Q. Namárië “Farewell”

Q. Namárië “Farewell”

This was the poem that Galadriel recited to Frodo and the fellowship as they departed Lórien (LotR/377). It is the longest canonical Elvish text published by Tolkien, and one of the longest texts in the corpus. In the literature, it is usually called the Namárië or “Farewell” poem, though in one place Tolkien gave it the formal title Altariello nainië Lóriendesse “Galadriel’s lament in Lórien” (RGEO/58).

As a poem, this text is freer in word order and syntax than ordinary Quenya prose (RGEO/58). This makes it somewhat difficult to interpret the poem, since the English translation of the poem does not correspond directly with the Elvish wording. Fortunately, Tolkien published an extensive commentary on the poem within his lifetime (RGEO/58-62), making the proper interpretation the poem abundantly clear. In this commentary, Tolkien included a prose version of the poem, written in a “normal style” and with more ordinary (and therefore easier to follow) word order. The prose version of the poem is discussed in a separate entry.

The text below mostly divides the poem into one phrase for each line of the original poem. The exceptions are lines 5-6, 9-10 and 13-14 which are organized differently to facilitate discussion. The English glosses are from the translation of the poem in the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings. Only proper names are capitalized. Interpretations are discussed in the entries for individual phrases.

Elements

ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen “ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind”
yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron “long years numberless as the wings of trees”
yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier “the years have passed like swift draughts”
mi oromardi lissë miruvóreva “of the sweet mead in lofty halls”
Andúnë pella Vardo tellumar nu luini “beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda”
yassen tintilar i eleni “wherein the stars tremble”
ómaryo airetári-lírinen “in the song of her voice, holy and queenly”
sí man i yulma nin enquantuva? “who now shall refill the cup for me?”
an sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë “for now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the Stars from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds”
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë “and all paths are drowned deep in shadow”
ar sindanóriello caita mornië “and out of a grey country darkness lies”
i falmalinnar imbë met “on the foaming waves between us”
ar hísië untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë “and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya forever”
sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar! “now lost, lost to those from the east is Valimar!”
namárië! nai hiruvalyë Valimar “farewell! maybe thou shalt find Valimar”
nai elyë hiruva. namárië! “maybe even thou shalt find it. farewell!”

ᴹQ. Namárië, draft

Elements

ai! laurie lantar lassi sūrinen
inyalemīne rāmar aldaron
inyali ettulielle turme mārien
anduniesse la mīruvōrion
Varda telūmen falmar kīrien
laurealassion ōmar mailinon
Elentāri Vardan Oiolossëan Tintallen māli rāmar ortelūmenen
arkandavā-le qantamalle tūlier
e falmalillon morne sindanōrie
no mīrinoite kallasilya Valimar

Q. Namárië, prose

A prose version of the Namárië poem, written “in a clearer and more normal style” (RGEO/58). It is the longest non-poetic text in any of Tolkien’s languages. Supposedly this text uses ordinary Quenya syntax instead of poetic forms. Despite this “normal style”, a few of the sentences still have a peculiar word order.

This phrases presented below divides the prose version into phrases approximately matching the lines of the original poem. The exceptions are lines 5-6, 9-10 and 13-14 which are organized differently to facilitate discussion. In the text below, I’ve modified the (very literal) translations provided by Tolkien to something closer to natural English while still reflecting the Quenya word order. The original translations can be found in the entries for individual phrases.

Elements

ai! lassi lantar laurië súrinen “ah! leaves fall golden in [by means of] the wind”
yéni únótimë ve aldaron rámar “long-years not-countable as trees’ wings”
yéni avánier ve lintë yuldar “years have passed away like swift draughts”
lissë miruvóreva mí oromardi “of sweet nectar in the high-halls”
Andúnë pella Vardo nu luini tellumar “West beyond [the borders of] Varda’s under blue domes”
yassen tintilar i eleni² “in which twinkle the stars”
ómaryo lírinen airetário “in [by means of] her voice’s song, of the holy-queen”
sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?² “now who the cup for me will refill?”
an sí Varda, Tintallë, Elentári ortanë máryat Oiolossëo ve fanyar “for now Varda, Star-kindler, Star-queen [has] lifted up her (two) hands from Mount Everwhite like (white) clouds”
ar lumbulë undulávë ilyë tier “and (heavy) shadow swallowed (lit. down-licked) all roads”
ar sindanóriello mornië caita “and from a grey country darkness lies”
i falmalinnar imbë met² “upon the (many) foaming waves between us (two)”
ar hísië untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë² “and mist covers (lit. down-roofs) Calacirya’s jewels forever”
sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!² “now lost is, [to one] from the East lost, Valimar!”
namárië! nai hiruvalyë Valimar² “farewell! be-it-that you will find Valimar”
nai elyë hiruva. namárië!² “be-it-that even you will find [it]. farewell!”