When they were some fifty paces off,
Éomer cried in a loud voice:
‘Halt! Halt! Who rides in Rohan?’
The pursuers brought their steeds to a sudden stand.
A silence followed: and then in the moonlight,
a horseman could be seen dismounting
and walking slowly forward.
His hand showed white as he held it up,
palm outward, in token of peace;
but the king’s men gripped their weapons.
At ten paces the man stopped.
He was tall, a dark standing shadow.
Then his clear voice rang out.
‘Rohan? Rohan did you say? That is a glad word.
We seek that land in haste from long afar.’
‘You have found it,’ said Éomer.
‘When you crossed the fords yonder you entered it.
But it is the realm of Théoden the King.
None ride here save by his leave.
Who are you? And what is your haste?’
‘Halbarad Dúnadan, Ranger of the North I am,’
cried the man.
‘We seek one Aragorn son of Arathorn,
and we heard that he was in Rohan.’
‘And you have found him also!’ cried Aragorn.
Giving his reins to Merry,
he ran forward and embraced the newcomer.
‘Halbarad!’ he said.
‘Of all joys this is the least expected!’