одетых в лед,
В неясной голубой дали
Границы призрачной земли:
Белерианд, Белерианд,
Плетенье колдовских гирлянд.

Песнь 3. (О встрече Берена и Лутиэн.)

Давно, в былые времена,
Когда ни Солнце, ни Луна
Не прочертили путь небес,
Когда листвой оделся лес,
Наполнив мрак среди ветвей
Игрою призрачных теней -
Безмолвия прервался сон.
Смех, серебристый перезвон
Наполнил тишину полян:
То пели птицы Мелиан.
Мир смертных, жизни колыбель
Впервые слышал птичью трель.
К волшебнице, одетой в плащ
Вечерних сумерек, из чащ
Слетались соловьи. Темней
Чем ночь, каскад ее кудрей
Струился по плечам; до пят
Спадал волнистый водопад.

Сады Богов, обитель сна
Давно покинула она;
За горы, вдаль, на край земли
Беглянку тропы увели.
Срединный мир, во мрак одет,
Ей домом стал на много лет,
И зазвучал ее напев
Среди долин, в тени дерев.
Тот голос, нежный, колдовской
И птицы трель в тиши лесной
Смятенный Тингол услыхал:
В ту пору мир принадлежал
Лишь Эльфам - юный их народ
Царил среди земель и вод.
Родня его - как говорят
Легенды - много лет назад
Ушла к последним берегам:
Залив, открытый всем ветрам,
Простерся у границ земли;
Там возводились корабли,
Там поднимались якоря
И Эльфы плыли за моря -
К земле Богов, где вечен свет,
В края, что вне теченья лет,
Где небо сходится с землей,
Где смерть не властна над душой.
Но Тингол, очарован, нем
Застыл, внимая смене тем
Волшебных песен, мудрых слов.
Тенистый сад Владыки Снов
Дарит забвенье тех минут,
Что в мире, знавшем смерть, сочтут
За век. Скорбя о короле-
Уплыл к неведомой земле
Народ - а Тингол, недвижим,
Внимал напевам колдовским.
Текли века, свет звезд не гас -
Но для него прошел лишь час.
Но вот рассеялся туман,
Час встречи пробил. Мелиан
Покоилась в тени дубрав
На ложе из листвы и трав,
В видения погружена.
Кудрей тяжелая волна
Рассыпалась. Остерегись!
Здесь явь и сон переплелись.
Коснувшись шелковых волос,
Король застыл во власти грез,
Во тьму забвенья погружен.
Так шли века. И длился сон.

Так Тингол, дальний путь презрев,
Остался жить среди дерев,
И не уплыл за океан,
Плененный мудрой Мелиан,
Чей нежный голос, полон чар6
Был чист и сладок, как нектар,
Что в кубках Валаров сверкал
Под сводом золоченых зал
Среди фонтанов и цветов.
Когда ж звучала в честь Богов
Песнь темнокудрой Мелиан -
Внимал цветок, смолкал фонтан.
Так королевская чета
В краю, где мир и красота
Бессмертный изливали свет,
Царила много сотен лет.
Все заплутавшие во мгле,
Что, задержавшись на земле,
Пути к заливу не нашли,
И не увидели вдали
Сиявших белизной высот,
И пенных волн, и темных вод, -
Все в колдовском краю лесном
Отныне обрели свой дом.

Когда же Моргот власть Богов
Отверг, бежал из их краев,
И, к миру смертных привлечен,
На Севере воздвиг свой трон -
Род вновь пришедших в мир Людей
Он воле подчинил своей;
Под властью мрака стал рабом
И Человек, и Эльф, и Гном,
А непокорных Враг обрек
Судьбе скитаний и тревог.
У края прОклятой земли
Строй стен и башен вознесли
Твердыни Эльфов: тьма и страх
Стояли стражами в дверях,
И всем им предстояло пасть -
Но вызов тьме бросала власть
Бессмертной Мелиан. Светла,
Хранила Дориат от зла
Мудрейшая из королев.
Здесь смех звенел в листве дерев,
Здесь солнцем был пронизан лес -
Край древних тайн, земля чудес.

