Goblin Feet

While browsing the Internet Archive, I came across many Oxford poetry books. I opened the volume covering 1914-1916. I expected war poetry. I found some. A poem about a goblin caught my eye because I’m writing about goblins. I glanced at the author: J.R.R. Tolkien (Exeter). The poem is from 1915, so he was only 23 when he wrote it.

I am off down the road
Where the fairy lanterns glowed
And the little pretty flittermice are flying:
A slender band of grey
It runs creepily away
And the hedges and the grasses are a-sighing.
The air is full of wings,
And of blundering beetle- things
That warn you with their whirring and their humming.
O! I hear the tiny horns
Of enchanted leprechauns
And the padding feet of many gnomes a-coming!

O! the lights: O! the gleams: O! the little tinkly sound
O! the rustle of their noiseless little robes:
O! the echo of their feet—of their little happy feet:
O! their swinging lamps in little starlit globes.

I must follow in their train
Down the crooked fairy lane
Where the coney-rabbits long ago have gone,
And where silverly they sing
In a moving moonlit ring
All a-twinkle with the jewels they have on.
They are fading round the turn
Where the glow-worms palely burn
And the echo of their padding feet is dying!
O! it's knocking at my heart—
Let me go! O! let me start!
For the little magic hours are all a-flying.

O! the warmth! O! the hum! O! the colours in the dark!
O! the gauzy wings of golden honey-flies!
O! the music of their feet—of their dancing goblin feet!
O! the magic! O! the sorrow when it dies.

– J.R.R. Tolkien, 1915

You can read more about the poem at the Tolkien Library.

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