Thy starlight on the Western Seas

elbereth-gilthoniel-mother-of-god-maica-domnului

From the The Lord of the Rings, The Felloswhip of the Ring: The Complete Recordings, The Passing of the Elves, by Howard Shore.

This is one of the translations of this song titled A Elbereth Gilthoniel (O Elbereth Starkindler), sung by elves of Middle-earth from Sindarin (of the long version more exactly):

“Snow White! Snow White! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander there
Amid the world of woven trees!
Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
Clear are thy eyes and bright is breath,
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
In a far land beyond the Sea!
O Stars that in the Sunless Year
With shining hand by thee were sown,
In windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown!
O Elbereth Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.”

In Tolkien’s legendarium, Elbereth, or Varda, one of the Valar and the highest of the “guardians”, is the clearest reflections of the Holy Mother of God. This song can be seen as the most beautiful Roman Catholic Marian devotion in Tolkien and an echo of the Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star Catholic Marian hymn.

Interestingly, we have Romanian poem that is quite similar, written by our most important poet, Mihai Eminescu. The wording is quite unsusual in our Orthodox culture (even for a secular poem):

„Noi ce din mila Sfântului
Facem umbră pământului,
Rugămu-ne’ndurărilor,
Luceafărului mărilor.

Ascultă-a nostre plângeri,
Regină peste îngeri;
Din neguri te arată,
Lumină dulce, clară,
O, Maică Preacurată
Şi pururea Fecioară,
Marie!

Crăiasă alegându-te,
Îngenunchem rugându-te
Înalţă-ne, ne mântuie
Din valul ce ne bântuie.

Fii scut de întărire
Şi zid de mântuire.

Privirea-ţi adorată
Asupră-ne coboară,
O, Maică Preacurată
Şi pururea fecioară,
Marie!”

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