В сиянье дня, в лучах Луны,
В шелках искристой белизны
Дочь темнокудрой Мелиан
Кружилась в танце средь полян -
Эльф-фея, в чьих чертах не гас
Бессмертный свет; дитя двух рас.
Мерцала звездная метель,
лилась волшебной флейты трель:
Неразличим среди теней,
В листве раскидистых ветвей
Искусный Дайрон, увенчав
Чело венком из диких трав,
Играл: леса заворожив,
Звучал причудливый мотив,
И сердце полнилось тоской
От звуков песни колдовской.
Трех музыкантов Эльфинесс
Знал встарь, чей голос - дар небес.
И первый - Тинфанг Гелион:
Рой звезд на бледный небосклон
Он призывает, и Луне
Слагает песни по весне.
Второй же - Маглор, что у скал
Волне напевы посвящал,
Безмолвие прибрежных дюн
Тревожа перебором струн -
Певец, чей голос ныне стих.
И Дайрон, лучший из троих.

Сгустилась ночь; во мрак одет,
Смолк летний лес; неясный свет
Еще мерцал среди полян
И тихо угасал; туман
Плыл над землей; легка, как тень,
Кружилась в танце Лутиэн. Каштан ронял с могучих плеч
Гирлянды бело-алых свеч;
Темнел безмолвный вяз; под ним
Соцветий облаком густым
Во тьме белел болиголов.
Рой светлокрылых мотыльков,
Чьи очи светятся огнем,
Кружился в воздухе ночном.
Полевки вышли из норы
Послушать музыку игры;
Смолк крик полночных сов; бледна,
За серый холм зашла луна;
Во тьме, сгустившейся вокруг,
Светился мрамор тонких рук,
Вихрь разметавшихся кудрей
Кружился в танце вместе с ней,
И легкий шаг чертил в траве
Узоры стежек - по канве
Мелодий. Искры светлячков
Вокруг мерцали; мотыльков
Колеблющийся, светлый рой
Взлетал, дрожал над головой.
И в этот миг лучи луны
Посеребрили с вышины
Ночные кущи, тьмы портал;
И чистый голос зазвучал -
Восторгом грез упоена,
Запела в тишине она
Ту песню, что переняла
У соловьев, и в них вплела
Заклятия эльфийских чар.
Заслушавшись, лучистый шар
Луны помедлил в вышине:
Вот что услышал в тишине
Отважный Берен; вот что он
Узрел в ночи под сенью крон -
И замер, очарован, нем
И недвижим; объят огнем
Восторга, страсти и тоски.
От мира смертных далеки,
Смешались мысли; колдовство
Цепями пало на него -
И он без сил приник к стволу.
Пробившись сквозь туман и мглу,
Спустился Берен с гор: седой,
Измучен телом и душой;
Сменилась юности весна
До срока старостью: цена
Избравших этот скорбный путь -
Тоска утрат, страданий суть.
Теперь же, сердцем исцелен
От прежней скорби, к жизни он
Очнулся вновь, провидя вдруг
Свет новых грез, боль новых мук.

Он все глядел - и в этот миг,
Скользнув по листьям, лунный блик
Дождем серебряных лучей
Затрепетал в сети кудрей;
И, ярко вспыхнув, засиял
В ее глазах, в глуби зеркал
Небесных звезд дрожащий свет.
Тогда забылись мгла и бред,
Усталость, голод, боль и страх -
Когда, затерянный в горах,
Сбив ноги в кровь, стремил он шаг
В край призраков, где тьма и мрак,
Где ужас заперт с давних пор
В расселинах отвесных гор;
Где мерзостный паучий род
В ночи свои тенета ткет,
И ждет поживы жадный клюв,
От камня к камню протянув
Удушливые сети зла -
Их обволакивает мгла
И липкий страх. Там - их приют:
Во тьме белеют там и тут
Средь склизких трещин и камней
Куски обглоданных костей.
Воспоминаний тяжкий гнет
С плеч сбросил Берен. Грохот вод,
С вершин спадающих в овраг,
Затих - и расступился мрак
Безумья, что в себе несли
Потоков мутные струи.
Он более не вспоминал
Кошмары раскаленных скал,
Извивы троп, пещерный лаз,
Где он блуждал - и каждый раз,
С утеса - взор куда ни кинь -
Все новых горизонтов синь
Мог над хребтами различать;
Тогда он вниз спешил опять -
Туда, где рыщут средь теней
Чудовища забытых дней;
К бессонным бдениям во мгле
Среди ветвей - а по земле
Бесшумно крались, чуя след,
Ночные твари; злобный свет
Горел в фасетчатых глазах.
Но Берен, позабыв про страх,
Благословлял пути итог -
Волшебный край, лесной чертог,
Где льется бледный свет луны,
Где золотится с вышины
Звезд Эльфинесса светлый рой;
Где все - отрада и покой.

