Quenya 

ono alyë eterúna me illumë ilya raxellor

but deliver us always from all dangers

The third line of Ortírielyanna, Tolkien’s translation of the Sub Tuum Praesidium prayer. The first word is the conjunction ono “but”. The second word alyë is 2nd-person-polite form of the imperative particle á. The third word eterúna is the aorist/infinitive form of the verb eterúna- “to deliver”. The fourth word is the pronoun me “us”.

The fourth word is the adverb illumë “always”, while the fifth word is the adjective ilya “all”. The last word raxellor “from dangers” is the ablative (-llo “from”) plural form of raxë “danger”. The final -r marks it as plural (“dangers”), so it is odd that the preceding adjective is not also plural, but it seems to be the rule that adjectives are not declined into the plural when they modify a noun that is itself in a noun case; see the discussion on Quenya adjectives.

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

> ono a-lye eterúna me illume ilya raxe-llo-r = “✱but do-thou deliver us always all danger-from-(plural)”

Conceptual Development: The verb was first written eterunna >> eteruńna, which Wynne, Smith and Hostetter concluded was a slip for eterúna, the form of the verb as it appeared in the Átaremma prayer (VT44/9). The pronoun “us” changed from dative men >> uninflected me (VT44/5). Tolkien consider two other forms for “always”: vora >> vore before settling on illumë. The word for “from dangers” was first written raxalellor >> raxellor, apparently changing the underlying noun raxalë >> raxë (VT44/9).

Element in


  • ono alye {eterunna >>} eterúna {men >>} me {vora >> vore >>} illume ilya {raxalellor >>} raxellor ✧ VT44/05