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

oilima markirya (first version)

Oilima Markirya (First Version)

The first version of the Oilima Markirya poem (MC/220-221). It was preceded by six drafts, discussed in PE16 (PE16/53-76), labeled OM1a to OM1f by the editors of the Early Qenya Poetry article (Gilson, Welden, and Hostetter). A seventh draft, labeled OM1g in the article (PE16/77-80), is sufficiently different that I treat it as a separate poem: Oilima Markirya (Intermediate Version).

The text and translation presented here is the one accompanying the publication of Tolkien’s “A Secret Vice” essay (MC/220-221), presumably the final draft before Tolkien rewrote the poem as discussed in the entry on Oilima Markirya.

The text is divided into phrases for each line of the poem, except for lines 15-16 (mandulómi anta móri Ambalar), 17-18 (telumen tollanta naiko lunganar), 19-20 (kaire laiqa’ondoisen kirya), and 20-22 (karnevaite úri kilde hísen níe nienaite) which are combined to make more complete phrases. The textual history is discussed in the entries for individual phrases.

My analysis of this poem is based almost entirely on the work of the editors of the Early Qenya Poetry article: Gilson, Welden, and Hostetter (PE16/53-76).


kildo kirya ninqe“a white ship one saw”
pinilya wilwarindon“small like a butterfly”
veasse lúnelinqe“upon the blue streams of the sea”
talainen tinwelindon“with wings like stars”
vean falastanéro“the sea with loud surf”
lótefalmarínen“with waves crowned with flowers”
kirya kalliére“the ship shone”
kulukalmalínen“with golden lights”
súru laustanéro“the winds rushed”
taurelasselindon“with noise like leaves of forests”
ondolin ninqanéron“the rocks lay white”
silmeráno tindon“shining in the silver moon”
kaivo i sapsanta“as a corpse into the grave”
rána númetar“the moon went down in the West”
mandulómi anta móri Ambalar“the East raised black shadows out of hell”
telumen tollanta naiko lunganar“the vault of heaven sagged upon the tops of the hills”
kaire laiqa’ondoisen kirya“the white ship lay upon the rocks”
karnevaite úri kilde hísen níe nienaite“amid the red skies the Sun with wet eyes dropped tears of mist”
ailissen oilimaisen“upon the last beaches”
ala fuin oilimaite“after the last night”
alkarissen oilimain“in the last rays of light”
ala fuin oilimaite“after the last night”
ailinisse alkarain“upon the shining shore”