4. The Chaining of Melko

That night Eriol heard again in his sleep the music that had so moved him on the first night; and the next morning he went again into the gardens early. There he met Vaire, and she called him Eriol: that was the first making and uttering of that name. Eriol told Vaire of the 'dream-musics' he had heard, and she said that it was no dream-music, but rather the flute of Timpinen, 'whom those Gnomes Rumil and Littleheart and others of my house call Tinfang'. She told him that the children called him Tinfang Warble; and that he played and danced in summer dusks for joy of the first stars: 'at every note a new one sparkles forth and glisters. The Noldoli say that they come out too soon if Tinfang Warble plays, and they love him, and the children will watch often from the windows lest he tread the shadowy lawns unseen.' She told Eriol that he was 'shier than a fawn — swift to hide and dart away as any vole: a footstep on a twig and he is away, and his fluting will come mocking from afar'.

'And a marvel of wizardry liveth in that fluting,' said Eriol, 'if that it be indeed which I have heard now for two nights here.

'There be none,' said Vaire, 'not even of the Solosimpi, who can rival him therein, albeit those same pipers claim him as their kin; yet 'tis said everywhere that this quaint spirit is neither wholly of the Valar nor of the Eldar, but is half a fay of the woods and dells, one of the great companies of the children of Palurien, and half a Gnome or a Shoreland Piper. Howso that be he is a wondrous wise and strange creature, and he fared hither away with the Eldar long ago, marching nor resting among them but going always ahead piping strangely or whiles sitting aloof. Now does he play about the gardens of the land; but Alalminore he loves the best, and this garden best of all. Ever and again we miss his piping for long months, and we say: "Tinfang Warble has gone heartbreaking in the Great Lands, and many a one in those far regions will hear his piping in the dusk outside tonight." But on a sudden will his flute be heard again at an hour of gentle gloaming, or will he play beneath a goodly moon and the stars go bright and blue.'

'Aye,' said Eriol, 'and the hearts of those that hear him go beating with a quickened longing. Meseemed 'twas my desire to open the window and leap forth, so sweet was the air that came to me from without, nor might I drink deep enough, but as I listened I wished to follow I know not whom, I know not whither, out into the magic of the world beneath the stars.

'Then of a sooth 'twas Timpinen who played to you,' said Vaire, 'and honoured are you, for this garden has been empty of his melody many a night. Now, however, for such is the eeriness of that sprite, you will ever love the evenings of summer and the nights of stars, and their magic will cause your heart to ache unquenchably.'

'But have you not all heard him many times and often, that dwell here,' said Eriol, 'yet do not seem to me like those who live with a longing that is half understood and may not be fulfilled.'
'Nor do we so, for we have limpe,' said she, 'limpe that alone can cure, and a draught of it giveth a heart to fathom all music and song.'

'Then,' said Eriol, 'would I might drain a goblet of that good drink'; but Vaire told him that that might only be if he sought out Meril the queen.

Of this converse of Eriol and Vaire upon the lawn that fair day-tide came it that Eriol set out not many days thereafter — and Tinfang Warble had played to him many times by dusk, by starry light and moongleam, till his heart was full. In that was Littleheart his guide, and he sought the dwellings of Meril-i-Turinqi in her korin of elms.

Now the house of that fair lady was in that very city, for at the foot of the great tower which Ingil had built was a wide grove of the most ancient and beautiful elms that all that Land of Elms possessed. High to heaven they rose in three lessening storeys of bright foliage, and the sunlight that filtered through was very cool — a golden green. Amidst of these was a great green sward of grass smooth as a web of stuffs, and about it those trees stood in a circle, so that shades were heavy at its edge but the gaze of the sun fell all day on its middle. There stood a beautiful house, and it was builded all of white and of a whiteness that shone, but its roof was so o'ergrown with mosses and with houseleek and many curious clinging plants that of what it was once fashioned might not be seen for the glorious maze of colours, golds and redrussets, scarlets and greens.

