Anke Eißmann - Beren recovers a Silmaril
 True-life History
托尔金先生第一次记录创作时间是在第557行：一九二五年八月二十三日。两年半之后，他再次记录了日期，这时候他写到了第一千一百六十一行：一九二八年三月二十七至二十八日。在接下来的九天内，他写到了第两千九百二十九行！但这些日期其实是他誊抄整理好的日期，或许他之前就已经完成了一部分。托尔金先生把诗稿寄给了C·S·刘易斯，并在诗稿后附上： I sat up late last night and have read the Geste as far as to where Beren and his gnomish allies defeat the patrol of orcs above the sources of the Narog and disguise themselves in the rëaf [ OE: 'garments, weapons, taken from the slain']. I can quite honestly say that it is ages since I have had an evening of such delight: and the personal interest of reading a friend's work had very little to do with it. I should have enjoyed it just as well as if I'd picked it up in a bookshop, by an unknown author. The two things that come out clearly are the sense of reality in the background and the mythical value: the essence of a myth being that it should have no taint of allegory to the maker and yet should suggest incipient allegories to the reader"
- ― The Lay of Leithian introduction
Later he wrote a detailed criticism, which pretends to treat the Lay as if it were a historical document. Tolkien was influenced by Lewis' comments, and made several minor changes based on them.
Leithian means "Release from bondage" from the verb leithia "release" from verb leith "set free" (root LEK)
The exact derivation of the word is peculiar since it is the only occurrence of a verb becoming a noun simply with the ending -n, although it could be related to the Primitive Quendian ending such as -nê, -nâ.[source?] In this case, the noun leithian is derived from an earlier Old Sindarin *lektiane.[source?]
The most likely meaning of the title can be found at one of the key moments in the poem, the point at which one of the Silmarils, the magical gems of Fëanor, is cut from the crown of Morgoth by Beren:
Behold! the hope of Elvenland the fire of Fëanor, Light of Morn before the sun and moon were born, thus out of bondage came at last, from iron to mortal hand it passed.The Lays of Beleriand, p. 362
This moment is also central to the over-arching story-line of The Silmarillion, in which the gem is used to bring hope to the scattered peoples of Middle-Earth and is ultimately set in the heavens by the mariner Eärendil as a sign of their coming salvation.
The name of the poem is therefore likely an attempt to underscore the importance of the Lay relative to other tales from the first age. Though honor, bravery and vengeance drive the Elven hosts forward to war with Morgoth, it is only love that can overcome all obstacles to wrest a Silmaril from his crown.
 Recycling the Lay
Tolkien recycled parts of the older version of the Lay, most notably in The Lord of the Rings, where Gimli sings of Moria to the rest of the Fellowship. Following is a piece found in both the Lord of the Rings and the Lay:Original Lay
...There might and glory, wealth untoldLord of the Rings
Were wielded from his ivory throne
In many-pillared halls of stone.
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale
And metal wrought like fishes' mail
Buckler and corslet, axe and sword
And gleaming spears were laid in hoard
All these he had and loved them less
Than a maiden once in Elfinesse. . .
...There forged was blade, and bound was hilt;
The delver mined, the mason built.
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
And metal wrought like fishes' mail,
Buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
And shining spears were laid in hoard.
 See Also
- Cantos of the Lay of Leithian
- Lay of Leithian continued
- The Lay of Leithian Adapted
- Of Hunters Lore... OpenMic Video: Excerpt of the Lay of Leithian (Canto II) by Loren & Strumstick Messiah
- ↑ , entry LEK