Ring Poem
translated into Sindarin by Ryszard Derdzinski

 

Following text is a translation of the Ring Poem from LotR Vol. I, p. 57 into Sindarin (its full title is Verse of the Rings of Power or in my translation Glr i Chyrf e-Ndr. I have used here an archaic dialect of Noldor Sindarin (as was in use in Imladris and Eregion in the Second Age of Middle-earth). For the earlier Sindarin adaptations of this poem see Vinyar Tengwar #13, September 1990, p.p. 13-14, A Survey of Ring Poem Translations: one by Bill Welden and Chris Gilson (1977), another by Richard Trubshaw (1982). I want to thank Didier Willis for his help.

 

This translation was revised in January 2003. I used new information from Ae Adar nn in Vinyar Tengwar #44.

 

 

Glr i Chyrf e-Ndur

 

Corf neledh 'nin Ellerain nui venel,
   Odo'ni Nauhírath vi rynd gonui în,
Neder'ni Fîr Fírib beraid fíred,
   r am Morchír bo morn-orchamm dîn
Vi Dor e-Mordor ias i-Ndúath caedar.
   Er-chorf a thorthad hain bain, Er-chorf a chired hain,
   Er-chorf a thoged hain bain a din fuin an nuded hain
Vi Dor e-Mordor ias i-Ndúath caedar.
 
 

Word-for-word translation

 

Poem of-the Rings of-Power

 

Rings three for-the Elven-kings under-the sky,

Seven for-the Dwarven-lords in halls stony their,

Nine for-the Men mortal doomed to-die,

One [lit. Only] for Dark-lord on dark-throne his

In Land of-Mordor in-which the-Shadows lie.

One-Ring for ruling them all, One-Ring for finding them,

One-Ring for bringing them all a under darkness for binding them

In Land of-Mordor in-which the-Shadows lie.

 

Glossary:

 

Title

 

Glr
'Song, poem, *verse'.

 

gyrf
S *gyrf is mutated pl. cyrf of S sg *corf (Q corma, e.g. Cormarë 'Ringday' III 358). I have reconstructed S *corf from hypothetical CE *kormá < KOR- 'round' (cf. N or S parf, Q parma < CE *parmá < PAR- 'compose, put together'). We can derive development: CE *kormá > OS *córmh > S *corf.

 

ndúr
S *ndur is nasal-mutated tr 'mastery, *power' (LR 395).

 

Line 1

 

corf
'ring'. See above. I suppose a noun modified by a numeral is always singular, like in Welsh (eg. un bachgen 'one boy'/tri bachgen 'three boys'.

 

neledh
'three' (LR 376, S 412). It is derived from NL-ED- 'three'. I prefer here the form neledh to late nl (VT#42, p. 25), because in my opinion the language of Ring Poem should be more archaic.

 

'nin
'to the, for' (III 204, L 308). It is supposed to be an elision of S an in 'to the' (cf. aglar'ni Pheriannath < *aglar an in Pheriannath).

 

Ellerain
'Elven-kings'. I have composed this compound name of Ell- 'elven, elf' (WJ 367) + erain (pl. of aran) 'kings' (S 405).

 

nui
'under the' (LR 378). Preposition no 'under' < NÚ- (LR 378) + article i 'the'.

 

venel
Lenited form of menel 'sky, firmament, high heavens, region of the stars'. I use this Quenya word (< Q men + el 'star-region') because the poem is written in Quenyarized Sindarin of Imladris and Eregion (R 64) like aerlinn entitled A Elbereth Gilthoniel (I 250).

 

Line 2

 

Odo'ni
'Seven [Rings] for the'. S odo, odog (S 414, LR 379) < OT- [OTOS, OTOK 'seven'). I have chosen odo because of elision. For 'ni see above.

