Then when Rumil finished and fell silent Eriol said after a pause: 'Great are these tidings and very new and strange in my ears, yet doth it seem that most whereof you have yet told happened outside this world, whereas if I know now wherefrom comes its life and motion and the ultimate devising of its history, I would still hear many things of the earliest deeds within its borders; of the labours of the Valar I would know, and the great beings of most ancient days. Whereof, tell me, are the Sun or the Moon or the Stars, and how came their courses and their stations? Nay more — whence are the continents of the earth, the Outer Lands, the great seas, and the Magic Isles? Even of the Eldar and their arising and of the coming of Men I would listen to your tales of wisdom and wonder.'
Then answered Rumil: 'Nay, but your questions are nigh as long and wordy as my tales — and the thirst of your curiosity would dry a well deeper than even my lore, an I let you drink and come again unstinted to your liking. Indeed you know not what you ask nor the length and complexity of the stories you would hear. Behold, the sun is well above the roofs and this is no hour of the day for the telling of tales. Rather is it time already, and something more, for the breaking of the fast.' With these words Rumil went down that lane of hazels, and passing a space of sunlight entered the house at great speed, for all that he looked ever before his toes as he went.
But Eriol sat musing in that arbour, pondering what he had heard, and many questions came into his mind that he desired to ask, until he forgot that he fasted still. But now comes Littleheart and another bearing covers and fair linen, and they say to him: 'It is the words of Rumil the Sage that you are fainting in the Arbour of the Thrushes for hunger and for weariness of his garrulous tongue — and thinking that very like to be, we are come to aid thee.'
Then Eriol thanked them, and breaking his fast spent the remainder of that fair day hidden in the quiet alleys of that garden deep in thought; nor did he have lack of pleasance, for although it seemed enclosed within great stone walls covered with fruit-trees or with climbing plants whose golden and red blossoms shone beneath the sun, yet were the nooks and corners of the garden, its coppices and lawns, its shady ways and flowering fields, without end, and exploration discovered always something new. Nonetheless even greater was his joy when that night again the toast was drunk to the 'Rekindling of the Magic Sun' and the candles held aloft and the throng went once more to the room where the Tale-fire burnt. There said Lindo: 'Is it to be tales, as of custom, again this night, or shall it be musics and the singing of songs?' And the most said songs and music, and thereat skilled ones arose who sang old melodies or maybe roused dead minstrelsy of Valinor to life amid the flicker of that firelit room. Some too spake poesies concerning Kôr, and Eldamar, short snatches of the wealth of old; but soon the song and music died down and there was a quiet, while those there thought of the departed beauty and longed eagerly for the Rekindling of the Magic Sun.
Now at length spake Eriol to Lindo, saying: 'One Rumil the door-ward, and, methought, a great sage, did this morning in the garden relate to me the beginning of the world and the coming of the Valar. Now fain would I hear of Valinor!' Then said Rumil, for he sat upon a stool in a deepshadowed nook: 'Then with the leave of Lindo and of Vaire I will begin the tale, else will you go on asking for ever; and may the company have pardon if they hear old tales again.' But Vaire said that those words concerning the oldest things were far from stale yet in the ears of the Eldar.
Then said Rumil:
'Behold, Manwe Sulimo and Varda the Beautiful arose. Varda it was who at the playing of the Music had thought much of light that was of white and silver, and of stars. Those twain gathered now wings of power to themselves and fared swiftly through the three airs. Vaitya is that which is wrapped dark and sluggish about the world and without it, but Ilwe is blue and clear and flows among the stars, and last came they to Vilna that is grey and therein may the birds fly safely. With them came many of those lesser Vali who loved them and had played nigh them and attuned their music to theirs, and these are the Manir and the Suruli, the sylphs of the airs and of the winds.
Now swiftly as they fared Melko was there before them, having rushed headlong flaming through the airs in the impetuosity of his speed, and there was a tumult of the sea where he had dived and the mountains above him spouted flames and the earth gaped and rocked; but Manwe beholding this was wroth.
