Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Hills of Kandahar - Robert E. Howard

The night primeval breaks in scarlet mist;
The shadows gray, and pales each silent star,
The eastern sky that rose-lipped dawn has kissed
Glows crimson o'er the hills of Kandahar.
A trumpet song re-echoes from afar;
Across the crags the golden glory grows
To drive the shades, renewing ancient war;
Now bursts full bloom the gorgeous morning rose.

These are the hills that many a sultan trod;
Their rocks have known full many a victor's stride;
These peaks could tell their tale of human pride―
See where they rear, each like a somber god.
Aye, they have gazed since first the primal dawn
Fired with a wild, vague flame a bestial soul
Who rose and stood and saw his fallen spawn
With him, somehow, part of Creation's whole,
And made himself immortal with a goal
To be attained―this untaught simian faun.

Aye, but these peaks have known the human tread:
The ebb and flow of dim humanity,
The restless, surging, never-easing tide.
The swarming tribes that came unceasingly;
The lust of kings, the bloody war-dawn's red,
The races that arose and ruled―and died.
They will be brooding when mankind is gone;
The teeming tribes that scaled their barricades―
Dim hordes that waxed at dusk and waned at dawn―
Are but as snow that on their shoulders fades.

3.5 out of 5