Friends, this is “lie” as in “lie down” because the next line of the song is “There lay they long” and, as we all know, “lay” is the past tense of “lie”. This is Lie, Lying, Lay, Had Lain.

It’s going to take me the whole weekend (update, it took six months??? for no reason???), at least, to sort out Lie/Lay/Lie among the words of the Hobbit, so meanwhile for your pleasure, here’s the video on the topic that I made for my wonderful students:

I. 1. a. intransitive. Of persons or animals: To be in a prostrate or recumbent position. Formerly also with reflexive pronoun.

“lie, v.1.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, December 2019, Accessed 6 December 2019.

• 01.078 There lay they long, and many a song
• 01.143 As he lay in bed
• 02.071 so there he lay for a while panting,
• 02.075 Soon Dwalin lay by Balin,
• 03.003 where Smaug lies on our treasure.”
• 04.002 Bilbo knew there lay his own country of safe
• 04.005 and he lay beneath a blanket
• 04.014 and he was very afraid but could not call out or do anything but lie
• 05.011 in from outside to lie up
• 05.038 It lies behind stars and under hills,
• 05.053 No-legs lay on one-leg,
• 06.078 in cinders lie
• 06.088 There he lay without speaking,
• 07.055 that lies to the south of your country,
• 07.094 that lay outstretched far to North
• 07.098 there shadows lay by night and day,
• 07.102 there black and dark lay boulders stark
• 07.108 in the shadows where he lay,
• 07.132 and till evening it lay golden on the land about them.
• 07.132 and to forget the dark forest-path that lay
• 07.154 that lay on the lands outside
• 08.003 and among the leaves that lay piled endlessly thick
• 08.050 before they lay down
• 08.050 and that he wanted to lie down
• 08.052 ‘I’m just going to lie here
• 08.059 in what direction the path lay,
• 08.068 as he lay down beside the dwarves
• 08.076 The spider lay dead beside him,
• 08.078 in what direction the path lay,
• 08.108 and lay there.
• 08.125 There they lay for some time,
• 08.129 and shuddered as they lay lost
• 08.145 There in the king’s dungeon poor Thorin lay;
• 09.001 in which the path lay;
• 09.017 probably all the dark distance of Mirkwood lay between them.
• 09.059 and lay on the top spread out to keep the balance as best he could.
• 10.010 through the shallow water to lie groaning on the shore.
• 10.012 where they sat or lay muttering
• 10.013 but they lay down
• 11.005 The Mountain lay dark
• 11.007 ‘There lies all that is left of Dale,’
• 11.022 but of what lay beyond the blue distance,
• 11.023 A large grey stone lay
• 11.038 lay before their eyes,
• 12.012 before he ever saw the vast danger that lay
• 12.012 Before him lies the great bottommost cellar
• 12.013 There he lay,
• 12.013 lay countless piles of precious things,
• 12.014 Smaug lay,
• 12.016 Above him the sleeping dragon lay,
• 12.018 but Bilbo lay with his eyes shut,
• 12.029 and scorched them as they lay hid.
• 12.031 and there they lay and shivered
• 13.009 There he lay face downwards on the floor
• 13.067 here we can now lie hid
• 14.043 where the dragon lay.
• 15.050 While an armed host lies before our doors,
• 16.014 I will lie
• 17.059 lay many men
• 18.016 There indeed lay Thorin Oakenshield,
• 18.026 as he lay wrapped
• 18.031 ‘There let it lie till the Mountain falls!’
• 18.043 in the waste that lay between it
• 18.053 There behind lay Mirkwood,

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