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S. ir Ithil ammen Eruchín, “*when the Moon, for us, the Children of God”
The first phrase of Lúthien’s Song (LB/354). Three translations of this phrase are:
- Patrick Wynne: “*When the Moon, for us, the Children of Eru” (NTTLS/11)
- David Salo: “*The Moon, [having watched] for us, the Children of Eru” (GS/211)
- Bertrand Bellet and Benjamin Babut: “*When the Moon ... for us, Children of the One” (GTLC)
The first word ir is the most controversial in the poem. Wynne suggested that it might be a cognate of ᴹQ. íre² “when” appearing in Fíriel’s Song from the 1930s (LR/72), but Salo suggested that it might be a variant form of the definite article i¹ used before another i to avoid repetition (GS/211). In support of Salo, the form ir appeared as definited article in the Túrin Wrapper: ir Ellath “*the Elves” (VT50/23), but elsewhere in the wrapper this was written in Ellath, and so ir there may only have been a slip. Furthermore, proper names like Ithil don’t generally need a definite article, as pointed out by Carl Hostetter (VT50/23, note #36). Absent further evidence, I am inclined to agree with Wynne in this case, but even this is quite speculative, since more than a decade separates the two poems.
The rest of the phrase is straightforward. The second word is Ithil “Moon”. The third word is ammen “for us”, the preposition an “for” assimilated to the pronoun men¹ “us”. The last word is Eruchîn “Children of God”, appearing elsewhere as Eruhîn (Let/345, MR/330).
Reference ✧ LB/354 ✧ Ir Ithil ammen Eruchín
|an||“to, for”||assimilated||✧ LB/354.2803-1 (am)|
|Eruchîn||“Children of Eru (God)”||✧ LB/354.2804 (Eruchín)|