Innumerable birds chattered in its eaves; and some sang upon the housetops, while doves and pigeons circled in flights about the korin's borders or swooped to settle and sun upon the sward. Now all that dwelling was footed in flowers. Blossomy clusters were about it, ropes and tangles, spikes and tassels all in bloom, flowers in panicles and umbels or with great wide faces gazing at the sun. There did they loose upon the faintly stirring airs their several odours blended to a great fragrance of exceeding marvellous enchantment, but their hues and colours were scattered and gathered seemingly as chance and the happiness of their growth directed them. All day long there went a hum of bees among those flowers: bees fared about the roof and all the scented beds and ways; even about the cool porches of the house. Now Littleheart and Eriol climbed the hill and it was late afternoon, and the sun shone brazen upon the western side of Ingil's tower. Soon came they to a mighty wall of hewn stone blocks, and this leaned outward, but grasses grew atop of it, and harebells, and yellow daisies.

A wicket they found in the wall, and beyond was a glade beneath the elms, and there ran a pathway bordered of one side with bushes while of the other flowed a little running water whispering over a brown bed of leafy mould. This led even to the sward's edge, and coming thither said Littleheart pointing to that white house: 'Behold the dwelling of Meril-i-Turinqi, and as I have no errand with so great a lady I will get me back again.' Then Eriol went over the sunny lawn alone until he was nigh shoulder-high in the tall flowers that grew before the porches of the door; and as he drew near a sound of music came to him, and a fair lady amid many maidens stepped forth as it were to meet him. Then said she smiling: 'Welcome, O mariner of many seas — wherefore do you seek the pleasure of my quiet gardens and their gentle noise, when the salt breezes of the sea and the snuff of winds and a swaying boat should rather be your joy?'

For a while Eriol might say nought thereto, being tongue-tied by the beauty of that lady and the loveliness of that place of flowers; yet at length he muttered that he had known sea enough, but of this most gracious land he might never be sated. 'Nay,' said she, 'on a day of autumn will come the winds and a driven gull, maybe, will wail overhead, and lo! you will be filled with desire, remembering the black coasts of your home." 'Nay, lady,' said Eriol, and now he spoke with eager voice, 'nay, not so, for the spirit that flutes upon twilit lawns has filled my heart with music, and I thirst for a draught of limpe! '

Then straightway did the smiling face of Meril grow grave, and bidding her maidens depart she prayed Eriol follow her to a space nigh to the house, and this was of cool grass but not very short. Fruit-trees grew there, and about the roots of one, an apple-tree of great girth and age, the soil was piled so that there was now a broad seat around its bole, soft and grass-covered. There sat Meril and she gazed upon Eriol and said: 'Know you then what it is that you ask? ' and he said: 'I know nought save that I desire to know the soul of every song and of all music and to dwell always in fellowship and kinship with this wondrous people of the Eldar of the Isle, and to be free of unquenchable longing even till the Faring Forth, even till the Great End! '

But Meril said: 'Fellowship is possible, maybe, but kinship not so, for Man is Man and Elda Elda, and what Iluvatar has made unalike may not become alike while the world remains. Even didst thou dwell here till the Great End and for the health of limpe found no death, yet then must thou die and leave us, for Man must die once. And hearken, O Eriol, think not to escape unquenchable longing with a draught of limpe — for only wouldst thou thus exchange desires, replacing thy old ones with new and deeper and more keen. Desire unsatisfied dwells in the hearts of both those races that are called the Children of Iluvatar, but with the Eldar most, for their hearts are filled with a vision of beauty in great glory.' 'Yet, O Queen,' said Eriol thereto, 'let me but taste of this drink and become an agelong fellow of your people: O queen of the Eldalie, that I may be as the happy children of Mar Vanwa Tyalieva.' 'Nay, not yet can I do that,' said Meril, 'for 'tis a graver matter far to give this drink to one who has known life and days already in the lands of Men than for a child to drink who knows but little else; yet even these did we keep a long while ere we gave them the wine of song, teaching them first much lore and testing their hearts and souls. Therefore I bid you now bide still longer and learn all that you may in this our isle. Lo, what do you know of the world, or of the ancient days of Men, or of the roots which those things that now are have far back in time, or what of the Eldalie and all their wisdom, that you should claim our cup of youth and poesy?'

