West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
Sam and the Sea
After Frodo leaves, Sam develops Sea-longing.
upon this hither shore,
he mourned his master who had left
and yet he felt a peace.
Here he was at peace-
at rest, calm and free.
Here he could stand
upon the edge of the Sea.
He marveled at its wild beauty
he had never seen anything like it.
The rumble, the crash, the sigh, the roar
the breaking waves upon the shore.
It was so elvish and so fair
it was untamed, wild and free,
so great, so quiet and yet so loud
he marveled at the Sea.
It was this wild thing
this calm, this quiet
this raging, stormy thing
which had taken his master to lands unknown.
That was many years ago,
but he always remembered that day
that day of joy and sorrow, beauty and pain
when he had watched the White Ship sail away.
Oft he had come unto this shore
to stare upon the Sea,
to wonder if he would ever
one day take ship himself.
When he was home,
at work in his fair garden
or far afield on some errand,
it would call to him- the Sea.
Long had the desire slumbered
deep within his breast
long had he been one and whole
but now it awoke anew.
not when first the Sea
had begun to call him home.
He had not marked the first time
that the cry of the gull
awoke a longing
in his heart.
The painful desire of the Sea
would ebb and tide and flow,
and every time it came with more strength
and went deeper into his heart.
He could not understand
this painful joy and sorrow,
for something which he had never known.
Perhaps it had begun that night
when he stood upon the shore
and watched the unrelenting waves
bear far away the Master that he loved.
He hated those merciless waves
for stealing his Master from him
and yet he loved them
for taking him to a place of healing and rest.
It was there upon those grey shores
under the starlit sky of evening
where first the sound of the waves had sunk
deep into his heart.
Long the desire slumbered
but as he grew older it showed itself anew
from year to year it would come and go
but ever it would return.
And now here he stood, as he had before
he had taken to coming back to look upon that shore.
He stood and wondered, he stood and marveled-
when would his time come?
When would he at last take ship
and be surrounded by that which he loved
when would he set out
upon that last journey?
It was strange, he thought,
that he had disliked and mistrusted the River so,
yet here he was
ever pining for the Sea.
Master's departure by water
had cured him of all doubts, it seemed
for here he felt the most at home
standing by the Sea.
Yet not at home at all-
for the longing tore at his breast
longing for he knew not what
it gnawed at him and yet was sweet.
Like music it seemed,
and like music its notes fell upon his soul
for the longing went deep, deep,
he knew not how deep.
Had Frodo known this too,
this insatiable desire
for something that was not there?
For he was in all things Frodo's heir.
Was this truly a desire for the Sea itself,
or for that which lay beyond?
Was it Eär he loved, Belegaer,
or was it Bliss, was it Valinor?
Would he too sail to Tol Eressëa
there to dwell upon the shores
to look out in all directions
upon the Sea?
He had often stood upon the furthest tower
gazing upon this playful, terrible,
romping, frolicking, storming, caressing,
entity of salt and foam and spray.
He had seen the light of stars
glint upon the waves.
It recalled to his mind the Lady's star-glass,
what was more elvish than that?
And he possessed the Elendilmír
which called to him at once
of Stars and Sea, Stars and Sea,
where now could he be?
What ship would bear him hence
to the Master he loved
and unto the land of his desire?
all that he felt-
it was likely to tear him apart,
he felt empty, lonely, cold,
yet strangely fulfilled.
His heart was torn in two
and bleeding it lay upon the sands
the rocking waves could not soothe it
nor the sighing winds ease his pain.
He felt as small and helpless as a child
hopelessly drifting upon the waves,
unable to stop them, unable to control them,
unable to order his own fate.
At the same time he felt strong
bold and strong
he stood there tall and powerful
Samwise the Stout-hearted forever.
This was his delight and his confusion,
this endless flow of opposite emotions,
this unebbing tide of feeling
this merciless wave of sensation.
There was sorrowful joy, and grieving happiness,
there were laughter and tears
there was loneliness and comfort
there was loss and there was fulfillment.
There was beauty and there was pain,
there was affliction and there was health
there was storm and there was calm,
there was restlessness and there was peace.
All these things he felt,
and yet he understood them little,
he could not explain them, he could not express them,
he could merely feel them.
Were these the feelings he had
for Frodo, for Valinor, or for the Sea?
Or were they all of these things
wrapped into one?
He needed all of these things desperately,
and soon he would have them.
It would not be long now,
soon bliss and rest and healing would be his.
to see Frodo one last time,
he longed to behold the glory of that Realm,
and he longed for the Sea.
Yea, all of these things he longed for, each more
keen and piercingly than the next.
It would not be long now,
soon he would have them all.
Even as he stood by the Sea,
he longed for it.
Even as he had a tithe of his desire
he longed for it with ever more fervor than before.
More pain, more sorrow, more joy were his
in having that which he longed for.
Here he was, alone with the Sea
and yet it called to him as if from afar.
Now that he looked upon it once more,
his Sea-longing was thrice what it was before.
Soon he could take ship,
soon he could embark upon that last journey
all his hopes and desires to be met
all his blissful dreams to be fulfilled.
Yet would his heart ever rest
when here he stood before the Sea
and longed for that very Sea
with an ever greater strength than before?
A keen and piercing cry overhead
brought to him memories of the past
as a gull circled and wheeled
then dove among the crashing waves.
Someday soon his ship would come
someday he would find rest and peace
he would overflow with bliss and joy
at meeting his Master once more.
But now he stood upon the shore
even as he had before.
He watched the ever-deepening night,
as within he was torn by a Longing.
Longing for all these things,
Longing for his dearest friend,
Longing for that other Land,
and Longing for the Sea.
It was a
as in a way it was its own fulfillment
it gave him joy and peace
even as it tore him apart.
And yet there was something more,
something which could fulfill
this insatiable Longing for something.
He was drowning in the waves,
floating on their crests,
being tossed about
sailing in the surf.
Even as he stood upon his feet
he felt as if carried by the Sea,
he felt lifted up and carried away
and borne out by the Sea.
Soon, very soon, his day would come
and he would take ship
just as his Master had before.
But tonight he watched the evening fall
and the waves darken upon the shore
as he overflowed with Longing.