Posted by Barbara Barrett on 4th November 2013
Beheading Facsimile of a Miniature on Wood in the
“Cosmographie Universelle” of Munster in folio Basle 1552
past or past participle of blend
1. a mixture of different substances or qualities
[origin: 14th century; Middle English, probably from Old Norse blend-, present stem of blanda to mix; akin to Old English blandan to mix, Lithuanian blandus impure, cloudy]
Sir Thomas Doughty, executed at St. Julian’s Bay, 1578
They carried him out on the barren sand where the rebel captains died;
Where the grim grey rotting gibbets stand as Magellan reared them on the strand,
And the gulls that haunt the lonesome land wail to the lonely tide.
Drake faced them all like a lion at bay, with his lion head upflung:
“Dare ye my word of law defy, to say that this traitor shall not die?”
And his captains dared not meet his eye but each man held his tongue.
The axe flashed silver in the sun, a red arch slashed the sand;
A voice cried out as the head fell clear, and the watchers flinched in sudden fear,
Though ’twas but a sea-bird wheeling near above the lonely strand.
“This be every traitor’s end!” Drake cried, and yet again;
Slowly his captains turned and went, and the admiral’s stare was elsewhere bent
Than where cold scorn with anger blent in the eyes of Solomon Kane.
Night fell on the crawling waves; the admiral’s door was closed;
Solomon lay in the stenching hole; his irons clashed as the ship rolled,
And his guard, grown weary and overbold, laid down his pike and dozed.
He woke with a hand at his corded throat that gripped him like a vise;
Trembling he yielded up the key, and the sombre Puritan stood up free,
His cold eyes gleaming murderously with the wrath that is slow to rise.
[from “The One Black Stain”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 28; Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 431]