'The tongue of Tol Eressea do I know, and of the Valar have I heard, and the great world's beginning, and the building of Valinor; to musics have I hearkened and to poesy and the laughter of the Elves, and all I have found true and good, and my heart knows and it saith to me that these shall I always henceforth love, and love alone' — thus answered Eriol, and his heart was sore for the refusal of the Queen.

'Yet nothing do you know of the coming of the Elves, of the fates wherein they move, nor their nature and the place that Iluvatar has given to them. Little do you reck of that great splendour of their home in Eldamar upon the hill of Kôr, nor all the sorrow of our parting. What know you of our travail down all the dark ways of the world, and the anguish we have known because of Melko; of the sorrows we have suffered, and do yet, because of Men, of all the fears that darken our hopes because of Men? Know you the wastes of tears that lie between our life in Tol Eressea and that time of laughter that we knew in Valinor? O child of Men who wouldst be sharer of the fates of the Eldalie, what of our high desires and all those things we look for still to be — for lo! if you drink this drink all these must you know and love, having one heart with us — nay, even at the Faring Forth, should Eldar and Men fall into war at the last, still must you stand by us against the children of your kith and kin, but until then never may you fare away home though longings gnaw you — and the desires that at whiles consume a full-grown man who drinketh limpe are a fire of unimagined torture — knew you these things, O Eriol, when you fared hither with your request? '

'Nay, I knew them not,' said Eriol sadly, 'though often have I questioned folk thereof.' 'Then lo! ' said Meril, 'I will begin a tale, and tell you some of it ere the long afternoon grows dim — but then must you fare hence again in patience'; and Eriol bowed his head. 'Then,' said Meril, 'now I will tell you of a time of peace the world once knew, and it is known as "Melko's Chains".' Of the Earth I will tell you as the Eldar found it and of the manner of their awakening into it.

Behold, Valinor is built, and the Gods dwell in peace, for Melko is far in the world delving deep and fortifying himself in iron and cold, but Makar and Measse ride upon the gales and rejoice in earthquakes and the overmastering furies of the ancient seas. Light and beautiful is Valinor, but there is a deep twilight upon the world, for the Gods have gathered so much of that light that had before flowed about the airs. Seldom now falls the shimmering rain as it was used, and there reigns a gloom lit with pale streaks or shot with red where Melko spouts to heaven from a fire-torn hill.

Then Palurien Yavanna fared forth from her fruitful gardens to survey the wide lands of her domain, and wandered the dark continents sowing seed and brooding upon hill and dale. Alone in that agelong gloaming she sang songs of the utmost enchantment, and of such deep magic were they that they floated about the rocky places and their echoes lingered for years of time in hill and empty plain, and all the good magics of all later days are whispers of the memories of her echoing song.

Then things began to grow there, fungus and strange growths heaved in damp places and lichens and mosses crept stealthily across the rocks and ate their faces, and they crumbled and made dust, and the creeping plants died in the dust, and there was mould, and ferns and warted plants grew in it silently, and strange creatures thrust their heads from crannies and crept over the stones. But Yavanna wept, for this was not the fair vigour that she had thought of — and thereupon Orome came to her leaping in the dusk, but Tuivana would not leave the radiance of Kulullin nor Nessa the green swards of her dancing.

Then Orome and Palurien put forth all their might, and Orome blew great blasts upon his horn as though he would awake the grey rocks to life and lustihead. Behold, at these blasts the great forest reared and moaned about the hills, and all the trees of dark leaf came to being, and the world was shaggy with a growth of pines and odorous with resinous trees, and firs and cedars hung their blue and olive draperies about the slopes, and yews began the centuries of their growth. Now was Orome less gloomy and Palurien was comforted, seeing the beauty of the first stars of Varda gleaming in the pale heavens through the shadows of the first trees' boughs, and hearing the murmur of the dusky forests and the creaking of the branches when Manwe stirred the airs.

