I just finished The Children of Húrin, and must say — though dark it was indeed — I enjoyed it very much. Undoubtedly inspired by the horrors of the Great War, Tolkien weaved a dark and treacherous tale into the very fabric of ancient Middle-earth. And his son, Christopher, did a great job publishing another piece of his father’s legacy.
I was surprised when I read that there actually existed a poem of the story which predates most of the works Tolkien ever did on his imaginary world. The poem itself is over two thousand lines long, and only presented briefly in the appendix of the book. This is one passage of the coming of Túrin to Nargothrond (which is not told in the book itself):
Ground and grumbled on its great hinges
the door gigantic; with din ponderous
it clanged and closed like clap of thunder,
and echoes awful in empty corridors
there ran and rumbled under roofs unseen;
the light was lost. Then led them on
down long and winding lanes of darkness
their guards guiding their groping feet,
till the faint flicker of fiery torches
flared before them; fitful murmur
as of many voices in meeting thronged
they heard as they hastened. High sprang the roof.
Round a sudden turning they swung amazed,
and saw solemn silent conclave,
where hundreds hushed in huge twilight
neath distant domes darkly vaulted
them wordless waited.