Thereafter came Ulmo and Aule, and with Ulmo were none, save Salmar only who was after known as Noldorin, for good though the heart of that mighty one he thought ever deep thoughts alone, and was silent and aloof and haughty - even to the Ainur; but with Aule was that great lady Palurien whose delights were richness and fruits of the earth, for which reason has she long been called Yavanna among the Eldar. About them fared a great host who are the sprites of trees and woods, of dale and forest and mountain-side, or those that sing amid the grass at morning and chant among the standing corn at eve. These are the Nermir and the Tavari, Nandini and Orossi, brownies, fays, pixies, leprawns, and what else are they not called, for their number is very great: yet must they not be confused with the Eldar, for they were born before the world and are older than its oldest, and are not of it, but laugh at it much, for had they not somewhat to do with its making, so that it is for the most part a play for them; but the Eldar are of the world and love it with a great and burning love, and are wistful in all their happiness for that reason.
Now behind those greatest chieftains came Falman-Osse of the waves of the sea and Onen his consort, and with them the troops of the Oarni and Falmarini and the long-tressed Wingildi, and these are the spirits of the foam and the surf of ocean. Now Osse was a vassal and subordinate to Ulmo, and was so for fear and reverence and not for love. Behind him there came Tulkas Poldorea rejoicing in his strength, and those brethren the Fanturi, Fantur of Dreams who is Lorien Olofantur, and Fantur of Death who is Vefantur Mandos, and those twain also who are named Tari for they are ladies of great worship, queens of the Valar. The one was the spouse of Mandos, and is known to all as Fui Nienna by reason of her glooms, and she is fain of mourning and tears. Many other names has she that are spoken seldom and all are grievous, for she is Nuri who sighs and Heskil who breedeth winter, and all must bow before her as Qalme-Tari the mistress of death. But lo, the other was the spouse of Orome the hunter who is named Aldaron king of forests, who shouts for joy upon mountain-tops and is nigh as lusty as that perpetual youth Tulkas. Orome is the son of Aule and Palurien, and that Tari who is his wife is known to all as Vana the fair and loveth mirth and youth and beauty, and is happiest of all beings, for she is Tuilere or as the Valar said Vana Tuivana who bringeth spring, and all sing her praises as Tari-Laisi mistress of life.
Yet even when all these had crossed the confines of the world and Vilna was in uproar with their passing, there came still hurrying late Makar and his fierce sister Measse; and it had been better had they not found the world but remained for ever with the Ainur beyond Vaitya and the stars, for both were spirits of quarrelsome mood, and with some other lesser ones who came now with them had been the first and chief to join in the discords of Melko and to aid in the spreading of his music.
Last of all came Omar who is called Amillo, youngest of the great Valar, and he sang songs as he came. Then when all these great spirits were gathered together within the confines of the world Manwe spake to them, saying: "Lo now! How may the Valar abide in this fair place or be happy and rejoice in its goodness, if Melko be suffered to destroy it, and make fire and turmoil, so that we have not where to sit in peace, nor may the earth blossom or the designs of Iluvatar come to being?"
Then all the Valar were angered with Melko, and Makar alone spoke against Manwe; but the rest chose certain of their number to seek out the wrongdoer, and these were Mandos and 'Tulkas, Mandos for that of his dread aspect was Melko more in fear than of aught else save it were the strength of Tulkas' arm, and Tulkas was the other.
Now those two sought him out and constrained him to come before Manwe, and Tulkas whose heart misliked the crooked guile of Melko gave him a blow with his fist, and he abode that then but did not forget. Yet did he speak the Gods fair, and said how he did scant harm, revelling only a while in the newness of the world; nor, said he, would he ever seek to do aught against the lordship of Manwe or the dignity of those chiefs Aule and Ulmo, nor indeed to the hurt of any beside. Rather was it his counsel that each of the Valar should now depart and dwell amid those things that he loved upon Earth, nor should any seek to extend his sway beyond its just boundaries. In this there was some covert reflection upon Manwe and Ulmo, but of the Gods some took his words in faith and would use his advice, but others distrusted; and in the midst of their debate Ulmo arose and went to the Outermost Seas that were set beyond the Outer Lands. He loved not high words nor concourse of folk, and in those deep waters moveless and empty he purposed to dwell, leaving the governance of the Great and lesser seas to Osse and Onen his vassals. Yet ever of his magic deep in his outermost seahalls of Ulmonan he controlled the faint stirrings of the Shadowy Seas, and ruled the lakes and springs and rivers of the world.