At that time did many strange spirits fare into the world, for there were pleasant places dark and quiet for them to dwell in. Some came from Mandos, aged spirits that journeyed from Iluvatar with him who are older than the world and very gloomy and secret, and some from the fortresses of the North where Melko then dwelt in the deep dungeons of Utumna. Full of evil and unwholesome were they; luring and restlessness and horror they brought, turning the dark into an ill and fearful thing, which it was not before. But some few danced thither with gentle feet exuding evening scents, and these came from the gardens of Lorien.

Still is the world full of these in the days of light, lingering alone in shadowy hearts of primeval forests, calling secret things across a starry waste, and haunting caverns in the hills that few have found: — but the pinewoods are yet too full of these old unelfin and inhuman spirits for the quietude of Eldar or of Men.

When this great deed was done then Palurien would fain rest from her long labours and return to taste the sweet fruits of Valinor, and be refreshed beneath the tree of Laurelin whose dew is light, and Orome was for beechwoods on the plains of the great Gods; but Melko who long time had delved in fear because of the wrath of the Valar at his treacherous dealing with their lamps burst forth now into a great violence, for he had thought the world abandoned by the Gods to him and his. Beneath the very floors of Osse he caused the Earth to quake and split and his lower fires to mingle with the sea. Vaporous storms and a great roaring of uncontrolled sea-motions burst upon the world, and the forests groaned and snapped. The sea leapt upon the land and tore it, and wide regions sank beneath its rage or were hewn into scattered islets, and the coast was dug into caverns. The mountains rocked and their hearts melted, and stone poured like liquid fire down their ashen sides and flowed even to the sea, and the noise of the great battles of the fiery beaches came roaring even through the Mountains of Valinor and drowned the singing of the Gods. Then rose Kemi Palurien, even Yavanna that giveth fruits, and Aule who loveth all her works and the substances of the earth, and they climbed to the halls of Manwe and spake to him, saying that all that goodliness was going utterly to wreck for the fiery evil of Melko's untempered heart, and Yavanna pleaded that all her agelong labour in the twilight be not drowned and buried. Thither, as they spake, came Osse raging like a tide among the cliffs, for he was wroth at the upheaval of his realm and feared the displeasure of Ulmo his overlord. Then arose Manwe Sulimo, Lord of Gods and Elves, and Varda Tinwetari was beside him, and he spake in a voice of thunder from Taniquetil, and the Gods in Valmar heard it, and Vefantur knew the voice in Mandos, and Lorien was amused in Murmuran.

Then was a great council held between the Two Trees at the mingling of the lights, and Ulmo came thither from the outer deeps; and of the redes there spoken the Gods devised a plan of wisdom, and the thought of Ulmo was therein and much of the craft of Aule and the wide knowledge of Manwe. Behold, Aule now gathered six metals, copper, silver, tin, lead, iron, and gold, and taking a portion of each made with his magic a seventh which he named therefore tilkal, and this had all the properties of the six and many of its own. Its colour was bright green or red in varying lights and it could not be broken, and Aule alone could forge it. Thereafter he forged a mighty chain, making it of all seven metals welded with spells to a substance of uttermost hardness and brightness and smoothness, but of tilkal he had not sufficient to add more than a little to each link. Nonetheless he made two manacles of tilkal only and four fetters likewise. Now the chain was named Angaino, the oppressor, and the manacles Vorotemnar that bind for ever, but the fetters Ilterendi for they might not be filed or cleft.

But the desire of the Gods was to seek out Melko with great power — and to entreat him, if it might be, to better deeds; yet did they purpose, if naught else availed, to overcome him by force or guile, and set him in a bondage from which there should be no escape.

Now as Aule smithied the Gods arrayed themselves in armour, which they had of Makar, and he was fain to see them putting on weapons and going as to war, howso their wrath be directed against Melko. But when the great Gods and all their folk were armed, then Manwe climbed into his blue chariot whose three horses were the whitest that roamed in Orome's domain, and his hand bore a great white bow that would shoot an arrow like a gust of wind across the widest seas. Fionwe his son stood behind him and Nornore who was his herald ran before; but Orome rode alone upon a chestnut horse and had a spear, and Tulkas strode mightily beside his stirrup, having a tunic of hide and a brazen belt and no weapon save a gauntlet upon his right hand, iron-bound. Telimektar his son but just war-high was by his shoulder with a long sword girt about his waist by a silver girdle. There rode the Fanturi upon a car of black, and there was a black horse upon the side of Mandos and a dappled grey upon the side of Lorien, and Salmar and Omar came behind running speedily, but Aule who was late tarrying overlong at his smithy came last, and he was not armed, but caught up his long-handled hammer as he left his forge and fared hastily to the borders of the Shadowy Sea, and the fathoms of his chain were borne behind by four of his smithy-folk.