Забыв про все, дивясь, влеком
К поляне в зареве златом,
Безмолвно следуя на зов,
Он выступил из-за стволов -
В плену любви, во власти грез.
В душе его, сменяясь, рос
Мотив: из тьмы небытия
Рождалась песнь, в себе тая
Волшебных звуков перебор,
Неслыханных до этих пор,
Во власти сладкозвучных нот
Он робко сделал шаг вперед -
Тень в бледном зареве луны -
Вмиг смолкла флейта. С вышины
так канет ласточка стремглав.
Так затаится в гуще трав
Кузнечик, услыхав шаги.
"Беги, о Лутиэн! Беги! -
Воскликнул Дайрон, и опять
Воззвал из тьмы, - Не время ждать!
В лесу чужой! Скорее прочь!"
Но изумленья превозмочь
Не в силах, Лутиэн на миг
Помедлила. И страх застиг
Ее врасплох: во мрак одет,
Зловещий, темный силуэт
С копною спутанных волос
Возник пред ней. Виденьем грез
Она исчезла - светлый луч
Так гаснет за грядою туч.
Среди куртин ночных цветов
Высокий ствол болиголов
Вознес, раскинув до утра
Соцветий белых веера.
Беглянка под его шатром
Укрылась. Лунным серебром
Озера света на земле
Переливались в полумгле;
В искристой дымке, в бликах свеч
Терялся контур рук и плеч,
Шелка одежд, волна волос,
Венок душистых диких роз.
А Берен, речь утратив вдруг,
В смятении глядел вокруг
На спящий лес, пустынный дол,
И, спотыкаясь, слепо брел
Через прогалину к стволам,
Укрытым мглой. Не зная сам
Как вышло, сладко изумлен,
Ее руки коснулся он.
Как бабочка, пробуждена
От заколдованного сна,
Вскочив, она метнулась прочь,
Промеж дерев, одетых в ночь,
Соткав причудливый узор
Эльфийских троп. Вот так танцор
Скользит среди цветов и трав.
За нею, далеко отстав,
Покинут в кущах темноты,
Спешил сквозь чащу и кусты,
Пути не разбирая, он -
Избит, изранен, изнурен.
Эсгалдуин, струясь сквозь тьму,
Дорогу преградил ему.
В подвижном зеркале воды
Дрожал искристый луч звезды
И над волной сгущалась мгла.
Через поток перенесла
Беглянку легкая ладья;
На дальнем берегу ручья
Она исчезла, точно сон,
И вновь один остался он.
"Темна вода и быстр поток!
Так вот путей моих итог -
Скорбеть во тьме, взывать с тоской
Над зачарованной рекой!"

Сменила осень летний зной,
А Берен в стороне лесной
Скрывался - дик, насторожен,
Как фавн, страж чащ, что чуткий сон
Стряхнет, едва, росой одет,
В траве зашелестит рассвет,
И, прячась у куста и пня,
От яркого сиянья дня
Спешит под сумеречный свод -
Но жизни леса тайный ход
Не ускользнет от зорких глаз.
Звенящий зной в полдневный час,
Шум крыльев, птичий пересвист,
Звон капель об упругий лист,
Гул ветра в океане крон
И скрип ветвей - все слышал он.
Но песни лучших птиц земли
Его утешить не могли;
Скиталец, нем и одинок,
Искал и ждал - и все не мог
Услышать вновь певучий зов -
Нежней, чем трели соловьев;
Вновь различить на краткий миг
В лучистой дымке милый лик.

