irya veasse lirin, Vaiyannar hildion erya
or Valinor marton wilien mí tarmenel auta
Ilmarin, erya ande et Mardellon hortina ráner
tar tuonen, sí vor marien Falmando ter orme,
Silmaril or lumbor kalman, san tultane hildi
an Númendor elen hirien, kala yánen Elenna
tol vingisse ve lóte estáron,
1. kirya 'a ship'. vea 'sea', locative veasse 'on the sea'. vea also means 'vigourous' and veasse 'vigour', and possibly there is a connection, i.e. with vea 'sea' meaning more specifically 'the strong or powerful sea'. lir- 'sing', 1st person singular lirin 'I sing'.
Vaiya is literally 'envelope', one of the terms for the upper air that encircles the world, allative plural Vaiyannar '(in)to the upper airs'. hildi 'followers' = mortal men, genitive hildion 'of the followers'. erya 'single, sole'.
2. or 'over, above'. Valinor 'the land of the Valar or Powers'. marto 'fate, lot', dative marton 'for a fate, as his lot'. wil- 'fly, float in air', wilie 'flying', wilien 'for flying, to fly'. mí = mi 'in, within' + i 'the'. tarmenel 'high heaven' = tar- 'high' + menel 'region of the stars, heaven'. auta 'is passing'.
3. Ilmarin is another name for the mountain Tániquetil, where Manwe & Varda dwell.
erya 'even his' (this is speculative) is intended to be an emphatic form of possessive suffix -rya 'his, her, their'. It means literally 'of one, having to do with someone' (i.e. someone mentioned or referred to) and so perhaps is related to erya 'single, sole' = 'of one, having to do with one'. anda 'long', plural ande, modifying the plural ráner.
et 'out'. i-mar 'the earth', Marde- 'Earth' as home or dwelling, ablative Mardello 'from Earth', plural Mardellon 'from the habitable regions of the Earth'. For the poetic use of the plural here compare Sindarin Ennor 'Middle-earth' with ennorath 'middle-lands' in the Hymn to Elbereth. horta- 'send flying, speed, urge', passive participle hortina 'sent flying, sped, urged'. ráne 'straying, wandering', plural ráner 'strayings, wanderings'.
4. tar 'thither' (i.e. 'towards that, in the direction of that'). tuo 'muscle, sinew; vigour, physical strength', instrumental tuonen 'by means of vigour or physical strength'. Earendel achieved his end in part by long physical endurance.
sí 'now'. vor, voro 'ever, continually'. mar- 'dwell, abide', marie 'abiding', marien 'for abiding, to abide'. Falman is another name for Osse, genitive Falmando. ter, tere 'through'. orme 'haste, violence, wrath'. For the word order in Falmando ter orme 'through Osse's wrath' compare Vardo nu luini tellumar 'under Varda's blue domes'.
5. lumbo 'dark cloud', plural lumbor. kalma 'lamp', dative kalman 'for a lamp', i.e. the Silmaril to serve as a lamp above the clouds.
san 'then'. tulta- 'fetch, summon', past tense tultane. The verb is singular so plural hildi 'followers' is the object, and elen 'star' (in the next line) is the subject.
6. an, ana, na 'to, towards'. Númendor is an alternate form of the name Númenor, referring to the land itself, while Númenóre refers to the people of nation. hir- 'find', hirie 'finding', hirien 'for finding, in order to find'.
kala 'light'. ya 'which', instrumental yánen 'by means of which'. Elenna 'Starwards' is another name for Númenor, given because it was found by following the star Earendil into the west.
7. tol 'an island'. vinge, winge 'foam, spindrift, flying spray', locative vingisse 'in the foam'. ve 'like, as'. lóte 'flower, a large single flower'. esta- 'to name, give (as) a name to', 3rd person plural estar, estáron 'they name'. tinwe 'spark, star'.
The metre of the poem is dactylic
hexameter, and its rhythm is modelled on the
first seven lines of Vergil's Aeneid.
The illustrated capital is based on Georgia O'Keeffe's Evening Star VI.