REH Word of the Week: fey

Ulfberht’s Sword


1. Giving an impression of vague unworldliness; having supernatural powers

[origin: before 12th century; Middle English feye, from Old English fǣge; akin to Old High German feigi doomed and perhaps to Old English fāh hostile, outlawed]


Lock your arm of iron
Around the reeling moon,
Draw your sword, the grey sword, the sword of Fin, the fey sword,
Carved with a nameless rune.

Brace your feet like talons
On the dreaming world,
Break the shapes, the dread shapes, the dragon-things, the red apes,
Out of the abyss hurled.

Ghosts of all the ages
Fill the ancient skies,
Red queens and white kings, nameless forms and night things,
Men fools and wise.

[from “The Madness of Cormac”; this is the complete poem as it appears in The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 38]