Monday, March 17, 2014

Following a troll from Bloemfontein to Bergen

John Ronald Reuel or JRR Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein in 1892.

This English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, is best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

He also wrote about the trolls of Scandinavia. A mere 10147 km north of Bloemfontein is Bergen is a city and municipality in Hordaland on the west coast of Norway.

Tolkien's trolls

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone
A comic verse by J R R Tolkien

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone; 
For many a year he had gnawed it near, 
For meat was hard to come by. 
Done by! 
Gum by! 
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone, 
And meat was hard to come by. 

Up came Tom with his big boots on. 
Said he to Troll: 'Pray, what is yon? 
For it looks like the shin o' my nuncle Tim. 
As should be a-lyin' in the graveyard. 
This many a year has Tim been gone, 
And I thought he were lyin' in the graveyard.' 

'My lad,' said Troll, 'this bone I stole. 
But what be bones that lie in a hole? 
Thy nuncle was dead as a lump o' lead, 
Afore I found his shinbone. 
He can spare a share for a poor old troll, 
For he don't need his shinbone.' 

Said Tom: 'I don't see why the likes o' thee 
Without axin' leave should go makin' free 
With the shank or the shin o' my father's kin; 
So hand the old bone over! 
Though dead he be, it belongs to he; 
So hand the old bone over!' 

'For a couple o' pins,' says Troll, and grins, 
'I'll eat thee too, and gnaw thy shins. 
A bit o' fresh meat will go down sweet! 
I'll try my teeth on thee now. 
Hee now! 
See now! 
I'm tired o' gnawing old bones and skins; 
I've a mind to dine on thee now.' 

But just as he thought his dinner was caught, 
He found his hands had hold of naught. 
Before he could mind, Tom slipped behind 
And gave him the boot to larn him. 
Warn him! 
Darn him! 
A bump o' the boot on the seat, Tom thought, 
Would be the way to larn him. 

But harder than stone is the flesh and bone 
Of a troll that sits in the hills alone. 
As well set your boot to the mountain's root, 
For the seat of a troll don't feel it. 
Peel it! 
Heal it! 
Old Troll laughed, when he heard Tom groan, 
And he knew his toes could feel it. 

Tom's leg is game, since home he came, 
And his bootless foot is lasting lame; 
But Troll don't care, and he's still there 
With the bone he boned from its owner. 
Troll's old seat is still the same, 
And the bone he boned from its owner!