Last updated: March 14, 2019
Topic: ArtPoetry
Sample donated:

Artist: Giulio Romano (Orbetto)


1. fetter, shackle

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[Origin: 13th century; Middle English]


Crack of a whip in the dusky air,
Clatter of brazen wheels on the stones,
Thunders of drums and a trumpet flare,
And the king of kings is passing there,
While the wind o’ the ages drones.

Bronze face limned in the crimson sun,
Helmet of gold with a regal feather,
Flaming cloak that a princess spun,
Sandals of tinted leather.
Serfs and barons, knights of the lists,
Silver shackles upon their wrists
(But silver is sister to rugged steel);
Though proudly they wear their gleaming gyves,
And proudly they strut, they live their lives
Chained to the chariot wheel.

[from “Custom”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 298]