REH Word of the Week: champ

transitive verb

1. mash; trample

[origin: 14th century; Middle English chammen, champen]


You who with pallid wine still toast
The black decay of a dusty host—
You who pray to a mist and a ghost—
Stand back—give me room!
Out of the dregs and the bitter mire,
With an iron brain and a heart on fire,
To rend the altar and break the spire,
I come like the crack of Doom.

Sing of the rose, the moon and the vine—
I bring you fury and gall and brine,
Grim black coins cast from this heart of mine,
The blast of a black despair;
Terror and tears to trample your trust,
Madness to bludgeon you into the dust,
Death and decay and mold and rust—
Skulls to champ and to stare.

[from “To All Sophisticates”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 402 and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems p. 129]