S. A Elbereth Gilthoniel

A Sindarin song in praise of Elbereth, from the Fellowship of the Ring (LotR/238), generally known by its first line: A Elbereth Githoniel. There is a related invocation spoken by Samwise in the Two Towers (LotR/729), which is often treated as a “second verse” of this poem. Both verses are untranslated in The Lord of the Rings, but Tolkien wrote extensive commentary on the poem(s) in RGEO/63-67. A translation of Sam’s invocation also appears on Let/278.


a Elbereth Gilthoniel “o Elbereth who lit the stars”
silivren penna míriel “from glittering crystal slanting falls with light like jewels”
o menel aglar elenath “from heaven on high the glory of the starry host”
na-chaered palan-díriel “to lands remote I have looked afar”
o galadhremmin ennorath “from tree-tangled middle-lands”
Fanuilos, le linnathon “and now to thee, Fanuilos, bright spirit clothed in ever-white, I will ... sing”
nef aear, sí nef aearon “here ... beyond the Sea, beyond the wide and sundering Sea”
a Elbereth Gilthoniel² “o Elbereth who lit the stars”
o menel palan-diriel “from heaven gazing far”
le nallon sí di’nguruthos “here overwhelmed in dread of Death I cry”
a tiro nin, Fanuilos “o guard me, Elbereth”

N. Elbereth Gilthoniel (draft)

The draft version of S. A Elbereth Gilthoniel, appearing on RS/394. The version here includes the draft of Sam’s invocation of Elbereth (WR/218), whose first three lines are nearly identical to the lines appearing on RS/394, and whose 4th line resembles that of 4th line of the later version of the invocation. It has no translation, and is sufficiently different from the later version of the poem that it is quite difficult to analyze.


Elbereth Gilthoniel
sir evrin pennar oriel
dir avos-eithen miriel
bel daurion sel aurinon
pennáros evrin ériol
a tiro’men Gilthoniel “*oh watch us, Gilthoniel”