The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, XIV: The Hoard

The Hoard is a poem concerning the theme of greed. In the preface it is written that this poem was written in the Hobbits’ Red Book and it depended ‘on the lore of Rivendell, Elvish and Númenórean, concerning the heroic days at the end of the First Age”. It is a revision of an earlier version called  Iúmonna Gold Galdre Bewunden, published in 1923. 

In the early days, the elves had might and power, but their doom fell. At this time a dwarf greedily collected their silver and gold in a cave, working to produce rings and and coins, yearning for the power of kings. He turned old, and did not hear a dragon entering his cave. The dragon took his life and took over the treasure.

The dragon also became aged, lying atop the treasure for years. He lacked his fire and gems stuck to his belly. He knew all the treasure well. When he slept, dreaming of thives and eating them, a warrior entered the cave. The warrior slayed the dragon.

The warrior became an old king, with long white beard. He could not enjoy life, he could only think of his hidden treasure. His glory had fallen, and he ruled unjustly. But he was still king of elvish gold. He did not hear the horns of his attackers and he lost his kingdom.

The hoard of gold stays hidden, forgotten, under green mounds where sheep feed and larks soar, and wind blows from the sea-shore.


There where no named, specific, features or characters to note. The poem reflects some themes that are recognisable from Tolkien’s other writings and inspirations: the cursed hoard of gold, the fall of the elves, and so on. The place described at the end “On the mound grows the green grass; there sheep feed and the larks soar, adn the wind blows from the sea-shore.” It sounds like it could be the Shire. This is a Hobbit-poem reflecting bigger events of Middle-Earth history, simplified, but then ending it with the possibility that the treasure could be hidden in the Shire. I think this is probably the most  Tolkienesque form of all the poems in this publication because it has its foundation in the vast worldbuilding and history that Tolkien is loved for by the readers.

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


One thought on “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, XIV: The Hoard

  1. I like this poem a lot. It is so in tune with Tolkien’s philosophy that valuing something else, like comforts, food and cheer, above gold can make the world a better place, just like valuing gold too much can lead to a downfall.


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