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‘Dim Unrest'
There Were Three Lads Who Went Their Destined Ways by Robert E. Howard
Reading from pages 110-112 of a Word from the Outer Dark
The seven uneven verses of this poem concern Howard and his two pals Tevis Clyde Smith and Truett Vinson in a revel about how young men view the world with a mutual mixture of wonder and criticism in that straight of life when they have not yet been indoctrinated into society.
I will quote the first verse, except for the first line, it being the title above.
“Bewildered by this thing men called Life—
Toiled through the week and idled leisure days,
And cursed the world but knew the world was rife
With things of beauty even they could see.
They reveled in old tales of ages hoary
And plagued by souls vaguely reaching out for glory,
But knew a dim uncertain longing to be free.”
Somehow, perhaps by instinct or informed by the ancestral well he sensed within him, the young poet, knew beyond his years that he did not know, yearned for glory in a time before that striving notion had been reduced to a pining for fame, and assessed as well that glory could only be bestowed by that which owned him in some way...and loomed at odds with his simpler muse on freedom.
Cursing men, thirsting for the company of women and milling among young minds on the cusp of social inclusion, in that long yawning phase that is the boy of Modernity’s drifting initiation into manhood, Howard seems to have understood my few youthful friends and I quite well without having known us in Time, as we twisted in the cross winds of expectation and intent of our generation in 1977—ironically the year I discovered his works on a bookstore shelf.
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