Поблекли осени цвета;
Коврами палого листа
Зима устлала дол и луг;
Чернеет облетевший бук,
А у корней легла, мертва,
Его багряная листва.
Луна следит из мглы сырой,
Как заклубилась над землей
Туманов белых пелена,
И гасит солнце, неясна,
Наплывами густых завес
И обволакивает лес.
Ночами, днями напролет
Он тщетно ищет, тщетно ждет;
В закатный час и поутру
Он слышит в сумрачном бору,
Где находил промозглый кров,
Лишь отзвук собственных шагов.

Ветра зимы трубят в рога;
Туман развеяла пурга.
Ветра стихают; звездный хор
Рассыпал огненный узор
В морозной тьме; мир нем и сед.
Пронзительно-холодный свет
Струится вниз; закован в лед
Сверкающий хрустальный свод.

Деревьев темный полукруг
Слепящий луч пронзает вдруг:
Среди холмов, где даль ясна,
Танцует в тишине она.
Плащ, шитый россыпью камней
Вобрал морозный блеск огней;
Искрились снежные холмы;
Холодным пламенем зимы
Лучась в ночи, легка, светла,
По склону вниз она сошла,
Смятенный ослепляя взгляд
Как серебристый звездопад.
Ветрам и стуже вопреки
раскрыл подснежник лепестки
Там, где, танцуя, шла она,
И птицы трель, чиста, нежна,
Звеня, взвилась под небосвод.
Лесной ручей, ломая лед,
Проснулся и заговорил.
Но Берен, недвижим, застыл
Во власти чар. Часы текли,
И звездный свет погас вдали,
И ночь сомкнула свой покров
Над бликом бледных лепестков.

Отныне на крутом холме
Он часто различал во тьме
Эльфийский свет: сиянье рук
И блеск камней; свирели звук
Вновь зазвучал, воспряв от сна,
И тихо пела в лад она.
Тогда, подкравшись ближе, он
Внимал, таясь под сенью крон,
И в сердце радость и покой
Сливались с болью и тоской.

Гул вьюги стих. Настала ночь,
Когда прогонит зиму прочь
С зарей пришедшая весна.
И Лутиэн, совсем одна,
Кружилась в танце колдовском
И звонко пела; над холмом
Звучали древние слова
Наития и волшебства.
Чарующий и властный звук
Разбил оковы - Берен вдруг
Воспрял, очнулся - страх презрев,
Он выступил из-за дерев;
В волшебном танце закружась,
Волшебных троп сплетая вязь,
Он дерзко поспешил к холму,
К лучу, пронзающему тьму,
Стремглав поднялся на откос,
Тщась удержать виденье грез.
Но все напрасно: смущена,
Прочь, прочь стремила шаг она
Сквозь сумрачный лесной портал.
И замер он, и к ней воззвал
Эльфийским именем, нежней,
Чем песня флейты: соловей,
Ночной певец подзвездной тьмы.
Звеня, отозвались холмы;
"Тинувиэль! Тинувиэль!" -
Звал голос, чистый, как свирель,
Будя безмолвие земель, -
"Тинувиэль! Тинувиэль!"
Такой любовью и тоской
Звучал призыв в тиши ночной,
Дрожа над миром, как струна -
На миг помедлила она,
Забыв про страх, - всего на миг.
И он тотчас ее настиг,
Привлек к себе, и, упоен,
Коснулся поцелуем он.

И отступили тьма и страх;
В ее распахнутых глазах,
Несмелой нежностью согрет,
Дрожал лучистый звездный свет.
А! Лутиэн! А! Лутиэн!
Волшебный сон, желанный плен!
О свет эльфийской красоты,
Чем ныне одержима ты!
О, гибкий стан, кудрей волна,
Подснежниками убрана!
О россыпь звезд, о бледность рук
В неясном мареве вокруг!
Едва зажегся небосклон,
Она исчезла, словно сон.


Колокол моря.

Вдоль прибрежной гряды я бродил у воды;
Там попалась мне ракушка, странно-светла -
Звездный отблеск со дна; я нагнулся - она,
Словно колокол моря, мне в руку легла.
И дано было мне ощутить в глубине
Нарастающий гул, шорох волн о песок,
Колыханье буев и томительный зов
Из-за дальнего моря - неясен, далек.