 

Nauhírath
'Dwarf-lords'. It is a compound name: *Naug-hírath > *Nauh-hírath. I have derived it from S naug 'dwarf' < *nauká < NUKU- 'dwarf, stunted, not reaching full growth or achievement' (S 412, LR 374, WJ 388) and coll. pl. of S hîr 'lord, master' < *khér, kherú < KHER- 'rule, govern, possess' (L 282, 382, S 409, LR 364, LB 354, SD 129). For -ath see Chorfath.

 

vi
'in'. Cf. VT#44, p. 21, 27.

 

rynd gonui
'halls of stone'. First I wanted to translate it as ethrynd gonui 'underground strongholds of stone' (cf. S othrond 'underground stronghold' (WJ 414) but finally I chose more literate rond 'hall', pl. *rynd (LR 379, WJ 414). Adj. *gonui 'of stone' < gonn 'stone, stony' (e.g. S 408, WJ 201) + -ui 'adj. suffix' (R 66) like in the name Argonui (III 282).

 

în
'*their own'. S în means probably 'his own' in King's Letter (SD 129) and is used to refer to the subject of the sentence. In Polish there are two pronouns in the same functions: jego 'his' and swój '[my, your, his, our, your, their] own' and I follow this trace in this text, în  translating as 'swój' and dîn 'jego' (see below).

 

Line 3

 

Neder'ni
'Nine [Rings] for the'. S *neder 'nine', N neder < NÉTER- 'nine' (LR 376). For 'ni see above.

 

Fîr Fírib
'Mortal Men'. S Fîr is pl. of Feir adapted in Beleriand from Q Firya 'Mortal' (as a noun). Adj. fírib is pl. of S fíreb 'mortal' (as an adjective). I have tried to alliterate it as in English Mortal Men.

 

beraid
'doomed'; cf. barad 'doomed' < MBARAT- (LR 372). Form *beraid is a possible plural of barad, cf. homophone barad (pl. beraid) 'tower'.

 

fíred
'to die'. It is a gerund/infinitive of of the S reconstructed verb 'to die, to fade': fír- (cf. gerund firith 'fading' as in tír- 'watch over, see' (e.g. SD 129) and gerund tirith in Minas Tirith 'Tower of Watching').

 

Line 4

 

r am
As an equivalent of English 'One [Ring] for the' I prefer here S r 'one, alone, isolated' (ER- 'one, first of a series') - cf. S 408, LR 356, VT42 24. - to mn 'one' as a numeral (< MIN- 'stand alone') - cf. LR 373 because it implies a special position of One Ring.

 

Morchîr
'Dark Lord'. For S mor- see morn-orchamm below. S -chîr is a spirant mutated hîr 'lord' (cf. morchaint < mor- + caint in S 409). For hîr see Nauhírath above.

 

bo
'on'. Cf. VT#44, p. 21, 27.

 

morn-orchamm
'dark throne'. There might have been here an elision: *morn-orchamm > *morchamm, but I have chosen a more archaic compound. S morn means 'dark' < *morná < MOR- (LR 373, WJ 362). The word *orchamm is a literate translation of Greek thrónos 'elevated seat'. It is a compound of my invention: or-hamm 'elevated seat'; cf. N or prep. 'above', prefix or- 'above' < ORO- 'up, rise; high, etc' (LR 379); S *hamm 'seat' < *khammá 'seat' < KHAM- 'sit' (LR 363).

 

dîn
'his'. It is a third person singular possessive pronoun referring to the object of the sentence (SD 129, VT #31, p. 21) as in: bess dîn 'his wife' in the King's Letter.

 

Lines 5 & 8

 

Vi
'In the'. See ne, ned above.

 

Dor e-Mordor
'Land of Mordor'. S dor 'land' < *ndoré 'the hard, dry land as opposed to water or bog' < NDOR- 'dwell, stay, abide' (LR 376). Genitive article e(n) as in Taur e-Ndaedelos (UT 281). Place-name Mordor means 'Dark Land'; cf. morn above.

