I Sit Beside The Fire And Think


“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow-flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were,
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen:
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people who will see a world
That I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door.”

Behind the lines

This is one of my favorites by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 – 1973). He wrote a contemplative lyric that anyone can relate to who has sat long by a mesmerizing fire. It’s the song of Bilbo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings which takes place in Rivendell not long before Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring set out on their journey to destroy the One Ring. The song is a fireside reflection of joyful remembrance, curiosities unfulfilled, people never met, a future unknown, and a hopeful return of loved ones at our door like Frodo (Bilbo’s adopted nephew). It can be found in Chapter III – The Ring Goes South.




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