The Geste of Beren and Lúthien

Lines 3478 to 3537 tell of Beren and Lúthien’s arrival, in enchanted form as a werewolf and bat, accompanied by Huan at the very gates of Angband.

Ashes and dust and thirsty dune
withered and dry beneath the moon,
under the cold and shifting air
sifting and sighing, bleak and bare;
of blistered stones and gasping sand,
of splintered bones was built that land,
o'er which now slinks with powdered fell
and hanging tongue a shape of hell
Many parching leagues lay still before
when sickly day crept back once more;
many choking miles yet stretched ahead
when shivering night once more was spread
with doubtful shadow and ghostly sound
that hissed and passed o'er dune and mound.
A second morning in cloud and reek
struggled, when stumbling, blind and weak;
a wolvish shape came staggering forth
and reached the foothills of the North;
upon its back there folded lay
a crumpled thing that blinked at day.
The rocks were reared like bony teeth,
and claws that grasped from opened sheath,
on either side the mournful road
that onward led to that abode
far up within the Mountain dark
with tunnels drear and portals stark.
They crept within a scowling shade,
and cowering darkly down them laid
Long lurked they there beside the path,
and shivered, dreaming of Doriath,
of laughter and music and clean air,
in fluttered leaves birds singing fair.
They woke, and felt the trembling sound,
the beating echo far underground
shake beneath them, the rumour vast
of Morgoth's forges; and aghast
they heard the tramp of stony feet
that shod with iron went down that street:
the Orcs went forth to rape and war,
and Balrog captains marched before.

They stirred, and under cloud and shade
at eve stepped forth, and no more stayed;
as dark things on dark errand bent
up the long slopes in haste they went.
Ever the sheer cliffs rose beside,
where birds of carrion sat and cried;
and chasms black and smoking yawned,
whence writhing serpent-shapes were spawned;
until at last in that huge gloom,
heavy as overhanging doom,
that weighs on Thangorodrim's foot
like thunder at the mountain's root,
they came, as to a sombre court
walled with great towers, fort on fort
of cliffs embattled, to that last plain
that opens, abysmal and inane,
before the final topless wall
of Bauglir's immeasurable hall,
whereunder looming awful waits
the gigantic shadow of his gates.

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