Now this was the manner of the Earth in those days, nor has it since changed save by the labours of the Valar of old. Mightiest of regions are the Great Lands where Men do dwell and wander now, and the Lost Elves sing and dance upon the hills; but beyond their westernmost limits lie the Great Seas, and in that vast water of the West are many smaller lands and isles, ere the lonely seas are found whose waves whisper about the Magic Isles. Farther even than this, and few are the boats of mortal men that have dared so far, are set the Shadowy Seas whereon there float the Twilit Isles and the Tower of Pearl rises pale upon their most western cape; but as yet it was not built, and the Shadowy Seas stretched dark away till their uttermost shore in Eruman.
Now the Twilit Isles are reckoned the first of the Outer Lands, which are these and Eruman and Valinor. Eruman or Arvalin is to the southward, but the Shadowy Seas run even to the edges of Eldamar to the north; yet must ships sail farther to reach these silver strands, for beyond Eruman stand the Mountains of Valinor in a great ring curving westward, and the Shadowy Seas to north of Eruman bend a vast bay inward, so that waves beat even upon the feet of the great cliffs and the Mountains stand beside the sea. There is Taniquetil glorious to behold, loftiest of all mountains, clad in purest snow, and he looks from the bay's head southward across Eruman and northward across the Bay of Faery; indeed all the Shadowy Seas, even the sails of ships upon the sunlit waters of the great ocean and the throngs about westward havens in the lands of Men could afterward be seen therefrom, albeit that distance is counted out in unimagined leagues. But as yet the Sun had not risen and the Mountains of Valinor had not been raised, and the vale of Valinor lay wide and cold. Beyond Valinor I have never seen or heard, save that of a surety there are the dark waters of the Outer Seas, that have no tides, and they are very cool and thin, that no boat can sail upon their bosom or fish swim within their depths, save the enchanted fish of Ulmo and his magic car.
Thither is he now gone, but the Gods hold council concerning the words of Melko. It was the rede of Aule and of his wife Palurien, for they were the most grieved by the mischief of Melko's turmoils and trusted his promises not at all, that the Gods should not separate as he bid, lest he take it into his heart perchance to attack them singly or do hurt to their possessions. "Is he not," said they, "more powerful than any one of us save Manwe only? Rather let us build a dwelling wherein we may abide in joy together, faring only at need to the care and survey of our goods and fiefs. There even such as be of other mind may dwell at times, and find rest and pleasance after labours in the world." Now Aule's mind and fingers itched already to be making things, and he urged this matter the more for that; and to most of the Gods it seemed a good counsel, and they fared about the world seeking a place to dwell in. Those were the days of Gloaming (Lomendanar), for light there was, silver and golden, but it was not gathered together but flowed and quivered in uneven streams about the airs, or at times fell gently to the earth in glittering rain and ran like water on the ground; and at that time Varda in her playing had set but a few stars within the sky.
In this dimness the Gods stalked North and South and could see little; indeed in the deepest of these regions they found great cold and solitude and the rule of Melko already fortified in strength; but Melko and his servants were delving in the North, fashioning the grim halls of Utumna, for he had no thought to dwell amongst the others, howso he might feign peace and friendship for the time.
Now because of the darkness Aule suaded Melko to build two towers to the North and South, for he purposed to set upon them mighty lamps one upon each. These did Aule himself fashion of gold and silver, and the pillars were raised by Melko and were very tall, and shone like pale blue crystal; and when Aule smote them with his hand they rang like metal. They sprang up through the lower air even to Ilwe and the stars, and Melko said they were of an imperishable substance of great strength that he had devised; and he lied, for he knew that they were of ice. That one of the North he named Ringil and of the South Helkar, and the lamps were made ready and set upon them, being filled with gathered light, silver to the North and golden to the South. This light had Manwe and Varda gathered lavishly from the sky, that the Gods might the better explore the regions of the world, and choose the fairest for their home.
