Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Histories Book Reviews REH Barbarism Off Stand the Wolves
'Now We Break the World'
The Song of Horsa's Galley by Robert E. Howard
Howard employed Vikings as villains in every tale they passed under his keys. On occasion they were allies. But if a Norse [other than the Danes in the Temple of Abomination] reared up in a Howard tale he was a bad man, a death bringer, fetter binder, hate maker. Howard waxed savagely partisan when Gaels or Picts fought against the Norsemen—yet, in his poetry, they snarl forth like wolves at the throat of a deservedly decadent world.
The more I reread the story of the hero ship Argo and her crew, and the tale of Odysseus, the closer comes the medieval Norse to the ancient Hellene in the mind's eye, the song-knit crew at the oars, the wonder of towering surf perceived from the belly of an open boat, hide-clad heroes...
The 16 lines of this poem are broken into four verses and appear on page 40 of A Word from the Outer Dark.
Here is one verse:
"The ravens circle above our prows
And our chant is the song of the sea.
They hear our oars by a thousand shores
And they know the north is free."
In this poem, as in much of his medieval prose, Howard describes the Norse going against Rome, which many might take exception to. However, he seems to have taken an overlapping view of the Norse and Roman cosmos, with the Norse realm shrinking over the ages, having once included proto-Vikings like Frisians, Saxons, Angles and Jutes and the Roman world continuing to spread like a leprosy across the world even ages after the city of seven hills that birthed it fell into ruin.
White in the Savage Night: A Politically Incorrect Life In Words: 2016
prev:  ‘The Wind’s Eye’     ‹  off stand the wolves  ›     next:  Fettered Seahawk
broken dance
the greatest boxer
soter's way
yusef of the dusk
winter of a fighting life
Add Comment