Two previously unseen poems by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien have been discovered in a school magazine in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
According to the Guardian, Tolkien is believed to have written the poems while he was a professor of Anglo-Saxon as Oxford University. Published in the 1936 annual of Our Lady’s School in Oxfordshire, the poems were discovered after Tolkien scholar Wayne Hammond contacted Our Lady’s headteacher Stephen Oliver concerning a note from Tolkien that mentioned he had published two poems in a magazine he called the Abingdon Chronicle.
The first poem is titled “The Shadow Man” and is an early version of a poem Tolkien would late publish as part of the 1962 collection The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. It tells of “a man who dwelt alone/ beneath the moon in shadow”, who “sat as long as lasting stone,/and yet he had no shadow”. When “a lady clad in grey” arrives, he wakes, and “clasped her fast, both flesh and bone;/and they were clad in shadow”.
The second poem, “Noel,” is a Christmas poem full of fantasy imagery. “The hall was dark without song or light,/The fires were fallen dead,” writes Tolkien, then goes on to describe “the lord of snows”, whose “mantle long and pale/Upon the bitter blast was spread/And hung o’er hill and dale”.
The poems will become part of exhibit on the history of Our Lady’s School.