© Alan Lee
A sparkle through the darkling trees,
a piercing glint of light he sees,
and there she dances all alone
upon a treeless knoll of stone!
Her mantle blue with jewels white
caught all the rays of frosted light.
Tolkien wrote and re-wrote the tale of Beren and Lúthien many times but the Lay of Leithian, although unfinished, is his most epic and poetic account of the great love of the mortal Beren for the immortal elf maiden Lúthien, and of their terrifying quest to steal the Silmaril from Morgoth's crown so that he might win her hand.
At over 4,000 lines long it's the most detailed treatment of one of Tolkien's core stories - the one he regarded as a 'fundamental link' in his whole mythological cycle and certainly the one closest to his own heart.
The poem was posthumously published as two versions in 1985 in The Lays of Beleriand, the third volume of The History of Middle-earth.
So - how many of you have read this work and what are your thoughts on it?