flowers and running after birds they spent the day,
And in the night like infants slept, delighted with infant
Soon as the blind wanderer enter'd the pleasant gardens of Har,
They ran weeping, like frighted
infants, for refuge in Mnetha's arms.
The blind man felt his way, and cried: `Peace to these open doors!
no one fear, for poor blind Tiriel hurts none but himself.
Tell me, O friends, where am I now, and in what
`This is the valley of Har,' said Mnetha, `and this the tent of Har.
Who art thou, poor blind man, that takest
the name of Tiriel on thee?
Tiriel is King of all the West. Who art thou? I am Mnetha;
And this is Har and
Heva, trembling like infants by my side.'
`I know Tiriel is King of the West, and there he lives in joy.
matter who I am, O Mnetha! If thou hast any food,
Give it me; for I cannot stay; my journey is far from
Then Har said: `O my mother Mnetha, venture not so near him;
For he is the king of rotten wood, and of
the bones of death;
He wanders without eyes, and passes thro' thick walls and doors.
Thou shalt not smite
my mother Mnetha, O thou eyeless man!'
`A wanderer, I beg for food: you see I cannot weep:
I cast away my staff, the kind companion of my travel,
I kneel down that you may see I am a harmless man.'
He kneelèd down. And Mnetha said: `Come, Har and Heva, rise!
He is an innocent old man, and hungry
with his travel.'
Then Har arose, and laid his hand upon old Tiriel's head.
`God bless thy poor bald pate! God bless thy hollow winking eyes!
God bless thy shrivell'd beard! God
bless thy many-wrinkled forehead!
Thou hast no teeth, old man! and thus I kiss thy sleek bald head.
come kiss his bald head, for he will not hurt us, Heva.'
Then Heva came, and took old Tiriel in her mother's arms.
`Bless thy poor eyes, old man, and bless the old father of Tiriel!
Thou art my Tiriel's old father; I know
thee thro' thy wrinkles,
Because thou smellest like the fig-tree, thou smellest like ripe figs.
How didst thou
lose thy eyes, old Tiriel? Bless thy wrinkled face!'
Mnetha said: `Come in, aged wanderer! tell us of thy
Why shouldest thou conceal thyself from those of thine own flesh?'
`I am not of this region,' said Tiriel dissemblingly.
`I am an agèd wanderer, once father of a race
Far in the
North; but they were wicked, and were all destroy'd,
And I their father sent an outcast. I have told you
Ask me no more, I pray, for grief hath seal'd my precious sight.'
`O Lord!' said Mnetha, `how I tremble! Are there then more people,
More human creatures on this earth,
beside the sons of Har?'
`No more,' said Tiriel, `but I, remain on all this globe;
And I remain an outcast. Hast thou anything to drink?'
Then Mnetha gave him milk and fruits, and they sat down together.
They sat and ate, and Har and Heva smil'd on Tiriel.
`Thou art a very old old man, but I am older than thou.
How came thine hair to leave thy forehead? how
came thy face so brown?
My hair is very long, my beard doth cover all my breast.
God bless thy piteous
face! To count the wrinkles in thy face
Would puzzle Mnetha. Bless thy face! for thou art Tiriel.'
`Tiriel I never saw but once: I sat with him and ate;
He was as cheerful as a prince, and gave me entertainment;
long I stay'd not at his palace, for I am forc'd to wander.'
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