Sindarin Prose Fragment
by Didier Willis
This prose fragment was first published on the ELFLING list on July 28th, 2000. For another composition (my translation of Cirion's oath into sindarin), see here. I wish to thank Helge Fauskanger, Javier Lorenzo and David Salo for their comments and their suggestions, and Ryszard Derdzinski for kindly proposing to publish this text here. In case you wonder, the text is not addressed to anybody in particular. Let's say it is just an exercice of style ;-)
Lathron ben ned eryn, glamor uin galan ir govannem. An uir aewath linnathar a chervess olthad nîn : he bada min nadhras galen a parth lothen. Trevódiel orath drestennin, broniannem lennath dhuir a charnath arnediad. A Elleth ivorcheneb, dartho, ú-aníron cuinad ereb. Avo awartho nin, annathon le chên, a mar mhilui. Gweston le, meleth ú-thinnatha a harthad edlothiatha adwain. Avo doltho mhorn, melethril nîn.
« I hear someone in the woods, an echo of the day we met. Forever birds will sing for the lady of my dreams: she walks between green pasture and flowery field. Having traversed troubled days, we endured dark journeys and countless wounds. O Elfin maid with crystal eyes, wait, I won't live alone. Don't forsake me, I'll give thee a child, and a friendly home. I swear thee, love won't fade and hope will blossom anew. Don't summon the night, my love. »
[Mutation are removed but marked with a ° sign for clarity]
Lathron °pen ned eryn,
I hear someone in the woods,
glamor uin galan ir govannem .
an echo from the day when we met.
An uir aewath linnathar a °hervess olthad nîn.
For eternity birds will sing for the lady of my dreaming,
He °pada min nadhras °calen a parth lothen
She walks between green pasture and flowery field.
Trevódiel orath °trestennin,
Having traversed troubled days,
broniannem lennath °duir a °harnath arnediad.
we endured dark journeys and countless wounds.
A Elleth ivorcheneb, dartho, ú-aníron cuinad ereb.
O Elfin-maid crystal-eyed, wait, I won't live alone.
Avo awartho nin, annathon le °hênn a °bar °milui.
Don't forsake me, I'll give thee a child, and a friendly home.
Gweston le, meleth ú-thinnatha
I swear thee, love won't fade
a harthad edlothiatha adwain.
and hope will blossom anew.
Avo °toltho °morn, melethril nîn
Don't summon the night, my love.
Notes (selected comments)
LINE 1 :
lathra- « to listen in, eavesdrop » (Ety/368), here with 1st person pronominal affix ; pen (lenited °ben) « one, somebody, anybody » (WJ/376) ; ned « in » (SD/129-31) ; eryn « woods » (UT/436, LotR/B)
glamor « echo » (Ety/358) ; uin « of the, from the » (SD/129-31) ; govad- « to meet » (Letters/308), here in the past, with the 1st person plural pronominal affix ; ir « *when » is attested but untranslated, in the revised Lay of L˙thien (LB/354). Some people have tentatively read it as the equivalent of Q. íre (LR/72). Regarding calan, Helge Fauskanger commented : « the word aur is in Sindarin a 24-hour day, consisting of a fuin (night) and a calan (day, meaning the actual day-light period). Perhaps you want calan here? Combined with o or uin, we would have o chalan or uin galan, respectively. Glamor uin galan ir govannem... nice alliteration. ». Though I don't write poetry, I'll follow Helge's suggestion and retain this nice alliteration.
pada- « to walk » is reconstructed from Aphadon (< *ap-pata, WJ/387), and is lenited to °bada immediately after the subject (see VT n°41, p. 11 and note 4, p. 15) ; min « between » is deduced from Minhiriath (« *between rivers »).
trevad- « to traverse » (Ety/352) ; orath collective plural of aur « day » ; trasta- « to harass, trouble » (Ety/391).
lennath collective plural of lend (lenn-) « journey », itself an hypothetical word deduced from lembas (< *lenn-mbas, PM/404).
ivorcheneb « crystal-eyed » is an adjective I coined, from *ivor + heneb « eyed ». The first word is deduced from the untranslated name Ivorwen and also from the untranslated (and hyptothetical) adjective *ivren pl. ivrin, seen in Eithil Ivrin (WJ/85). As suggested by David Salo, the meaning of Ivrin (if actually it does have a meaning) could be « of crystal », cf. the description of Eithel Eivrin in the Lays of Beleriand. David also remarked: « It also occurs in the name Faelivrin 'brilliance of Ivrin'. My hypothesis suggests that ivor comes from an older *ivr, *imhr, and ultimateley from something like *imrê, related to Q. míre 'jewel'. The root would be MIR » I-MIR, cf. SOT » O-SOT » Q. osto, S. ost 'city', or KOT » O-KOT » Q. ohta, S. auth 'battle' ; this is apparently a Common Eldarin syncope, antedating the general syncope seen in almost all Quenya words. (Cf. Q. carne with S. caran 'red'). »
I initially rendered « I won't live alone » with a simple future tense, ú-guinathon ereb. Helge Fauskanger : « it may be seen as a mere declarative statement: It is presented as a fact that "I am not going to live alone". This might even be seen as a veiled threat to the Elven-maid: If you won't be my wife, I'll find another! But the intended meaning is surely "I don't want to live alone": ú-aníron cuinad ereb. »
LINE 8 and 11:
The digraph /mh/ is used in the mutations of milui and morn, instead of the regular /v/.
edlothia- « to blossom, lit. to flower out » is not attested, but is derived from an unstranslated from edlothiand in a rough draft text (WR/293). The meaning would conceivably fit. David Salo mentionned that he was able to see the original text in Marquette : « my reading is unmistakably edlothiad, i.e. a simple gerund. » ; adwain « anew » is a word I coined from ad- + *gwain « re-new ». The latter stem is deduced from S. Narwain, Q. Narvinye.