The Shire After the Great Years

(or The Wednesday Bit)

© 2007 Jeff Lynch

Of Master Samwise’s stock and Gardner of the hill we chant,
We are the Red Book* readers, we scribble, teach and search.
Elves call us, the Perinnath* pen-folk, dwarves doubt us still.
We are the Red Book readers, we search and write and laugh.

The fire lit, the ponies were restless, two Hobbits huff warmed hands
Over burning bracken, and Sam refused to leave sight of Haven’s Bay.
The Shadow on the waters had faded, to a westerning moon in a rain,
Sailing now unseen by mortal Halflings standing at Grey Havens.
Sam’s tears coursed down rain mingled, until the comfort of friends
Saw them turn, east roading to Hobbiton, past heath to hearth and Rose.

Years defeat tears for Hobbits too, and Samwise bounced brand new.
I’m back he said, no need at all to doubt the future, present or our past.
He planted trees across the Shire, obliterating Wormwood earth scorch,
Just a pinch of Galadriel* dust at each root saw bursting buds; then he
Put his hand to history; adding to the little people’s red bound reader.
And with the greening, came, genealogy, myth, tale and Hobbit history.

Of Meriadoc Magnificent, dour captain of Bywater Battle we chant,
We are the Red Book readers, we scribble, search and laugh.
Nineteen hobbits fell that day, famous now, ashire till mountainfall.
We are the Red Book readers, we scribe and, love and teach.

The year of 1420 was one of fair spring and sunny barn fill plenty.
The Overlithe, leap year feasts, were the wildest for near a century.
And Northfarthing* barley malted brew that year, incomparable!
Ah that was a twenty-un! Was often heard in the ‘Ivy Bush’,
For years out of mind, and the tipplers recalled again the bumper crop,
That followed the Scouring of their Shire, the sun and super crops.

Rethe* twenty fifth, before the grey sailing, Elanor, elvenfair was born.
Samwise stood the bar at ‘The Bush’, a round or three, for cradle luck.
Elected as Shire Mayor too; balmy were the days of Shire Reckoning.
Peregrin Took, wed Diamond, of Long Cleeve on a on a barge in the
Middle of the Brandywine; Meriadoc was sensibly, his very best man
The wedding breakfast, is famous still, in Shire lore, and legend.

Of Aragorn the hard and secret ranger, now King Alessar, we chant.
We are the Red Book readers, we scribble, laugh and teach.
A free folk* for ever, we Halflings did he make, for ere and for ever.
We are the Red Book readers we learn and love and search.

Faramir was born of Perigrin, destined to be Samwise’s son in law.*
And Sam himself bowled leg breaks for Hobbiton for fifty years,
And gardened until that last day, he last of Ring-bearers left the Shire.
But the tales and ring of friendship stood fast in the doughty Shire.
And Sam and Rose, had six boys, seven, in love’s green bounty.
The long threaded, of Hobbit’s luck, seemed to run for ever.

In field of Cloth, rode Aragorn north, and stayed by Lake Evendim,
Entered the Shire, by the Brandywine Bridge, and met many friends.
And as Aragon aged, the shire’s good times rolled to mortal ends,
Samwise’s cricketing, in fame, long deemed and spun to many tales,
From the Elf Towers*to Bucklebridge, as the saying goes, had to end.
Mayor Sam said, Rosey girl, I must at last, to unbuckle my pads.

Of Elanor, like so many born in 1421, wise, fey and fair, we chant.
We are the Red Book readers, we scribble, sing and search.
She wrapped the Red Book in oilcloth, leaving home for Westmarch.
We are the Red Book readers, we laugh and sing and teach.

Elananor’s man Fastred, hard by Emyn Beraid, built Undertowers.
Here stood now by new decree, the eastern limits of the Shire.
The Halflings history, translated many times in reckoning, was safe.
The mortal circle of Hobbit friends, inevitably closed tighter.
Halflings in Hobbiton pubs stood fast, in a firm ring of friendship.
Mere mortals, though long lived, they feared no man, feared no evil.

And so Sam tickled time and his thirteen children, apiece grew too.
In no time, time too had ticked and gonged a long, clear life.
He began to study his peers afresh, carpe dieming all day through.
Whistled tunes long held back, loving harder, being kinder, bolder Still, as
if he might recall old Frodo’s tune, Of how the world will be when the
winter comes without a spring, that I shall never see.

Of Goldilocks, who married Thain Pippin’s boy we chant ,
We are the Red Book readers, we scribble, love and teach
She, the sixth child of Rosie, helped to nurture this crowded garden.
We are the Red Book readers we sing and scribe and search.

  • The Red Book of Westmarch was the work started by Bilbo, added to by Frodo and then Samwise. It is in part a history of the Wars of The Rings and related times, which has presumably, sustained the work of the ex Nottingham professor, in his subsequent fictional work.
  • Perrinnath is the Elvish word for Hobbit and The Red Book had been called by some Elves The Perinnath Red Book.
  • As a gardener, Samwise had been given this present of dust by Galadriel and none could foresee it’s ultimate use!
  • Northfarthing was the area in the shire where barley grown for beer, was famous, just a Southfarthing was famous for tobacco (or pipeweed)
  • Rethe is the month of March.
  • A free folk .In1427, Aragorn banned men from entering the Shire, and it was made a free land under protection of the Northern Sceptre. (He also at the same time lowered the taxes on Northfarthing Malt brewing, thus lowering the price of beer in the Shire.)
  • Faramir married Goldilocks in1463.
  • The Elf Towers were the three structures almost long forgotten on the low ‘Tower Hills,’ running North to South on the east side of the Far Downs, and just west of the Gulf of Lune. Bucklebuy was of course the extreme eastern counterpart, of the Shire’s extent.

 
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