И почувствовал я, как пустая ладья
По теченью скользит в угасании дня.
"Срок последний истек! Поспешим! Путь далек!"
Я вскочил и воскликнул:"Возьмите меня!"

Уносясь по волне в зачарованном сне
В светлой россыпи брызг, в хороводе теней,
Я скользил в полумгле к позабытой земле,
К сумеречному брегу за гладью морей.
День и ночь напролет гулкий колокол вод
Все звонил и звонил, и ревели валы.
Там, где путь преградив, зло ощерился риф,
Я на сушу ступил у лазурной скалы.
Брег сиял белизной; над искристой волной
Серебрился мерцающий звездный узор.
Глыбой бледных камней в бликах лунных лучей
Поднимались вдали очертания гор.
Удержать я не мог между пальцев песок:
Жемчуга, без числа драгоценных камней -
Бледно-желтый опал, гроздь соцветий - коралл,
Аметисты и зерна литых янтарей.
А под сводами скал сонный мрак нависал,
Полог листьев морских занавешивал ночь.
Ледяные ветра мне шепнули:"Пора!",
Свет померк - торопясь, устремился я прочь.

Средь корней, меж камней серебрился ручей,
И вкусил я воды, приносящей покой.
Вверх по руслу ручья в путь отправился я:
Вечный вечер царил над волшебной страной.
Я ступил на луга: взмыла бликов пурга,
И раскрылись цветы, словно звезды земли.
Свив зеленую прядь, на озерную гладь,
Словно светлые луны, кувшинки легли.
В водах сонной реки отражались пески,
Плач слагала ольха, ивы никли к волне.
Камыши, как мечи, охраняли ключи,
Копья ирис взметнул, укрепившись на дне.

Смех и музыки звук не смолкали вокруг;
Много разного зверя в пути я видал:
Кролик, белый как снег, не замедлил свой бег,
Светляки рассыпали сверкающий шквал
Переливом огней; грелась мышь у корней,
Барсуки с любопытством глядели из нор;
Средь долин, меж дерев лился дивный напев,
Длился призрачный танец, причудлив и скор;
Но, завидев меня, все бежали, храня
Свой секрет; тишина воцарялась кругом.
Ни привета, ни слов; лишь видением снов -
Голоса, и свирель, и труба за холмом.

Из речных тростников, из кувшинных листов
Я скроил себе плащ зеленей лебеды;
Сжал державу рукой, поднял флаг золотой,
И глаза мои вспыхнули светом звезды.
Так, чело увенчав, я стоял среди трав,
И звончей петуха во предутренней мгле,
Дерзко крикнул:"Зачем мир безмолвен и нем?
Отчего нет ответа мне в этой земле?
Да узнают окрест - я - король этих мест,
С камышовым мечом, жезлом стал мне тростник.
Так придите на зов! Всех приветить готов!
Говорите со мною! Явите свой лик!"

Тьма легла над землей, словно саван ночной;
Пробираясь, как крот, я побрел сквозь туман -
Поворачивал вспять, возвращался опять;
Я ослеп, я оглох, и согнулся мой стан.
Я укрылся в лесу: лист дрожал на весу
И валился на мох; ветви были мертвы.
Там закончился путь, я присел отдохнуть.
Совы ухали в дуплах во мраке листвы.
Год и день по часам быть мне выпало там:
Перегнившие сучья точили жуки,
Можжевельник густой нависал над травой,
Бесконечные сети плели пауки.

Срок раздумий иссяк, свет явил мне свой знак;
Я гляжу: поседела моя голова.
"Стар и сломлен - я рад возвратиться назад.
Где мой путь, что со мной - понимаю едва.
Отпустите!" - и вот поспешил я вперед;
Тень скользила за мной как летучая мышь.
Иссушающий шквал налетал, оглушал,
Не спасали ни листья, ни чахлый камыш.
Гнуло плечи сильней бремя прожитых дней,
Руки ранил я в кровь, с ног валился без сил.
Вдруг заслышал я гул, запах моря вдохнул,
Привкус соли на влажных губах ощутил.

