The Geste of Beren and Lúthien

Lines 2510 to 2565 tell of Lúthien and the hound of Nargothrond (the hound of Valinor), Huan, who is to play a major part in the unfolding tale.

At Lúthien's feet there day by day
and at night beside her couch would stay
Huan the hound of Nargothrond;
and words she spoke to him soft and fond:
'O Huan, Huan, swiftest hound
that ever ran on mortal ground,
what evil doth thy lords possess
to heed no tears nor my distress?
One Barahir all men above
good hounds did cherish and did love;
one Beren in the friendless North,
when outlaw wild he wandered forth,
had friends unfailing among things
with fur and fell and feathered wings,
and among the spirits that in stone
in mountains old and wastes alone
still dwell. But now nor Elf nor Man,
none save the child of Melian,
remembers him who Morgoth fought
and never to thraldom base was brought.'

Nought said Huan; but Curufin
therafter never near might win
to Lúthien, nor touch that maid,
but shrank from Huan's fangs afraid.
Then on a night when autumn damp
was swathed about the glimmering lamp
of the wan moon, and fitful stars
were flying seen between the bars
of racing cloud, when winter's horn
already wound in trees forlorn,
lo! Huan was gone. Then Lúthien lay
fearing new wrong, till just ere day,
when all is dead and breathless still
and shapeless fears the sleepless fill,
a shadow came along the wall.
Then something let there softly fall
her magic cloak beside her couch.
Trembling she saw the great hound crouch
beside her, heard a deep voice swell
as from a tower a far slow bell.

Thus Huan spake, who never before
had uttered words, but twice more
did speak in elven tongue again:
'Lady beloved, whom all Men,
whom elfinesse, and whom all things
with fur and fell and feathered wings
should serve and love--arise! away!
Put on thy cloak! Before the day
comes over Nargothrond we fly
to Northern perils, thou and I.'
And ere he ceased he counsel wrought
for achievement of the thing they sought.
There Lúthien listened in amaze,
and softly on Huan did she gaze.
Her arms about his neck she cast—
in friendship that to death should last.

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