The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, IX: The Mewlips

This poem depicts nightmarish creatures called Mewlips and the depressing route  one takes to their dwelling and what happens when you reach it. There exsists a precursor to The Mewlips, it is called Knocking at the Door: Lines Induced by Sensations When Waiting for an Answer at the Door of an Exalted Academic Person. Tolkien published that one under a pseudonym in Oxford Magazine (1937).

The Mewlips live in shadows. Over the Merlock Mountains, in a mouldy valley, past the marshes of Tode. They live in deep dank cellars, with only a single candle lit, counting their gold. Outside the gorcrows stand. The Mewlips peep out of the door, through a crack. If you go to find them appearing at their door, you will be caught, sinking into the slime and the Mewlips feed.

Characters to note:

  • The Mewlips – Nightmarish creatures dwelling in dark, wet spaces.

Features/Places to note:

  • Merlock Mountains – Mountains close to where the Mewlips dwell.
  • Marsh of Tode – Marshes close to where the Mewlips dwell.


This is certainly the most dark, and grim of the poems in this publication. It is the stuff of nightmares, depicting a dark, cold, wet environment and creatures lingering in the dark, and you are not sure what they are. The Mewlips are nightmare creatures in legend and hobbits have eerie fairy-stories about them. This poem is the only one not mentioned in the preface of this volume.

Have you read this poem?  Please comment and tell us what you think of this story and if you have anything to add!


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