Posted by Barbara Barrett on 11th November 2013
(A French and German soldier clash in hand-to-hand combat in No Man’s Land on the Western Front, after a work by Georges Scott, from ‘L’Illustration’, published in 1916 by French School
1. something that prompts or encourages someone; an incentive
[origin: before 12th century; Middle English spure, from Old English spura; akin to Old English spurnan to kick]
I pinned him hard in a vacant trench,
he corporal who had my hate.
The rats ran through the reeking stench,
And he blanched before his fate.
The skies were dim with the birth of dawn,
And the wind was thin and bitter.
The stars were bleak as a woman’s lies,
And he shrank from the horror of the skies
And the red death in my bitter eyes,
And my bayonet’s cold glitter.
Long be the trail of vengeance,
But the spurs of hate thrust on!
“This for the curse at Ypres,
This for the blow at Toulon!”
The blood burst from his sagging lips.
The stars dimmed and were gone;
And over the wastes of No Man’s Land,
The wind blew up the dawn.
[from “Hate’s Dawn”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 105; Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 42]