Laer Durin

Ir gwain i amar, laeg idh rais.
Bo Ithil úgenui in gwais,
Ú-gernin pith an hîr a dol,
Echuias Durin eriol.
In eryd estant ú-estennin,
Ed eithil sogant ú-hegennin.
A dad na Nen Cenedril glinthas,
En-elin egent rî i dinnas.
In gil gelebrin, mîr bo lîn
Erin morchant e-ndol dîn.

I amar bain, in eryd toer,
Ebin dant, or aurath ioer
En-erain velig Nargothronn
A Gondolin, hi gwoen na Lonn,
Di n'Aear Annui anwer pain.
Or aurath Durin amar bain.

Buin archam chall e aran rîn.
Na ngonn echennin i thaim dîn.
Pân celevon a mallen ennas,
Angerthas veleg erin fennas.
I galad Ithil, Anor, Elin
Mi gelair ivrin gwenn pen-belin.
Han ú-brestanner morchaint fuin
Ir ihil vain ah uireb cuin.

Damminner ennas ang i ndaim,
Pen-nediad en-drammath laim.
Echennir chethyl engrin gelig,
Echennir 'ryth ah edaib velig.
Mîr hilol ennas a mîr nim
A thinc echennin sui flâd lim.
Crist a megil, lang a thann,
Ech a thôl buin ovras lann.

Hadhodrim Durin ú-drestennin,
Nuin eryd laer a lhinn lestennin.
I maeryn linner vain, gannaster
Ah i 'wilith ruim pathraster.

In eryd bruin, i amar mith.
I naur e-hindan ring sui lith.
Ú-ngannar si, ú-dhanna dam.
I dhúath dortha si, mi tham.
Loda dae or harch dîn thond,
Vi Moria, vi Hadhodrond.
Ach gil dandelir n'aelin nûr,
Na Nen Cenedril pen-wae, dûr.
Mi nîn i rî dîn dartha thurin,
Dâr an aur en-echui Durin.

Literal translation:

When young [was] the world, green [were] the mountain-tops,
Stains on the Moon were not visible,
Unmade [were] the words for a river or hill.
Durin awoke alone.
He named the nameless hills,
He drank from untasted sources.
And down into Mirrormere he glanced,
And saw a glinting crown of stars.
Silver stars, jewels on threads
Above the shadow of his head.

The word [was] fair, the hills [were] tall,
Before the fall, in ancient days
Of mighty kings of Nargothrond
And Gondolin, now gone to the Haven,
They all went to the Western Sea.
In Durin's days the world was fair.

On high throne he was a crowned king,
His halls were made of stone,
Everything there was of silver and of gold,
Mighty runes [were] above the doorway.
The light of Moon, Sun and the Stars
In crystal lamps was bound without fading.
The shadows of the night did not disturb it
When it beautifully shone, forever alive.

The hammers forged there iron,
Uncountable sounds of strokes.
They fashioned swift iron blades,
They fashioned caves and mighty buildings.
There shining and pale jewels
And metal was forged like fishes' scales.
Cleaver and sword, cutlass and shield
Spear and helm on a wide pile.

The dwarves of Durin were untroubled,
Songs and poems were heard under the mountains.
Artists sang beautifully and harped
And trumpets filled the air.

The hills are old, the world is grey.
The forge's fire is cold like ash.
No harp is played here, no hammer falls.
Darkness dwells here, in the hall.
A shadow floats above his tall tomb
In Moria, in Khazad-dûm.
But stars return to the deep lake
To Mirrormere, windless and dark.
There in the waters waits his hidden crown,
It awaits the day of Durin's awakening.


This is an attempt to translate the Song about Durin the Deathless which Gimli chants in Moria (LotR II, ch. 4). The Sindarin text could have been composed in Eregion during the time of great friendship between the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm and the Ñoldor from Gwaith-i-Mírdain.

For Nen Cenedril 'Lake Looking-glass' as the Sindarin name of Mirrormere, see PE17:35, RS:466.

Every line has 4 stresses as the original, but the initial syllable has sometimes to be stressed as well. Furthermore, Nargothrond and Hadhodrond have to be stressed on the first and last syllable to preserve the rhyme scheme; but note that the same has to be done in Tolkien's original:
Of mighty kings in Nargothrond
And Gondolin who now beyond [...]
And he also stresses it this way when reciting the poem.

I assume here the conception from PE17:131 where lt, mp, nt, nc become long voiceless lh, mh, nh, ŋh that are voiced again except if followed by a stressed syllable.


*úgenui 'invisible', cf. úbedui 'not fit to say, unspeakable'
*eb 'before', cf. Q. epë (VT42:32, 43:38), N. Ebloer, Ephriw (PM:136)
*archam 'throne' < ar- 'noble' + *ham 'seat' (AR2-, KHAM-), cf. turhod 'throne' (PE13:165)
*lam 'sound' < *lammā, Q. lamma (Etym:LAM-) in laim en-drammath - this might be Noldorin influence, since the poem is meant to be composed by exiled Noldor
*sindan 'smithy, smith-house, forge' < *sinkitam, cf. barthan < *mbartam 'large building of masonry used as a dwelling' (PE17:109), Q. sintamo 'smith' < sinkitamo (PE17:108)