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‘A Man I Slew’
Remembrance by Robert E. Howard

Previously titled ‘With Savage Skill,’ revised with additional commentary.

Few people today understand, as Howard did, that there is inherent value in the killing of other humans, that heroic action is most meaningful when the hero ends lesser lives.

Below is an ‘Aryan dream sequence’ in poetic form written by Robert E. Howard and published by Weird Tales in April 1928. Many scientists, philosophers and writers in the first third of the 20th Century believed in specific genetic memory. Remembrance is the briefest of Howard’s many offerings in the area. With my Black Muslim friends in mind, I’m tempted to title this review the Rise of Whitey, but have stuck with one of Howard’s phrases


Eight thousand years ago a man I slew,

I lay in wait beside a sparkling rill

There in an upland valley green and still.

The white stream gurgled where the rushes grew;

The hills were veiled in dreamy hazes blue.

He came along the trail; with savage skill

My spear leaped like a snake to make my kill—Leaped like a striking snake and pierced him through.

And still when blue haze dreams along the sky

And breezes bring the murmur of the sea,

A whisper thrills me where at ease I lie

Beneath the branches of some mountain tree;

He comes, fog-dim, the ghost that will not die,

And with accusing finger points at me.

From The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard, edited by Rusty Burke, Del Ray, 2008

For those of us who rankle at charges of ancestral racism, who deny and resent the charge that we whites of 2015 are guilty through descent from some unknown violent race-hater of another time, merely because we can trace our DNA to the old dead fellow, consider that many of the keenest minds of his time, believed in blood memory, in genetic guilt and the blood magic that drives the vital instincts of each portion of human kind to war with the other.

Add Comment
IshmaelMay 29, 2016 11:51 AM UTC

Reminds me a little of Aragorn, LOTR, his ancestors past hung over him like a dark shroud, this burden was also what made him strong, he faced his doom like a man should.