Retold in simple verse by

BombadillTom of the Shire, and Saranna of Imladris
Illuminations and decorative devices by Janowyn of Imladris

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Link to the Two Towers


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he sun shone in at the break of dawn,
As Bilbo rose with a GIANT yawn.
Today was his Birthday - Eleventy-one years old
And a party was due, a special one I’m told.
Gandalf was coming with rockets and things,
And presents for everyone; for Frodo a Ring,
A special present that Bilbo had found,
In a dark cave while crawling around,
All were invited to this special affair,
Even the Sackville-Bagginses my dear!

Well the time had come there was food galore,
Wine, ale, Longbottom leaf- who could ask for more?
Fireworks hit the sky with a thunderous screech,
As Bilbo stood ready to make his speech,
~ Bagginses, Bolgers and Proudfoots too,
This is the end - I am leaving - it’s true.

With a flash he was nowhere to be seen,
They were all left asking ~ What did he mean?
Gandalf knew about his little trick,
And went to Bag End on the quick.
~ So you are going now; but one last thing -
You promised Frodo your golden ring!
~ I don’t know if I could leave my Precious,
Such a beautiful thing, so tremendous.
Well I am off now, give Frodo my blessing.
~ Farewell my friend - but are you not forgetting?
You still have the ring it’s in your pocket
~ Leave it on the floor and just forget it.

Well Gandalf had to sort things out
So Bilbo left without a doubt
And the Ring sat waiting for Frodo to see -
~ I didn’t think he would leave it to me!
~ Just be careful, and keep it hid
There’s more to that Ring and I’ll make a bid
To find it out before I return -
I think there is a lot to learn.

o life was quiet for many years;
Frodo missed old Bilbo’s words,
But he had many friends to cheer him along
With walking and drinking or singing a song.
Yet life goes round in circles they say,
And Gandalf travelled back that way.
One quiet morning inside Bag End
Frodo listened to his wise old friend
And fear as black as night came on
As he realised his Ring was - The One!
~ Oh Gandalf save me from this mess,
I’ll give it to you, that would be best!

~ No, Frodo, tempt me not that way,
This is evil, not some game to play.
You must get out of the Shire and flee,
I’ll try to get back, don’t wait for me -
Hsst - someone is listening there
A young hobbit with curly hair
And I shall turn him into a toad
If he doesn’t follow you along your road.
Now get yourselves, ready, Frodo and Sam
- This is the start - you are in a jam -
For the Ring has chosen Baggins it seems
And you’ve entered the Dark Lord’s evil dreams.

rodo planned for the day to go
But never thought that others might know!
Pippin unmasked the conspiracy,
And said he would be making it three,
Over Maggot’s fields, the way to mushrooms,
As they leave the Shire danger looms,
Black riders are hunting them down.
Gildor warns them to make haste to Bree town,
Maggot feeds them and helps them on their way,
~ Be careful and travel secretly during the day
To the old forest they came after a few days slog
Through the mist and a dense fog
Two of them are trapped by Old Man Willow,
And saved by Bombadil - a merry fellow.


ollowing Bombadil’s jogging feather
The tired hobbits wondered whether
They would ever come to rest.
Then they reached the loveliest, best
Dwelling at the forest’s edge
And the trees were trimmed neat as a hedge.
There they met her, Goldberry fair
Sunlight twined in her golden hair,
And Frodo spoke all in a dream
For she was the loveliest he’d ever seen.

Through days of rain they rested while
Bombadil’s tales their hearts beguiled
And then at last set out for the downs
With ponies to ride and a sky without clouds.
Goldberry sang a song of farewell
And they trotted off over the downland’s swell.


ut mist came down and they were lost
And into a dreadful realm they crossed
Where an evil Wight ensnared them all
And laid them in a chamber small.
Bombadil came to the rescue again
Drove out the Wight so it screamed in pain
Old Fatty Lumpkin played his part
And brought back the ponies so they could start
Their journey afresh towards the road
And on the way there Bombadil told
They must be wary and hide their names
For they were in danger, these were no games.

