West of the Moon, East of the Sun

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

These words of the old walking-song Frodo sang to himself as he and Sam made their way to the Grey Havens where Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel and others whose time had come to an end in Middle-earth would board a ship and make their way into the High Sea and pass on into the West where they would find white shores and a far green country under a swift sunrise.

But not Sam, Merry or Pippin. 

At last the three companions turned away, and never again looking back they rode slowly homewards; and they spoke no word to one another until they came back to the Shire, but each had great comfort in his friends on the long grey road.

At last they rode over the downs and took the East Road, and then Merry and Pippin rode on to Buckland; and already they were singing again as they went.  But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more.  And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected.  And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap.

He drew a deep breath.  ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.

So ends The Lord of the Rings.  And it is so complete that little needs to be said and nothing added, except, perhaps, if you’ve never read it, I think you should.

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