Larry D. Thomas is the Poet Laureate of Texas. REH scholar Paul Herman introduced Thomas to REH's poetry in 2009. Thomas was the Guest of Honor at Howard Days 2011. In the interview below, he has nothing but praise for Howard.
The fogs of night Fling banners red To cloak the fading sun. And I haste to the height Of the mountain head; O'er sombre valleys silently spread Where murmur the ghosts of forgotten dead, Through the star-gleam glance I go to dance With my mistress, the Hooded One.
Now, as the night winds drone their dree From the hidden caves of the ghostly sea, And trees below wave dim in the vale, And shadows flit through the star-light pale, Weird night-tunes peal as we weave and reel Like a maiden leal And her cavalier. But a grisly maid Is the flitting shade That sways with me through the moon-lit glade; And the boldest knight Like the poorest wight would flee the sight With a ghastly fear. But on we dance 'neath an eery sky And light we prance, old Death and I!
Ah, beldame Death, old beldame Death! We've tripped it many a time! Our flying feet have weaved their beat From the line to the Arctic clime. I've felt your kiss in the gulf's abyss And the ooze of the tropic slime. Your barren bones Gleam a dreary white. Through your lank ribs drone The wind of the night. An eery glimmer gleams and lies In the empty sockets of your eyes, Bleached as white as the wings of a gull And you wear a garland upon your skull Of ferns that grow through the swampy fen Through the hidden bones of murdered men; Of moss from the shores of the mid-night sea Where hulls of ships strew the silent lea.
Now first with the left foot, Then with the right; Footing it featly through the night. Soul to demon and fiend to man We've danced this dance since Time began.
Around the world Have flown our feet In a dizzy whirl But our lips ne'er meet. T'is a grisly play And I trip and sway With her fleshless face a span away; And her skeleton hand is at my wrist But I swerve aside with a dexter twist As she seeks to press her grim caress Upon my lips. And she hops and skips. And she leaps and trips With her bones a-clank Over barren stone And waving grass And the night-winds drone As we meet and pass And whirl again where the reeds grow rank. Through the witch-light haze We tread our ways In a weird, fantastic, wizard maze.
Ah, beldame Death! Her love is grim And she leads to trails that are long and dim. She is aloof from loves and hates She bears my taunts and she waits! She waits! And a single instant off my guard, A foot-a-slip on the pallid sward, A saddle-girth loosed, a rended sail, A hand that misses a wave-lashed rail, A reef that lifts 'neath the plunging strakes, A horse that falls or a sword that breaks And the music stops and the whirl is o'er And my feet are still for I dance no more. But I'll not grudge the game, I trow, As I feel her kiss on my fading brow.
For I hold her dance is the only joy That thrills the years and fails to cloy. Aye, I hold her measure above all treasure And I'll only laugh as she bends to destroy.
Post by themirrorthief on Aug 17, 2018 10:37:43 GMT -5
Slumber ...Robert E Howard...one of his very best
A silver scroll against a marble sky,
A brooding idol hewn of crimson stone. A dying queen upon an ebon throne, An iron bird that rends the clouds on high. A golden lute whose echoes never die- A thousand dreams that men have never known Spread mighty wings and fold me when alone Upon my couch in haunted sleep I lie.
Then rending mists, the spurring whisper comes: "Wake dreamer, wake, your tryst with Life to keep!" Yet, waking, still a throb of phantom drums Comes hauntingly across the mystic deep; Their echo still, my thrill soul chord thrums- Which is the waking, then, and which the sleep?
Published in Weird Tales, Vol. 10, No. 4 (October 1927).
Falume of Spain rode forth amain when twilight’s crimson fell To drink a toast with Bahram’s ghost in the scarlet land of Hell. His rowels clashed as swift he dashed along the flaming skies; The sunset rade at his bridle braid and the moon was in his eyes.
The waves were green with an eery sheen over the hills of Thule And the ripples beat to his horse’s feet like a serpent in a pool. On vampire wings the shadow things wheeled round and round his head, Till he came at last to a kingdom vast in the Land of the Restless Dead.
They thronged about in a grisly rout, they caught at his silver rein; “Avaunt, foul host! Tell Bahram’s ghost Falume has come from Spain!” Then flame-arrayed rose Bahram’s shade: “What would ye have, Falume?” “Ho, Bahram who on earth I slew where Tagus’ waters boom,
Now though I shore your life of yore amid the burning West, I ride to Hell to bid ye tell where I might ride to rest. My beard is white and dim my sight and I would fain be gone. Speak without guile: where lies the isle of mystic Avalon?”
“A league beyond the western wind, a mile beyond the moon, Where the dim seas roar on an unknown shore and the drifting stars lie strewn: The lotus buds there scent the woods where the quiet rivers gleam, And king and knight in the mystic light the ages drowse and dream.”
With sudden bound Falume wheeled round, he fled through the flying wrack Till he came to the land of Spain with the sunset at his back. “No dreams for me, but living free, red wine and battle’s roar; I breast the gales and I ride the trails until I ride no more.”