Monday, May 25, 2009

Barrow Wight and the Seven Dwarves

Barrow-wights are wraith-like creatures in J. R. R. Tolkien's world of Middle-earth. Barrow refers to the burial mounds they inhabited and wight is a Middle English word for "living being" or "creature". Barrow wights can suck the life out of anyone close enough and thus can not be killed by melee. Read on....

Long ago in days of yore, deep in the caves of Erebor
There lived dwarves hale and hearty
They loved listening to lore and going to war
And they also loved to party.

With their axes they were warriors fierce
In all battles they'd reign supreme
The phalanx could pierce mighty trolls with spears
They formed a formidable team.

In their axes they took the greatest pride
They had no equal in melee.
But the pleasure of range they were denied
Before archers they would flee.

And now the tale, in earnest does start.
Aye, the dwarves would fight and sing.
But their axes were, for the major part
Far more interesting.

Most axes smoked, gestured and spoke
But seven could even sing.
They were carved from oak and were bespoke
Each fitted with a dwarven ring.

One had been proven, better than Beethoven.
One sang of the universe.
One sang of the glory of Attila the Hun.
And wrote beautiful lyrical verse.

With his songs, one would venom spew
One hummed like happy bees.
One, like very few, loved things that grew
And sang of flowers and trees.

The seventh axe, however, was horribly harsh
His voice had brought down Petra.
Single handedly, at the Concert of the Dead Marsh
He had defeated "The Orc-estra"

On him were carved many ancient runes.
Ne'er was he happy or gay.
All he would do was, in irritating tunes,
Scream "Axe throwers" all day.

One day, to Erebor, the Deceiver came
In search of an elusive ring
He hadn't seen (and wasn't that was a shame?)
The axes that could sing.

Our dwarves seven, he called mighty and bold.
He moved them with deceitful words.
The dwarves he told, "In the forest old
Live not just animals and birds."

That they should go, was his humble request
With their axes and their rings.
Put their skills to test and rid the forest
Of cursed evil things.

Arrangements were made and the farewells said.
And the dwarves readied themselves.
They ate waybread and with a cry they sped
Faster than the nimblest elves.

Though creatures lurked and wild bees swarmed
They were wary of dwarven might.
And the dwarves moved unhindered and unharmed
Till they encountered a barrow wight.

Aye, what they had encountered was a barrow wight
And though they were fine and fit
Our dwarves seven, with all their might
Didn't know what to make of it.

But pride aplenty, had our dwarves seven
They gave a mighty rallying call
And on the scorched earth, under the glaring sun
In unison, met their fall.

Even against their axes and a solitary spear
The bare handed wight was stronger
They were long lived, but it was clear
That the barrow wight was to live longer.

They screamed and bawled, for they were apalled
And when they finally found their feet
They gathered at a spot that was secure and walled
Whence they beat a hasty retreat.

They wore mithril mail and called the men of dale
For it was their last resort
But their throats went dry, their food went stale
The time of the dwarves grew short.

So our dwarves seven, hungry and parched
But unmindful of their plight
Took up their weapons and on they marched
Towards the barrow wight.

They heard a horn and stopped in their tracks
And felt an approaching gale
Down from the sky or from earth's own cracks
Had appeared the men of dale.

Mithril mail they shod, they were strong and broad
Their heights were over six feet
"Have you come to our aid?", and they did nod
And asked for something to eat.

The dwarves' minds raced, up-down they paced
One solemnly shook his head
When on the land that no food ever had graced
They saw apples, ripe and red.

They laid down their bows, quivers and arrows
And disregarding the dwarven scowls
Had their fill and with contorted brows
Started uttering hideous howls.

What had gone wrong, well no one knew
On the ground each one had spread
They writhed in pain and up they threw
And one by one, dropped dead.

So the dwarves were left to face their fate
And they gathered all their might
And on they marched with their glorious gait
Towards the barrow wight.

"Ready your axes dwarves, the wight rests ahoy!"
Bellowed the dwarven bellower.
When a hoarse voice, with a juvenile joy
Shouted twice "Axe thrower!"

The dwarves battled on 'gainst the mighty wight
Who, stronger, by now had grown
They were being overwhelmed by his wighty might
He was taking their lives for his own.

The dwarves were losing, their courage sank
And it sank lower and lower.
When a hoarse voice, bored and blank
Shouted twice, "Axe thrower!"

The guardian of the axe, now incredibly irate
Turned towards the barrow wight.
And with anger, spite and humungous hate
Hurled it with all his might.

The axe smiled broadly as it traced in red
An arc, through the thin air.
It struck the wight and struck him dead
And felled him onto his lair.