7. Third Age, 319th Year.
The war has been on and off
More times than I can easily count
(And the war has taught me to count
A company at a glance and to memorise
So well that I can recall terrain briefly glimpsed
When we fight there, at night, seven years later)
But now we have won.
Our enemy ground to dust
And scattered in the ocean.
Today my people grieve
For everything we lost.
They grieve for me as I took a scar
That I will bear for all the years to come.
I do not grieve.
I was wounded, but we saved the world.
It is the price we paid
The price does not matter.
I paid it with a scar across my heart
Long before the acid blade
Slashed across my face.
So the war is over. This is partly inspired by the scene in the extended version of The Lord of the Rings, in which Elrond is in the battle against Sauron at the end of the Second Age (three thousand years before the present? Something like that) and he has the same haircut as in the current age. I then thought that some of the elves at that battle must have taken wounds, which left scars. Do they still have those scars? Tolkien's elves, with their general sorrow for how the world keeps getting darker and more sordid would grieve that they would wear those scars until the end of time. My protagonist doesn't really do that. As far as he's concerned the worst already happened to him. The world can't go downhill from here. Poem 94.