Tolkien on the Dark Age
Through the recent overwhelmed and overbooked days of summer, in little clusters of free minutes, I have been working through J.R.R. Tolkien's Letters and they are fascinating, worth recommending very highly indeed, and worth marking up and taking down for the days to come; for the perilous days that are coming, that are not far off, that will soon be upon us. Indeed, that have already dawned.
In the darkness of his own time, in the war for the soul of the world, from the ravaged British Isle, he wrote to Christopher Tolkien many long and anxious, aching letters. His son, who was young, was away in the war and each thing that was written to him might well be the last thing he would ever read, the last goodbye they would ever say. John Tolkien, who was old, had seen his war-days already, knew to his core the misery of the thing, and, left behind, was filling up his days with the lingering wait. Well, well, did he understand the heartache of his own hero's saddest song.
And he wrote,
nor cast my own small golden sceptre down.’