REHupa

The Robert E. Howard United Press Association.

Archive for the 'REH Poetry' Category

REH Word of the Week: Wapping

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 14th April 2014

Wapping

1. Wapping is a district in East London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is situated between the north bank of the River Thames and the ancient thoroughfare simply called The Highway.

[origin: The area was first settled by the Saxons, from whom it takes its name (meaning literally "[the place of] Wæppa’s people”)]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

Or ever they spiked good beer with rum,
Or poured their brandy there,
I was a Limehouse gutter-bum,
And you were a barmaid fair.

Never a shilling in my purse
To meet mine host’s demands,
But many a mug of ale I quaffed,
Drawn with your own fair hands.

Paradise was a place to me
Where I’d drink free ale from a tub,
But I found a Paradise on earth
In that little Wapping pub,

You fed me on rolls and hot roast beef
Till I was ready to burst,
And poured out gallons of foaming ale
To quench my horrible thirst.

And that was a hundred years ago,
In a land across the sea,
But now, with drink that would sicken a dog
In this country of the free,
,,,

[from “The Pledge”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 582]

 

 

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |

REH Word of the Week: shining

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 7th April 2014

Prince

verb

1. to put a gloss or polish on; polish

[origin: before 900; Middle English shinen; Old English scinan; cognate with Dutch schiljnen, German schelnen, Old Norse skina, Gothic skeinan

HOWARD’S USAGE:

I was a prince of China, lord of a million spears;
You were a soak in Brooklyn, shining the bar for beers.
I lolled on a throne of sapphire, you loafed in a dance-hall door;
My love was a Manchu princess, yours was a Harlem whore.

I slumbered on velvet couches, lulled by a fountain’s tune;
You snored on a broken camp cot in the back of Mike Shane’s saloon.
My friends were lords of the Indies, rulers of lands immense;
Your pals were the tout and the con man, the dip, the yegg and the fence.

I gambled with lands and armies, castles and crowns and thrones;
You risked your jack in the crap games and beefed when you dropped three bones.
I died ’neath the spears of the Tartars on a wild war-trampled ridge;
You went on a bum one evening and fell off the Brooklyn Bridge.

[from “Prince and the Beggar”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 550 and Always Comes Evening, p. 77]

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |

REH Word of the Week: eld

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 31st March 2014

Bats5

noun

1. archaic; old times; antiquity

[origin: before 12th century; Middle English, from Old English ieldo; akin to Old English ealdold]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

The dusk was on the mountain
And the stars were dim and frail
When the bats came flying, flying
om the river and the vale
To wheel against the twilight
And sing their witchy tale.

“We were kings of eld!” they chanted,
“Rulers of a world enchanted;
“Every nation of creation
“Owned our lordship over men.
“Diadems of power crowned us,
“Then rose Solomon to confound us,
“Flung his web of magic round us,
“In the forms of beasts he bound us,
“So our rule was broken then.”

[from “The Song of the Bats”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 147 and Always Comes Evening, p. 38]

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |

REH Word of the Week: felucca

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 24th March 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(From great collections of papyrus paintings: Sailing felucca at the sunshind hour with vegetation on either side of the River Nile and three pyramids of Giza in the background.)

noun

1. A small vessel propelled by oars or lateen sails or both, used on the Nile and formerly more widely in the Mediterranean region

[origin: 1620-30; from Italian felucca, probably from obsolete Spanish faluca, probably from Arabic fuluk ships, from Greek epholkion small boat from ephelkein to tow]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

Adventure, I have followed your beck
Through all the ages. I have sought no other lover.
I have followed o’er land and sea, dim vale and your
mystic moon mountains.
I have heard Pan’s pipes amid moon-dappled woodlands
and have seen the satyrs frolicking with nymphs upon
The fragrant swards, while the night-breezes murmured
among the leaves.
I have watched your lateened feluccas a-leap upon
turquoise seas of morn,
And I have stood upon your snow-browed peaks and
seen the lavender slopes of your brooding mountains
Stretching away to the amethyst skyline. I have heard
the berg song of your Arctic floes and have watched
Your Northern Lights flaring in god-like grandeur from
the Pole.

[from “Adventure”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 254; Night Images, p. 76 and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 3]

 

 

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |

REH Word of the Week: trystery

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 17th March 2014

tyrstery2

noun

1. archaic. a group of persons who rendezvous, usually for clandestine or mysterious purposes.

origin: late Middle English (originally Scots): variant of obsolete trist ‘an appointed place in hunting’, from French triste or medieval Latin trista

HOWARD’S USAGE:

Night falls
On ruined walls
And towers hoary;
A star gleams
On vanished dreams—
Forgotten glory.
Dim shades
Haunt the glades
For trystery.
The pale night
Glitters white
With mystery.
Breezes shake
The silver lake,
Waves quiver.
Shadows leap
Sway and sleep
Along the river.

[from “Nocturne”; this is the complete poem as it appears in The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 324 and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 159]

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |

REH Word of the Week: reck

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 10th March 2014

pillar

(photo from cghub.com)

verb

1. archaic. to pay heed to something

[origin:  ca. 12th century; Middle English, to take heed, from Old English reccan akin to Old High German ruohhen to take heed]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

Eons before Atlantean days in the time of the world’s black dawn,
Strange were the kings and grim were the deeds that the pallid moon looked on.
When the great black cities split the stars and strange prows broke the tide,
And smoke went up from ghastly shrines where writhing victims died.

