The Quest

When first I came to Rivendell, I sought the Guild of Bards,
With battered lyre on my back and song upon my lips,
And said: "Wilt take me?" with a smile tenuous and proud.
I knew back then what now you know: I'm blessed with certain gifts.
I'd sung with joy and ferver ere you ever heard me sing,
I'd stayed up late with stories sprouting full-fledged from my pen,
I'd soaked up lore and history with eager ear and mind,
But these are things, not purpose: they are the "what" not "why".
I was no bard, just dreamer: bards don't exist alone.

A poet writes with artistry, and every word's well-honed.
A storyteller spins a tale as strong as memory.
A loremaster knows all the names, and all the world that's been.
But bards may try by any means to show you something true.

I tell you where you came from, the best and worst of deeds,
I hold a mirror to your life, and make you weep or smile,
I point out things that should be praised, remembered, or abhored,
I tell you, "this is what you are!" but mean, "this you might be.”

And when you listen closely, and from my words take heart,
When you believe the story, and make its truths your own,
When wonder or reflection remain when tale is done,
When sorrow, outrage, shame or hope are kindled by my song,
When suddenly you're humbled, or suddenly you're proud,
Or understand things better— then I will be a bard.