“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
–Thorin, to Bilbo, after the Battle of the Five Armies
“You have nice manners for a thief and a liar,” said the dragon. “You seem familiar with my name, but I don’t seem to remember smelling you before. Who are you and where do you come from, may I ask?”
“You may indeed! I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my path led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen.”
“So I can well believe,” said Smaug, “but that is hardly your usual name.”
“I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number.”
“Lovely titles!” sneered the dragon. “But lucky numbers don’t always come off.”
“I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of the bag, but no bag went over me.”
“These don’t sound so creditable,” scoffed Smaug.
“I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider,” went on Bilbo beginning to be pleased with his riddling.
“That’s better!” said Smaug. “But don’t let your imagination run away with you!”
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
No-legs lay on one-leg, two-legs sat near on three-legs, four-legs got some.
Alive without breath,
As cold as death;
Never thirsty, ever drinking,
All in mail never clinking.
A box without hinges, key, or lid,
Yet golden treasure inside is hid.
It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills.
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.
An eye in a blue face
Saw an eye in a green face.
“That eye is like to this eye”
Said the first eye,
“But in low place,
Not in high place.”
Voiceless it cries,