Celegorm and Huan

[Image: "Celegorm - portrait" by Helena Štìpánová]

Up rode Celegorm with his spear,
and bitter death was Beren near.
With elvish steel he nigh was slain
whom Lúthien won from hopeless chain,
but baying Huan sudden sprang
before his master’s face with fang
white-gleaming, and with bristling hair,
as if he on boar or wolf did stare.

The horse in terror leaped aside,
and Celegorm in anger cried:
’Curse thee, thou baseborn dog, to dare
against thy master teeth to bare!’
But dog nor horse nor rider bold
would venture near the anger cold
of mighty Huan fierce at bay.
Red were his jaws. They shrank away,
and fearful eyed him from afar:
nor sword nor knife, nor scimitar,
no dart of bow, nor cast of spear,
master nor man did Huan fear.

There Curufin had left his life,
had Lúthien not stayed that strife.
Waking she rose and softly cried
standing distressed at Beren’s side:
’Forbear thy anger now, my lord!
nor do the work of Orcs abhorred;
for foes there be of Elfinesse
unnumbered, and they grow not less,
while here we war by ancient curse
distraught, and all the world to worse
decays and crumbles. Make thy peace!'

Then Beren did Curufin release;
but took his horse and coat of mail,
and took his knife there gleaming pale,
hanging sheathless, wrought of steel.
No flesh could leeches ever heal
that point had pierced; for long ago
the dwarves had made it, singing slow
enchantments, where their hammers fell
in Nogrod ringing like a bell.
Iron as tender wood it cleft,
and sundered mail like woollen weft.
But other hands its haft now held;
its master lay by mortal felled.

J.R.R. Tolkien
The Geste of Beren and Lúthien
(lines 3,020 - 3,063)

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