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Tha Eadigan Saelidan

Tha Eadigan Saelidan: The Happy Mariners is the title of a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is a revised version of a poem earlier published as 'The Happy Mariners'.[1]

'Tha Eadigan Saelidan: The Happy Mariners' was first published in 1923 within A Northern Venture on pages 282-283, and was later reprinted by Christopher Tolkien in The Book of Lost Tales Part Two (pp.273–74).

[edit] Poem

I know a window in a western tower

That opens on celestial seas,

And wind that has been blowing round the stars

Comes to nestle in its tossing draperies.

It is a white tower builded in the Twilight Isles,

Where Evening sits for ever in the shade;

It glimmers like a spike of lonely pearl

That mirrors beams forlorn and lights that fade;

And sea goes washing round the dark rock where

it stands,

And fairy boats go by to gloaming lands

All piled and twinkling in the gloom

With hoarded sparks of orient fire

That divers won in waters of the unknown Sun–

And, maybe, ’tis a throbbing silver lyre,

Or voices of grey sailors echo up

A float among the shadows of the world

In oarless shallop and with canvas furled;

For often seems there ring of feet and song,

Or the twilit twinkle of a trembling gong.


O! happy mariners upon a journey long

To those great portals on the Western shores

Where far away constellate fountains leap,

And dashed against Night’s dragon-headed doors

In foam of stars fall sparkling in the deep.

While I alone look out behind the Moon.


From in my white and windy tower,

Ye bide no moment and await no hour,

But chanting snatches of a mystic tune

Go through the shadows and the dangerous seas

Past sunless lands to fairy leas

Where stars upon the jacinth wall of space

Do tangle burst and interlace.

Ye follow Earendel through the West,

The shining mariner, to Islands blest;

While only from beyond that sombre rim

A wind returns to stir these crystal panes

And murmur magically of golden rains

That fall for ever in those spaces dim.


  1. "Northern Venture, A" in J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, p.459