Phrase “Gilraen's Linnod” by Elaran

   ⸱    :

Ónen i-Estel Edain, ú-chebin estel anim.

The only known example of a linnod, a certain type of Sindarin poetry.

Sindarin [LotR, PE17/117, PE22/160] by Elaran

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Narya Lachenn #41

I think this is the poem, ' Give hope to the race of man. I cannot keep hope in myself:'

Aldaleon #42

Indeed, Narya! Quoting the Lord of the Rings:

"But she answered only with this linnod: ónen i-Estel Edain, ú-chebin estel anim, and Aragorn went away heavy of heart. Gilraen died before the next spring.

Tolkien provided a translation "I gave Hope to the Dunedain, I have kept no hope for myself", but he modified it later as he developed his ideas on negation. Parma Eldalamberon 22 shed some light on this development:

úchebin in Gilraen's linnod will not fit so well. It must be assumed that in S. ú was used as a verbal as well as an adjectival prefix, with a meaning intensified to 'impossible' so that it came near to a negative. The nuance will remain important. úchebin will mean not 'I do not keep', but 'I cannot keep'.