Now in that flaming light did they fare East and West, and East was a waste of tumbled lands and West great seas of darkness, for indeed they were gathered now upon those Twilit Isles and stood there gazing westward, when lo! the lamps to North and South flickered and fell, and as they fell the waters rose about the isles. Now these things they did not then understand, but it so happened that the blaze of those lights had melted the treacherous ice of the pillars of Melko, Ringil and Helkar, and great floods of water had poured from them into the Shadowy Seas. So great was their thaw that whereas those seas were at first of no great size but clear and warm, now were they black and wide and vapours lay upon them and deep shades, for the great cold rivers that poured into them. Thus were the mighty lamps unseated from on high and the clangour of their fall shook the stars, and some of their light was spilled again into the air, but much flowed upon the earth and made fires and deserts for its great volume ere it gathered into lakes and pools.
Then was the time of first night and it was very long; but the Valar were sorely wroth at the treachery of Melko and were like to be whelmed in the shadowy seas that now arose and sucked about their feet, covering many of the islands in their waves.
Then Osse, for Ulmo was not there, gathered to him the Oarni, and putting forth their might they dragged that island whereon stood the Valar westward from the waters till they came to Eruman, whose high shores held the angry flood — and that was the first tide.
Then said Manwe: "Now will we make a dwelling speedily and a bulwark against evil." So they fared over Arvalin and saw a wide open space beyond, teaching for unknown leagues even to the Outer Seas. There, said Aule, would be a place well suited to great building and to a fashioning of realms of delight; wherefore the Valar and all their folk first gathered the most mighty rocks and stones from Arvalin and reared therewith huge mountains between it and that plain which now they name Valinor, or the land of the Gods. Aule indeed it was himself who laboured for seven ages at Manwe's bidding in the piling of Taniquetil, and the world rumbled in the gloom and Melko heard the noises of their labour. By reason of their great masonry is Erumani now very broad and bare and of a marvellous level, for they removed all the stone and rock that was there; but the Mountains of Valinor are rugged and of impregnable height. Seeing at length that these towered mightily between Valinor and the world the Gods drew breath; but Aule and Tulkas fared abroad with many of their folk and brought back all they might of marbles and good stones, of iron and gold and silver and bronze and all manner of substances. These they heaped amid the plain, and straightway Aule began to labour mightily.
At last he says: "It is ill working in this gloom, and 'twas an evil deed of Melko's that brought to ruin those fair lamps." But Varda answering said: "Still is there much light remaining both in the airs and that which floweth spilled upon the earth", and she wished to gather new store and set a beacon on Taniquetil. But Manwe suffered not more radiance to be gleaned from heaven, for that the dark was already that of night, but at his asking Ulmo rose from his deeps and fared to the blazing lakes and the pools of brilliance. Therefrom he drew rivers of light into vast vessels, pouring back waters in their place, and with these he got him back to Valinor. There was all the light poured into two great cauldrons that Aule fashioned in the gloom against his return, and those are called Kulullin and Silindrin.
Now in the midmost vale they digged two great pits, and those are leagues asunder yet nigh together beside the vastness of that plain. In the one did Ulmo set seven rocks of gold brought from the most silent deeps of the sea, and a fragment was cast thereafter of the lamp that had burned awhile upon Helkar in the South. Then was the pit covered with rich earths that Palurien devised, and Vana came who loveth life and sunlight and at whose song the flowers arise and open, and the murmur of her maidens round her was like to the merry noise of folk that stir abroad for the first time on a bright morning. There sang she the song of spring upon the mound, and danced about it, and wateredit with great streams of that golden light that Ulmo had brought from the spilled lakes — yet was Kulullin almost o'erflowing at the end.
But in the other pit they cast three huge pearls that Osse found in the Great Sea, and a small star Varda cast after them, and they covered it with foams and white mists and thereafter sprinkled lightly earth upon it, but Lorien who loveth twilights and flittering shadows, and sweet scents borne upon evening winds, who is the lord of dreams and imaginings, sat nigh and whispered swift noiseless words, while his sprites played half-heard tunes beside him like music stealing out into the dark from distant dwellings; and the Gods poured upon that place rivers of the white radiance and silver light which Silindrin held even to the brim — and after their pouring was Silindrin yet well nigh full.
