Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


A friend of mine requested that I compose for him a monologue with Frodo Baggins as the speaker, in order to use it for a coming performance in view of an acting scholarship. Below is what I have come up with- please share your thoughts, suggestions.

{Scene is in Baggend, some years after the War of the Ring}

Frodo: The end of all things, Sam- that’s what I said to him, up there on the mountain.
The mountain, the mountain- O! how it still haunts my mind.
What did Gandalf say- what did he say, would I find solace then? No.
He did not say, he gave me no words of comfort.
No peace, no peace shall come- not as long as I tarry here.
Can any ship now carry me to peace? Can any land give me refuge and quiet?
O Elbereth! Can her fair land give me rest and healing?

{Frodo holds his shoulder}

It is now five days past October the Eighth: O! O! Do not dwell there!
The blade, the face- how hideous! what curse brought the wrath
Of wraiths upon me? What fate cast their cries over my path?
I have been pierced, and the bite pains still and cuts cold.
I will never be rid of it. None can give me healing.
And Her sting is still scarred upon me- and blackness, borne in my mind
Does not fade, does not fade: it is a weaving dark and deep.
Why was I chosen? What was the reason of my calling?
O Gandalf, did you know what fate lay before me?
But you did not know many things.
And now both our times are ending.
Our time is ended.
What lies before me now? A ship will come and bear me away
But will it any comfort bring?
To the Sea, to the Havens- but the wounds are carried with me.
The Sea-spray will bring no solace.

No- perhaps, perhaps, the Undying Lands will bring healing.
Will they? Gandalf did not say.
I must in sadness leave- and I do not think I shall ever return
Unless it be in ages beyond reckoning.
Yes, I will linger, in a living tomb, lingering in light but weighted with darkness.
Sting and bite I will bear though I be within all the beauty and grace of the Elves.
Perhaps I will return, but all will be changed.
There will be no comfort in my coming, no fondness in this place.
So I will linger, and grow weary, but linger still, a shadow.

All was changed- changed utterly.
Sam, O Sam! great-heart of hobbits and brave beyond measure
You had hope to return, to return from doom’s despair.
But you could return. You were not wrought to this ending.
It was the end of all things, all things at their end.
It is the end of the age, it was the end of all things that we have known.
Now all must be ended, changed, and much must depart utterly.

O! I feel the remembrance: it is heavy, so heavy! O that I be rid of it!
Sting, bite, so deep and cold- O! I cannot- I cannot bear it-
Such pain, and sight so fell- leave me be!
O rest, O peace- so far, so far from me.
Night, night, all is fading, and I am a shadow.
O the bite, the sting, the black pall over my mind-
O the chill of the wound! I- I know nothing now-
Shadow, shadow-

{Frodo clutches the Vial of Galadrial}

But here, but here, is Light: The Light given by the Lady
Here within and without. It is stronger than darkness.
Light, O Light- unchanged, living, gift to our darkness-
Let me hold it- but see, it shines forth and cannot be constrained!
But a vial of a sliver from the Silmarillion- star yon, yet pure and clear and filling.
There is hope yet. There is Light.
It fills shadow and drives darkness- fairest gift, sweet Light.
There is hope yet, there is hope
For Light lingers strong and lives, and gives life yet.


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