С криком жалобным ввысь стаи птиц поднялись,
Я во мраке пещер голоса услыхал.
Струи били со дна, клокотала волна,
лай тюленей сливался со скрежетом скал.
И настала зима, и надвинулась тьма -
Я до края земли, спотыкаясь, добрел.
Снег кружил в облаках, лед сверкал в волосах,
Мгла окутала берег, и дюны, и мол.

Там, у моря, моя дожидалась ладья,
И качал ее мерно прибрежный прибой.
И лежал я без сил, как меня уносил
По бурлящим волнам легкий ветер морской:
Мимо брошенных свай, мимо чаячих стай,
Мимо груженных светом больших кораблей.
Впереди ожидал неподвижный причал -
Молчаливый как снег; черной сажи темней.

Город спал до утра; бесновались ветра,
За окном - ни души. Я присел на порог.
Мелкий дождь моросил, сор потоками плыл,
И отбросил я прочь что доселе берег:
Горсть златого песка, что сжимала рука,
И морскую ракушку, что смолкла навек.
Никогда уже вновь не услышать мне зов,
Никогда не ступить на сверкающий брег, -
Никогда, никогда. Я бреду сквозь года
По глухим переулкам, где серая тень.
Вдаль с тоскою смотрю, сам с собой говорю,
Но ответа мне нет и по нынешний день.

Последний корабль. ("Приключения Тома Бомбадила" # 16)

Проснулась рано Фириэль -
Часы пробили три.
То здесь, то там звенела трель
Птиц - вестников зари.
Вдали пропел петух; рассвет
Позолотил ветвей
Неясный контур; ветру вслед
Уплыл туман с полей.
Свет за окном яснел и рос
Сверкающей волной,
Убрав сады венцом из рос
И свежею листвой.
Она скользнула за порог,
Смеясь, сбежала в сад,
И пробежала через лог
Сквозь росный водопад.

Сверкнула заводи купель,
Зашелестел тростник.
У старой ивы Фириэль
Помедлила на миг.
Там зимородок голубой
Бросался камнем вниз,
Камыш зеленою стеной
Над ряскою навис.

И, над водою замерев,
Где лилии цвели:
Она услышала напев
В мерцающей дали.
Звон арф и флейт певучий звук,
И мелодичный зов -
Как голоса ветров и вьюг,
Как звон колоколов.

То белоснежная ладья
С кормою золотой
Вслед лебедям, под шум ручья
Скользила над водой.
То были Эльфы, Дивный Род,
В серебряных плащах;
В коронах трое: взгляд их горд,
И мудрость в их чертах.

Звучал напев под рокот струн,
Под весел мерный плеск:
"Трель птиц звонка, мир свеж и юн,
И зелен летний лес.
Еще не раз позолотит
Рассвет отрог горы,
И не один цветок сокрыт
В бутоне до поры".

"Куда ж спешит ваш Дивный Род
По воле волн речных?
К пещерам гор, под мрачный свод,
И сумрак чащ лесных?
На Север - к дальним островам,
Где скалы да гранит,
Где чайки плачут в лад волнам -
Куда ваш путь лежит?"

"О нет! - в ответ звучало, - Нам
Назначен путь иной.
Нам плыть за море, к берегам
Эльфландии родной.
Там Древо Белое цветет,
Там лес листвой одет,
Там серебрит зерцало вод
Искристый звездный свет".

"Прощай, земля теней и снов,
Навек о нас забудь!
Далекий звон колоколов
Давно позвал нас в путь!
Здесь блекнут травы, вянет лист,
Тускнеет свет луны.
Мы слышим зов, певуч и чист,
Мы прочь спешить должны".

Плеск весел смолк. лишь голос пел
Под мерный шум ручья:
"Нас мало, мало, Фириэль,
И не полна ладья.
Для столь прекрасной, для одной
Мы место отвели.
Иди же к нам! твой срок земной
Не вечен, Дочь Земли!"

Не отрывая от ладьи
Завороженный взгляд,
Она вперед ступила - и
Отпрянула назад.
И белоснежная ладья
Растаяла вдали.
"Я не могу! - донес ручья
Напев:"Я - дочь Земли".

