And agèd Tiriel stood before the gates of his beautiful palace
With Myratana, once the Queen of all the
But now his eyes were darkenèd, and his wife fading in death.
They stood before their
once delightful palace; and thus the voice
Of agèd Tiriel arose, that his sons might hear in their gates: --
`Accursèd race of Tiriel! behold your father;
Come forth and look on her that bore you! Come, you accursed
In my weak arms I here have borne your dying mother.
Come forth, sons of the Curse, come forth!
see the death of Myratana!'
His sons ran from their gates, and saw their agèd parents stand;
And thus the eldest son of Tiriel rais'd
his mighty voice: --
`Old man! unworthy to be call'd the father of Tiriel's race!
For every one of those thy wrinkles, each of
those grey hairs
Are cruel as death, and as obdurate as the devouring pit!
Why should thy sons care
for thy curses, thou accursèd man?
Were we not slaves till we rebell'd? Who cares for Tiriel's curse?
blessing was a cruel curse; his curse may be a blessing.'
He ceas'd: the agèd man rais'd up his right hand to the heavens.
His left supported Myratana, shrinking in
pangs of death:
The orbs of his large eyes he open'd, and thus his voice went forth: --
`Serpents, not sons, wreathing around the bones of Tiriel!
Ye worms of death, feasting upon your agèd
Listen! and hear your mother's groans! No more accursed sons
She bears; she groans
not at the birth of Heuxos or Yuva.
These are the groans of death, ye serpents! these are the groans
Nourish'd with milk, ye serpents, nourish'd with mother's tears and cares!
Look at my eyes, blind
as the orbless skull among the stones!
Look at my bald head! Hark! listen, ye serpents, listen! . . .
Myratana! What, my wife! O Soul! O Spirit! O Fire!
What, Myratana! art thou dead? Look here, ye serpents, look!
The serpents sprung from her own bowels
have drain'd her dry as this.
Curse on your ruthless heads, for I will bury her even here!'
So saying, he began to dig a grave with his agèd hands;
But Heuxos call'd a son of Zazel to dig their
mother a grave.
`Old Cruelty, desist! and let us dig a grave for thee.
Thou hast refus'd our charity, thou hast refus'd our
Thou hast refus'd our clothes, our beds, our houses for thy dwelling,
Choosing to wander like a son
of Zazel in the rocks.
Why dost thou curse? Is not the curse now come upon your head?
Was it not you
enslav'd the sons of Zazel? And they have curs'd,
And now you feel it. Dig a grave, and let us bury our
`There, take the body, cursed sons! and may the heavens rain wrath
As thick as northern fogs, around
your gates, to choke you up!
That you may lie as now your mother lies, like dogs cast out,
The stink of
your dead carcases annoying man and beast,
Till your white bones are bleached with age for a memorial.
your remembrance shall perish; for, when your carcases
Lie stinking on the earth, the buriers shall arise
from the East,
And not a bone of all the sons of Tiriel remain.
Bury your mother! but you cannot bury the
curse of Tiriel.'
He ceas'd, and darkling o'er the mountains sought his pathless way.
He wander'd day and night: to him both day and night were dark.
The sun he felt, but the bright moon
was now a useless globe:
O'er mountains and thro' vales of woe the blind and agèd man
Wander'd, till he
that leadeth all led him to the vales of Har.
And Har and Heva, like two children, sat beneath the oak:
Mnetha, now agèd, waited on them, and brought
them food and clothing;
But they were as the shadow of Har, and as the years forgotten.