Upon those shores Falman-Osse met them and drew them across on a mighty raft whereon he himself sat in shimmering mail; but Ulmo Vailimo was far ahead roaring in his deepsea car and trumpeting in wrath upon a horn of conches. Thus was it that the Gods got them over the sea and through the isles, and set foot upon the wide lands, and marched in great power and anger ever more to the North. Thus they passed the Mountains of Iron and Hisilome that lies dim beyond, and came to the rivers and hills of ice. There Melko shook the earth beneath them, and he made snow-capped heights to belch forth flame, yet for the greatness of their array his vassals who infested all their ways availed nothing to hinder them on their journey. There in the deepest North beyond even the shattered pillar Ringil they came upon the huge gates of deep Utumna, and Melko shut them with great clangour before their faces.

Then Tulkas angered smote them thunderously with his great fist, and they rang and stirred not, but Orome alighting grasped his horn and blew such a blast thereon that they fled open instantly, and Manwe raised his immeasurable voice and bade Melko come forth.

But though deep down within those halls Melko heard him and was in doubt, he would not come, but sent Langon his servant and said by him that "Behold, he was rejoiced and in wonder to see the Gods before his gates. Now would he gladly welcome them, yet for the poverty of his abode not more than two of them could he fitly entertain; and he begged that neither Manwe nor Tulkas be of the two, for the one merited and the other demanded hospitality of great cost and richness. Should this not be to their mind then would he fain hearken to Manwe's herald and learn what it were the Gods so greatly desired that they must leave their soft couches and indolence of Valinor for the bleak places where Melko laboured humbly and did his toilsome work."

Then Manwe and Ulmo and all the Gods were exceeding wroth at the subtlety and fawning insolence of his words, and Tulkas would have started straightway raging down the narrow stairs that descended out of sight beyond the gates, but the others withheld him, and Aule gave counsel that it was clear from Melko's words that he was awake and wary in this matter, and it could most plainly be seen which of the Gods he was most in fear of and desired least to see standing in his halls — "therefore," said he, "let us devise how these twain may come upon him unawares and how fear may perchance drive him into betterment of ways." To this Manwe assented, saying that all their force might scarce dig Melko from his stronghold, whereas that deceit must be very cunningly woven that would ensnare the master of guile. "Only by his pride is Melko assailable," quoth Manwe, "or by such a struggle as would rend the earth and bring evil upon us all," and Manwe sought to avoid all strife twixt Ainur and Ainur. When therefore the Gods had concerted a plan to catch Melko in his overweening pride they wove cunning words purporting to come from Manwe himself, and these they put in the mouth of Nornore, who descended and spoke them before the seat of Melko.

"Behold," said he, "the Gods be come to ask the pardon of Melko, for seeing his great anger and the rending of the world beneath his rage they have said one to another. 'Lo! wherefore is Melko displeased? ' and one to another have answered beholding the tumults of his power: 'Is he not then the greatest among us — why dwells not the mightiest of the Valar in Valinor? Of a surety he has cause for indignation. Let us get us to Utumna and beseech him to dwell in Valinor that Valmar be not empty of his presence.' To this," said he, "Tulkas alone would not assent, but Manwe bowed to the common voice (this the Gods said knowing the rancour that Melko had for Poldorea) and now have they come constraining Tulkas with violence to beg thee to pardon them each one and to fare home with them and complete their glory, dwelling, if it be thy pleasure, in the halls of Makar, until such time as Aule can build thee a great house; and its towers shall overtop Taniquetil." To this did Melko answer eagerly, for already his boundless pride surged up and drowned his cunning.

