From The Book of Lost Tales 2: “The Tale of Tinúviel” (1917), p. 1 ff.
On a time in June [Luthien and her brother Dairon] were playing there, and the white umbels of the hemlocks were like a cloud about the boles of the trees, and there Tinuviel danced until the evening faded late . . . the white moths flittered about her head and Dairon trilled an eerie tune, when suddenly that strange thing befell.
Never have I heard how Beren came thither over the hills; yet was he braver than most, as thou shalt hear, and ‘twas the love of wandering maybe alone that had sped him through the terrors of the Iron Mountains until he reached the Lands Beyond.
Now Beren was a Gnome, son of Egnor the forester who hunted in the darker places in the north of Hisilome. Dread and suspicion was between the Eldar and those of their kindred that had tasted the slavery of Melko . . . Now the lies of Melko ran among Beren’s folk so that they believed evil things of the secret Elves, yet now did he see Tinuviel dancing in the twilight . . .
From The Lays of Beleriand, Part III “The Lay of Leithian” (c. 1925), pp. 183 ff.
Canto II (p. 197)
Far in the North neath hills of stone
In caverns black there was a throne (100)
By fires illumined underground,
. . .
There sat a king; no Elfin race
Nor mortal blood, nor kindly grace
Of earth or heaven might he own
. . .
With fire and sword his ruin red
On all that would not bow the head
Like lightning fell. The Northern land (125)
Lay groaning neath his ghastly hand.
. . .
But still there lived in hiding cold
Undaunted, Barahir the bold,
Of land bereaved, of lordship shorn,
Who once a prince of Men was born (130)
And now an outlaw lurked and lay
In the hard heath and woodland grey,
And with him clung of faithful men
But Beren his son and other ten.
Yet small as was their hunted band (135)
Still fell and fearless was each hand,
And strong deeds they wrought yet oft,
And loved the woods, whose ways more soft
Them seemed than thralls of that black throne
To live and languish in halls of stone. (140)
King Morgoth still pursued them sore
With men and dogs, and wolf and boar
With spells of madness filled he sent
To slay them as in the woods they went;
Yet nought hurt them for many years, (145)
Until, in brief to tell what tears
Have oft bewailed in ages gone,
Nor ever tears enough, was done
A deed unhappy; unaware
Their feet were caught in Morgoth’s snare. (150)
[Gorlim of the band, passing a remote farmhouse sees his wife inside, lamenting his loss]
Him unrelenting, well he knew,
The hunt of Morgoth did pursue.
Lest Eilinel with him they slay (185)
Without a word he turned away,
[Gorlim is tormented by the thought that his wife is still alive]
Yet at the last, when many days
Of brooding did his mind amaze,
He found the servants of the king, (205)
And bade them to their master bring
A rebel who forgiveness sought,
If haply forgiveness might be bought
With tidings of Barahir the bold,
And where his hidings and his hold (210)
Might best be found by night or day.
[Morgoth informs Gorlim that his wife is dead, and kills him so he can join her.]
Thus Gorlim died a bitter death
And cursed himself with dying breath,
And Barahir was caught and slain, (235)
And all good deeds were made in vain.
But Morgoth's guile for ever failed,
Nor wholly o'er his foes prevailed,
And some were ever that still fought
Unmaking that which malice wrought. (240)
[Beren survives because he was away that day. Gorlim's ghost tells him to hurry back, but it is too late.]
As fearless Beren was renowned,
As man most hardy upon ground, (330)
While Barahir yet lived and fought;
But sorrow now his soul had wrought
To dark despair, and robbed his life
Of sweetness, that he longed for knife,
Or shaft, or sword, to end his pain, (335)
And dreaded only thralldom’s chain.
