Candlelight, Angel Light, Firelight and Starglow Better Is One Day Fire and Rain He's Gone Away Love Is Only Sleeping And I Love Her

Love Is Only Sleeping

By San Antonio Rose

I pitied her at first.  Pale and cold, beautiful and sorrowful, she reminded me of Mother, of my own grief; but I also longed to ease her aching heart, both for her sake and for mine.  I learned long ago that assisting others is one of the best ways of dealing with one’s own grief.  Father might have said I was too tenderhearted for my own good, but he never met the White Lady of Rohan in the depths of her despair.

Our friendship grew quickly.  Some might be amazed that the bond between us should become so strong in only four days and in the darkest hour of our lives; but I believe it was that very darkness that caused us to draw closer together.  Alone, despair might have overwhelmed us; together, we had the strength to keep despair at bay.  We spoke of many things together, walking in the garden of the Healers, and through our conversation we learned much about each other and ourselves.

By the fourth day, I realized that I did not simply pity Éowyn.  I loved her.

This discovery startled me somewhat.  Neither Boromir nor I had ever given much thought to marriage, and I wondered if this had something to do with losing Mother when we were so young.  Father was certainly never a model of love after her death, except toward Boromir.  And yet… did Mithrandir and Peregrin not say that love for me nearly pulled Father out of his final madness?  Perhaps, I thought, it is possible for love—whether a father’s love for his children or a man’s love for a woman—to lie dormant until the right circumstances arise to allow it to flourish once more.

I broached the subject that afternoon when talking with Éowyn, but carefully, knowing something of her past experiences and not wanting to declare my love for her too soon; many events greater than our immediate wishes were at hand, and still we waited for word from our friends.  Her response was not wholly surprising, except for the intensity of despair that revealed itself.

She looked at me,
And the emptiness in her eyes was cruel to see.
Then she turned away and said,
“Once I loved, but love is dead.”
And I whispered, “Sometimes love is only sleeping.”

 She said, “I cannot cry,
And I cannot give or feel or even try.”
And her voice was hard and cold,
And her sweet young face looked old.
And I whispered, “Sometimes love is only sleeping.”
 

I let the subject drop, hoping that my observation might give her pause to think and bring her hope again—so far as that was possible at the time.

The next day the weather turned cold, and as Éowyn had no heavy mantle of her own, I sent for my favorite of Mother’s mantles and wrapped it about the shieldmaiden’s shoulders.  Both her beauty and her misery seemed to increase tenfold; she spoke of standing before a great abyss, and time crawled as we waited for the stroke of doom.

Through the endless days and nights, she could not help but wrap herself in sorrow.
Through the endless days and nights, we waited for a shiny new tomorrow.
Love was sleeping,
Sleeping….

But suddenly our hands met, and the stroke fell, and our hearts beat again.  As the whole world began to sing for joy at the fall of Sauron, it seemed to me that love began to stir and wake within us both once more.

Later that night, as I thought about the anguish of Éowyn, a poem came to me.  It felt a little odd in places, but I wrote it down anyway.  I never showed it to her; it was as much a promise to myself to fulfill its declarations as it was a promise to her.

Though you’ve played at love and lost
And sorrow’s turned your heart to frost,
I will melt your heart again.
Remember the feeling as a child
When you woke up and morning smiled?
It’s time you felt like it again.
There’s just no percentage in remembering the past;
It’s time you learned to live again at last.
Come with me, leave yesterday behind,
And take a giant step outside your mind!

 You stare at me in disbelief
And say for you there’s no relief,
But I swear I’ll prove you wrong.
Don’t sit in your lonely room
Just staring back at silent gloom;
That’s not where you belong.
Come with me; I’ll take you where the taste of life is green
And every day holds wonders to be seen!
Come with me, leave yesterday behind,
And take a giant step outside your mind!

It took time, of course, though perhaps not as long as one might think.  When two more weeks had passed, I declared my love for her and explained that it was far greater than pity; and (thank the Valar!) something that I said struck home, and she set aside despair and accepted me.  We were both busy for months after that, but even when Éowyn returned to Rohan and we could not converse as we had before, the sapling of our love grew and flourished as swiftly and steadily as did the sapling of the White Tree in the Citadel.  And so it was that one fair August evening, after the funeral of Théoden King and the coronation of Éomer, my beloved Éowyn set her hand in mine, and we were trothplighted before our friends and peoples.

After the feasting ended for the evening and Éowyn was released from her duties in the Golden Hall, we took a brief walk outside, enjoying the cool air and each other’s presence.  We stood in silence for a time, looking out over the plains of Rohan; and suddenly I heard her sniffle.  I turned to see a single tear run down her cheek and nearly catch in the corner of her smile.

“Why do you weep?” I asked, brushing away the tear.  “For sorrow, or for joy?”

“Both,” she sighed.  “I have lost one whom I loved as a father, and he has been laid to rest this day; but lo, I have found one whom I shall love hereafter as my husband, and he whom I thought I loved has released me to love again.”

She looked at me,
And her smiling tears felt warm and sweet and free.
And the moonlight kissed her eyes
As it mingled with our sighs,
And she whispered, “Sometimes love is only sleeping.”

The End

Credits:
"Love is Only Sleeping" by the Monkees (words and music by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil)
"Take A Giant Step" by the Monkees (words and music by Carole King and Gerry Goffin)
Based on "The Steward and the King" and "Many Partings" in
The Return of the King

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