1. prey, plunder or devour; seize forcibly
[origin: obsolete.; Old French ravine from Latin rapina rapine]
High the towers and mighty the walls, oh proud-crested sons of Babylon.
To the fire of the East they have gone forth
And the flame of the West has scorched their chariots.
The white ice of the North stays them not, or the star-shot gulfs of the South, nor cold nor heat.
Nor the spears of the foemen nor the talons of the beasts.
Long have ye labored, oh sons of Babylon, and valiantly have ye wrought.
Divers have not found the full depths of the red seas ye have spilled.
And the bones of your enemies are as snow on the hills.
As tigers have ye ravened and as wolves have ye devoured;
Gaza and Nineveh stand not against ye, nor Tyre nor Accad nor Gomorrah.
Beneath your iron-shod feet ye have trampled Egypt
And Assyria is as a naked girl before your feet,
Yea, as a young girl who uncovereth her loins for her master’s whip.
Ride to the West, strong sons of Babylon, and bring back the fire of the sunset in your iron chariots.
Sweep to the East like a cloud, yea, like a red cloud at sunset, and bring ye back kings in chains
And rulers in shackles.
How shall ye arise, star-girdled Babylon, and how stand up against your doom,
When the bow-string breaks and the towers crumble and the red flood sweeps over the walls?
Babylon has fallen, has fallen, has fallen!
Thus shall the jackal cry to the owl and the owl again to the lizard.
The floods rise beneath your feet and beneath your feet the mountains shake.
On that day shall faith be a broken sword and courage a cleft shield.
[from “Who Shall Sing of Babylon”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 456 and A Rhyme of Salem Town, p. 56]