Once Upon A Time was the third Tom Bombadil poem in "Hobbit verse", written by J.R.R. Tolkien, published in October 1965 within Caroline Hillier's Winter's Tales for Children 1 and again in Lin Carter's collection The Young Magicians in 1969. It has also been reprinted in the appendix to 2014 edition of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil along with "Tom Bombadil: A Prose Fragment" and "An Evening in Tavrobel".
- Once upon a day on the fields of May
- there was snow in summer where the blossom lay:
- the buttercups tall sent up their light
- in a stream of gold, and wide and white
- there opened in the green-grass skies
- the earth-stars with their steady eyes
- watching the Sun climb up and down.
- Goldberry was there with a wild-rose crown,
- Goldberry was there in a lady-smock
- blowing away a dandelion clock,
- stooping over a lily-pool
- and twiddling the water green and cool
- to see it sparkle round her hand:
- once upon a time in elvish land.
- Once upon a night in the cockshut light
- the grass was grey but the dew was white;
- the shadows were dark, and the Sun was gone,
- the earth-stars shut, but the high stars shone,
- one to another winking their eyes
- as they waited for the Moon to rise.
- Up he came, and on leaf and grass
- his white beams turned to twinkling glass,
- and silver dripped from stem and stalk
- down to where the lintips walk
- through the grass-forests gathering dew.
- Tom was there without boot or shoe,
- with moonshine wetting his big, brown toes:
- once upon a time, the story goes.
- Once upon a moon on the brink of June
- a-dewing the lintips went too soon.
- Tom stopped and listened, and down he knelt:
- Ha! little lads! So it was you I smelt?
- What a mousy smell! Well, the dew is sweet,
- so drink it up, but mind my feet!';
- The lintips laughed and stole away,
- but old Tom said: 'I wish they'd stay
- The only things that won't talk to me
- say what they do or what they be.
- I wonder what they have got to hide?
- Down from the Moon maybe they slide,
- or come in star-winks, I don't know':
- Once upon a time and long ago.
Translations around the World Edit
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Arabic||كان ياما كان|
|Azerbaijani||Biri var idi, biri yox idi|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Аднойчы ў казцы|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Имало едно време|
|French||Il était une fois|
|Korean||원스 어폰 어 타임|
|Latvian||Reiz sensenos laikos|
|Romanian||A fost odată ca niciodată|
|Slovenian||Nekoč pred davnimi časi|
|Spanish||Había una vez|
|Vietnamese||Ngày xửa ngày xưa|