Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tarantella - Robert E. Howard

Heads! Heads! Heads!
Bounce on the cobble stones.
Glitter of scarlets and flame of reds
Crimson the road that Freedom treads,
We’re rearing a fane of bones.
And bare feet
Weave their beat
Down the red reeking street.
Hell holds sway.
Slay! Slay!
Hate goes bellowing through the land,
Crimson-hued is my gleaming brand.
Kill! Kill! And my lips a-thrill
With hot kisses snatched in the frenzied whirl—
Raped from the lips of a noble girl.
And her brother’s blood on my hand.
Rage, lust, passion-hot.
Prance, dance, you sans culotte.
This is your hour, the height of your power,
Culture, decency forgot.
Blood! Blood! The red gleams preen
On yon fair maid the guillotine!
Vive, vive la guillotine!
Hate and slaughter, that is all;
Blood to shed and heads to fall.
Love is lust and good is lies,
Satan rides the eery skies.
Dance and sway
Whirl away
Meet and kiss, it is bliss
But to slay!
All the world’s a gore-rimmed sea, lo, the devil laughs with glee.
Come and dance then, you with me, come and caper wild and free.
With red blood those fires are lit,
Hades’ smoke is tinged with it.
And the very skies that soar
Are encrimsoned as with gore—
Yon was once a baron’s head,
Now it decks a pike instead.
I salute ye, with my sword.
Here’s to you, m’sieu le lord.
Much you had of wondrous wine,
Ermine coats and horses fine,
Luscious lips of dainty girls,
Snowy bosoms, gold and pearls,
None so haughty as your sneer—
Now you ride a common’s spear.
Here’s to you! In hell you burn.
I am on the upward turn
Of the slow revolving Wheel
With my reign of blood and steel.
O’er my prostrate head ye strode;
On my shoulder bent ye rode.
You the whip-man, I the clown
Till I rose to tread you down.
They will rise to trample me—
For the moment I am free.
Through the ribs the winds may drone
Now the world is all mine own.
Mine to lust, to rage, to dance!
Vive la Freedom! Vive la France!

4 out of 5