Monday, December 05, 2011

Fragment And So His Boyhood - Robert E. Howard

And so his boyhood wandered into youth,
And still the hazes thickened round his head,
And red, lascivious nightmares shared his bed
And fantasies with greedy claw and tooth
Burrowed in the secret parts of him—
Gigantic, bestial and misshapen paws
Gloatingly fumbled each white youthful limb,
And shadows lurked with scarlet gaping jaws.
Deeper and deeper in a twisting maze
Of monstrous shadows, shot with red and black,
Or gray as dull decay and rainy days,
He stumbled onward. Ever at his back
He heard the lecherous laughter of the ghouls.
Under the fungoid trees lay stagnant pools
Wherein he sometimes plunged up to his waist
And shrieked and scrambled out with loathing haste,
Feeling unnumbered slimy fingers press
His shrinking flesh with evil, dank caress.
Life was a cesspool of obscenity—
He saw through eyes accursed with unveiled sight—
Where Lust ran rampant through a screaming Night
And black-faced swine roared from the Devil’s styes;
Where grinning corpses, fiend-inhabited,
Walked through the world with taloned hands outspread;
Where beast and monster swaggered side by side,
And unseen demons strummed a maddening tune;
And naked witches, young and brazen-eyed,
Flaunted their buttocks to a lustful moon.
Rank, shambling devils chased him night on night,
And caught and bore him to a flaming hall,
Where lambent in the flaring crimson light
A thousand long-tongued faces lined the wall.
And there they flung him, naked and a-sprawl
Before a great dark woman’s ebon throne.
How dark, inhuman, strange, her deep eyes shone!

4 out of 5