 

ias
'where'. I have reconstructed this word on the basis of S ennas 'there', which according to C. F. Hostetter seems to be a development from a primitive locative demonstrative pronoun seen in CE *entassé = *entá 'that place (over here)' + locative ending *-ssé 'in'. Thus ennas is literally 'in that place (over there)' (VT #31, p. 26). If so, Q *yassë 'in which, *where' (I 357) < *CE jassé < *JA- 'there, over there' would become S *ias. The same conclusion in B. Welden's and Ch. Gilson's Ring Poem presented in VT #13, p. 13.

 

i-Ndúath
'the Shadows'. S *Ndúath is a nasal mutation of Dúath 'Shadows' affected by an article in. Dúath is plural of being in LotR a Gondorian synonym of Sauron's 'Shadow' (III 402) - cf. Ephel Dúath translated as 'Mountains of Shadow'. I think duáth (< DO3-, DÓ- in LR 354) best fits the meaning of 'Shadow' in the Ring Poem.

 

caedar
'[they] lie'. Third person pl. present tense form of the hypothetical Sindarin verb *caeda-. I have reconstructed it from CE *kay-ta- < KAY- 'lie down' (LR 363) seen in Q caita- 'lie'; cf. ar sindanóriello mornië caita 'and grey-country-from darkness lies' (R 59). Plural pronominal marker -r from Dor Firn-i-Guinar 'Land of the Dead that Live' (S 367).

 

Line 6

 

Er-chorf
'One Ring'. Cf. ereb and corf above. S *chorf is mutated (spirant mutation) *corf 'ring' (see above) as in Beren Erchamion where erchamion 'one-handed' is derived from er- (cf. ereb) and camion (< S cam 'hand' < CE kambá < KAB- in LR 361).

 

hain
'them' like in the Moria Gate Inscription (I 319, 321-2) written by the same Elves from Eregion that composed the original Ring Poem (here reconstructed). S hain is probably mutated from orig. *sain.

 

thorthad
Nasal-mutated *torthad 'to rule; ruling'. Cf. N inf. tortho 'to wield, control, *rule' (LR 395) and gerundial / infinitive ending -ad as in tírad 'to see, *to watch' (SD 129) compared with N tirio 'to watch, *to see' (LR 395).

 

bain
'all' (SD 129). Lenited form of *pain 'all' (SD 129), adviced to me by Didier Willis. Difficult to analyze - see VT #31, p. 32.

 

chired
Nasal-mutated *hired 'to find; finding'. Cf. Q hir- in hiruvalyë 'thou shalt find' (R 59). H. Fauskanger in his The Bakken Fragment (TyTy #4, p. 18) writes: Both words for "find" (hir-, tuv-) occur in the text [by H.F.]; the semantic distinction between them is apparently that hir- means "to find something by searching for it" while the other means "to suddenly find something you don't look for" (e.g. Yé! Utúvienyes!). The possible equivalent of Q hir- in Sindarin is *hir-, infinitive hired.

 

Line 7

 

thoged
Nasal-mutated *toged 'to bring; bringing'. Cf. N tegi 'to lead, bring' < TUK- 'draw, bring' (LR 395). For a gerund / infinitive ending -ed see torthad, hired.

 

a
'and'. Cf. pedo mellon a mínno 'say friend and enter' (I 319), etc.; and the base AR2- (LR 349).

 

din
'beneath'. Cf. II 339 where: sí di'nguruthos 'here beneath-death-horror' (R 64). I prefer 'beneath' - or S din to 'in' - or S be(n) in case you refer in Sindarin to the sense of English: 'in the darkness'.

 

fuin  

'darkness'. Cf. fuin 'gloom, darkness' (< PHUY-) (S 408, LR 382).

 

hain nuded
'to bind them'. There is possible an elision: *hain nudad > *hai'nudad. A gerund / infinitive *nuded is derived from N nud- 'bind' < NUT- 'tie, bind' (LR 378).

 

 

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