Kings built tombs more splendid than the houses of the living and counted the names of their descent dearer than the names of their sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry or in high cold towers asking questions of the stars. And so the kingdom of Gondor sank into ruin, the line of kings failed, the white tree withered and the rule of Gondor was given over to lesser men.
Where now are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing ? Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing ? Where is the harp on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing ? Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing ? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow; The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.Who shall gather the smoke of the deadwood burning,Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning ?
I have not seen my niece smile for a long time.