At length they reached the gate of Bree
Hoping the welcoming inn to see
But the gate was barred
And the surly guard
Sank their hearts once more -
What were they in for?
The rain poured down, while they had to wait,
For the door warden’s questions ‘til he opened the gate,
The Prancing Pony was a charming inn,
And there were many guests it was full to the brim.


ell four hobbits, now that is a thrill,
May I have a name? ~ It’s Mr Underhill.
~ Now that reminds me - of what I don’t know
I’ve been busy of late and my memory’s slow,
Butterbur at your service and what is your need?
~ We seek Gandalf the Wizard and we would like to feed!
~ He has not been seen in these parts for half a year,
There have been strange goings on all rather queer,
Well you all sit down I will get food from the larder,
Watch out for that man in the corner -   
He comes and goes but is no stranger,
A peculiar fellow – they call him a Ranger.

The hobbits tuck in to food and ale,
And carelessly they spin their tales,
Frodo slips on a table and is sent tumbling,
And in mid air his finger finds the ring!
No one can see him he is gone in a flash,
And reappears like a terrible rash,
The inn erupts and gossip spreads.
~ Come now you hobbits I’ll show you your beds.


hey start to get settled then Strider appears;
~ I know what hunts you - I know what you fear.
Sam stepped forth to Frodo’s side
~ And how do we know who you are? He cried
Strider’s face looked strangely sad,
~ I don’t wonder if you think me bad
Long years of wandering and fighting - Him;
Enough to make anyone look grim;
But I am a friend of Gandalf the Grey
He asked me before he went away
To keep an eye on his hobbit friend
And help him towards his journey’s end.
I may not glimmer but my heart is gold;

And the Hobbits believed he meant what he told.

That night they slept in a guarded room
And in each bed they hid a broom.
Morning brought a fearful sight,
The beds destroyed in the dark of night,
And all the ponies driven away
They had to set out late that day
With one poor starving pony, Bill -
For him it was a welcome thrill
To travel with Sam, so kind to him -
His life before had been pretty dim.
Ferny sneered as they went by
But got an apple in the eye.


hen they had left the town a while
They turned off into country wild
And through Midgewater Marshes passed
Where the bites of the midges made them curse.

~ To Weathertop we’ll make our way
T’will take us longer than a day
With very little to eat and drink,
But it has to be done whatever you think.

Poor Hobbits - in they pulled their belts
And on they trudged while their spirits fell.


trider feels they are being pursued,
So he seeks a place for a better view.
~ Up to Weathertop we must climb,
Gandalf might have left a sign.

On the way up they look below -
Dark shadows they see against a full moon glow.
~ They are on our trail the Nine are here,
Light a fire for that they fear,
Take heart for I have to scout the land,

And off he goes with a burning brand.
The hobbits tremble back to back,
As they prepare for an attack.
Through a mist the Witch King strides
With five others at his side.
The hobbits stand frozen with fear,
But Frodo speaks in Elvish clear.
The ring takes him to their domain
~ O Elbereth Gilthoniel! he cries in vain.
The words cannot stop their advance,
And Frodo lashes out but has no chance,
He sees their form of a ghostly life,
As he is pierced by a Morgul knife.
His scream of pain brings them aid,
As Strider leaps in with fire and blade,
They fear him now, Isildur’s heir,
As he sets their forms aglare,
They flee the top in flaming tatters,
But Frodo’s alive - that’s all that matters.
Now they see the healing hands
Of one who is King of all these lands -
(Although that secret still he keeps) -
The leaves of Athelas he steeps
And bathes poor Frodo’s dreadful wound,
Bringing him back from his dark swoon.
~ He needs more healing still, my friends
We must go on round many bends
To cross Mitheithel, and then
Bruinen to our elven friends.


ill the pony plays his part
To carry Frodo, brave his heart,
And on they trudge towards their goal
Until they spy some trolls - oh no!
But these are long to stone returned
And years ago the three trolls earned
Their place in Bilbo’s memoirs long
And now inspire our Sam to song!
Even Frodo’s smile is broad
But rest is over - to the road!