Then came Palurien, even Kemi the Earth-lady, wife of Aule, mother of the lord of forests, and she wove spells about those two places, deep enchantments of life and growth and putting forth of leaf, blossoming and yielding of fruit — but she mingled no word of fading in her song. There having sung she brooded for a great while, and the Valar sat in a circle about, and the plain of Valinor was dark. Then after a time there came at last a bright gleam of gold amid the gloom, and a cry of joy and praise was sent up by the Valar and all their companies. Behold from that place that had been watered from Kulullin rose a slender shoot, and from its bark pale gold effulgence poured; yet did that plant grow apace so that in seven hours there was a tree of mighty stature, and all the Valar and their folk might sit beneath its branches. Of a great shapeliness and goodly growth was that stock, and nought was there to break its smooth rind, which glowed faintly with a yellow light, for a vast height above the earth. Then did fair boughs thrust overhead in all directions, and golden buds swelled from all the twigs and lesser branches, and from these burst leaves of a rich green whose edges shone. Already was the light that that tree gave wide and fair, but as the Valar gazed it put forth blossom in exceeding great profusion, so that all its boughs were hidden by long swaying clusters of gold flowers like a myriad hanging lamps of flame, and light spilled from the tips of these and splashed upon the ground with a sweet noise.
Then did the Gods praise Vana and Palurien and rejoice in the light, saying to them: "Lo, this is a very fair tree indeed, and must have a name unto itself," and Kemi said: "Let it be called Laurelin, for the brightness of its blossom and the music of its dew," but Vana would call it Lindelokse, and both names remain.
Now was it twelve hours since Lindelokse had first sprouted, and at that hour did a glint of silver pierce the yellow blaze, and behold the Valar saw a shoot arise in that place whereto the pools of Silindrin had been poured. It had a bark of tender white that gleamed like pearls and it grew even as swiftly as had Laurelin, and as it grew the glory of Laurelin abated and its blossom shone less, till that tree glowed only gently as in sleep: but, behold, the other waxed now to a stature even as lofty as Laurelin, and its stock was yet more shapely and more slender, and its rind like silk, but its boughs above were thicker and more tangled and its twigs denser, and they put forth masses of bluish green leaves like spearheads.
Then did the Valar stare in wonder, but Palurien said: "Not yet has this tree ceased its growing", and behold as she spake it blossomed, and its blossoms did not hang in clusters but were like separate flowers growing each on fine stems that swung together, and were as silver and pearls and glittering stars and burnt with a white light; and it seemed as if the tree's heart throbbed, and its radiance wavered thereto waxing and waning. Light like liquid silver distilled from its bole and dripped to earth, and it shed a very great illumination about the plain, yet was that not as wide as the light of the tree of gold, and by reason also of its great leaves and of the throb of its inward life it cast a continual flutter of shadows among the pools of its brightness, very clear and black; whereat Lorien could not contain his joy, and even Mandos smiled. But Lorien said: "Lo! I will give this tree a name and call it Silpion", and that has ever been its name since.
Then Palurien arose and said to the Gods: "Gather ye now all the light that drips in liquid shape from this fair tree and store it in Silindrin, and let it fare thence but very sparingly. Behold, this tree, when the twelve hours of its fullest light are past, will wane again, and thereat will Laurelin blaze forth once more; but that it may not be exhausted water it ever gently from the cauldron of Kulullin at the hour when Silpion grows dim, but to Silpion do ye in the same manner, pouring back the gathered light from deep Silindrin at every waning of the tree of gold. Light is the sap of these trees and their sap is light!"
And in these words did she signify that albeit these trees must needs be watered with light to have sap and live, yet of their growth and being did they ever make light in great abundance still over and beyond that which their roots sucked in; but the Gods hearkened to her bidding, and Vana caused one of her own maidens, even Urwen, to care ever for this task of watering Laurelin, while Lorien bade Silmo, a youth he loved, to be ever mindful of the refreshing of Silpion. Wherefore is it said that at either watering of the trees there was a wondrous gloaming of gold and silver and mingled lights great beauty ere one tree quite faded or the other came to its full glory.
