when evening in the shire was grey,
his footsteps on the hill were heard,
before dawn he went away,
on journey long without a word.
from wilderland to western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door,
and darkling woods he walked at will.
with dwarf and hobbit, elves and men,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongue he spoke.
a deadly sword, a healing hand,
a back that bent beneath its load,
a trumpet-voice, a burning brand,
a weary pilgrim on the road.
a lord of wisdom throned he sat,
swift in anger, quick to laugh,
an old man in a battered hat,
who leaned upon a thorny staff.
he stood upon the bridge alone,
and fire and shadow both defied,
his staff was broken on the stone,
in khazad-dum his wisdom died.