The clear and cold midwinter sun through snowy branches fell;
The Bruinen lay under ice now silent in the dell.
A human girl on dappled horse rode to the snowy bank;
With reassurances she spoke and stroked Samara’s flank.
She crossed the river’s icy run and found the dale’s rift;
She cantered down its sloping sides ‘mid falling water’s drift.
As she approached the portico of elven Rivendell
She tied her reigns to balustrade and rang the silver bell.
There came a dark-haired elven-maid ‘mid fire’s flickering light
Who said, “Welcome to Imladris! What would you have this night?”
“Sophia I am, a traveling scribe; I wish for shelter here,
And by your leave to copy down your songs and poems dear.”
The elleth smiled graciously and gestured in the door;
Sophia shook her cloak and stamped her boots on tiled floor.
“My name is Norwen,” she remarked, “I hope you stay here long;
Will you now rest, or listen to the Hall of Fire’s song?
“For as a scribe I know you will expand your writings here.”
Sophia said, “Yes please!” her joy made plain for all to hear.
The elleth sweetly laughed and led her down the passageway
Unto a carven door from which the sweetest strains did play.
An ellon met her now, said, “Welcome to the Hall of Fire!
I hope you ease your heart here with our songs that light inspire.
“If you should wish to write them, ask each poet; he shall tell
You all you wish to know of elvish songs in Rivendell.”
Sophia smiled, wondering at the lighted torches’ blaze
And stepped into the music-room of ballads, songs, and lays.