As I am re-reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit for the second time, I thought I might reprint the words from one of the songs in the book—probably the most evocative of them all.
Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away ere break of day To seek the pale enchanted gold. The dwarves of yore made mighty spells, While hammers fell like ringing bells In places deep, where dark things sleep, In hollow halls beneath the fells. For ancient king and elvish lord There many a gleaming golden hoard They shaped and wrought, and light they caught To hide in gems on hilt of sword. On silver necklaces they strung The flowering stars, on crowns they hung The dragon-fire, in twisted wire They meshed the light of moon and sun. Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away, ere break of day, To claim our long-forgotten gold. Goblets they carved there for themselves And harps of gold; where no man delves There lay they long, and many a song Was sung unheard by men or elves. The pines were roaring on the height, The winds were moaning in the night. The fire was red, it flaming spread; The trees like torches blazed with light. The bells were ringing in the dale And men looked up with faces pale; Then dragon’s ire more fierce than fire Laid low their towers and houses frail. The mountain smoked beneath the moon; The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom. They fled their hall, to dying fall Beneath his feet, beneath the moon. Far over the misty mountains grim To dungeons deep and caverns dim We must away, ere break of day, To win our harps and gold from him!