The old man!

An old man walks up to the center stage and looks out across the crowd as the room goes silent. The aged human, his beard long and white, opens his mouth with a rumbling and deep breath:

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On sliver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To claim out long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale,
And men looked up with faces pale;
Then dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To win out harps and gold from him!

With the utterance of the last line, the old man bows his head and quietly leaves the stage. The audience is quiet for a minute as the words still linger, deep and musical, in their ears. Before long the crowd begins to rouse itself from the slumbering enchantment that the old man’s song has put upon them and they begin to speak. A table or two behind you, you hear someone speak, “That J.R., every time he sings that tale I just get a tear in me eye!”

The old man!

Tales of Titan Manstein