Misremembering Tolkien in old-er English

So today, while listening to Unfinished Tales, I came to the Curse of Morgoth on Hurin when I suddenly realised something very silly: I misremeber the wording of the curse, specifically my brain rewrites it to sound "older" in pseudo-KJV speak.

So when I remember the final sentence (the part that is burned into my brain) I change some of the "you"s to "ye"s and the "my"s to "mine"s so my head version reads:

With Mine eyes ye shall see, and with Mine ears ye shall hear, and nothing shall be hidden from you.

Now this I find funny, mostly because in the original the English of this curse is quite modern, so even if in other places Tolkien's grammer is older than modern usage, this passage isn't, and yet my brain wants it to be. I guess it's the combo of first age material and prophetic speach that makes me substitute older sounding usage (no idea if my substitutions are even proper English).

It also (less flatteringly) reminds me of those critics that Michael drout mentions in his lecture "whole world's out of single words" - on the podcast feed, who criticized Tolkien for archaic English but then make up quotes instead of actually quoting Tolkien.

So just curious, anyone else experience anything similar?


Staff member
That's really interesting! In the published Silmarillion, the Valar do tend to have a more archaic form of speech than the elves, so it's possible that your mind simply 'expects' that here and filled in as desired ;).