This was the poem that Galadriel recited to Frodo and the fellowship as they departed Lórien (LotR/377). It is the longest canonical Elvish text published by Tolkien, and one of the longest texts in the corpus. In the literature, it is usually called the Namárië or “Farewell” poem, though in one place Tolkien gave it the formal title Altariello nainië Lóriendesse “Galadriel’s lament in Lórien” (RGEO/58).
As a poem, this text is freer in word order and syntax than ordinary Quenya prose (RGEO/58). This makes it somewhat difficult to interpret the poem, since the English translation of the poem does not correspond directly with the Elvish wording. Fortunately, Tolkien published an extensive commentary on the poem within his lifetime (RGEO/58-62), making the proper interpretation the poem abundantly clear. In this commentary, Tolkien included a prose version of the poem, written in a “normal style” and with more ordinary (and therefore easier to follow) word order. The prose version of the poem is discussed in a separate entry.
The text below mostly divides the poem into one phrase for each line of the original poem. The exceptions are lines 5-6, 9-10 and 13-14 which are organized differently to facilitate discussion. The English glosses are from the translation of the poem in the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings. Only proper names are capitalized. Interpretations are discussed in the entries for individual phrases.
namárië interjection "farewell" (Nam, RGEO:67)