"At last do the Gods speak fair words and just, but ere I grant their boon my heart must be appeased for old affronts. Therefore must they come putting aside their weapons at the gate, and do homage to me in these my deep halls of Utumna: — but lo! Tulkas I will not see, and if I come to Valinor then will I thrust him out." These things did Nornore report, and Tulkas smote his hands in wrath, but Manwe returned answer that the Gods would do as Melko's heart desired, yet would Tulkas come and that in chains and be given to Melko's power and pleasure; and this was Melko eager to grant for the humiliation of the Valar, and the chaining of Tulkas gave him great mirth.

Then the Valar laid aside their weapons at the gates, setting however folk to guard them, and placed the chain Angaino about the neck and arms of Tulkas, and even he might scarce support its great weight alone; and now they follow Manwe and his herald into the caverns of the North. There sat Melko in his chair, and that chamber was lit with flaming braziers and full of evil magic, and strange shapes moved with feverish movement in and out, but snakes of great size curled and uncurled without rest about the pillars that upheld that lofty roof. Then said Manwe: "Behold, we have come and salute you here in your own halls; come now and be in Valinor." But Melko might not thus easily forgo his sport. "Nay first," said he, "wilt thou come Manwe and kneel before me, and after you all the Valar; but last shall come Tulkas and kiss my foot, for I have in mind something for which I owe Poldorea no great love." Now he purposed to spurn Tulkas in the mouth in payment of that buffet long ago, but the Valar had foreseen something of this and did but make play of humiliation that Melko might thereby be lured from his stronghold of Utumna. In sooth Manwe hoped even to the end for peace and amity, and the Gods would at his bidding indeed have received Melko into Valinor under truce and pledges of friendship, had not his pride been insatiate and his obstinacy in evil unconquerable. Now however was scant mercy left for him within their hearts, seeing that he abode in his demand that Manwe should do homage and Tulkas bend to those ruthless feet; nonetheless the Lord of Gods and Elves approaches now the chair of Melko and makes to kneel, for such was their plan the more to ensnare that evil one; but lo, so fiercely did wrath blaze up in the hearts of Tulkas and Aule at that sight that Tulkas leapt across the hall at a bound despite Angaino, and Aule was behind him and Orome followed his father and the hall was full of tumult.

Then Melko sprang to his feet shouting in a loud voice and his folk came through all those dismal passages to his aid. Then lashed he at Manwe with an iron flail he bore, but Manwe breathed gently upon it and its iron tassels were blown backward, and thereupon Tulkas smote Melko full in his teeth with his fist of iron, and he and Aule grappled with him, and straight he was wrapped thirty times in the fathoms of Angaino.

Then said Orome: "Would that he might be slain" — and it would have been well indeed, but the great Gods may not yet be slain.' Now is Melko held in dire bondage and beaten to his knees, and he is constrained to command all his vassalage that they molest not the Valar — and indeed the most of these, affrighted at the binding of their lord, fled away to the darkest places.

Tulkas indeed dragged Melko out before the gates, and there Aule set upon each wrist one of the Vorotemnar and upon each ankle twain of the Ilterendi, and tilkal went red at the touch of Melko, and those bands have never since been loosened from his hands and feet. Then the chain is smithied to each of these and Melko borne thus helpless away, while Tulkas and Ulmo break the gates of Utumna and pile hills of stone upon them. And the saps and cavernous places beneath the surface of the earth are full yet of the dark spirits that were prisoned that day when Melko was taken, and yet many are the ways whereby they find the outer world from time to time — from fissures where they shriek with the voices of the tide on rocky coasts, down dark water-ways that wind unseen for many leagues, or out of the blue arches where the glaciers of Melko find their end.

After these things did the Gods return to Valmar by long ways and dark, guarding Melko every moment, and he gnawed his consuming rage. His lip was split and his face has had a strange leer upon it since that buffet dealt him by Tulkas, who even of policy could not endure to see the majesty of Manwe bow before the accursed one.

