Lord of the Rings

Farewell to Lorien

The Company was again summoned to the chamber of Celeborn, and there the Lord and Lady greeted them. "Now is the time," said Celeborn, "to continue on your Quest if you will. But which way will you travel? The Great River cannot be crossed between Lorien and Gondor. You can travel on the east side towards Mordor, or on the west side towards Minas Tirith."

"It is not my part to choose for you," said the Lord of the Galadrim, "but I will help you by providing boats. They will make your journey less toilsome for a while, but in the end you must leave them and the River, and turn west--or east."

Aragorn was much comforted by the gift of boats, not least because there would now be no need to decide his course for some days.

The next day Haldir led the Company docks on the banks of the Silverlode. The Elves stowed their goods in three small boats and added coils of rope.

In answer to Sam's query, an Elf said, "Never travel far without a rope! They may be a help in many needs."

"You don't need to tell me that!" said Sam. "I came without any, and I've been worried ever since."

Before they left, Celeborn and Galadriel came and asked them to share a meal upon the grass. Galadriel brought a cup to each of them and asked them to drink a parting toast.

Galadriel gave gifts to each member of the Company. To sam she gave a box of soil from her orchard. Frodo received a crystal phial, that glittered with the captured light of Earendil's star. "May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out."

"And what gift would a Dwarf ask of the Elves?" she asked, turning to Gimli.

"There is nothing, Lady Galadriel," said Gimli, bowing low and stammering, "unless it might be a single strand of your hair, which surpasses the gold of the earth as the stars surpass the gems of the mine. I do not ask for such a gift. But you commanded me to name my desire."

The Lady smiled. "It is said that the skill of the Dwarves is in their hands rather than in their tongues, yet that is not true of Gimli. For none have ever made to me a request so bold and yet so courteous." She unbraided one of her long tresses, and cut off three golden hairs, and laid them in Gimli's hand.

At last the Company departed for their boats, and their journey was underway once more, down the wide hurrying waters.

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