On they went over hill and hole,
After their rest at Bilbo’s Trolls.
Glorfindel came upon their course
And lent to Frodo his elven horse.
~ I have been seeking you for nine days,
Elrond sent me to guide your way,
For the nine have united and are on our trail
We must make haste, we cannot dwell.


n they went but not for long,
The nine together were too strong.
Glorfindel spoke to his elven steed,
And he was off in a flash at mighty speed.
Frodo, in a trance, held the reins tight
And to the fords he took his flight.
~ Come back, to Mordor - words echoed in dreams,
As he crossed the waters of a calming stream,
The black steeds reared on the banks of the river,
And Frodo spoke, Elven words he delivered.
They came on, but not for long,
As the rivers rose and the waves so strong,
Nine white horse were seen in the waves,
Which washed the black horses to a watery grave.



Return to the War of the Ring index


Link to the Two Towers


Link to the Return of the King




Retold in simple verse by

BombadillTom of the Shire, and Saranna of Imladris
Illuminations and decorative devices by Janowyn of Imladris















rodo slept long and when he woke,
He was met by Gandalf and some Elven folk.
~ Be now at peace for the enemy are gone
You are in Rivendell with the Lord Elrond.
Along came Sam with a happy smile.
~ You’ve been asleep such a very long while,
Your hand was cold but now it’s warm
And there’s elves here, master - it’s like a dream!
Gandalf says there’s a Council to call
But first a feast in Elrond’s hall.

Gloin is there, with a silver beard
And a lady so lovely, a star she seemed.
After the feast Frodo is led
To where a small figure is resting its head
Upon its hand in deepest thought -
~ Bilbo! You’re here - just as I hoped.

Songs and tales flow in the hall of Fire,
Elbereth’s name is lifted higher
Than any other under the sky,
So sweet the sound you could almost cry.
The two hobbits seek old Bilbo’s room
And they chat of ordinary news
‘Til Bilbo asks to see the Ring
And seems to change to a slavering thing
All full of greed and evil’s stain
And Frodo sees this, filled with pain.
What will the future bring to him?
Tomorrow’s Council could be grim.

rom afar they came as if answering a call,
Gloin and Gimli from Erebor’s walls,
Elves of the household of Elrond the good,
Legolas Greenleaf from the Northern wood.
Seated alone Strider looked battle worn,
Stern was Boromir with shield and horn.
The tale of the Ring! From the time it was wrought,
Lost, found yet ever in Sauron’s thought.
After long debate Frodo broke the silence -
~ I know I must go - who can give me guidance?
Elrond looked at the hobbit with a pitying glance,
~ Frodo I think this was made for you but not by chance -
There are powers at work that the wise fail to see,
But not alone will you go; there will be a company.
For each race of the free world will go along,
Strider and Boromir, men tall and strong,
Legolas for the Elves and for the Dwarfs Gimli
And Gandalf Mithrandir for the Istari.

~ I too must go for I won’t be left behind!
~ We two as well for the Hobbit kind!
~ Well Elrond said that now seems fine -

The Fellowship of the Ring will be Nine.


n winter’s dark the nine set forth
Ever south will be their course
Anduril now at Aragorn’s side
His deep emotion he will hide.
Along the rocky mountain paths
No lavish meals or nice hot baths
The hobbits slowly gain in strength

As each day’s journey grows in length.
Beasts of evil guise they see
Crebain that lurk in sky and tree,
Wargs that run upon their track
But there can be no turning back.
Their goal at first is Rauros-fall
And after - what? Shall they then all
Seek to enter the Dark Land
Or shall they split their little band?
The future lies unseen ahead
And none of them is free from dread.
Darkness hovers overhead,
Clouds of evil slowly spread,
Thunder strikes the mountainside,
Causing the snow in bulk to slide.
The path is blocked they can go no further,
~ The choice is made - we go through Moria!

Only Gimli was glad of the news,
The others kept quiet about their views.
Through the snow they hacked and burst,
Aragorn and Boromir going first.


he going was tough for the next few days,
But Gandalf guided them well, he knew the way
To the walls of Moria like a veil of black -
They search for a doorway, a telling crack.
But by the light of a shining moon,
All was revealed very soon,
The outline of a door appeared,
(As a rustle in the water reared).
Words of wisdom were etched in the stone,
~ Speak Friend and Enter ~ were there alone.
Gandalf tried in many verses
But the door remained closed after many curses.
Then ~ mellon ~ he spoke out of the blue,
And to their surprise open it flew.

