1. (var. attune); to make aware of or responsive to
[origin: 1596; L. ad, to, and Tune]
The crystal gong of the silence
Shivers in shattered shards;
And the marble hall re-echoes
To the tread of the crested guards.
Fingers pluck at the hangings,
White in the purple gloam;
Midnight lies with the sleepers
In the pulsing heart of Rome.
Rosy lips smile in slumber
Arms nestle bodies white—
Rome in her silks and marbles
Sleeps through the soft-lipped night.
Beacons burn in the towers,
Eyes straining hard beside,
Ears a-tune to the murmur,
The sigh of each changing tide.
Was that the shrill of a night bird
Where the waves are grey as steel,
Or the grind of a muffled oar-lock,
The wash of a prowling keel?
Driftwood or sword-fanged sea-wolves,
Not yours is rest or ease;
Stand to your watches, legion,
That Rome may sleep in peace.
[from “A Song of the Legions”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 61; Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 207; and Echoes of an Iron Harp, p. 78]