Beware, older languages below! The languages below were invented during Tolkien's earlier period and should be used with caution. Remember to never, ever mix words from different languages!

Early Quenya

karnevaite úri kilde hísen níe nienaite

amid the red skies the Sun with wet eyes dropped tears of mist

The eighteenth phrase (the second part of line 20 and lines 21-22) of the first version of the Oilima Markirya poem (MC/221). Its English translation is quite liberal. The first Qenya word is a compound of karne “red” and an adjectival form vaite (“skied”) of vaiya “sky”, as indicated by the Glossary Commentary accompanying the sixth draft (PE16/75).

The subject úri is a variant form of Ûr “Sun” followed by the verb kilde, the aorist 3rd-singular feminine form of kili- “to see”. As indicated by the Glossary Commentary accompanying the sixth draft (PE16/75), the combination kili- nie (nienaite) is idiomatic Qenya meaning “have tears in the eyes”, more literally “see a dropping [(lit.) tearful] tear” (PE16/75).

In the middle of this phrase is the word hísen “of mist”, which superficially resembles a nominative but seems to function as a genitive, something supported by its translation in the Glossary Commentary as “misty”, it is possible, though that it is a distinct adjective.

Decomposition: Broken into its constituent elements, this phrase would be:

karne-vaite úri kil-de híse-n níe nienaite = “✱red-skied Sun see-she mist-of tear tearful”

Conceptual Development: This phrase appeared in the fourth draft of this poem, where after experimenting with and rejecting some alternate wording, Tolkien settled on a phrase quite close to its final form, with the addition of the preposition ter “through” before nie “tear” (OM1d: PE16/62). This preposition was removed in the sixth draft (OM1f: PE16/74).

Element in


Ûr“Sun, (lit.) Fire”
kili-“to see, heed”
híse“dusk, mist, haze; bleared”


  • {telukarnea >> karnen vaiya >> karnen vaite >>} karnevaite úri kilde hīsen {nielinqe >>} ter nie {niena >>} nienaite ✧ PE16/062
  • karnevaite uuri kilde hiisen ter nie nienaite ✧ PE16/072
  • karnevaite úri kilde hísen nie nienaite ✧ PE16/074
Early Quenya [MC/221; PE16/062; PE16/072; PE16/074] Group: Eldamo. Published by