Danger he sought and death pursued,
And thus escaped the fate he wooed,
And deeds of breathless wonder dared
Whose whispered glory widely fared, (340)
And softly songs were sung at eve
Of marvels he did once achieve
Alone, beleaguered, lost at night
By mist or moon, or neath the light
Of the broad eye of day. The woods (345)
That northward looked with bitter feuds
He filled and death for Morgoth’s folk;
His comrades were the beech and oak,
Who failed him not, and many things
With fur and fell and feathered wings; (350)
And many spirits, that in stone
In mountains old and wastes alone,
Do dwell and wander, were his friends.
Yet seldom well an outlaw ends,
And Morgoth was a king more strong (355)
Than all the world has since in song
Recorded, and his wisdom wide
Slow and surely who him defied
Did hem and hedge. Thus at the last
Must Beren flee the forest fast (360)
And lands he loved where lay his sire
By reeds bewailed beneath the mire.
Beneath a heap of mossy stones
Now crumble those once mighty bones,
But Beren flees the friendless North (365)
One autumn night, and creeps him forth;
The leaguer of his watchful foes
He passes—silently he goes.
No more his hidden bowstring sings,
No more his shaven arrow wings, (370)
No more his hunted head doth lie
Upon the heath beneath the sky.
From The Shaping of Middle-earth, Part III “The Quenta” (c. 1926), pp. 92 ff.
In these days of doubt and fear, after the Second Battle, many dreadful things befell of which but few are here told. It is told that Beor was slain and Barahir yielded not to Morgoth, but all his land was won from him and his people scattered, enslaved or slain, and he himself went in outlawry with his son Beren and ten faithful men. Long they hid, and did secret and valiant deeds of war against the Orcs. But in the end, . . . the hiding place of Barahir was betrayed, and he was slain and his comrades, all save Beren who by fortune was that day hunting afar. Thereafter Beren lived an outlaw alone, save for the help he had from birds and beasts which he loved; and seeking for death in desperate deeds found it not, but glory and renown in the secret songs of fugitives and hidden enemies of Morgoth, so that the tale of his deeds came even to Broseliand, and was rumoured in Doriath. At length Beren fled from the ever-closing circle of those that hunted him . . .
From The Silmarillion, Chapter 18 “Of The Ruin of Beleriand”, c. 1936 & 1951, pub. 1977 (pp. 155)
Barahir’s Outlaw Band of
Now Morgoth’s power overshadowed the Northlands; but Barahir would not flee from Dorthonion, and remained contesting the land foot by foot with his enemies. Then Morgoth pursued his people to the death, until few remained ... At last so desperate was the case of Barahir that Emeldir the Manhearted his wife (whose mind was rather to fight beside her son and her husband than to flee) gathered together all the women and children that were left, and gave arms to those that would bear them; and she led them into the mountains that lay behind, and so by perilous paths, until they came at last with loss and misery to Brethil. . . . But none ever saw again the men that they had left. For these were slain one by one, until at last only twelve men remained to Barahir: Beren his son, and Baragund and Belegund his nephews, the sons of Bregolas, and nine faithful servants of his house whose names were long remembered in the songs of the Noldor: Radhruin and Dairuin they were, Dagnir and Ragnor, Gildor and Gorlim the unhappy, Arthad and Urthel, and Hathaldir the young. Outlaws without hope they became, a desperate band that could not escape and would not yield, for their dwellings were destroyed, and their wives and children captured, slain, or fled. From Hithlum there came neither news nor help, and Barahir and his men were hunted like wild beasts; and they retreated to the barren highland above the forest, and wandered among the tarns and rocky moors of that region, furthest from the spies and spells of Morgoth. Their bed was the heather and their roof the cloudy sky.
From The Silmarillion, Chapter 19 “Of Beren and Luthien” (pp. 162)
Barahir’s Outlaw Band of
12 companions (continued).
It has been told that Barahir would not forsake Dorthonion, and there Morgoth pursued him to his death, until at last there remained to him only twelve companions. Now the forest of Dorthonion rose southward into mountainous moors; and in the east of those highlands there lay a lake, Tarn Aeluin, with wild heaths about it, and all that land was pathless and untamed, for even in the days of the Long Peace none had dwelt there. But the waters of Tarn Aeluin were held in reverence, for they were clear and blue by day and by night were a mirror for the stars; and it was said that Melian herself had hollowed that water in the days of old. Thither Barahir and his outlaws withdrew, and there made their lair, and Morgoth could not discover it. But the rumour of the deeds of Barahir and his companions went far and wide; and Morgoth commanded Sauron to find them and destroy them.