Роса на платье не сверкнет,
Обратный путь далек:
Домой, назад, под темный свод,
Через поля и лог.
Надела фартук Фириэль
И косу заплела;
День незаметно пролетел,
И вновь сгустилась мгла.
Года проходят чередой
Над зеркалом реки.
Как встарь, склонились над водой
Камыш и тростники.
Но смолк навек печальный зов,
И ветер меж ветвей
Не раздувает парусов
Эльфийских кораблей.


Extracts from the "Silmarillion".

О Берене и Лутиэн.
Отрывок 1.

      ...Вот так произошел знаменитый поединок Саурона и Фелагунда: состязание колдовских песен. Велико было могущество эльфийского Короля, но Саурон одержал верх, как говорится в "Лэ о Лейтиан":

Он в песнь свою вплетал слова
Разоблаченья, торжества
Измены, сорванных покровов,
И тщеты бытия земного.
И дрогнул Фелагунд: в ответ
Он пел о том, что вечен свет,
О стойкости и о борьбе,
О постоянстве, о судьбе
Избранника земных светил,
О поединке грозных сил,
О том, как пали сети зла,
Как песнь свободу обрела.
Так песня с песней спор вели,
И нарастал, и гас вдали
Напев, тревожа эхо скал.
И Фелагунд в мотив вплетал
Виденья прошлого, узор
Эльфийских чар, - наперекор
Заклятьям злобы: щебет птиц
Над Нарготрондом, свет зарниц,
Вздох моря, тихий плеск волны
О берег дальней стороны,
Где, за пределами морей,
Лежит в сиянии огней,
Сосредоточье древних чар -
Край Эльфов, дивный Эльдамар.
Но мрак сгущался. Валинор.
Укрыла мгла. Морской простор.
Был алым пламенем объят..
Во тьме звучала как набат.
Исполненная гнева речь:.
То Нолдоры подняли меч.
На родичей, и увели.
Их белоснежные ладьи..
Донесся ропот черных крыл..
Закаркал ворон. Волк завыл..
В морях раздался скрежет льдов..
Им вторил стон и звон оков.
В застенках Ангбанда. Вдали.
Взметнулось пламя. Потрясли.
Раскаты грома своды скал -
И Финрод, побежденный, пал..

       Тогда Саурон сорвал с них маски, и испуганные Эльфы предстали перед ним в своем настоящем обличии. Но хотя открылась их подлинная суть, Саурон не мог узнать ни имен их, ни цели похода..
       Тогда отбросил несчастных в глубокое подземелье, в немой, непроглядный мрак, и угрожал им жестокой смертью, если только один из них не расскажет правды. Время от времени в темноте вспыхивали два горящих глаза, и вервольф пожирал одного из Эльфов; но ни один не предал своего господина..

Отрывок 2.

      ...И вновь поскакал Берен на север, к Ущелью Сириона; и, добравшись до окраин таур-ну-Фуйн, окинул взглядом пустыню Анфауглит и различил вдали скалы Тангородрима. Там он отпустил на волю коня Куруфина, и наказал ему позабыть о рабстве и страхе в зеленом краю Сириона. Так, оказавшись, наконец в одиночестве на пороге последнего испытания, Берен сложил Песнь Расставания в честь Лутиэн и огней небес, ибо полагал он, что настало ему время распрощаться с любовью и светом. В песни этой звучали и такие слова:.

Прощай, земля; твой сладкий плен.
Вовеки будь благословен:.
Ведь здесь, под Солнцем и Луной.
Сияла дивной красотой.
Ты, Лутиэн Тинувиэль -.
Свет утра, звездная метель!.
Пусть волей беспощадных сил.
Прервется ход земных светил,.
В кострах грядущих перемен.
Мир обратится в прах и тлен.
И в хаос будет погружен.
Вне бытия и вне времен -.
Но были созданы не зря.
Равнины, реки и моря;.
Рассветный луч и звездный свет,.
Бутон цветка и путь планет -.
Так мир обрел свои черты,.
Чтоб в этот мир явилась ты..

И пел Берен во весь голос, не заботясь о том, кто может его услышать; ибо был он охвачен отчаянием и не искал спасения.