Now because of the bright trees had Aule light in plenty for his works, and he set about many tasks, and Tulkas aided him much, and Palurien mother of magic was at his side. First upon Taniquetil was a great abode raised up for Manwe and a watchtower set. Thence did he speed his darting hawks and receive them on his return, and thither fared often in later days Sorontur King of Eagles whom Manwe gave much might and wisdom.
That house was builded of marbles white and blue and stood amid the fields of snow, and its roofs were made of a web of that blue air called ilwe that is above the white and grey. This web did Aule and his wife contrive, but Varda spangled it with stars, and Manwe dwelt thereunder; but in the plain in the full radiance of the trees was a cluster of dwellings built like a fair and smiling town, and that town was named Valmar. No metal and no stone, nor any wood of mighty trees was spared to their raising. Their roofs were of gold and their floors silver and their doors of polished bronze; they were lifted with spells and their stones were bound with magic. Separate from these and bordering upon the open vale was a great court, and this was Aule's house, and it was filled with magic webs woven of the light of Laurelin and the sheen of Silpion and the glint of stars; but others there were made of threads of gold and silver and iron and bronze beaten to the thinness of a spider's filament, and all were woven with beauty to stories of the musics of the Ainur, picturing those things that were and shall be, or such as have only been in the glory of the mind of Iluvatar.
In this court were some of all the trees that after grew upon the earth, and a pool of blue water lay among them. There fruits fell throughout the day, thudding richly to the earth upon the grass of its margin, and were gathered by Palurien's maids for her feasting and her lord's.
Osse too had a great house, and dwelt therein whenso a conclave of the Valar was held or did he grow weary of the noise of the waves upon his seas. Onen and the Oarni brought thousands of pearls for its building, and its floors were of sea-water, and its tapestries like the glint of the silver skins of fishes, and it was roofed with foam. Ulmo dwelt not in Valmar and fared back after its building to the Outer Seas, and did he have need ever of sojourn in Valinor he would go as guest to the halls of Manwe; — but this was not often.
Lorien too dwelt far away, and his hall was great and dimly lit and had wide gardens. The place of his dwelling he.called Murmuran, which Aule made of mists gathered beyond Arvalin upon the Shadowy Seas. 'Twas set in the South by the feet of the Mountains of Valinor upon the confines of the realm,but its gardens wandered marvellously about, winding nigh to the feet of Silpion whose shining lit them strangely. They were full of labyrinths and mazes, for Palurien had given Lorien great wealth of yew trees and cedars, and of pines that exuded drowsy odours in the dusk; and these hung over deep pools. Glowworms crept about their borders and Varda had set stars within their depths for the pleasure of Lorien, but his sprites sang wonderfully in these gardens and the scent of nightflowers and the songs of sleepy nightingales filled them with great loveliness. There too grew the poppies glowing redly in the dusk, and those the Gods called fumellar the flowers of sleep — and Lorien used them much in his enchantments. Amidmost of those pleasances was set within a ring of shadowy cypress towering high that deep vat Silindrin. There it lay in a bed of pearls, and its surface unbroken was shot with silver flickerings, and the shadows of the trees lay on it, and the Mountains of Valinor could see their faces mirrored there. Lorien gazing upon it saw many visions of mystery pass across its face, and that he suffered never to be stirred from its sleep save when Silmo came noiselessly with a silver urn to draw a draught of its shimmering cools, and fared softly thence to water the roots of Silpion ere the tree of gold grew hot.
Otherwise was the mind of Tulkas, and he dwelt amidmost of Valmar. Most youthful is he and strong of limb and lusty, and for that is he named Poldorea who loveth games and twanging of bows and boxing, wrestling, running, and leaping, and songs that go with a swing and a toss of a well-filled cup. Nonetheless is he no wrangler or striker of blows unprovoked as is Makar, albeit there are none of Valar or Uvanimor (who are monsters, giants, and ogres) that do not fear the sinews of his arm and the buffet of his iron-clad fist, when he has cause for wrath. His was a house of mirth and revelry; and it sprang high into the air with many storeys, and had a tower of bronze and pillars of copper in a wide arcade. In its court men played and rivalled one another in doughty feats, and them at times would that fair maiden Nessa wife of Tulkas bear goblets of the goodliest wine and cooling drinks among the players. But most she loved to retire unto a place of fair lawns whose turn Orome her brother had culled from the richest of all his forest glades, and Palurien had planted it with spells that it was always green and smooth. There danced she among her maidens as long as Laurelin was in bloom, for is she not greater in the dance than Vana herself?