Now among the companions of Barahir was Gorlim son of Angrim. His wife was named Eilinel, and their love was great, ere evil befell. But Gorlim returning from the war upon the marches found his house plundered and forsaken, and his wife gone; whether slain or taken he knew not. Then he fled to Barahir, and of his companions he was the most fierce and desperate; but doubt gnawed his heart, thinking that perhaps Eilinel was not dead. At times he would depart alone and secretly, and visit his house that stood amid the fields and woods he had once possessed; and this became known to the servants of Morgoth.
[Gorlim while visiting his house sees his wife inside; he is ambushed and captured.]
Thus Gorlim was ensnared; and taking him to their camp they
tormented him, seeking to learn the hidings of Barahir
and all his ways. But nothing would Gorlim
tell. Then they promised him that he should be released and restored to
Eilinel, if he would yield; and being at last worn with pain, and yearning for
his wife, he faltered.
Then they promised him that he should be released and restored to Eilinel, if he would yield; and being at last worn with pain, and yearning for his wife, he faltered.
[Gorlim is taken to Sauron, and betrays Barahir's location for a lying promise to be reunited with his wife]
In this way the hiding of Barahir was revealed, and Morgoth drew his net about it; and the Orcs coming in the still hours before dawn surprised the men of Dorthonion and slew them all, save one. For Beren son of Barahir had been sent by his father on a perilous errand to spy upon the ways of the Enemy, and he was far afield when the lair was taken. But as he slept benighted in the forest he dreamed that carrion-birds sat thick as leaves upon bare trees beside a mere, and blood dripped from their beaks.
Then Beren was aware in his dream of a form that came to him across the water, and it was a wraith of Gorlim; and it spoke to him declaring his treachery and death, and bade him make haste to warn his father. Then Beren awoke, and sped through the night, and came back to the lair of the outlaws on the second morning. But as he drew near the carrion-birds rose from the ground and sat in the alder-trees beside Tarn Aeluin, and croaked in mockery.
There Beren buried his father’s bones, and raised a cairn of boulders above him, and swore upon it an oath of vengeance. First therefore he pursued the Orcs that had slain his father and his kinsmen, and he found their camp by night at Rivil’s Well above the Fen of Serech, and because of his woodcraft he came near to their fire unseen. There their captain made boast of his deeds, and he held up the hand of Barahir that he had cut off as a token for Sauron that their mission was fulfilled; and the ring of Felagund was on that hand. Then Beren sprang from behind rock, and slew the captain, and taking the hand and the ring he escaped, being defended by fate; for the Orcs were dismayed, and their arrows wild.
Beren as solitary Outlaw (p. 164)
Thereafter for four years more Beren wandered still upon Dorthonion, a solitary outlaw; but he became the friend of birds and beasts, and they aided him, and did not betray him, and from that time forth he ate no flesh nor slew any living thing that was not in the service of Morgoth. He did not fear death, but only captivity, and being bold and desperate he escaped both death and bonds; and the deeds of lonely daring that he achieved were noised abroad throughout Beleriand, and the tale of them came even into Doriath. At length Morgoth set a price upon his head no less than the price upon the head of Fingon, High King of the Noldor; but the Orcs fled rather at the rumour of his approach than sought him out. Therefore an army was sent against him under the command of Sauron; and Sauron brought werewolves, fell beasts inhabited by dreadful spirits that he had imprisoned in their bodies.
All that land was now become filled with evil, and all clean things were departing from it; and Beren was pressed so hard that at last he was forced to flee from Dorthonion. In time of winter and snow he forsook the land and grave of his father, and climbing into the high regions of Gorgoroth, the Mountains of Terror, he descried afar the land of Doriath.