Yet as they sought to enter in
Terror caught them unforeseen
A lashing tentacle from the lake
Seizes poor Frodo by the leg.
Bill the pony runs away
But Sam is forced to choose, and stay
To help the others save his master
Dashing through the doorway faster
But even so the escape is near!
They huddle in the dark and hear
The ancient trees uprooted, torn
And boulders heaped upon the door.

Now onward they will have to climb
And scrabble for a weary time
Up ancient stairs and passages
By the faint light of Gandalf’s staff;
But still unrealised, behind
A footfall soft as hobbit-kind
Runs pattering along their way
To follow them for many a day.
Guided by Gandalf and his glowing staff,
They often stopped to feel the draught,
And Pippin drops a noisy pebble.
~ Fool of a Took! You must not meddle!


hey see halls of wonder carved out of stone,
Columns galore in a twilit zone,
They gazed in wonder at the room,
Then found their way to Balin’s tomb.
Gimli felt pain at the death of his kin;
~ This must be the chamber of records we’re in.
Gandalf picked up a book stained with blood,
And every heart began to thud
As a noise echoed in the depths below,
Doom, Doom, they heard in beats so slow.
The beats got faster the enemy were near,
~ We cannot get out ~ Gandalf read with fear.

Bar the door and take to the wall
A cave troll they have and that’s not all,
The door burst open the troll breaks in,
But the fellowship is strong as they aim to win,
The troll seeks the ring bearer with its spear,
As Frodo tries to escape full of fear,
He fights back he does his best,
But with a mighty thrust he is caught in the chest,
The others pounce and overthrow the troll,
But he had already achieved his goal,

Aragorn knelt where Frodo was laid
And was shocked to see him lift his head,
~ That blow was enough to fell a wild boar!
He opened his shirt - the Mithril coat he wore.
~ Half the value of the Shire,
Upon your body - that is why
You have been saved to travel on
And now we really must be gone.


hey set off down the plunging stair
But Gandalf pauses, filled with care;
~ I sense some powerful force, so strong
I shall not hold it very long.
The explosion sends him flying down
And crumples up his hat and gown.
On the Fellowship must run
Ever on and on and down
Until they see the gates ahead
But fire blazes, and new dread
Falls on their hearts as Durin’s Bane
Comes on behind them - trapped again!                  

He stands on the Bridge now tall with wrath,
Gandalf blocking the Balrog’s path,
With Glamdring raised, a brand of light.
The Beast stepped forward ready to fight,
~ Begone into the abyss with whence you came,
I am a servant of the secret fire and Anor is my flame.

A blast erupted from the Balrog’s breath,
To any other, certain death,
But steady as a rock Gandalf held his ground,
~ You shall not pass! Crack! His staff came down.
The flaming mass took a step too soon,
As the bridge gave way he fell to his doom,
Gandalf turned, thought the fight was won,
As his ankle was lashed he was overcome,
~ Fly, you fools! was his last call,
As his grip gave way and he started to fall,
His friends could do nothing but save themselves,
And head for Lothlorien, land of the Elves.


n they ran, with sobbing breath
Certain they had seen Gandalf’s death
And out under the open sky
The Fellowship together fly.
When safe from any following foe
They give themselves up to deep sorrow
Weeping many bitter tears

For one who’d led them, over years,
His wisdom and his kindness strong -
They’d hoped he would continue long
The leader of their dreadful quest
And now which road would prove the best?

Aragorn takes them on their way,
Though for a moment Gimli stays
To look in shining Mirrormere
And see the Crown Of Durin clear.
Frodo they tend, his wounds still sore,
And then they must gather strength for more
Marching, as they move on to find
The secret land of Elvenkind.


rossing the fair stream Nimrodel
Each feels the heart within him swell
And hope returns their grief to calm
As Lorien wraps them in its balm.       
Onto the borders of Lorien they came,
And met with an Elf, Haldir his name.
~ We heard of your coming from our Rivendell kin
Hobbits we know of in long lost tales,
And knew not that still in Middle Earth they dwell,
Aragorn has the Lady’s favour,
But a dwarf I see here - now that I do not savour.

~ He was chosen by Elrond and is a trusted friend,
You must let him in or our journey here must end.