In Valmar too dwelt Noldorin known long ago as Salmar, playing now upon his harps and lyres, now sitting beneath Laurelin and raising sweet music with an instrument of the bow. There sang Amillo joyously to his playing, Amillo who is named Omar, whose voice is the best of all voices, who knoweth all songs in all speeches; but whiles if he sang not to his brother's harp then would he be trilling in the gardens of Orome when after a time Nieliqui, little maiden, danced about its woods.
Now Orome had a vast domain and it was beloved by him, and no less by Palurien his mother. Behold, the groves of trees they planted upon the plain of Valinor and even upon the foothills of the mountains have no compare on Earth. Beasts revelled there, deer among the trees,and herds of kine among its spaces and wide grass-lands; bison there were, and horses roaming unharnessed, but these strayed never into the gardens of the Gods, yet were they in peace and had no fear, for beasts of prey dwelt not among them, nor did Orome fare to hunting in Valinor. Much indeed as he loves those realms yet is he very often in the world without; more often even than Osse and as often as Palurien, and then does he become the greatest of all huntsmen. But in Valmar his halls are wide and low, and skins and fells of great richness and price are strewn there without end upon the floor or hung upon the walls, and spears and bows and knives thereto. In the midst of each room and hall a living tree grows and holds up the roof, and its bole is hung with trophies and with antlers.
Here is all Orome's folk in green and brown and there is a noise of boisterous mirth, and the lord of forests makes lusty cheer; but Vana his wife so often as she may steals thence. Far away from the echoing courts of that house lie her gardens, fenced stoutly from the wilder lands with white thorn of great size that blossoms like everlasting snow. Its innermost solitude is walled with roses, and this is the place best beloved of that fair lady of the Spring. Amidmost of this place of odorous air did Aule set long ago that cauldron, gold Kulullin, filled ever with the radiance of Laurelin like shining water, and thereof he contrived a fountain so that all the garden was full of the health and happiness of its pure light. Birds sang there all the year with the full throat of spring, and flowers grew in a riot of blossom and of glorious life. Yet was none ever of that splendour spilled from the vat of gold save when Vana's maidens led by Urwen left that garden at the waxing of Silpion to water the roots of the tree of flame; but by the fountain it was always light with the amber light of day, as bees made busy about the roses, and there trod Vana lissomly while larks sang above her golden head.
So fair were these abodes and so great the brilliance of the trees of Valinor that Vefantur and Fui his wife of tears might not endure to stay there long, but fared away far to the northward of those regions, where beneath the roots of the most cold and northerly of the Mountains of Valinor, that rise here again almost to their height nigh Arvalin, they begged Aule to delve them a hall. Wherefore, that all the Gods might be housed to their liking, he did so, and they and all their shadowy folk aided him. Very vast were those caverns that they made stretching even down under the Shadowy Seas, and they are full of gloom and filled with echoes, and all that deep abode is known to Gods and Elves as Mandos. There in a sable hall sat Vefantur, and he called that hall with his own name Ve. It was lit only with a single vessel placed in the centre, wherein there lay some gleaming drops of the pale dew of Silpion: it was draped with dark vapours and its floors and columns were of jet. Thither in after days fared the Elves of all the clans who were by illhap slain with weapons or did die of grief for those that were slain — and only so might the Eldar die, and then it was only for a while. There Mandos spake their doom, and there they waited in the darkness, dreaming of their past deeds, until such time as he appointed when they might again be born into their children, and go forth to laugh and sing again.
