Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Lady and J.R.R. Tolkien

I think I know exactly what you mean by the order of Grace; and of course by your references to Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beautify both in majesty and simplicity is founded.”—J.R.R. Tolkien to Robert Murray, S.J., December 2,1953

There he was brought before the Queen herself.  She wore no crown and had no throne.  She stood there in her majesty and her glory, and all about her was a great host shimmering and glittering like the stars above; but she was taller than the points of their great spears, and upon her head there burned a white flame.  She made a sign for him to approach, and trembling he stepped forward.  A high clear trumpet sounded, and behold! they were alone.  He stood before her, and he did not kneel in courtesy, for he was dismayed and felt that for one so lowly all gestures were in vain.  At length he looked up and beheld her face and her eyes bent gravely upon him; and he was troubled and amazed, for in that moment he knew her again: the fair maid of the Green Vale, the dancer at whose feet the flowers sprang.  She smiled seeing his memory, and drew towards him; and they spoke long together, for the most part without words, and he learned many things in her thought, some of which gave him joy, and others filled him with grief.  Then his mind turned back retracting his life, until he came to that day of the Children’s Feast and the coming of the star, and suddenly he saw again the little dancing figure with its wand, and in shame he lowered his eyes from the Queen’s beauty.  But she laughed again as she had laughed in the Vale of Evermorn.  ‘Do not be grieved for me, Starbrow,’ she said.  ‘Nor too much ashamed of your own folk.  Better a little doll, maybe, than no memory of Faery at all.  For some the only glimpse.  For some the awakening.’--J.R.R. Tolkien, Smith of Wootton Major

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