~ Then blindfold his eyes before we proceed.
~ I will not enter like a thief or beggar so take heed!
~ This is foolish but to this I say,
Blindfold us all but don’t lead us astray.

Aragorn’s eyes were covered first
And the others also as Gimli cursed,
They were led over waters and up steep hills
Haldir saw a beast in the tree, what he could not tell,
Onward they went until they came.
Into the golden wood the heart of this domain

Upon Cerin Amroth Aragorn stood
And Frodo saw at once some good
And happy memory filled his friend
Which to his face, a smile did lend.
He spoke as to one he had seen
Upon the hill where through the green
Grass the flowers of elanor
Were scattered as diamonds on a shore.


o Caras Galadhon at last
The weary company all passed
And there they saw, face to face,
Those noblest of the elven race
Galadriel and Celeborn
Whose memories stretched back to the dawn
Of elven-strife in mortal lands
And to dread Morgoth’s fearsome bands
Of Orcs and monsters, and the tales
Of Elder days ere the Trees failed.

She welcomed them all with open arms,
And they were enchanted by her beauty and charms,
They felt the intrusion of her gaze,
As their minds were left in a haze,
After she had searched for their thoughts.
Boromir was left in doubt and out of sorts
For she knew what troubled his mind,
As it did to others of his kind,
For Isildur’s bane was what he longed for
To take back to Gondor to give to the lord Denethor.
~ Rest now, as I know you are in deep grief,
No troubled sleep will you know under tree and leaf.


ight went and morning came as rushing water passing
As she found Frodo and Sam who for elven magic was asking,
~ Come to my mirror and gaze into the pool,
See what you will but be alert and careful,
For things appear from the past,
And others see what has yet to cast,
But fear not, I am sure you will pass the ordeal,
Things may seem strange but they are real.

Sam looked, but nothing could he see at first;
~ They’re ripping up the row, he burst,
And fell sobbing on the floor,
~ I shall not look here any more!
~ What about you Frodo do you want a peek?
~ I will look and see what it is I seek.

A fog and mist and a storming blizzard,
A bent old man or a White Wizard,
Dark ships on a raging sea,
Flying banners of a White tree,
A black chasm with an eye that spun
Seeking him above everyone

~ Do not touch the water bright!
She knew he gazed upon the light
Of that Red Eye that blazed across
The whole of Middle Earth and longed
To see its creatures all his own,
All works of Elves and Mortals gone.
Frodo, recovering his breath,
Spoke words that shook the Lady’s heart.
~ I will give you the shining Ring,
I cannot deal with such a thing,
But you are wise and good and true,
Accept it, Lady, I beg you.

The great one staggered where she stood,
~ You say that I am wise and good!
Yet tempt me not with this dread jewel
For though I have dreamt of its power
I see now that I would arise
A dread dark Queen, a fearful guise,
And so I must accept my fate,
The Ring must still be yours to take.

he time to leave Lorien now had come,
For the Quest had to move there were things to be done,
Gifts Galadriel gave to them all,
Lembas, a lock of hair, light in a phial,
Elven boats to send them on their way,
Except for Boromir they wished they could stay.
She bade them farewell from a swan shaped vessel
And knew that their journey would be full of hassle.

The great river Anduin was now their road,
And all they wished to see were frogs and toads!
But black swans flew now overhead,
Which left the company full of dread,
Treeless banks and logs with eyes,
Boromir muttering, his feelings disguised,
Gollum the water rat was on their trail,
Aragorn had known since the Nimrodel.
Onward they rowed with watchful glances
Staying central on the river and taking no chances,
But the river narrowed and started to swell,
And rapids were ahead as well.

The Orcs chose their spot for an attack,
For they had to go forward there was no turning back,
Arrows flew from every way.
~ Row as hard as you can we must reach the other bay,       
Through the rapids they carried their craft
Carried on down the river at last.

o the Argonath the travellers came
And Aragorn did not look the same!
Proud and kingly now was he
No wandering vagabond drinking in Bree.

