Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie
One Ring to rule them all. One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One of the facts of Arda is that Men dwell in this world only a short time, and after death go where none but Ilúvatar can say. It is also true that a 'mortal ... who keeps one of the Great Rings, does not die, but he does not grow or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness' (2.ii.47). Thus the power that Men gain from their rings is an alienation of their very nature, unlike the power of the other rings. The rings of Men keep them in Arda, where they do not belong. The Ring Verse acknowledges this difference in its descriptions. Men are defined here by the doom of their nature; Elves, Dwarves, and Sauron by their place within Arda.