Riddle of Strider 

by Ryszard Derdzinski


This is a Sindarin translation of the so called Riddle of Strider from The Fellowship of the Ring (chapters Strider and The Council of Elrond). This beautiful poem by J.R.R. Tolkien was first translated into Quenya by Ivan A. Derzhanski and it was published in Vinyar Tengwar #38, pp. 19-21. My translation is not as free as Derzhanski's one. It follows exactly the words of Tolkien. All the words that cannot be found in the popular Sindarin dictionaries (i.e. are 'reconstructed') are all gathered in the glossary and are printed in red.

Pn i valt law thilia,

Law pain i reviar mistar aen;

Iaur i vell law thinnatha,

Law thynd dyfn na-niss rathar aen.

O lith naur echuiathar aen,

Calad od dath thuiatha;

Adamminen i vagol vreithannen,

Pen-thl ad echannen i aran. 

Free translation:

'All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king'

Interlinear translation:

[Mutation are removed but marked with a ° sign for clarity]


Pn i °malt law thilia,
   All that gold doesn't glister,


Law pain i reviar mistar aen;
   Not all [pl.] that wander are strayed;


Iaur i °bell law thinnatha,
   Old that strong won't fade,


Law thynd °tfn na-niss rathar aen.

   Not roots deep by-frost are-reached.


O lith naur echuiathar aen,

   From ash[es] fire will-be-woken;


Calad uin dath thuiatha;

   Light from-the shadows will-spring;


Adamminen i °magol °breithannen,

   Re-forged the sword broken,


Pen-thl ad echannen i aran. 

   Without-crown again made the king.




*law 'not, indeed not' (cf. Q laum)

*niss 'frost'; < CE *nik-s; Q nix (WJ 417)

*ratha- 'reach'; < CE *rak-ta- 'reach'; cf. Qenya rakta, Quenya *rahta

*echuia- 'wake'; < CE *et-kuj-a-  

*adamminen 're-forged'; < ad- 're-' + *damminen pp. of damma- 'hammer' 



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