A translation of The Lady of Shalott by Lord Alfred Tennyson.
|Sindarin||Literal English||Original English|
|Bo ath-rant dorthar breniel |
rídhien1 i-thair theriel,
Hammar dawar, govenir ell2;
A thrî rîdh i ven hiriel
Am marad Camelod;
Adh in gwaith dadwen a dandol,
Tired had i-ningloer lodol
Nu-din os dol,
I dol Salod3.
|On either side of the river they dwell lasting |
Great fields of the thriving grasses,
They clothe woods, they meet the sky;
And through fields the road flowing
To the fortress of Camelot;
And the peoples go back and forth
Seeing a place of water-lilies floating
Beneath them around an island,
The island of Shalott.
|On either side the river lie |
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.
|Yrn girir, tethair nimmidar, |
Hwist dithin hwiniar a thuiar
Trî i ‘ôl4 i ui-hiriar
min hirion a thol na char
Rimmad an Gamelod.
Canad raim a beraid vithrin
Orthirir i had-i-phirin,
Adh i dol dhínen baugla dhîn
I chiril os Salod.
|Trees quiver, willows whiten, |
Quiet breezes twirl and blow
Through the wave that flows forever
In the great river with the island with a building
Flowing to Camelot.
Four grey walls and towers,
Overlook the place of the winking flowers.
And the silent isle oppresses silently
The lady of Shalott.
|Willows whiten, aspens quiver, |
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.
|Anin hîr, dathar-‘wathrannen, |
I lynt lyng pennar aphannen
Ad lebyr; adh ú-huilonen
Lunt lodant nan ram ídhannen
Lodad dad an Gamelod
Ach va idír i huiloneth5?
Egor den idír na chenneth?
Egor the hinnen min ndorath,
I chiril os Salod?
|To the river, willow-veiled, |
The heavy boat slants downwards followed
By horses; and not greeted
A boat floated with a desirable sail
Floating down to Camelot:
But who saw the greeter?
Or saw her at the window?
Or is she known in all the lands,
The lady of Shalott?
|By the margin, willow-veiled, |
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?
|Crithoer, crithad ne minuial, |
Mi faing iaw apharch orchal
Lastar ‘laer veren lend iallol
Od i hirion hwiniol,
Dad ani meraid Camelod:
Nuin galad Ithil, i grithor
brastol ‘othair mi thynd na-nadhor,
Lastol pêd “Elleth e-ninglor,
I chiril os Salod.”
|Reapers, reaping in morning, |
In the beards of dry, tall corn
Hears a festive, sweet song calling
From the great spinning river,
Down to the towers of Camelot:
Under the light of the Moon, the reaper
Carrying bundles of grass in the hills with fields,
Listening, he says, “The Elf-maid of the water lilies,
The Lady of Shalott.”
|Only reapers, reaping early |
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to towered Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers “‘Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott.”
Part 2 to come…
It was difficult, but I managed to make all of the lines either four or eight syllables long, so you can sing along with Loreena Mckennett in Sindarin.
I used Sindarin in the style of Doriath. It gives the translation an archaic feel.
- 1. rídhien
- “Great Fields” from “fields-vast/great/wide” (rîdh+iend).
- 2. ell
- “Sky” from Tolkien’s earlier version of Doriathrin (gell) under the root ƷEL.
- 3. Salod, Camelod, Lanselod
- Some of you may be curious why I wrote “Salod” for “Shalott” and “Camelod” for “Camelot” and “Lanselod” for “Lancelot” in the translation. I was simply translating the words into Sindarin phonology. Sindarin doesn’t have the “SH” sound, and P’s, T’s, and C’s directly following a vowel at the end or within a word must become B’s, D’s, or G’s.
- 4. gôl
- “Wave” from Telerin (vola).
- 5. suiloneth
- “Greeter” (suil+oneth) modeled after “bread-giver” (bassoneth).