Posted by Barbara Barrett on April 9th, 2012
1. Dip: to incline downward from the plane of the horizon; Veer: a change in course or direction
[origin: dip: before 12th century; Middle English dippen, from Old English dyppan; akin to Old High German tupfen to wash, Lithuanian dubus deep]
veer: ca. 1610; Middle English veren, of Low German or Dutch origin; akin to Middle Dutch vieren to slacken, Middle Low German vīren]
The sun was brazen in the sky,
Like fire the sullen waves were red;
We watched the droning sea-gulls fly
About the lurching main-mast head.
Each swaying oar against the banks
Cadenced a steady, creaking strum.
Across the world in marching ranks
We watched the restless surges come.
From off the waves the hell-heat flowed,
The very sails seemed scorched and sere;
They sweated, screeched and fought, who rowed,
As on we plied with dip and veer.
[from “The Lost Galley”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 148; Singers in the Shadows, p. 45; and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 313]