Of Glass and Stars by Certh

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'They stooped over the dark water. At first they could see nothing. Then slowly they saw the forms of the encircling mountains mirrored in a profound blue, and the peaks were like plumes of white flame above them; beyond there was a space of sky. There like jewels sunk in the deep shone glinting stars, though sunlight was in the sky above. Of their own stooping forms no shadow could be seen.
    “O Kheled-zâram fair and wonderful!”said Gimli. “There lies the Crown of Durin till he wakes. Farewell!” He bowed, and turned away, and hastened back up the green-sward to the road again.
    “What did you see?” said Pippin to Sam, but Sam was too deep in thought to answer.'

    - The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter VI


 He followed after Pippin as they trudged along southward, every corner of his mind filled with the wonder he had just beheld. Sam had wanted to see Elves and magic, but this was beyond anything his imagination had conjured so far. The still lake was so close to the dreary Moria and yet so far away; it appeared so inconspicuous and yet was not. There was a mighty enchantment about it and no mistake, he decided. Going down to the water's edge after Gimli and his master, he had expected to look into the Dwarf-mere and see only the looming mountains and his own reflection mirrored there. How wrong he had been!

The lake's surface was smooth as glass and dark, unbelievably dark. Hard as he had squinted, he could see no bottom, only a vastness of midnight-blue plunging down, down, forever. It was like trying to make out nonexistent shapes in the pitch-black of night. No ray of sunlight from above shimmered on the surface, but the mountains and a bit of bright sky cast their reflections on the blue water. And instead of his own likeness staring back at him, there were stars: pinpricks of pure white brilliance shining up from an unfathomable depth. They appeared to be suspended in those dark waters, so bright and clear and perfectly defined that he fancied he could dip his arm in and touch them. Yet, to disturb that enchanted mere seemed a desecration.

When he looked up reluctantly, he was startled by the fierceness of the blazing sun and the heat beating down on him. And as he glanced back at the Mirrormere for the last time, words failed him.




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