To Ve Fui came not much, for she laboured rather at the distilling of salt humours whereof are tears, and black clouds she wove and floated up that they were caught in the winds and went about the world, and their lightless webs settled ever and anon upon those that dwelt therein. Now these tissues were despairs and hopeless mourning, sorrows and blind grief. The hall that she loved best was one yet wider and more dark than Ve, and she too named it with her own name, calling it Fui. Therein before her black chair burnt a brazier with a single flickering coal, and the roof was of bats' wings, and the pillars that upheld it and the walls about were made of basalt. Thither came the sons of Men to hear their doom, and thither are they brought by all the multitude of ills that Melko's evil music set within the world. Slaughters and fires, hungers and mishaps, diseases and blows dealt in the dark, cruelty and bitter cold and anguish and their own folly bring them here; and Fui reads their hearts. Some then she keeps in Mandos beneath the mountains and some she drives forth beyond the hills and Melko seizes them and bears them to Angamandi, or the Hells of hen, where they have evil days.
Some too, and these be the many, she sends aboard the black ship Mornie, who lieth ever and anon in a dark harbour of the North awaiting those times when the sad pomp winds to the beach down slow rugged paths from Mandos. Then, when she is laden, of her own accord she spreads her sable sails and before a slow wind coasts down those shores. Then do all aboard as they come South cast looks of utter longing and regret to that low place amid the hills where Valinor may just be glimpsed upon the far off plain; and that opening is nigh Taniquetil where is the strand of Eldamar. No more do they ever see of that bright place, but borne away dwell after on the wide plains of Arvalin. There do they wander in the dusk, camping as they may, yet are they not utterly without song, and they can see the stars, and wait in patience till the Great End come.
Few are they and happy indeed for whom at a season doth Nornore the herald of the Gods set out. Then ride they with him in chariots or upon good horses down into the vale of Valinor and feast in the halls of Valmar, dwelling in the houses of the Gods until the Great End come. Far away are they from the black mountains of the North or the misty plains of Arvalin, and music and fair light is theirs, and joy. And lo! Now have I recounted the manner of the dwellings of all the great Gods which Aule of his craftsmanship raised in Valinor, but Makar and his fierce sister Measse built them a dwelling of themselves, aided only by their own folk, and a grim hall it was.
Upon the confines of the Outer Lands did it stand, nor was it very far from Mandos. Of iron was it made, and unadorned. There fought the vassals of Makar clad in armour, and a clash there was and a shouting and a braying of trumps, but Measse fared among the warriors and egged them to more blows, or revived the fainting with strong wine that they might battle still; and her arms were reddened to the elbow dabbling in that welter. None of the Gods fared ever there, save Tulkas, and did they seek to visit Mandos they went thither by circuitous paths to avoid passing nigh to that clamorous hall; but Tulkas would at times wrestle there with Makar or deal sledge-blows among the fighters, and this he not that company nor in sooth did they love him and his great unangered strength. Now the battle of the courts of Makar was waged unceasingly save when men gathered in the halls for feasting, or at those times when Makar and Measse were far abroad hunting together in the black mountains wolves and bears. But that house was full of weapons of battle in great array, and shields of great size and brightness of polish were on the walls. It was lit with torches, and fierce songs of victory, of sack and harrying, were there sung, and the torches' red light was reflected in the blades of naked swords. There sit often Makar and his sister listening to the songs, and Makar has a huge bill across his knees and Measse holds a spear. But in those days ere the closing of Valinor did these twain fare mostly about the Earth and were often far from the land, for they loved the unbridled turmoils which Melko roused throughout the world.
Therefore is Valinor now built, and there is great peace there, and the Gods in joy, for those quarrelsome spirits dwell not much among them, and Melko comes not nigh.' Then said a child among the company, a great drinker-in of both tales and poesies: 'And would that he had never come there since, and would that I might have seen that land still gleaming new as Aule left it.' Now she had heard Rumil tell his tale before and was much in thought of it, but to the most of the company it was new, even as it was to Eriol, and they sat amazed. Then said Eriol: 'Very mighty and glorious are the Valar, and I would fain hear yet more of those oldest days, did I not see the glimmer of the Candles of Sleep that fare now hither'; but another child spoke from a cushion nigh Lindo's chair and said: 'Nay, 'tis in the halls of Makar I would fain be, and get perchance a sword or knife to wear; yet in Valmar methinks 'twould be good to be a guest of Orome', and Lindo laughing said: "Twould be good indeed,' and thereat he arose, and the tale-telling was over for that nigh.