Bilbo’s Reflective Song

Before the Fellowship departs from Rivendell, Bilbo has one last conversation alone with Frodo, in which he gives him his sword, Sting, and his mithril coat.  

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 ‘Just a plain hobbit you look,’ said Bilbo. ‘But there is more about you now than appears on the surface. Good luck to you!’ He turned away and looked out of the window, trying to hum a tune.
   ‘I cannot thank you as I should, Bilbo, for this, and for all our past kindnesses,’ said Frodo.
   ‘Don’t try!’ said the old hobbit, turning round and slapping him on the back. `Ow!’ he cried. `You are too hard now to slap! But there you are: Hobbits must stick together, and especially Bagginses. All I ask in return is: take as much care of yourself as you can. and bring back all the news you can, and any old songs and tales you can come by. I’ll do my best to finish my book before you return. I should like to write the second book, if I am spared.’ He broke off and turned to the window again, singing softly.

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

 

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