Black magic raised its serpent head, and all things foul and banned,
Till an angry God hurled up the sea against the shuddering land.
And the grisly kings they read their doom in the wind and the rising brine,
And they set a pillar on a hill for a symbol and a sign.

Black shrine and hall and cavern wall sank to eternal sleep,
And dawn looked down on a silent world and the blue unbroken deep.
Now men go forth in their daily ways and they reck not of the feel
Of the veil that crushed, so long ago, the world beneath its heel.

[from “The Symbol”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 170 and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 331]

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |

REH Word of the Week: marge

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 3rd March 2014

noun

marge

1. margin or edge

[origin: archaic; 1548; Middle French, from Latin margo]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

A roar of battle thundered in the hills;
All day our iron blades drank deep in blood;
Till lighted with the flame the sunset spills
We saw against our backs the river’s flood.
Among its rocks the waters screamed and raced;
We had our choice, we wild rebellious slaves,
To die beneath the horrors that we faced
Or die amid the horror of the waves.
Aye, we were men who gathered at the marge,
And spear and insult at our foemen hurled—
They were not men who gathered for the charge,
But demons of a blood-black elder world.
But even risen slaves may have a king—
We had a king like some great iron tower,
And bloody now he faced the closing ring
And leaned on his red sword in that red hour.

When I rose reeling in a field of red,
And searching for our warrior king I came
And found him dead upon a heap of dead.
Demon and man, they silent lay, and still;
With cloven skull, rent heart and torn breast.
And now the moon was rising on the hill,
And now the light was dying in the west.
Aye, I alone of all that mighty horde
Still held my life; into a rough rude ring
I bent with waning strength a broken sword,
A diadem to crown a warrior king.
And on his red brow set the bloody crown,
Then Life gave up the ghost as night came down.

[from “A Crown For a King”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 243; Always Comes Evening, p. 108; and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 481]

 

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |

REH Word of the Week: rote

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 24th February 2014

rainy street

noun

1. the use of memory usually with little intelligence; mechanical or unthinking routine or repetition

[origin: early 14th century; Middle English]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

Men sing of poets who leave their sheets
For the sighing dew to cool their brain,
But I have tramped through the silent streets,
Through tides of the midnight rain.
What was it drew me from my room
Into the rain and the night,
To the empty echoed pavements
And the street lamp’s guttering light?
Rather the night breeze in my face
And the night rain in my hair,
Than the cold of a phantom ridden place
And the Thing that waited there.
…..

Oh fingers steel, oh fingers steel
That rend the brain and heart,
Perdition born, they do not scorn
In Hell your icy art.
Oh men that deep lie locked in sleep
Nor dream of such abyss,
Awake, awake and see me break
The sword of Lilith’s kiss.
The roof above, the bed below,
Your slumbering mate a-side
Oh, happy fools, what do you know
Of this inhuman tide?
Oh sleep ye sound, your windows frowned,
In orthodoxy wrath
At one who lost on nameless roads
Beats out his own long path.
Aye, sleep ye fools of rote and rules—
Brains break, though naught ye deem,
And torch and steel may make ye feel
The things whereof I dream.

[from “Shadows of Dreams”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 390; Shadow of Dreams, p. 13; The Collected Letters of Robert E. Howard, v3, p. 485; and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 323]

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |

REH Word of the Week: Dion’s-Rod

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 17th February 2014

thyrsus

noun

1. a thyrsus: in ancient Greece and Rome a staff or spear tipped with an ornament like a pine cone, carried by god Dionysus and his followers.

[origin: 1591; Latin, from Greek thyrsos]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

But I toiled and I cursed where the forge smoke hung.
Then suddenly I turned, and you were standing there,
With a lyre in your fingers and a garland on your hair.
Tall, slim and lithe, like a white limbed god,
Twirling in your fingers a garland’d Dion’s rod.
And you were scarcely steady from your liking of vine,
Your garment was a kirtle and your breath was scented wine.
And you glanced at the forge and you glanced at me,
And you strummed on your lyre and laughed with glee.
Your laughter was like music, your voice like a rhyme,
As you sang, clear and strong, like a far, golden chime;

“Gold morn’s laughing o’er the ocean, dawn’s awhisper
on the sea!
“And a silver brook is brawling, with its tiny cat’ract
falling,
“From the woodlands Pan is calling, come away, with me!
“Come away! Come away! Where the wood nymphs
laugh at play!
“There are trails through sapphire meadows, night times
oft with laughing shadows,
“Emerald isles in topaz oceans where the mermaids
flash in spray!
“Come away! Pan is prancing! Come away! The fauns are
dancing!
“And it’s my good time I’m wasting as I pause to sing this
lay!
“Come to the woodlands, away and away!”

[from “Arcadian Days”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 256]

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |

REH Word of the Week: strident

Posted by Barbara Barrett on 10th February 2014

BlackDemon

(gaiaonline.com)

adjective

1. characterized by harsh, insistent, and discordant sound; unpleasant

[origin: ca. 1656; Latin strident, stridens, present participle of stridere, stridere to make a harsh noise]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

Then a demon came like a dream of sinning
And the echoes gibbered my hollow cries;
I saw how his evil jaws were grinning,
His body of jet and his great red eyes.

On the tiles, above my screeching strident,
His jade nails clanked like desert gongs,
And I could not move as he raised his trident
And through my buttocks he thrust the prongs.

Borne high as a skewered lizard,
I writhed and roared as he rushed through space.
And I flew through the air like a flying wizard,
And the breath of the stars was in my face.

[from “Altars and Jesters”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 140 and Night Images, p. 28]

 

Posted in REH Poetry, Word of the Week |