Posted by Barbara Barrett on 2nd December 2013
1. a remote region; an area beyond what is visible or known.
[origin: 1890; German, from hinter hinder + Land]
The stars come blinking in a dusky sky,
Like yellow eyes of vast Bubastes cats
And dim and shadowy the restless bats
Against the creeping twilight wheel and fly.
Grey shadows mask the sands, the desert shrinks,
And yet, unseen, seems still more dim and vast,
Against the stars rears up the silent Sphinx
A brooding monster of forgotten past.
A shadow ’mid those ruins glides and creeps,
A thing from which the shuddering moonlight leaps;
Like witch-rid wind from out of the hinterlands
A fog-like aura haunts the sombre sands.
Grim, dreaming monstrous dreams of naked feet
That danced in worship many a frightful feast;
Unhallowed rites that for such god were meet,
Unholy neophyte and grisly priest.
Egypt, thou land still chained unto the past,
Thy ghost gods in the deserts still are massed
And many a fearful shape still glides and leers.
The phantom, stealing down the slaughtered years
From out the fastness of some unthought Thule,
Brooding upon his ancient bestial rule—
Freedom is naught, till men have conquered this,
This undying fiend, the Cat of Anubis!
[from “The Cats of Anubis 2.”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 179; Night Images, p. 15 and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 147]