AskDefine | Define errantry

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The state of roving in search of chivalrous adventure

Extensive Definition

Errantry is a three-page long poem by J.R.R. Tolkien, first published in 1933. It was included in Tolkien's short poetry collection The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962).
Tolkien described it as "most attractive." It consists of a complex trisyllabic assonances, with a metre that Tolkien invented. The second and fourth line of every quartet rhyme, and there is also a secondary rhyme halfway through the second line of each pair. This was so difficult that he never wrote another poem again in this style, though he later did develop another style from this, and the result, through long evolution from Errantry, was Eärendil the Mariner as published in The Fellowship of the Ring (cf Eärendil).
This poem was set to music by Donald Swann. The sheet music and an audio recording are part of the song-cycle The Road Goes Ever On.
Errantry later came to be categorised as a Hobbit poem from Middle-earth.
It may also be interesting to note that Errantry perfectly fits the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan's I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.


"He battled with the Dumbledors,
the Hummerhorns, and Honeybees,
and won the Golden Honeycomb,
and running home on sunny seas,
in ship of leaves and gossamer,
with blossom for a canopy,
he sat and sang, and furbished up,
and burnished up his panoply."

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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