A live coal, an ember; any of several birds of prey, especially a kite.  Most dictionaries only give the bird of prey definition, but the ‘live coal or ember’ explains Tolkien’s use of it in ‘as hot as a glede’ and also in this other Tolkien quotation.

‘His last throes splintered it to sparks and glides.’

Source: JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit (London: HarperCollins, 1995), p. 224

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