Monday, July 21, 2008

The Hosts of Faery: Favorite Poems

White shields they carry in their hands,
With emblems of pale silver;
With glittering blue swords,
With mighty stout horns.
With well-devised battle array,
Ahead of their fair chieftain
They march amid blue spears,
Pale-visaged, curly-headed bands.
They scatter the battalion of the foe,
They ravage every land they attack,
Splendidly they march to combat,
A swift, distinguished, avenging host!
No wonder though their strength be great:
Sons of queens and kings are one and all;
On their heads are
Beautiful golden-yellow manes.
With smooth comely bodies,
With bright blue-starred eyes,
With pure crystal teeth,
With thin red lips.
Good they are at man-slaying,
Melodious in the ale-house,
Masterly at making songs,
Skilled at playing draughts.
--Kuno Meyer (1859-1919), from the 12th Century Irish.
This is how the dwellers in the Hidden Realm were originally conceived. J. R. R. Tolkien was just restoring them to their ancient dignity. The picture above is of Prince Nuada in the court of Bethmoora from Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.

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