A Elbereth Gilthoniel
A Elbereth Gilthoniel or Aerlinn in edhil o Imladris is an aerlinn (poem) of Rivendell addressed to Varda, sung in Sindarin and in iambic tetrameter. The first stanza (the only one known) rhymes aababcc.
|] ljwl7l3 s`j3h6`lj||A Elbereth Gilthoniel|
|8`j`r7l6 ql5] y`V7`lj||silivren penna míriel|
|h yl6lj ]sj]7 ljl6]3Á||o menel aglar elenath!|
|6]d]Ý7l2 q]j]62`V7`lj||Na-chaered palan-díriel|
|h s]j]47lt`6 l5h7]3=||o galadhremmin ennorath,|
|e]6.Õjh8= jl j`5]3h6||Fanuilos, le linnathon|
|6lr ]Ý]7= 8`V 6lr ]Ý]7h6Á||nef aear, sí nef aearon!|
- O Elbereth Starkindler
(white) glittering slants down
sparkling like jewels
from [the] firmament [the] glory [of] the star-host!
To-remote distance far-having gazed
from [the] tree-tangled middle-lands,
Fanuilos, to thee I will chant
on this side of ocean, here on this side of the Great Ocean!
The rest of it is not saved but it is possible that Oh Snow-white is a Westron translation or variation of this aerlinn. Variations of this hymn are sung throughout the book, such as the very last one written down:
...and as if in answer, from down below, coming up the road out of the valley, voices sang:
Donald Swann wrote music for this song, which can be found in the book The Road Goes Ever On where Tolkien gives also a Tengwar text of the poem in the Mode of Beleriand given above; it is also found on the accompanying CD of the latest version.
A different musical version was recorded by the Tolkien Ensemble. The first version cited above can be found on their album A Night in Rivendell, and takes the form of a chant sung by a female soloist. The second version can be found on the album At Dawn in Rivendell.
Another musical version was composed by the Russian Tolkienite band Aire and Saruman.