Sunday, February 19, 2006

I think it turned out okay.

I remember, before Peter Jackson's movies had come out, my brother told me, with great excitement, that Shelob was going to be in them--she had not been cut out.

With some amount of embarassment, I had to ask to be reminded who Shelob was. It had been a while since I'd read the books, and there are many names I don't easily remember.

He described her as the spider demon who was so evil that when Gollum saw her he fell down in worship.

I remembered her from that point on.

Now, I know that her name is probably pronounced shee'lob for the same reason you pronounce She-Ra or She-Hulk--she's a she-lob, "lob" apparently being a word for spider. But I've always pronounced it sheh-lob'. So when I heard Loreena McKennitt's rendition of the Tennyson poem The Lady of Shalott... well, you probably see where I'm going with this.

Loreena McKennitt lyrics here.
Both versions of the Tennyson poem here.

Apologies to Tennyson's estate for the damage all that spinning is surely doing to his grave.

I know it probably doesn't scan perfectly, and I'm sure it's a cop-out to rhyme "Ungol" with "Ungol", but... I'm pleased anyway. Feedback appreciated--nay, demanded!

Her Ladyship Shelob

The city of Minas Morgul,
Conquered and ruled by the Nazgûl,
Is now under the Dark Lord's rule
And only a hero or fool
     Would dare to sneak past her mob.
And up above lies Cirith Ungol,
Through which no man has yet emerged whole.
For none can pass through Torech Ungol,
     The lair of great Shelob.

There she sits by night and day,
Weaving webs of color gray,
And devouring all she may
Of those who tread near where she lay,
     Near the lair of dark Shelob.
Ungoliant's last offspring,
She wishes to eat everything
'Til Ephel Dúath is crumbling
     Beneath glutted Shelob.

Sauron knows that she lurks there,
Beyond the Straight and Winding Stairs.
She drags his soldiers to her lair,
But he has Orcs enough to spare
     To feed his cat, Shelob.
An evil thing in form of cob,
Her belly does in hunger throb.
But she's half-sick of eating Gob,
     Her ladyship Shelob.

She knows a creature drawing near--
He's worshipped her for forty years.
And as of now it would appear
That he's bringing sweeter meat here
     To the lair of great Shelob.
He wants again the ring he lost,
So he'll feed its bearer to his boss
And recover it from the dross
     Of her Ladyship Shelob.

Two small creatures, frail and weak,
Blindly following her Sneak
(Who's suffering a bout of pique)
Enter a black tunnel filled with reek,
     Enter the lair of dark Shelob.
Through the cave and into view,
The hobbits come in: one and two!
She wants a meal and thinks they'll do,
     Her ladyship Shelob.

A poison hiss that bids them ill
Alerts them to what in here dwells.
And Frodo, as if in a spell,
Holds the phial of Galadriel
     Before the great Shelob.
This old and strong power of night
Yields now and turns away in flight
From the Star of Eärendil's light,
     Too bright for dark Shelob.

Now they run and she gives chase,
The mother of Mirkwood's spider race.
Neither hobbit can match her pace
So Frodo falls onto his face,
     A victim of Shelob.
With venom in his master's veins,
The son of Hamfast flies insane
And soon shall be her only bane,
     Her ladyship Shelob.

She has a Sting, now so has he;
And with it smites her mightily.
She seeks to crush him 'neath her belly
But on his sword impaleth she,
     Her ladyship Shelob.
Samwise, worker of the tilth,
Spits at her "Now come, you filth!"
She crawls away to save her health,
     Her ladyship Shelob.

Samwise continues to harass,
With both blade and elvish star-glass,
And not in any era past
Has she such dreadful pain amassed,
     Her ladyship Shelob.
Though Samwise beat this monster fell,
Whether she died or yet grew well
Both poem and tale do not tell,
     The fate of great Shelob.

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