To Parth Galen at last they made their way,
But here the fellowship would not stay.
At the lifting of the fog they scanned the shore,
But the call of Minas Tirith in Boromir’s heart it tore,
What was Frodo to do in this hour of choice?
~ May I have an hour? Then you will hear my voice.
Aragorn looked upon his friend with a pitiful glance,
As he walked away with his mind in a trance,
Wandering in the forest amongst the broken stone,
He heard steps behind him he was not alone,
Running up the winding stair overcome with fear,
When right in front of him Boromir appeared.
~ Let me take it for the Dark lord I will banish!
~ No it’s my precious ~
and then he vanished.


rodo was lost in the mists of the Ring
Everything looked strange and thin
He looked to the West, the North and the South
The Gap of Rohan like a green great mouth
But east his aching eyes were drawn
And there lay darkness instead of dawn
And a voice cried loudly, ~ Come to me
Or your bones shall drift in the deep dark sea!
Frodo crouched in fear and shame
But another voice called him - not by name -
~ Fool! It hollered, ~ Fool, take it off
The game’s not lost if the Ring you doff.

The Ring fought hard but he pulled it free
And the Dark Lord wailed in misery
While Northaway old Gandalf sighed,
Hobbits - enough to make a Wizard Cry!

Frodo’s eyes were sore at the sudden light,
As he took off the Ring and won that fight.
He pondered a while to plan a course to take,
And then he headed for the boats on the lake.


oor Boromir, tempted by the Ring,
Brought about the very thing
That he had said must never be -
He frightened Frodo and made him flee
Toward the Black Land - but not alone
Though Sam tried to swim and sank like a stone
Frodo rescued him by his hair
And together they set off from there.

Meanwhile Gandalf down the mountain climbed -
It would have taken quite a time -
But as luck so often has its way
An eagle was passing that fine day
And gathered up the wizard old,
Seeing that he was getting cold.
To Lorien the great bird flew
Where all the pretty Mellyrn grew
And all the elf-lords covered their eyes -
A naked Istar! What a surprise.
~ Gandalf, please put on this robe
If you wish to enter our abode.

Lady Galadriel sounded cross,
And after all, she was the boss
So Gandalf draped himself in white,
A far more-re-spec-table sight.


he others at the camp were deep in debate,
Discussing their own and Frodo’s fate,
~ As sure as his name is Baggins he is in a stew,
For he cares for us all and don’t know what to do,
I didn’t like what Boromir said it had a mischievous tone.
~ Sam you’re wisest of us all, I fear he has gone alone.

Boromir entered from the trees,
With head in hands he fell to his knees,
His face was pale and his features grim.
~ Where is Frodo, what have you done to him?
As Aragorn tried to bring some order to the hunt,
Sam was off like a rabbit and well in front;
~ Now hold on Sam no time to mope,
Think, he’s got no gear - he’s gone to the boat!

Merry and Pippin went up a stone stair,
Only to find that there were Orcs up there!
Overpowered they were gagged and bound
But Boromir sprung sword in hand
The earth shook at the blast of his horn
Given by his father on the day he was born.
Many orcs he slew with thrusting blows
But arrows pierced him from fifty bows.
The sound of his horn made a ghostly wail
And the fall of Boromir is now but a tale.

pon the great hill of Amon Hen,
Stands the high seat of the Kings of Men.
Climbing the stones of the Northern Stair,
Strider longed to feel the wind in his hair,
For his kinsmen made them in a time long gone,
What will he see there, Aragorn son of Arathorn?
But the horn of Rohan sounds below,

And Aragorn must turn and go.

Grief was in Lord Aragorn’s heart
He’d feared for Boromir from the start
And sorrowed now to see him lie
His life slow-ebbing under the sky.
Taking the warrior’s noble hand
The rightful King and his watching band
Gimli the Dwarf and Legolas the Elf
Praised his deeds as one of themselves
Tempted sore and briefly mad
Yet best of companions they could have had
Brave with the spirit of Numenor
But his home would never see him more.
These jaunty rhymes have slowed their pace
To linger on that noble face
And tears drop slow beneath the leaves
Where the King returning kneels and grieves.

~ We must not waste time we have to choose,
Before it’s too late and the tracks we lose,
Frodo and Sam are beyond our aid.
Come Legolas and Gimli a choice I have made,
To free Merry and Pippin, to remain true,
Is all that we can hope to try and do.


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