Now is a court set upon the slopes of Taniquetil and Melko arraigned before all the Vali great and small, lying bound before the silver chair of Manwe. Against him speaketh Osse, and Orome, and Ulmo in deep ire, and Vana in abhorrence, proclaiming his deeds of cruelty and violence; yet Makar still spake for him, although not warmly, for said he: "'T'were an ill thing if peace were for always: already no blow echoes ever in the eternal quietude of Valinor, wherefore, if one might neither see deed of battle nor riotous joy even in the world without, then 'twould be irksome indeed, and I for one long not for such times!" Thereat arose Palurien in sorrow and tears, and told of the plight of Earth and of the great beauty of her designs and of those things she desired dearly to bring forth; of all the wealth of flower and herbage, of tree and fruit and grain that the world might bear if it had but peace. "Take heed, O Valar, that both Elves and Men be not devoid of all solace whenso the times come for them to find the Earth"; but Melko writhed in rage at the name of Eldar and of Men and at his own impotence.

Now Aule mightily backed her in this and after him many else of the Gods, yet Mandos and Lorien held their peace, nor do they ever speak much at the councils of the Valar or indeed at other times, but Tulkas arose angrily from the midst of the assembly and went from among them, for he could not endure parleying where he thought the guilt to be clear. Liever would he have unchained Melko and fought him then and there alone upon the plain of Valinor, giving him many a sore buffet in need of his illdoings, rather than making high debate of them. Howbeit Manwe sate and listened and was moved by the speech of Palurien, yet was it his thought that Melko was an Ainu and powerful beyond measure for the future good or evil of the world; wherefore he put away harshness and his doom was this. For three ages during the displeasure of the Gods should Melko be chained in a vault of Mandos by that chain Angaino, and thereafter should he fare into the light of the Two Trees, but only so that he might for four ages yet dwell as a servant in the house of Tulkas, and obey him in requital of his ancient malice. "Thus," said Manwe, "and yet but hardly, mayst thou win favour again sufficient that the Gods suffer thee to abide thereafter in an house of thine own and to have some slight estate among them as befitteth a Vala and a lord of the Ainur."

Such was the doom of Manwe, and even to Makar and Measse it seemed good, albeit Tulkas and Palurien thought it merciful to peril. Now doth Valinor enter upon its greatest time of peace, and all the earth beside, while Melko bideth in the deepest vaults of Mandos and his heart grows black within him.

Behold the tumults of the sea abate slowly, and the fires beneath the mountains die; the earth quakes no more and the fierceness of the cold and the stubbornness of the hills and rivers of ice is melted to the uttermost North and to the deepest South, even to the regions about Ringil and Helkar. Then Palurien goes once more out over the Earth, and the forests multiply and spread, and often is Orome's horn heard behind her in the dimness: now do nightshade and bryony begin to creep about the brakes, and holly and ilex are seen upon the earth. Even the faces of the cliffs are grown with ivies and trailing plants for the calm of the winds and the quietude of the sea, and all the caverns and the shores are festooned with weeds, and great sea-growths come to life swaying gently when Osse moves the waters.

Now came that Vala and sat upon a headland of the Great Lands, having leisure in the stillness of his realm, and he saw how Palurien was filling the quiet dusk of the Earth with flitting shapes. Bats and owls whom Vefantur set free from Mandos swooped about the sky, and nightingales sent by Lorien from Valinor trilled beside still waters. Far away a nightjar croaked, and in dark places snakes that slipped from Utumna when Melko was bound moved noiselessly about; a frog croaked upon a bare pool's border.

Then he sent word to Ulmo of the new things that were done, and Ulmo desired not that the waters of the inner seas be longer unpeopled, but came forth seeking Palurien, and she gave him spells, and the seas began to gleam with fish or strange creatures crawled at bottom; yet the shellfish and the oysters no-one of Valar or of Elves knows whence they are, for already they gaped in the silent waters or ever Melko plunged therein from on high, and pearls there were before the Eldar thought or dreamed of any gem.

Three great fish luminous in the dark of the sunless days went ever with Ulmo, and the roof of Osse's dwelling beneath the Great Sea shone with phosphorescent scales. Behold that was a time of great peace and quiet, and life struck deep roots into the new-made soils of Earth, and seeds were sown that waited only for the light to come, and it is known and praised as the age of "Melko's Chains".'