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Oilima Markirya I
English
Qenya
Sarati

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Kildo kirya ninqe
pinilya wilwarindon
veasse lúnelinqe
talainen tinwelindon.

Vean falastanéro
lótefalmarínen,
kirya kalliére
kulukalmalínen.

Súru laustanéro
taurelasselindon;
ondolin ninqanéron
Silmeráno tindon.

Kaivo i sapsanta
Rána númetar,
mandulómi anta
móri Ambalar;
telumen tollanta
naiko lunganar.

Kaire laiqa’ondoisen
kirya; karnevaite
úri kilde hísen
níe nienaite,
ailissen oilimaisen
ala fuin oilimaite,
alkarissen oilimain;
ala fuin oilimaite
ailinisse alkarain.
A white ship one saw,
small like a butterfly,
upon the blue streams of the sea
with wings like stars.

The sea was loud with surf,
with waves crowned with flowers.
The ship shone
with golden lights.

The wind rushed with noise
like leaves of forests,
the rocks lay white
shining in the silver moon.

As a corpse into the grave
the moon went down in the West;
the East raised
black shadows out of Hell.
The vault of heaven sagged
upon the tops of the hills.

The white ship lay upon the rocks;
amid red skies
the Sun with wet eyes
dropped tears of mist,
upon the last beaches
after the last night
in the last rays of light –
after the last night
upon the shining shore.

Commentary
In 1931, J. R. R. Tolkien made a conference touching about his invention of languages, and claiming that this seemingly curious hobby was a peculiar form of art. The text, a very important one to get what his imaginary languages were to him, was published in the collection The Monsters and the Critics with the title A Secret Vice. Tolkien produced several poems as examples, three in Qenya and one in Noldorin; Oilima Markirya “The Last Ark” is one of these poems. Tolkien must have been cared for that poem for he came back to it repeatedly; as a consequence there are several quite different versions (their development has been studied in Parma Eldalamberon n° 16), although the content remains more or less the same. Included in the main text is the one we called Oilima Markirya II; it is annotated and completed at the end with variants, including this one. A note states that it is the first version of the poem ; so we called it Oilima Markirya I. We reproduce it here with its author’s own translation, arranged so as to approximately match the Elvish lines.

The text is transcribed in sarati or “letters of Rúmil”, written vertically from top to bottom and from left to right. The signs are used according to Tolkien’s valuation for Quenya. We made use of Måns Björkman’s typeface Sarati Eldamar.

References
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London: HarperCollins, 2006. 256 p. ISBN 0-261-10263-X.
Parma Eldalamberon: The Book of Elven-tongues. Edited by Christopher Gilson. Cupertino (California): 1971-  . 🌍 Eldalamberon.

The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
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