Beneath the vast and empty throne
the adders lay like twisted stone,
the wolves like corpses foul were strewn;
and there lay Beren deep in swoon:
no thought, no dream nor shadow blind
moved in the darkness of his mind.
''Come forth, come forth! The hour hath knelled,
and Angband's mighty lord is felled!
Awake, awake! For we two meet
alone before the aweful seat.''
This voice came down into the deep
where he lay drowned in wells of sleep;
a hand flower-soft and flower-cool
passed o'er his face, and the still pool
of slumber quivered. Up then leaped
his mind to waking; forth he crept.
The wolvish fell he flung aside
and sprang unto his feet, and wide
staring amid the soundless gloom
he gasped as one living shut in tomb.
There to his side he felt her shrink,
felt Lúthien now shivering sink,
her strength and magic dimmed and spent,
and swift his arms about her went.
Before his feet he saw amazed
the gems of Fëanor, that blazed
with white fire glistening in the crown
of Morgoth's might now fallen down.
To move that helm of iron vast
no strength he found, and thence aghast
he strove with fingers mad to wrest
the guerdon of their hopeless quest,
till in his heart there fell the thought
of that cold morn whereon he fought
with Curufin; then from his belt
the sheathless knife he drew, and knelt,
and tried its hard edge, bitter-cold,
o'er which in Nogrod songs had rolled
of dwarvish armourers singing slow
to hammer-music long ago.
Iron as tender-wood it clove
and mail as woof of loom it rove.
The claws of iron that held the gem,
it bit them through and sundered them;
a Silmaril he clasped and held,
and the pure radiance slowly welled
red glowing through the clenching flesh.
Again he stooped and strove afresh
one more of the holy jewels three
that Fëanor wrought of yore to free.
But round those fires was woven fate:
not yet should they leave the halls of hate.
The dwarvish steel of cunning blade
by treacherous smiths of Nogrod made
snapped; then ringing sharp and clear
in twain it sprang, and like a spear
or errant shaft the brow it grazed
of Morgoth's sleeping head, and dazed
their hearts with fear. For Morgoth groaned
with voice entombed, like wind that moaned
in hollow caverns penned and bound.
There came a breath; a gasping sound
moved through the halls, as Orcs and beast
turned in their dreams of hideous feast;
in sleep uneasy Balrogs stirred,
and far above was faintly heard
an echo that in tunnels rolled,
a wolvish howling long and cold.