The Gospel According to The Lord of the Rings: Week 57, The Canticle of the Eagle

The Ring is destroyed, the battle at the Black Gate is won, Frodo and Sam are rescued from Mount Doom. But news of the great victory--the proclamation of the Good News--has yet to reach Gondor. But soon it comes, the gospel herald one of the great Eagles:

And before the Sun had fallen far from the noon out of the East there came a great Eagle flying, and he bore tidings beyond hope from the Lords of the West, crying...

What follows is a song, a psalm, a canticle of victory. As Fleming Rutledge notes, Tolkien patterned the poems and songs in his story on primitive, folkloric, medieval models. But this song, the Canticle of the Eagle, much more biblical in substance and style:

Sing now, ye people of the Tower of Anor,
for the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever,
and the Dark Tower is thrown down.

Sing and rejoice, ye people of the Tower of Guard,
for your watch hath not been in vain,
and the Black Gate is broken,
and your King hath passed through,
and he is victorious.

Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

And the Tree that was withered shall be renewed,
and he shall plant it in the high places,
and the City shall be blessed.

Sing all ye people!
The Bible is full of victory songs. The Canticle of Moses. The Canticle of Miriam. The Canticle of Deborah. The Canticle of Hannah. In the New Testament there is the Benedictus (the Canticle of Zechariah), the Magnificat (the Canticle of Mary), and the Nunc Dimittis (the Canticle of Simeon). And there is much in Tolkien's poem found in the songs of victory from Revelation 18:
Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
for his judgments are true and just;
he has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication...

Praise our God, all you his servants,
you who fear him, small and great...

Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure.

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