Below are two poems by jan-u-wine set in the time before Frodo comes to live with Bilbo at Bag End. I had already posted a splendid poem for the fullscreen version of this scene last year (links below), but these two poems inspired me to cap the "Ride to the Grey Havens" scene again, but in widescreen.
Juxtaposing the poems with the caps opens up new possibilities for me, imagining what their thoughts might have been as they rode along. It was a long ride. There would have been much time to think. They would have had their private memories to mull over, of course, but also their shared past, even if they did not speak much about it.
The first poem, A Visit to Hobbiton, is written from Frodo's point of view. It opens with him taking a wagon ride, but a very different one from the ride depicted in the film. The second poem, The Portrait, was inspired by a pencil drawing of Frodo by Alan Lee. In the poem, Bilbo comes to a decision after reflecting on such an image. (To see Lee's drawing, click here.)
Since there is no wagon ride to the Havens in Tolkien, I am only providing the film text, which is posted below.
A wagon, its cover twined by Elvish runes, arrives in Hobbiton. The driver, Gandalf, smiles at the hobbits who are waiting. The wagon travels through green countryside. Inside, Bilbo is resting his head upon Frodo's shoulder. He looks very, very old.
Frodo (voiceover): Bilbo once told me, his part in this tale would end. That each of us must come and go in the telling. Bilbo's story was now over. There would be no more journeys for him…save one.
Bilbo: Tell me again, lad...where are we going?
Frodo: To the harbour, Uncle. The elves have accorded you a special honor. A place on the last ship to leave Middle-earth.
Bilbo: Frodo... any chance of seeing that old Ring of mine again... the one I gave you?
Frodo: I'm sorry, Uncle... I'm afraid I lost it.
Bilbo: Oh... pity. I should like to have held it one last time.
The two rest their heads against each other and close their eyes.
A Visit to Hobbiton
~ by jan-u-wine
When I am older,
I shall have my own pony.
Already, I know
which one he will be:
black as ink'd night
with a star-blaze
upon his forehead,
mane like moon-silvered
He is the one who runs
in the deep grasses of the summer field,
is the one whose soft nose nudges
apple bits from my hands....
Silmë shall be his name.
we shall come here,
riding slow upon the road.
(though, really, he
IS my cousin),
will think me quite grown.
But for now,
I sit beside him,
cart-robes piled over,
the Road unrolling
like a dark ribbon
under the autumn night-sky.
As if they were silver, pouring from his purse,
he counts the stars for me:
I know him:
dancing upon the face of night.
flaring and winking,
like ice crafted of rimed flame.
All these he names for me,
and tells me how they came
to be set within the great
expanse of the sky....
I think on them,
'til sleep takes me,
the little frogs
leading me to dremes....
When I wake,
it is not to my bed,
all carved about with moon and stars,
or mumma's soft voice and kiss upon my brow.
It is to Uncle's eyes,
and griddle-cakes with bright yellow butter….
it is to tales of gold and adventures,
of dragons and dwarves….
It is to a tree whose very roots
burrow and shine like welcoming arms
above my head.
I can scarce breathe for the wonder of it all.
Tomorrow is my birthday.
Uncle has a surprise:
it is his birthday, too.
He wonders aloud
how we should spend
And I wonder
(within the small frame of my thoughts),
how I might tell him
I love him.
~ by jan-u-wine
‘Tis many a year since I’ve seen the lad.
Many a year,
Winter’s harsh hand opening to Spring,
Spring nodding tender acceptance
Summer finding its heated path to Harvest-fall.
Fields near burnt by swift-dying Sun,
rich burden of green-gold crop
beneath Her heavy gaze;
lit day-bright by full-weighted moon.
Dancing and drinking,
In the midst of all,
‘tween crop and capers,
fierce Sun and lemon-eyed Moon,
by a forthright gaze
pressed within an oval frame.
(happenstance, I am sure,
that it should arrive in the Post
from the Great Hall upon the very morning
It is as if we stand within the same room.
Clever eyes look back to mine,
clever and curious
and not a little sad.
I shouldn’t wonder at that,
nor at the mouth which determinedly
There are words there, I deem,
words of humour,
words of bright gold,
words of moonlit
My constant lad.
Spirited, he is,
bold as his midnight pony
and twice as eager.
Lively and industrious,
Why, all of those.
brittle and like to break
beneath the weal of too-long held sorrow.
None know better than I this sorrow,
none know better the sad folly with counts
grief as wisdom within a shadow’d heart.
I know him, this lad,
the ways he has that others count as
It is no happenstance,
the words which spill from pen to parchment.
He shall come and live beneath the Hill with me.
Next year, and every harvest-tide thereafter,
we shall celebrate our birthdays (comfortably)
I touch the face of the portrait,
Screencaps from the fullscreen version*:
~ Ride to the Grey Havens, Pt. I.
~ Ride to the Grey Havens, Pt. II and jan-u-wine's "Now Far Ahead the Road Has Gone".
*These caps have not only been adjusted for focus and brightness, but the colour has been adjusted, too.
Most recent entries:
~ EE Party Tent Scene, plus jan-u-wine’s ‘Dremes and Dragons’.
~ ‘An Extra Ordinary Life’: a retrospective poem by jan-u-wine, with screencaps from the three films."
Other Tables of Links: